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Showing 1-10 of 1,150 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 2,735 reviews
on October 15, 2015
Standard dystopian future flick of a post-apocalyptic society that chooses to chemical suppression of emotions (along with art, romance, religion, compassion, etc.) in order to avoid future wars and conflicts. The penalty for failure to comply with this policy is death, and the lives of "sense" criminals and great works of art, literature, music, etc. Must be destroyed in order to preserve a State free of crime, war, and love. If you liked "Fahrenheit 451," "Brave New World," and of course "The Giver," you'll probably like this film too since it incorporates elements from all of those books. The style is roughly "The Matrix" meets "Resident Evil" (both in clothing and fight sequences), so if you find that cheesy, you want to avoid this. My son rolled his eyes at what he called a "pre-Internet vision of the future," but I enjoyed it.
Basically, this film asks the question, "What is the purpose to life?" As one of the "sense" criminals points out, if you're living just to exist, that is nothing more than a circular existence; your life is a waste and serves no purpose. For the people of "Equilibrium," the purpose of life is to serve the State, which will give both liberals and conservatives plenty to chat about. Christian Bale plays Preston,a cleric, one of the enforcers of sense crime laws and punishments. Essentially, the clerics are akin to the firemen of "Fahrenheit 451" in that they destroy anything which might stir human passion and fill the mind with longing which cannot be fulfilled by the State. Quite early on, we learn that Preston had lost his wife for sense crimes, and he quickly losses his partner for the same offense (Sean Bean dies? Didn't see that one coming!" He is then saddled with a new partner who ominously aspires to make his career under Preston's lead. And we see little by little how Preston is drawn into the sense crime world himself.
As I have said, fairly by the books dystopian material. We see shades of "!984's" Big Brother with Father, the all-powerful leader. An interesting question to pose is whether religion has been exterminated or if it has morphed to a different form. The cross is used as a symbol of Father and the State. The term "cleric" of course applies to the Catholic clergy of our day, and I suppose some would say that the popes (aka Holy Fathers) were the all-powerful rulers of Middle Ages. However, it should be noted that human life has absolutely no value for this society, which runs counter to the very core beliefs of Catholicism. In addition, the Catholic Church has been a patron of the arts and sciences for centuries, whereas Father and the Liberan society holds art to nothing more than a disruptive force and a display of passion. There certainly appears to be no afterlife concept in Libera, but the manner in which sense criminals are executed does invoke allusions to the burning of witches (capes, crosses, burning alive).
Overall, a pretty fun and interesting movie that might even make you think. One thing I would LOVE to see that dystopian films never show is the Day After the great society has fallen. Okay, you have all of these unruly anarchists who just overthrew the Evil Empire. Are they really going to be ready to rebuild and form a new government? Or will it be every man/woman for him/herself, making the weaker among them long for the "good old days" of totalitarianism? Personally, I think that would be cool to see, but I'm not holding my breath.
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on April 26, 2013
"Equilibrium" is a small gem of a film, not just a remake but a complete reworking of "Farenheit 451," on which it is based. It has a great cast, with pre-Batman Christian Bale as a tortured action hero, and Angus McFayden as his wily antagonist (now better known Taye Diggs is touted on the artwork, but his role really is subservient to McFayden's); it also features powerhouse performers Sean Bean and Emily Watson is roles that are short on screen time but long in effect. The film was virtually dumped into theaters, with Miramax doing the least they could do in its distribution, so it didn't really take off until its release on DVD and corresponding runs on cable. Miramax had a second chance when they released the film on blu-ray, but they screwed it up again. The DVD was letterbox and had two commentary tracks plus a "making of" featurette; the blu-ray converted the frame to the standard 16x9 HD, and left off the commentaries (but kept the featurette). Now a second blu-ray version has been released by Alliance Entertainment, which has all the features of the DVD, except the framing, which is still the 16x9, despite being advertised as being the 2:35 ratio. While this is annoying, it is not a tragedy, because nothing of the original frame line is lost (16x9 conversion doesn't "cut off" top or sides of the picture, just changes the proportions), only the effect of the presentation the director chose; most blu-ray players will allow you change the format, so you can choose "letterbox" and see the film in the original proportions (but the image will be a bit stretched, most noticeable in faces). Also, while the quality of the blu-ray is better than the DVD, it is not vastly superior, probably due to the film's budget in the first place. If you are a stickler for the widescreen, already own the DVD, and have the kind of blu-ray player that "upgrades" DVD images, I think you can get by without the blu-ray disc. If you value the BR upgrade more than the format, the blu-ray is inexpensive enough to take the plunge, but you need to be sure you get the right version. The new Alliance release, which has cover art featuring Christian Bale large on the right, a small Taye Diggs behind and the tunnel with circle pendants going backwards to infinity, has the commentaries. If you don't already have the DVD, or don't want to have to keep it just for the commentaries, you must buy this version. The Miramax version, released a few years ago, has Bale, Diggs, and Emily Watson in a triptych on the cover art, and is probably less expensive; it does not have any commentary tracks, only the "making of" featurette. You should only buy this version if you are prepared to keep your DVD, or if you don't care about listening to the director's commentary. All in all, when it comes to this film on blu-ray, I'd rather have it than not, but I shake my head at the missed opportunites.
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on May 4, 2017
The premise of this movie is to portray a society in which emotions are banned.

But all of the characters are clearly exhibiting emotions all of the time.

This movie simply doesn't understand what emotions are or what their expression looks like.

Complete fail.
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on April 1, 2015
Christian Bale once again is a lot of fun to watch is a "super"-role, and Emily Watson, Sean Bean and others comprise a solid cast. The setting is a dystopian future in which the masses are drugged into a state of non-feeling in order to eliminate war and other unpleasantries. Love, joy and sadness are also squashed in the process, and an underground rebellion is actively seeking to overthrow the oligarchy so that the emotional range that "makes us human" can be restored. Most of the visual archtypes for the government are updated but thinly-veiled references to the swastika images of Nazi Germany.

Order is maintained by police and other armed forces, with "Clerics" as their most skilled upper echelon forces and Mr. Bale's character being at the top of these elite. They seek out "Sense Offenders" who have chosen to forgo the injections that block feeling, in pursuit of being fully and emotionally human. These offenders are sought out and summarily executed.

The action scenes evoke some of the stylistic features of the Matrix series, to some good effect, but are dramatically speeded up even compared to that epochal series of films.

A dog's affection figures prominently in the story line celebrating our hero's predictable turn to aid the forces of the rebellion.

The bottom line is that this is a fairly silly set piece which can't be saved by a fine cast and a few fun visual and plot twists.
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on February 27, 2017
Equilibrium gives Christian Bale the chance to become a straight forward dramatic actor. While this isn't hugely a drama, Bale's character is. I hope that makes sense to you.

This movie hints at futures we have seen in many films, books and theater. Cleric John Preston (Bale) is the government's answer to eradication of emotion. Along the way things change for Preston to include harboring an illegal dog in the truck of his car.
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on February 2, 2017
I really enjoyed this movie. The theme is so closely related to George Orwell's 1984, but with all the action and gun fighting one would expect of Hollywood. It does get pretty cheesey at times, but if you enjoy movies with some unintended goofiness then this one will suit you well.
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on February 7, 2016
Love it
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on April 28, 2003
Beautiful! Astonishing! Breath-taking! Best action scenes in over 50 years of filmmaking! This is the type of movie that makes you stand up and take notice. This is the thought-proviking version of the Matrix, but so much different. I am buying TWO of them, one for myself and one to loan out. Christian Bale, Taye Diggs, Emily Watson, Agnus McFadden.. none of these actors are of the blockbuster type, but they sure are great in this amazing, well-crafted MASTERPIECE of Brave New World meets The Matrix. The action sequences are nothing you have ever seen before. This is not only a great action film, but it is SMART and STYLISH. The most amazing thing is that hollywood completely dropped the ball advertising this film. Heck, after seeing this film, Christian Bale should have played NEO in the Matrix. Ok, short synposis... nevermind, you can read that yourself. Just see this movie and you will agree that this film has set the bar really high in stunts, action, and camera use. And one more thing... the story is extremely well written also. Bravo to the director and writer, Bravo!
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on October 7, 2015
Great for an early 2000's B-movie! But it's a mixed bag if you have high expectations. Action? Check. Cliched, tired story? Check. Good cast of actors? Check. Linear/predictable story line? Check. Rage against the machine kind of plot? Check. Occasionally human moments? Check. Impressively choreographed fight sequences? Check. Very cool sword play? Check. Bullets that miss the good guy every time? Check.

It's a good way to spend a couple hours and if you miss a few minutes of the show, you can easily guess at what happened (and probably be right). In spite of its predictability, it's a fun watch anyway.
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on June 26, 2013
Equilibrium is certainly a very interesting movie. I'm not a big fan of "gun porn" which this movie absolutely is, but the sci-fi setting in which this is based was just fascinating. To live in a world where you're not allowed to feel emotion in order to live a peace, and for it to actually succeed? Very cool.

My main problem with this movie is that it is extremely anti-climactic and the protagonist is too powerful. Under no point was his life in danger, it was the equivalent of watching Superman vanquish enemies without the threat of Kryptonite. He never bled, he was never exhausted, he merely executed everyone with ease. Sure this made him into a bad ass character, but there was no drama. It's fine to watch a character perform flawlessly during the beginning stages of a story where they haven't met their match. It's different when the character is about to face their final confrontation.

I was really hoping for an epic battle with his partner, but instead the character just gets killed off immediately. Everything just went too according to plan, and left the movie severely lacking in drama that compelled you to root for the character.

Either, still a very cool movie to watch if you're interested in a dystopian sci-fi world.
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