Remarkably up-front about its radical politics, this sci-fi action movie by writer-director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) uses a dystopic future U.S. to express outrage about a range of contemporary injustices, from Obama's drone strikes to the erosion of workers' rights. In Blomkamp's vision of the 22nd century, financial elites have abandoned earth—which has become so polluted and overpopulated that civilization hangs in jeopardy—and created a privatized society on the title space station. Matt Damon plays an ex-convict from Los Angeles (a richly imagined urban hell combining aspects of present-day Mexico City, Johannesburg, and Rio de Janeiro) who ends up disrupting the whole system. The visual style evokes numerous bone-crushing blockbusters of recent years (Black Hawk Down in particular), but part of what makes this so invigorating is the way it turns the genre on its head, critiquing military might and voicing sympathy for the disenfranchised. With Jodie Foster and Diego Luna.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Producer: Bill Block, Neill Blomkamp, Simon Kinberg and Sue Baden-Powell
Cast: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Maxwell Cotton, Faran Tahir, Adrian Holmes and Jared Keeso
Elysium: The IMAX Experience