Children of Men
Dir. Alfonso Cuarón. 2006. R. 109mins. Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Claire-Hope Ashitey.
Working from a P.D. James novel, Cuarón and a team of screenwriters have created one of those lumbering sci-fi message movies. In the near future, women have become infertile and society has basically collapsed into the usual dystopian squalor. When a young woman (Ashitey) gets pregnant, a disillusioned guy with government connections (Owen) agrees to help smuggle her across England to meet a ship supposedly sent by the Human Project, a possibly mythical group trying to save humanity. Lots of critics are going gaga over the use of long takes and topical references, but we found it dull, hackneyed and confused. Making references to Iraq and Guantánamo does not automatically make your movie profound. (In theaters now; see www.timeout.com/chicago/nowplaying for showtimes.)—Hank Sartin