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Elysium

7/10
Science Fiction . Action . Drama . Thriller . Sci-Fi
 

In the year 2159, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that, if successful, will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

 
Actors: Matt Damon , Jodie Foster , Sharlto Copley , Alice Braga , Diego Luna , Wagner Moura , William Fichtner , Faran Tahir , Jose Pablo Cantillo , Maxwell Perry Cotton
Directors: Neill Blomkamp
Country: USA
Release: 2013-08-09
More Info:
  • Richard Roeper

    Damon’s everyman workhorse is tragically sympathetic, plodding ahead against all odds. Copley is brilliant as the sadistic villain. Foster is … well, you gotta see it to believe it. In the meantime, you’ll be treated to one of the most entertaining action films of the year.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    I wish that the film had more of the tasty futuristic detail promised by that dummy parole officer. I also wish that Blomkamp took us deeper into the world of Elysium.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kevin Jagernauth

    With Elysium, Blomkamp has made good on the promise of "District 9" and proven that working on a bigger canvas doesn't mean compromising on smarts or aspirations to deliver tentpole sized stories with a thoughtful backbone.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    In lesser hands, Elysium might have played like a Lib Dem manifesto with extra spaceships, but the South African filmmaker wants to explore ideas, not wave placards, and whether or not you agree with the film’s politics, the fire in its belly is catching.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Kim Newman

    Not perfect, but a much more satisfying Earth-in-ruins film than Oblivion or After Earth. It is a little more conventional than District 9 (what isn’t?), but confirms Blomkamp as one of the potential science-fiction greats of this decade.

    Empire Full Review
  • Anthony Lane

    At last, a good big film. The legacy of the summer, thus far, has been jetsam: moribund movies that lie there, bloated and beached, gasping to break even. But here is something angry and alive: Elysium.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    Even working within a more conventional framework, Blomkamp again proves to be a superb storyteller. He has a master’s sense of pacing, slowly immersing us into his future world rather than assailing us with nonstop action, and envisioning that world with an architect’s eye for the smallest details.

    Variety Full Review
  • Ben Kenigsberg

    In a summer of antiseptic effects spectacles, Elysium stands out for its grime and intensity, as well as the bluntness of its class allegory.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Among the slew of recent futuristic hell-in-a-handbasket spectacles, Elysium takes the cake.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Elysium proves better at social polemics than escapism, a balancing act Blomkamp managed well in District 9, with its allegory of South Africa's apartheid era.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Decidedly more thought-provoking than most big-studio summer fare.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    This vision of a violent future makes Elysium well worth seeing, even as the conventional violence of the thriller finale makes it a missed opportunity.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Blomkamp's universe is a fascinating place to visit and the movie is stuffed with ideas - there's far too much here to satisfactorily explore in 109 minutes, especially when one considers that room must be made for action scenes. I departed the theater satisfied with what I'd seen but wanting more.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    With most films, that'd be enough to cut out half the potential American audience. But effective, evocative science fiction, which Elysium is, has a way of getting by with an ILA (Insidious Liberal Agenda) in the guise of worst-case dystopia.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Like District 9, an allegory of apartheid that took four Oscar nods and put Blomkamp on the map, Elysium delivers sci-fi without dumbing it down. It's a hell-raiser with a social conscience.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Elysium, the second movie from writer-director Neill Blomkamp, isn’t quite as inventive or fresh as his knockout debut, 2009’s "District 9." But the new picture is cut from the same cloth — furiously exciting sci-fi, carefully considered and loaded with allegories and social commentary.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Appreciate Elysium for what it is, sci-fi that’s smarter, more topical and more invigorating than most of what passes through that genre these days, and another sign that its director is the most promising chap to enter the field since the inception of Christopher Nolan.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    If Elysium is the brainiest Hollywood movie of the summer, it's also the most conflicted one.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    If Elysium isn’t the post-millennial sci-fi masterpiece I was hoping for, it has tremendous resonance and is pretty doggone good for its category.

    Salon.com Full Review
  • John Anderson

    Mr. Damon brings both a weary optimism and convincing physicality to Max, who is no revolutionary. He just wants to live, and is willing to don an exoskeletal combat suit and fight robots to do it.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    Mr. Damon’s performance helps keep the movie from sinking under the weight of its artfully constructed horrors.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    What made “District 9” special was attention to details: You believed in the characters, their society and their surroundings. The big effects in Elysium work fine. But the people never become individuals, and the vagueness and coincidental nature of the storytelling undermine its structure.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    A high-low tension runs through Elysium, not only in the narrative itself, but in Blomkamp’s own cinematic language, which can be lofty one moment and gleefully pulpy the next.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    It’s a letdown, but this director’s still a talent to be reckoned with.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    A cheekily gruesome and genuinely urgent entertainment, Blomkamp's latest nevertheless can't help but beg the question: Where's Snake Plissken when you need him?

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    Nothing in the movie matches the fascination of its premise and its opening 10 minutes: the undisturbed status quo is mesmeric. Once the narrative grinds into gear, however, the film's distinctive quality is lost.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Although the pulp energy that Blomkamp brings to this material makes it consistently watchable, the film doesn't feel as singular as we would have hoped.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    This is a messy, poorly structured film, riddled with plot holes and lacking any kind of satisfying conclusion.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    For all its simple politics, clanging dialogue, and underwritten roles—only Damon’s natural, and deepening, ability to suggest unspoken disappointment gives his character dimension—Elysium works, though never as well as it should.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Unfortunately, Elysium devolves. It doesn’t address the ramifications of making everyone healthy for eternity, or what it is on Earth they’re making or digging up that fuels whatever economy is left on the space station. For such a well thought-out premise, there’s not a mention of how capitalism works in this futureworld.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Jane Crowther

    This perfectly alright actioner will entertain newcomers, while leaving Blomkamp fans in a holding pattern until his next project.

    Total Film Full Review
  • David Fear

    Hollywood loves these apocalypse-soon stories, however, because they function as blank canvases for ruin porn, and if nothing else, Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium gives us the realistically trashed tomorrow we suspect we deserve.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Granted, Elysium could be more clever as it goes about its business. This is smart sci-fi, but it's not as smart as it could have been -- or as many "District 9" fans were probably hoping it would be.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • William Goss

    Frankly, Elysium is a bit of a liberal’s wet dream: the good guys want accessible healthcare, while the bad guys want to do away with undocumented immigrants.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Blomkamp overdoes even his best effects. (I would have welcomed more vistas of Elysium to break up the grungefest.) If Elysium is an example of how recession-era Hollywood intends to dramatize the rift between the haves and the have-nots, let’s hope the studios don’t also bring back Smell-O-Rama.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    With Elysium, the director proves that he still has one hand on the X-Box controller; maybe he should give the allegories a rest already and just get back in the game.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The action is bludgeoning. When Max gets pummeled by fists and lethal objects, we get pummeled by light and noise and rock-'em-sock-'em editing. No shrimp, though. As a narrative, "District 9" wasn't particularly original, either — in the end it was a standard conversion melodrama. But everything is better with shrimp.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Kudos to Blomkamp for not shying away from social issues in his films, but here the execution doesn’t live to the intentions.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Matthew Kassel

    While the movie may not, in the end, be so effective in tapping into our current class anxieties, that hardly seems to matter. Like a trip to Elysium, it’s a wild ride.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Ultimately, Elysium ends up with explosions, running gun battles, and summer non-blockbuster tedium. The outcome is never in question, and while Blomkamp has proven himself to be a master of sci-fi social commentary in the past, this dull wheel in the sky just lands with a resounding thud.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Damon is as buff as ever, maybe even more so... But watching him lumber through Elysium's bramble of lofty ideals is no damn fun.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    All the interest and good will built up by the sharply conceived preliminaries is washed away in a succession of scenes that feel crushingly routine and generic, not to mentioned guided by ideological urges.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Adam Nayman

    One of Blomkamp’s most unlikely conceits is a machine – apparently standard-issue in all of Elysium’s made-to-order McMansions – that can heal all injuries and infections at the flick of a switch. He could have used one to fix Elysium’s battered and broken screenplay.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    For a 99 percenter movie, then, Elysium is kind of a head-scratcher. It throws away its best opportunity for drama. It’s as if Han and Leia parked on the Death Star and started asking, “How much is a two-bedroom around here?”

    New York Post Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    Blomkamp proceeds to spend the last two-thirds of his film crashing spaceships into lawns, or staging high-tech fistfights between Elysium’s stolid hero and his even duller arch-nemesis. It’s a waste of a perfectly good dystopia.

    Slate Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The result is a grim and predictable adventure saga that is not nimble but leaden. Dystopia has rarely been so dysto-pointing.

    Time Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The film provides an intelligently imagined future world.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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  • 6. Piano Concerto No. 8 in C minor Pathetique - Adagio Cantabile Writer: Neill Blomkamp Stream Music Online
  • 50. Piano Concerto No. 8 in C minor 'Pathetique' - Adagio Cantabile Writer: Neill Blomkamp Stream Music Online