[[quoteright:286:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/childrenofmen1_47.jpg]]

->''"Last one to die, please turn out the light."''
-->--'''Graffiti sprayed on a wall'''

'''''Children of Men''''' is a 2006 {{childless dystopia}}n science fiction film co-written and directed by Creator/AlfonsoCuaron. It is loosely based on the novel ''The Children Of Men'' by P. D. James.

It's 2027, and no child has been born for nearly two decades. It appears that the United Kingdom has the only functional government left in the world, albeit barely, and British society teeters on the verge of collapse due to the problems thrown up by a long economic decline, an overpopulation and refugee ('fujee) crisis, and terrorism.

Theo, a white-collar worker, is distracted from his rut when his estranged wife approaches him for a favor - to help smuggle a refugee girl out of the country... who happens to be ''pregnant''. Theo agrees to protect Kee on a dangerous journey - past rebels, a repressive government, and traitors - to see her to safety.
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!! This movie contains examples of:

* ActionSurvivor:
** Theo spends most of the film running away from people with guns who want to kill him.
** And Marishka. She uses a ''hammer'' to the head to deal with a jerkass.
* AdaptationDistillation: In order to bring the book to the big screen, several key character roles were switched and streamlined, a LoveTriangle was eliminated, in order to focus more on TheChase. It all works in the book, but would have been quite clunky in a 2 and half hour movie. Not only that but Theo's occupation and overall character was switched from an Oxford historian who had to [[BadassBookworm rely on his brain]] to a former activist who had to [[IndyPloy think quickly on his feet]]. It works perfectly in terms of the action-filled movie.
* AdaptationExplanationExtrication: The scene with the mob chasing the car and being covered up by the media seems like a random plot device to provide a reason for [[spoiler: Julian dying]], but the novel actually explains that the youngest generation, called Omegas, go on random sprees of chaos because since they are treated with high regard they view everyone who is not an Omega with disgust.
** However, it is suggested later that the riot in the woods was [[spoiler: not happenstance, but organized by the Fishes to prevent Kee from leaving, that they may use her to their own political ends.]]
* AnyoneCanDie: People are dying left and right as soon as the main plot gets going. The final scene leaves [[spoiler:only one main character and her newborn baby alive, with all other major characters either dead or presumably dead.]]
* {{The Alcoholic}}: Theo, but he still uses up the last of his alcohol to [[spoiler: sterilize his hands before delivering Kee's baby.]]
* ApatheticCitizens: Try a whole society of them. When Theo is kidnapped off the street in broad daylight by masked gunmen, people don't even stop to look.
* ApocalypseAnarchy: Society descends further and further into chaos as people realize that the human race will be extinguished in a matter of decades since reproduction is no longer possible.
* ApocalypseHow: Class 1, on the way to Class 3.
* BadassLongcoat: While it is a pretty normal wool, business trench-coat, it's pretty badass how even though Theo undergoes multiple wardrobe changes in the film, for better or for worse, one article of clothing is constant: the coat.
* BittersweetEnding - The optimistic interpretation.
* BlastOut - After Theo and Kee [[spoiler: bring the baby through a silenced battle]], all it takes is one bullet for the fight to resume as if it had never happened.
** In the movie it's some idiot firing an RPG that hits a APC dangerously close to Kee and Theo. The military retaliates explosively, ''every soldier'' shooting their guns as the tanks start to level the building.
* BlatantLies: After [[spoiler:Julian is shot by masked gunmen, the police claim credit for killing her themselves.]]
* CameraAbuse
* ChildlessDystopia: The whole point of the movie.
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: After [[spoiler: Julian]] dies Theo goes to light a cigarette but ends up falling to the ground sobbing.
* CrapsackWorld: No babies are being born, dooming humanity to a slow but inevitable extinction. As a result, society has completely broken down, with pretty much the entire world being turned into nuclear wastelands or lawless war zones. Britain, possibly the only remaining pocket of civilization left, is a horribly authoritarian and xenophobic dystopia.
* CreatorCameo: P.D.James can be spotted in the cafeteria scene.
* CuteButCacophonic: the baby's cry.
* TheDanza: Almost: Julianne Moore as "Julian".
* DeadGuyJunior: Kee eventually settles on [[spoiler: naming the baby after Theo and Julian's dead son Dylan.]]
* DeadStarWalking: The characters played by both [[spoiler: Julianne Moore]] and [[spoiler: MichaelCaine]] die.
* DeathIsDramatic: [[AvertedTrope Not in this film]]. Fall down and shut up, no {{Final Speech}}es allowed, surviving characters will be busy running for their lives.
* DeliveryStork: Used as the basis of an in-universe joke.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything:
** The heroes are trying to smuggle a refugee (i.e. illegal immigrant) across the border and out of the country, and this ends up saving civilization as they know it (or so they hope). Cynical pundits didn't miss the opportunity to mock the apparent SpaceWhaleAesop.
** The ads used to sell Quietus (the suicide pills) are deliberately meant to resemble antidepressant ads.
** There's also the political situation in Britain, where the country [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany responds to a national catastrophe by using a persecuted minority group as scapegoats and victimizing them with organized violence ultimately rounding them up in prison camps]].
* DrivenToSuicide: Not for a particular character, but for society in general. Given that [[WorldHalfEmpty there is no hope for a future because no children have been born in 18 years]], the government rations suicide kits and anti-depressants.
* DueToTheDead: [[spoiler:Julian]]
* EmptyShell: Theo, due to the death of his and Julian's son from an illness.
* EpicTrackingShot: Alfonso Cuaron, the Director, is very fond of this technique and the film is famous for it. The action-climax is shot in one long shot in is ''over seven and a half minutes long''.
* EvilVersusEvil: The British government, the last functioning government on the planet, has become an oppressive regime, while the Fishes are sadistic terrorists who would [[spoiler:kill their own leader]] if it furthers their goal.
* FreezeFrameBonus: Lots of the history regarding the state of the world and the characters is given through environmental and background means. For instance, what happened to Jasper's wife (government torture for unkind reporting) and what happened to the rest of the world (global terrorism, including a nuclear strike in New York City).
** There is also a water conservation poster in the Ministry of Energy that illustrates Britain didn't escape the AtomicHate: 38% of the water supply is contaminated by radioactive fall out.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Theo. Pretty much every scene incorporates some kind of animal in them and they are always friendly to Theo.
* TheFundamentalist: Averted when Theo runs into a funeral procession of scary, bearded, angry, loud Islamists. They completely ignore him as if he weren't there and he runs right through the midst of them.
* FutureSlang: "'Fujee" (pronounced like "Fuji"), as a semi-derogatory shorthand for "refugee."
* GenderRarityValue: In the film, a fertile female is the sought-after rarity. In the book, it's a lack of fertile men.
* GenericGraffiti: "Last one alive please turn out the light."
* GranolaGirl: Miriam.
** Also Jasper, though he's male.
* GrayAndGreyMorality - The government and the "Fishes" are equally as radical and dangerous.
* HellholePrison: Bexhill Refugee Camp is basically a post-modern KZ.
* HeroesWantRedheads: Julian is played by Julianne Moore.
* HighConcept: What would the world be like after 20 years of no children being born?
* InfantImmortality: Played with in its aversion. As the film begins, we learn that the youngest person on Earth had just died. Everyone is in tears because of this. He was a mere babe of 18 years, 4 months, 20 days, 16 hours, and 8 minutes old.
* InstantDeathBullet: Averted in two cases. During an attack by [[spoiler:the Fishes]], [[spoiler:Julian]] is shot in the throat and bleeds out. [[spoiler:Theo]] is shot in the stomach by Luke and lasts a few hours before finally dying [[spoiler:in the boat well out of the city]].
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: Syd looks like a good guy with some rough edges at first, but is later revealed to be a heartless opportunist.
* JitterCam
* JustBeforeTheEnd: With no babies being born, humanity is doomed, but it will still be some time before everyone dies. The world responds by descending into nationalistic, nihlistic mayhem.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: For at least 15 minutes as Theo guides Kee [[spoiler:and the newborn]] through the warzone.
* TheLoad: Miriam means well, but she's hopelessly out of her depth and has a tendency to lock up and start praying whenever things get intense. That, or completely panic. She does however redeem herself with her [[spoiler:HeroicSacrifice]].
* MeaningfulName:
** Kee ("key" meaning the most important thing, or the thing that opens a previously locked door)
** Theo Faron is Greek for "The God of the Lighthouses".
* MoodWhiplash: Frequently. Interrupting a light scene with horrible violence and death is a favourite.
* MoralMyopia: Patric's reaction to Theo inadvertently killing the other ''assassin''. Could be because the kid was so young, and young people are held to a deity status in a society with no future. Also, it was [[ItsPersonal his cousin]].
* ANaziByAnyOtherName: Deliberately averted. Despite all of the obvious parallels between Britain's authoritarian government and that of Nazi Germany (see DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything above), the film intentionally avoids showing the ruling political figures in any great detail -- which means that there's no StrawmanPolitical group to blame for all the chaos. The dystopian setting is made all the more chilling by the fact that the British soldiers are virtually indistinguishable from the British military circa 2006.
** It's clearly a criticism of present right-wing anti-immigration hysteria though, as well as fascism.
* NoodleIncident:
** "What about Liverpool?"
** "That thing in Madrid was a real blow for art." "Not to mention people."
** "Were your parents in New York when ''it'' happened?" ''It'' was a nuclear explosion if the quick shots of scenes from a government propaganda film are to be believed.
* TheOner: Part of the visceral thrill of the film is the way many action scenes are filmed in long, continuous takes that make it seem like the viewer is inside the scene. The three longest shots make up about 1/8th of the film's running time.
** [[AvertedTrope Not all instances of the continuous shots are, though]] - while it required an almost obsessive viewing of the film, a few very minor blips here and there show that some editing of multiple shots was involved.
* PaintingTheMedium: As Theo runs through a bus filled with people, someone gets hit with a bullet, making blood splatter onto the camera.
** This little touch was actually an accident. After the take, the director saw the blood on the lens and thought they'd have to reshoot the whole [[TheOner absurdly long monster]] of a shot, but the cinematographer said "But that's fucking brilliant, leave it!" and it made the cut.
* PietaPlagiarism
* PsychoForHire: Patric
* QuickNip: Theo, constantly.
* [[RealIsBrown Real is Grey]]: It's Britain in winter. [[TruthInTelevision What do you expect?]]
* SacrificialLamb: One of the highest-billed stars [[spoiler:Julianne Moore]] dies 25 minutes into the movie, with maybe 10 minutes of screen time.
* SceneryGorn: The desolate hellscape of city.
* ShoutOut: Two serious ones at the camp at Bexhill.
** The first comes when [[spoiler:Miriam is pulled off the bus]], The Libertines' "Arbeit Macht Frei" can be heard in the background. The song title translates to "Work shall set you free", which was written [[WorldWarII above the entrance to Auschwitz.]]
** As the bus drives away, the "hooded man" from Abu Ghraib prison can be seen in one of the cages, in the exact pose [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/abu_ghraib.jpg from the infamous torture pictures.]]
** When Theo is dining with his cousin Nigel, Pablo Picasso's painting 'Guernica' hangs on the wall behind them.
** A more light-hearted one appears early in the film: a pig-shaped balloon floating over the Battersea power station (which has been turned into a museum). It's a reference to the cover of PinkFloyd's 1977 album ''Animals''.
** Battersea Power station being turned into an art gallery is ''itself'' a shout out to fellow power station Bankside, slightly down river, which is now the Tate Modern (which provided the internal set for the scene where Theo entered the gallery).
** Quietus, the state-sponsored suicide drug, is named for a section of the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', in which Hamlet speaks favorably of suicide (''But who would bear the whips and scorns of time ... [[DrivenToSuicide when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin?]]").
* ShrugOfGod: It's been stated that the ending was deliberately designed to appear to be either a hopeful or DownerEnding, depending wholly on where you lie on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
** [[spoiler:In-story its wholly unclear whether or not Kee and the child will survive, but as the credits start to roll we hear the sound of children playing and laughing, as opposed to the stark silence the film began with. It's pretty clear that this is a hint that hope will return to the world, and more children will be born.]]
* SmokingIsCool: Used as a form of lazy suicide.
** Interesting fact: Although Theo tries to smoke several times over the course of the film, he is never allowed to finish a cigarette.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Continually switching both sides of the middle point.
* SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty: Most of the setting is on the gritty side.
* StealthPun: Theo's last act in the film is to [[spoiler:lead the girl to the buoy]].
* SterilityPlague: This trope forms the basic premise of the movie. Much like a George A. Romero film, it isn't explained ''what'' exactly caused it -it's strongly implied to be a mystery in-universe too- leaving the director free to focus on the story instead of padding the film with exposition.
* StiffUpperLip: A dark example: "The World Has Collapsed: Only Britain Soldiers On"
* SurprisinglySuddenDeath
* TechnicalPacifist: Theo bashes a couple of heads in self-defense (with a [[CarFu car]] [[ToyotaTripwire door]] and [[ImprovisedWeapon car battery]], respectively), but not once during the course of the film does he ever pick up a gun.
** Not so much TechnicalPacifist as just trying to ''survive''. At no point does he even have an opportunity to arm himself, anyway.
* ATruceWhileWeGawk: At the climax of the film.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: Done deliberately subtly. Cars, for example, may look ordinary at first glance, but are more unfamiliar upon closer inspection. They are also equipped with hi-tech heads-up displays (e.g. projecting the speedometer or warning notices onto the windscreen). London buses carry scrolling holographic adverts on the side, contrasting with the rickshaws now present on London's streets. Miniaturization and versatility of mobile communication devices and portable computers has [[TechnologyMarchesOn also advanced considerably since the 2000s]]. The juxtaposition of mildly futuristic technology and slowly decaying public infrastructure gives the setting an almost PostCyberPunk feel. Some of the in-universe advertising and tech can be glimpsed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VnIrXmdYhY in this featurette]].
* ThirdPersonPerson: Syd doesn't know why they want to get inside the camps. Syd doesn't want to know. Syd doesn't care.
* UnlikelyHero: Theo. He begins the movie as an incredibly apathetic bureaucrat, feeling nothing about the world around him. However, throughout the film he is shown to be genuinely kindhearted, which distinguishes him from so many post/pre-apocalyptic story protagonists.
* UrbanSegregation: Although most of 2027 London appears far scruffier and more ramshackle than present-times, there are clearly enclaves within the city where a [[GoodOldWays gentrified lifestyle]] still exists -- although these once-public areas are clearly now highly restricted. When Theo travels in a Rolls Royce to visit Nigel at Battersea, he goes through a check-point clearance gate at Admiralty Arch and travels down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace. During the journey, it appears as if the area around the Palace, St James' Park and Green Park is physically un-changed, although it has now become an exclusive gated enclave, where people relax in the parks, walk dogs (as well as other more exotic animals) and listen to a brass band play whilst the Household Cavalry process by.
* ViolentGlaswegian: Syd.
-->'''Jasper:''' Make sure you call him a 'fascist pig'.
* WaveOBabies: Inverted.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Fishes. [[spoiler:And especially Luke. They want to eliminate Britain's horrible oppression of refugees. Their solution? Use Kee's newborn baby as a trump card. The Fishes certainly don't object to killing whomever gets in their way - including ''their own leader''.]]
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: Deliberately invoked. [[spoiler:There is the odd vague suggestion of the second coming. Kee jokes that she's a virgin mother, but admits that she doesn't know who the father is. Since we don't know the identity of the father it can be assigned to "God". Later in the film during the long take there is a lot of religious suggestion in the peoples' reactions to the child. You can take the idea as merely cultural context (the child literally represents the salvation of all mankind, how else do you think people would react?) or as a genuine possible interpretation.]]
** [[spoiler:Also Theo as surrogate father and protector (i.e. Joseph)]] And his switch to wearing sandals halfway through.
* WhoNamesTheirKidDude: Froley if it's a boy, Bazooka if it's a girl. [[spoiler:Though she finally settles on Dylan, to honor Theo's dead son.]]
* WorldHalfEmpty: The human race has lost its source of new life. All nations in the world have plunged into mayhem, save for Britain, now under the oppressive heel of an authoritarian state. Refugees are everywhere, and the last hope for humanity may well go into the wrong hands.

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