The raves are pouring in. Children of Men is the movie that you’ll be sorry you missed. Unless, of course, you go see it.

Here’s J. Hoberman:

History repeats itself: 11 Decembers ago, Universal had the season’s strongest movie—a downbeat sci-fi flick freely adapted from a well-known source by a name director. With a bare minimum of advance screenings and a total absence of hype, the studio dumped it. This year, they’ve done it again.

The 1995 castoff was 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam’s remake of Chris Marker’s La Jetée; this year’s victim is Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón’s dank, hallucinated, shockingly immediate version of P.D. James’s novel. Never mind that Cuarón saved the Harry Potter franchise and, with Y Tu Mamá También, directed the highest-grossing Spanish-language movie ever released in America (or that Children of Men was respectfully received at the Venice Film Festival and topped the British box office the week that it opened), this superbly crafted action thriller is being treated like a communicable disease.

Universal may have deemed Children of Men too grim for Christmas, but it is premised on a reverence for life that some might term religious.

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