Children of Men

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

As science-fictional dystopian thrillers go, this is probably one of the best. The setting is England in 2027, and due to reasons unexplained, no children have been born anywhere in the world for the past 18 years. Society is visibly disintegrating, random violence is rife, the government only holds onto power via scapegoating and totalitarian brutality. Slick ads for suicide kits appear on TV.

Our unlikely hero is Theo, played by Clive Owen, a drunk whose politically-active ex-wife drags him into an audacious scheme. Owen does a great job of portraying an ordinary schlub getting swept up in circumstances. (And the circumstances just keep getting more and more nightmarish as the movie goes along.) Also great—as he is just about always—is Michael Caine playing an aging hippie pothead, trying to wisecrack his way through apocalypse.

If you're a fan of "show, don't tell" movies, this will reward you amply. The moviemakers put a lot of detail in the background, relying on the viewer to observe and deduce. (I like it when I catch things; I also worry that I've missed three things for every one caught.)

Last Modified 2012-10-19 1:31 PM EDT