Director: Neill Blomkamp
Year Released: 2013
The Earth is once again in ruin and the wealthy are living on a pristine space station (with health care stations in every house!) while the poor and sick are stuck back on terra firma - enter Max (Matt Damon), who works in a factory (and has a criminal record), but dreams of being around the elite. What I thought, based on the setup and the first act, would be a nice little allegory (a la District 9) about illegal immigration and free health care becomes this terrible mess of contrivances and coincidences that sabotage the overall effect - I shouldn't be left every scene questioning the actions that move the tale along. Damon is fine in the lead but on the other side there are three hammy villains (a shrill Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Wagner Moura); the ending, in which all are granted the pleasures of (presumably) eternal life, is hammy utopian fantasy.