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Elysium | 2013 | R | - 2.8.10

In the 22nd century the Earth is a wasted, polluted landscape where most people eek out an impoverished existence. Meanwhile, a tiny minority of wealthy individuals live on an idyllic satellite called Elysium where there's no hunger or disease has disappeared. An ex-felon (Matt Damon), struck by radiation sickness and left with five days to live, decides to break into Elysium to find a cure, not realizing how his plan will affect the population of Earth. Also with Alice Braga, Jody Foster, Wagner Moura, Diego Luna, William Fichtner and Sharlto Copley. Directed by Neill Blomkamp. Several scenes are in Spanish or French with English subtitles. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 2 - A government agent captures a woman and later kisses her forehead while stroking and smelling her hair and saying that she should be his wife; she resists his attention.
 A man asks a female friend to have coffee with him; she agrees, but we do not see the date.
 After receiving an exoskeleton, a technician moves the arms at the joints and laughingly says, "You can still jack off, right?" A man at work in a factory jokingly tells another man about the boss, "I think he likes you" and the second man smiles and denies it.
 A man on Earth is shown shirtless in three scenes and his bare chest, back, neck, shoulders, arms with a number of tattoo designs are seen. A government agent appears shirtless in two scenes, revealing electronic implants on his chest and back. A brief scene features a woman wearing a bikini that reveals bare shoulders, arms, abdomen and legs. A man wears shorts that reveal partial thighs and lower legs.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 8 - Earth has become an overpopulated desert wasteland of overlapping ghettos where everyone is dirty, sick and poor; people are shown living in shacks on filthy garbage dumps and buildings are crumbling while aggressive androids make up the police force, beating individuals at random with clubs (we see bloody faces on the victims of the beatings) and other people run and scream in a few scenes; one scene shows an elderly person of indeterminate gender rolling away as fast as possible in a wheelchair.
 We see a long knife slice into a man's body and head (we see gushing blood) as someone calls loudly for a bone saw (we do not see it) and we see a vibrating cast cutter remove an arm cast; electronic devices, including a USB port for the brain being inserted into openings and wounds are stitched in close-up (one device looks like an insect that is six inches long); metal support struts are riveted into the man's bones with electric screwdrivers while an ID is burned into his forearm with a gun-like instrument causing the man to gasp.
 Several knife and sword fights occur between a man in an exoskeleton and a another man: they punch, kick and strike with weapons, often drawing blood that we see drip off their faces and hands. During a fight a man stabs another man in the stomach twice with a bloody ninja sword, blood gushes and the injured man limps off to a nurse for help; she finds him lying in a gutter, holding his bleeding stomach and she uses electronic devices to close the large bloody wound. A man pushes another man over a high railing after attaching a live grenade to his exoskeleton, but the man climbs back over and pushes the first man over the railing; from above, we see the man explode to pieces, with very little noise.
 A man becomes psychotic, punching mirrors and threatening to kill several people; he confronts a woman and slits her throat (the woman gasps and clutches her throat as we see blood rush down her throat and soak her blouse and jacket); the agent locks the woman into a room with another woman and a child where she shudders and dies; the second woman covers her with a tarp. A man and five soldiers attack a man standing in a space station and one soldier pins one of the man's hands to a walkway with a long knife; the man screams as blood flows, pulls the knife out of his hand and gets up shouting. A man in an exoskeleton hurts people that get in his way in a computer lab; he grabs the throat and instantly snaps the neck of one person and kicks several across a room as he leaves. A man breaks loose from where he is strapped to a gurney and he is about to be killed; he draws a knife and slits the throat of one of the people (we see blood rush) as the first man runs out of the room.
 A government shuttle rolls and agents inside fall while a civilian man inside the spacecraft throws a grenade into the mouth of the head agent and the grenade explodes loudly, blowing the agent's face apart with blood spatter; later other agents put the body on a gurney and we see a bloody mass on the neck as they place him into a healing bed where his head and face are reconstructed like a puzzle flying together; he also receives a power exoskeleton. A man fights two men in a space shuttle and we see a lot of kicking, punching and gunfire; the man tosses a grenade at an agent and we see the agent explode in slow motion into a red vapor cloud as the shuttle lands on the space station.
 A man at work pushes a rack of robot torsos into a radiation-emitting machine, but the protective door jams; his supervisor threatens him with job loss if he does not go into the machine and fix the jam so he enters and is caught as the door closes; the radiation begins and he shouts as we see his skin turn red while he convulses; a robot drags the man out of the machine, to a room with a gurney that the robot lays him on and gives him a bottle of pain meds (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the robot tells the man that he will have catastrophic organ failure and die in five days and the man limps home while crying and we see him with a red face and swollen eyes; once home, a friend helps him to the toilet, where we see him vomit large quantities of yellow vomitus.
 An armored SUV and an armored sports car chase a shuttle that is about to crash after being shot down; we see it crash on Earth without injuring the man inside and another man orders androids to kill two men; a grenade thrown under the car turns it over but fails to kill anyone (the two men are shown dirty and scratched); one of the attacking men shoots one of the androids into small pieces that scatter and he twists the head off the another android; he then hooks his brain into a computer and the brain of another man in order to download all the data and shoots the man in the chest (blood gushes); at the same time, three other men in the shooter's team are shot dead by agents that appear in another shuttle in the sky and we see blood.
 Human smugglers electronically erase non-citizen IDs from the forearms of illegal immigrants (they wince in pain), and then load the frightened-looking people, tightly packed, onto transport ships; as the ships approaches a wealthy space station that governs Earth they are ordered to be shot down by the station's weapons department; missiles are launched and vaporize two ships with little sound (we see clouds of debris being thrown and scattering) and another ship lands (the people onboard are ordered to be deported immediately); a woman shatters a glass door and races her daughter to a medical bed, where she is instantly healed from a terminal illness before Homeland Security androids capture them and the other people, forcing them at gunpoint onto a government transport ship for deportation.
 Two agents blow up a space station command center and staff with a grenade; we hear a loud blast and see charred debris; apparently, the people inside are vaporized.
 Three people receive baton beatings from android police officers at a bus stop; we see the clothed arm of a man break inside out as he screams in pain while the other two people are in the distance, gasping and we do not see their injuries. We see several scenes of police androids or government agents as they shoot automatic rifles, often missing but downing some people (no blood is seen). A small group people defend themselves with guns against agents and sometimes hit them (bloody wounds are seen).
 A dying man asks a for a black market ticket to a space station that has instant healing beds; the man and his crew pull handguns on the dying man then drop them to their sides as the man gives the sick man a powered exoskeleton to hold him up and support his broken arm.
 A man slumps on the floor against a desk and dies quietly with his eyes closed. A man dies and we hear a voiceover saying that the man was born to do something important.
 A defense minister and the President of a space station and Earth argue and one forces the other to decommission secret agent. A man on a rooftop grilling meat becomes angry and kicks the grill off the roof as he shouts.
 We hear that a little girl is dying of leukemia and having seizures, but cannot stay in the hospital, because it is too full and doctors cannot cure her. Several scenes of medical clinics on Earth are so crowded that people can barely walk through the lobbies with people screaming and writhing in pain; a man on a gurney grabs his lower abdomen, grimaces and shouts in pain; several men have an arm in a sling; a few men have bloody faces and a few other men walk with canes; an elderly woman sits in a wheelchair and her legs appear to be bandaged while a few parents cry out that their children are sick and dying; and in one scene, we see a long, wide swath of reddened, bruised skin on a man's forearm as a nurse says it's a bad break and she places it in an elastic support and we later see a cast on it. We see dozens of EMS shuttles where sick people are treated with medical healing beds.
 A woman and her young daughter are terrified by government agents that break into their home at gunpoint; the agents see bloody bandages on the couch from where the mom helped an injured man and one agent slaps the woman hard in the face, because she says that she does not know where the man is. A woman in a shuttle shatters a glass door, runs inside a space station clinic, puts her daughter into a medical bed and a government agent enters and stuns the woman with an electronic ray gun (we see the electric current).
 Secret government agents release drones several times to track down people on Earth; a man picks up a rock and throws it hard at one drone, breaking it and dropping it to the ground.


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LANGUAGE 10 - About 55 F-words and derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures, 10 scatological terms, 2 anatomical terms, 1 mild obscenity, exclamations (shut-up), name-calling (idiots, idiot, crazy), stereotypical references to the rich, the poor, corrupt government officials, corporate officials, parents, children, secret agents, illegal immigrants, computer geeks, 1 religious profanity (GD), 5 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh God, For God's sake, Jesus Christ).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man receiving an exoskeleton surgery (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details) receives drugs into a mainline in his upper chest, a robot parole officer opens a plastic box of capsule medications while asking an ex-con if he wants one and the parolee answers no, a man with radiation poisoning receives a bottle of blue and white pain capsules from a robot at work and the robot tells him to take one capsule with each meal until he dies in five days (we see the man taking the capsules), and a man in a hospital operating chair receives an IV of transparent fluids, a man is strapped to a gurney where he is to receive sedation (he breaks free and escapes). A few scenes in a makeshift computer room at a garbage dump show men and women drinking from bottles of beer, a woman takes a glass of champagne from a tray of filled glasses and drinks on a space station at a garden party while we see two other women holding large glasses of wine in the background, and a man tosses a beer bottle off the roof of a tall building. Several men in a ghetto smoke cigarettes.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - A two-class society, the 1%, anti-immigration laws, corrupt governments and officials, corporate greed, police brutality, lack of healthcare, the environment, sick and dying children, the power of computer networks.

MESSAGE - Inequality breeds violence.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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