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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on May 14, 2016
This movie would have worked better if the director kept his actors in check and reminded them that they aren't supposed to FEEL, thus smiling, laughing, etc., has no real place...especially among the clerics who are supposed to weed out those who are guilty of 'sense crimes'. Christian Bale nailed it but, some others failed greatly.
Other than that one annoyance, it was a surprisingly good movie. Recommended for lovers of future-fi; dystopian future; action; 'big brother' type of movies.
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on February 8, 2004
I've never heard of this movie before until I accidentally read someone's review on another movie. He was wondering why movies like Equilibrium did not get any attention which it deserved. I could not resist my curiosity and thus I rented it right away. What a pleasant surprise! Even if the cover looked like a typical B-class movie, the movie itself was a real deal. Equilibrium is so original and it was not a rip-off of anything as there are some reviews comparing this to the Matrix. I am not saying Equilibrium is better or worse than the Matrix. They are absolutely two different movies and each of them has its own strength as well as weakness.
Although I should say that all those gunfight scenes are not the best I've ever seen, they are very impressive and well executed. I guess in the near future we will see some 'Equilibrium-clone' movies imitating 'Gun-Kata'.
The plot and script are not the first-class but are bearable. The movie delivered its purposes and intentions well, and the character development is convincing and reasonable.
Nevertheless, I can tell you that the acting in this movie was a real killer, totally unexpected. Christian Bale was perfect for his role. I've never seen acting like that in such low-budget, non-theatrical-released movie (well, I read that it was showed at some selected theatres for few weeks).
'Euilibrium' is one of the most underrated movies ever, and it deserves your attention. I really would like to see a sequel with enough budget and better storyline.
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on October 7, 2003
This is an excellent sci fi film. In many ways I enjoyed it more than the first Matrix film because it's less about special effects and more about an engrossing storyline. The premise of the film isn't original like many critics have been quick to point out, but it's presented in an original style that is very entertaining. I like to describe it to friends as a sci fi Matrix like film that incorporates martial arts with guns. There are some gratuitous action scenes but for the most part the action is really cool to watch. Especially since they use really neat looking guns and every one is dressed up in chic and futurist clothes :)
The acting, the music, the sound effects, and the script all work well together. I really like the fact that the movie centers around Christian Bale's character rather than the whole anti-authoritarian premise. As a viewer you actually care about the character John Preston. It's the quiet scenes within the film that really lend strength of purpose to the action scenes. Unlike Neo in "The Matrix," you learn about Preston's past, his wife, the fact that he has kids. It's great how you don't only remember the action scenes but the quiet scenes as well, like the extermination of the dogs, the arrest of Preston's partner (Sean Bean), and the execution of the rebels. There is one scene in the film where the main character shares a quiet moment with a puppy and yet seconds later he is blowing away a squad of soldiers. Surprisingly, scenes such as this worked really well together and weren't inappropriate at all. That's one of the best things about this film. It's the fact that SO many things could of went wrong, but it turned out to be very well done. Highly recommended.
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on January 19, 2006
I always recommend this film to friends who enjoy action movies and/or sci-fi. It's constantly being compared to The Matrix, and I agree they're similar, but I appreciate this film a bit more.
The action sequences have to be seen to believe in this one, the majority of the fighting is done with guns mixed with martial arts. This isn't quite the same as The Matrix mix of the same, in Equilibrium the guns act more like extensions of the hand, and characters mimic maritial arts movements in order to fire. The movie calls the style "Gun Catas" as in...martial arts catas done with a pistol in each hand. There is also swordplay and melee, but the gun catas are really a sight to behold.
Besides the action, the story is pretty good as well. The plot echoes of 1984 with themes of self-discovery and rebellion in the face of oppressive rule.
Considering that this movie dipicts a future where emotions are outlawed, I would say the acting is good anyway. You can't fault someone for being slightly robotic when that was the intention all along!
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on October 14, 2013
The setting is wonderful, if you can ignore the strange superpowers granted to the main characters by their superior training.

A dark look at a world. Very good if you like ruined worlds and movies which examine totalitarian governance.
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on June 28, 2006
Equilibrium is a surprisingly good film and sorely underrated. Set in a future where emotions are banned, as is anything that may engender emotion such as music and literature, the storyline may conjure thoughts of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451. Make no mistake however; Equilibrium is no copy of those films.

After World War 3, it is decided that emotions lead to war and the prevention of further war can only be achieved by preventing the population from feeling. Every day the population have to take their prescribed mood dampening pills. Christian Bale stars as Preston, a law enforcement agent, who seeks out and destroys 'sense offenders', people who stop taking their medication and who actively read and listen to music. When Preston's partner (played by Sean Bean) is found to be a sense offender and he is forced to kill him, Preston starts questioning his world and the part he plays in it. He decides to take the dangerous path of skipping his pills and starting to feel.

This is no high octane, special effects packed film. There are a few, well choreographed martial arts fight scenes but for the most part the film relies on a good story set in a sterile, featureless and soulless setting to set the atmosphere. The movie has been well produced and the cinematography is first class. This is a film that belongs in the collection of any fan of science fiction.
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on June 17, 2003
Sometimes movies come out as reactions to fads in popular culture. Equilibrium is that kind of movie. It will always be compared to The Matrix, which is fair assessment. Much of the look of the picture seems to pay homage to that film, but its story plays closer to Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and least to me Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.
Sometime after World War III, the world was in Chaos. A man came foreword to restore order; he is Father (Sean Pertwee, The 51st State). He implements a social program in which the population takes a drug that denies them feelings. For feelings are major human flaw. Those who do not take this drug are called `sense offenders.'
So of course in the opening scene we watch as 30 sense offenders get slaughtered and the Mona Lisa get burned. We meet a Cleric, the highest-ranking police official in this society, named John Preston (Christian Bale). He recently lost his wife, who was also `sense offender.' In his own unfeeling we see a man about to crack under the pressure. One morning he misses a dose of his drug and we watch as he begins to feel again.
I'm not sure yet, but I believe much of this film is tongue in cheek. It seems like it was winking back at the audience, begging them to get the joke. The film takes itself so seriously you begin to doubt how serious the film is. I hate to invent a genre but it's almost a Dramatic Spoof.
There are a series of gun battles that are just amazing. Most seem to be done without wires, without bullet time, without computer effects. This is a film that probably had a smaller budget than The Matrix but look just as good. There's this one scene that I won't tell you about, but WOW. The choreography was perfect.
Christian Bale is electric in his role. There is this moment where he's telling a puppy to run away. He has a stone face but a sad vulnerability behind his eyes. It's amazing.
Taye Diggs seems to be smiling his way through the film as John's new partner Brandt. He plays the part perfectly, subtle but with fireworks hiding behind him.
And Emily Watson is just gorgeous, as Mary O'Brien, she has a small role, but it's powerful. When her and John touch for the first time. You feel for the first time.
All in all it was a shame that this film had such a small release in the theatres. It's fun and well worth the hour and 40 minutes you spend with these characters. In a world of unfeeling films, Equilibrium gives unfeeling characters a sense of feeling.
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on November 22, 2011
It's locked only on region A - because I'm tested this Blu-ray on region B and C players. And it have same old transfer with incorrect aspect ratio 1:1,85 (OAR - 2,35). But sound on this disc is very good - DTS-HD MA 5.1 (English) rocks! Overall - 4 out 5 stars for sound and nice steelbook case.
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on April 5, 2008
Yes, this is definitely one of those sleepers just begging to be discovered... I became a fan of Christian Bale as a result of his strong and convincing performances in the dark and disturbing Machinist and the brooding and gritty Batman Begins. So when I came across Equilibrium, I thought 'what do I have to lose?' I ended up buying it because it was only a couple more bucks than an actual rental. And I'm glad I did! The reviewers below describe it well enough. The director's vision of the near future is a believable one, and he brings in a strong cast of characters. Not only Bale, but the cameo appearance of Sean Bean was a special treat for me. I've been an avid follower of Sean's work as well ever since his masterpiece Sharpe Series on the History Channel. Even though his role in this movie is short-lived, he plays an integral role in Christian's character Preston's 'fall from grace' and eventual re-awakening. An interesting plot, which keeps you tied to the seat with its fast action battle sequences and believable characters. A must-see for sci-fi action enthusiasts.
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on June 7, 2003
Did you like the Matrix but feel it had just too much loopiness in it's plotline?
Did you like the book Brave New World, but felt at times it lacked a modernistic approach to action?
Did you ever wish to see those two stories in one.
Okay this movie has that kind of feel. It's basically saying in the Early years of the 21st Century, WWIII happened. Since then the world joined together(what remained of it) and created a society where emotions were outlawed because it was believed that emotions cause war. These emotional criminals are monitored and eraticated by these Gestapo type policemen called Clerics.

So it's like BNW in that it's a society hellbent on one ideal. (BNW=Youth alone EQ=No Emotion) and then one Cleric learns what it is to feel and tries to work his way through it all. While there's some incredible fight scenes (no CGI or Wires mind you. Just pure crazy choreography) it's also got a great deal of feeling to it without all the crypticism of the Matrix.
Christian Bale provides an amazing portrayal of innocence through naivity. And while Taye Diggs belied his part by smirking far too much for an emotionless Cleric, he did play a natural bad guy 'just doing his job.'
All in all despite a fairly basic plotline, and Taye Diggs minor slip ups, this movie provides all that was lacking in Matrix and more.
Tired of Wire Fighting and CGI taking over the job of great choreography blended with great acting? Look no further than Equilibrium.
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