Oh, man, I really wanted to see this and think it's as awesome as all the reviews say, and start telling everyone to see it and hope it wins all those big movie awards... but I'm a terrible moviegoer who can't appreciate a quality science fiction drama and just like in art museums when I can totally see why something is thought of as awesome but it doesn't do it for me, this movie didn't really do it for me. Quick non-spoiler plot summary: It's 2027. In 2009, women became infertile. All the cities in the world except London got destroyed. Clive Owen plays the guy who has to help save this one young girl who may hold the key to the survival of the species.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune review (chosen somewhat randomly off Rotten Tomatoes) starts off like this: "The time is soon, the place familiar, the vision devastating. London, 2027, is a crowded, decaying metropolis under martial law. "The world has collapsed; only Britain soldiers on," TV announcers declare. Video walls report endless overseas wars and advertise pharmaceutical suicide kits."
And, just like with Idiocracy, that part was really cool, but then we stop seeing Cuaron's view of his future world and instead it becomes a normal-ish sort of action movie, with lots of running away from people with guns. I don't really care about long extended gun battles. They're much less interesting to me than more about the pharmaceutical suicide kits. I mean, the movie is much better than an action film. The acting is terrific. Michael Caine has a supporting role that's wonderful, Clive Owen is very very good, Julianne Moore is good although her role is pretty small. It's a well-made movie, you can find yourself caring about the characters, but... but I wanted to see the cutting-room footage about this world in disarray and what that meant, what the director was seeing in his 2027 world, more than I wanted to see people shooting at each other.
The Variety review says pretty much the opposite of what I just said, except it agrees with me about Michael Caine: "Much more effective when it's a down-and-dirty actioner than when trying to grapple with the multitude of personal and political issues raised, pic suffers from Clive Owen's cold lead playing but gains some heart and soul from a kudosworthy, wonderfully eccentric perf by Michael Caine."
I sorted on Rotten Tomatoes for the negative reviews and found one that says what I mean better than I am. Here. It's not a bad movie. It's just a wasted opportunity to actually do something I'd find interesting. Which may be very different from what everyone else who watches movies finds interesting. Like "having a plot," which I guess I'm just not a huge fan of. :)