REVIEW: Alfonso Cuaron makes ambitious films.

Of its late international breakthrough There you mamá también – the frenzied choreographies of Gravity and the laceration Rome, Cuaron never repeated himself, chose a style, or created anything that felt safe or predictable.

Even Cuaron’s Harry potter Payment, The prisoner of Azkaban, is an explosion of free-to-play storytelling and wildly kinetic cinematography that sets the bar high for the rest of the series to come together.

But in 2006, Cuaron made a film that was one of the best of the decade – and which has aged over the past 15 years as a classic in the making.

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Children of men is a free adaptation of a novel by PD James. Cuaron made some drastic changes to the story, but James was still happy with the finished film.

The film is set in 2027. Infertility, political instability, and revolution have brought the world’s economies to a halt, and the UK is one of the few countries that is functioning. Immigration is indeed illegal, and the police are relentless in rounding up and deporting all “refugees.”

Children of Men is packed with movement and is as exciting as the near war movie it looks like.  But it's also a film that delights in character, plausibility and clever construction of the world.  There is breathless action, but also allegory, ideas and debate.

PROVIDED

Children of Men is packed with movement and is as exciting as the near war movie it looks like. But it’s also a film that delights in character, plausibility and clever construction of the world. There is breathless action, but also allegory, ideas and debate.

In this eerily believable near future, Theo is an exhausted and depressed civil servant. Reality crashes into Theo’s life in the form of Julian, his ex-wife and the mother of their child, who is now the leader of a pro-refugee revolutionary militia.

There has been no human pregnancy on Earth in 18 years. But Julian has some amazing news – and Theo is about to become an actor in a rebellion.

Cuaron takes this dense material and shapes an exceptional film. Children of men is jam-packed with movement and as exciting as the near war movie it looks like. But it’s also a film that delights in character, plausibility and clever construction of the world. There is breathless action, but also allegory, ideas and debate.

Clive Owen plays Theo from Children of Men.

provided

Clive Owen plays Theo from Children of Men.

Clive Owen and Julianne Moore are perfect as Theo and Julian, with Owen having the best performance of his career. And Michael Caine almost steals the movie with a brilliantly funny, poignant cameo as an aging pot dealer helping Theo. Caine based his performance on his friendship with John Lennon.

Children of men is a surprisingly good and perhaps timeless film.

After years of being difficult to find online, it’s now available for rent on AroVision, YouTube, Google Play, and iTunes. But if you can find it on DVD or Blu-Ray, you’ll be rewarded with hours of extra material, manufacturing movies, and supporting documentaries.