Wow. That's what comes to mind first. Children of Men is a distopian sci-fi adventure thriller set in 2027 in a rapidly deteriorating world where humans can no longer have kids, and haven't had one for 18 years. It's presented about as realistically it could be, extremely gritty, colorless, you feel exactly like you're along for the ride, running along with the characters. The story is fairly simple: Kee, the last pregnant girl on the planet, has to be delivered safely to "Human Project," something we (or the characters) are not sure even exist. England (London in particular) in 2027 is proudly proclaiming itself to be the last bastion of hope in the world, while dozens of other cities have folded into destruction. Quickly we discover that this London is in a state of disrepair: bags of trash litter the streets with no garbagemen to pick them up, schools are totally abandoned and overgrown with weeds, and most of all, refugees (or "fugees") are hoarded up and taken to ghettos, or just killed outright. This is the environment Kee has to navigate, with her at-first-reluctant guardian Theo (Clive Owen, the main character of the picture) to guide her along the way.
The movie is shot in a mise-en-scène pseudo-documentary style, with numerous single-take shots that just blow you away if you're a fan of directing, editing, or cinematography. The longest of which is seven and a half minutes long, making Quentin Tarantino's impressive long single-take sequences look like peanuts in comparison. It's really amazing seeing the different aspects of the production all come together, especially how the near-future was envisioned. But I'd better not get ahead of myself slobbering over the aesthetics of the movie: the acting is superb all around, with Michael Caine delivering an atypical hippie, weed-growing and long haired, he actually based his performance after John Lennon apparently. There's lots of goods here, and had I seen this in 2006 I *might* have considered making this my favorite film of that year instead of the Departed. Maybe.