Hollywood has been giving movie audiences a dismal look into the future of late, and director Neill Blomkamp's Elysium is the latest to depict the Earth of a hundred years from now as a gigantic junk heap. But some critics argue that he does so stylishly. Manohla Dargis in The New York Times writes that Blomkamp has a talent for making the old and familiar seem excitingly new. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe puts it somewhat differently, calling the movie an expertly-made slice of future shock that breaks no new ground whatsoever. That's the general tone of most of the reviews -- few outright hurrahs, but few outright boos as well. Peter Howell in the Toronto Star sets the tone of most of them when he writes, In a summer of diminished expectations, Max [the Matt Damon character] and Elysium are just special enough to recommend. However, special enough is not good enough for Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times, who writes, Although the Pulp energy that Blomkamp brings to this material makes it consistently watchable, the film doesn't feel as singular as we would have hoped. And Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer remarks, As summer movie sci-fi extravaganzas go, Elysium is easily the best thing out there right now. And the bleakest, too.
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