Equilibrium (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes


Equilibrium (2002)



Critic Consensus: Equilibrium is a reheated mishmash of other sci-fi movies.

Equilibrium Videos

Equilibrium Photos

Movie Info

In the nation of Libria, there is always peace among men. The rules of the Librian system are simple. If you are happy, you will be arrested. If you cry, the law will hunt you down. If you read a contraband book or so much as look at a smuggled painting, you've committed a crime. To keep the peace, citizens must take their daily doses Prozium, a powerful designer drug that stops feelings dead and keeps everyone on an even keel. Refuse to take the drug and special police will find you. Up until now, top-ranking government official John Preston has believed in this system, has upheld the system as a highly-trained "Cleric" who seeks out and destroys those who don't take their pills. But then he skips his own dose of Prozium--and discovers an incredible new world of sensation that gives him the passion to fight for freedom.

Watch it now


Christian Bale
as John Preston
Emily Watson
as Mary O'Brien
Taye Diggs
as Brandt
Sean Bean
as Partridge
Matthew Harbour
as Robbie Preston
David Barrass
as Evidentiary Storage Officer
Emily Siewert
as Lisa Preston
Maria Pia Calzone
as Preston's Wife
Alexa Summer
as Viviana Preston
Christian Kahrmann
as Office in Charge
John Keogh
as Chemist
David Barrash
as Evidentiary Storage Officer
Dick Martens
as Gate Guard
Mike Smith
as Enforcer Commander
Dan Lee Clark
as Lead Sweeper
Francesco Calabras
as Rebel Leader
Kurt Wimmer
as Rebel Victim
Dirk Martens
as Gate Guard
Anatole Taubman
as Crematory Technician
Brian Connelly
as Reading Room Proprietor
Brian Cook
as DuPont's Secretary
Mehmet Kurtulus
as Search Coordinator
Klaus Schindler
as Interrogator
Oliver Brandl
as Polygraph Technician
View All

Critic Reviews for Equilibrium

All Critics (91) | Top Critics (30)

Though ultimately silly, Equilibrium's shopworn but stylish synthesis of ammo and ideas is surprisingly engrossing.

April 17, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Violent post-nuclear sci-fi is Orwellian.

December 24, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Bale is too self-conscious an action hero, and although the script may have the virtue of transparent plagiarism, it teeters both dramatically and conceptually.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

It is hard to say whether Equilibrium is a sensational total waste of time (and talent) or gloriously (and derivatively) over-the-top kitsch fest.

June 19, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Enjoyable hogwash.

April 21, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

What a dumb, fun, curiously adolescent movie this is.

February 18, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Equilibrium

Unfairly underrated, Equilibrium clearly borrows from The Matrix and classic sci-fi films such as Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 but stands out on its own mostly thanks to the main character's personal emotional conflict and its intense, well-choreographed fighting scenes.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


First one needs to get over the fact that this steals from a number of other, and yes better, sources. That said and taken on its own merit then - don't look too closely - and this doesn't completely suck. Not totally. Christian Bale grounds the thing, such as it is, but you could make a drinking game over all the loose ends and plot holes. It's only a movie.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A future society that subdues its populace with an emotionally inhibiting drug is enforced by a police force of "clerics" who execute all those accused of "sense crime". Dismissed by most upon its release as just another Matrix clone, there are superficial similarities; stylistically the action choreography and costume design are very similar. There's a lot more going on under the surface however, as it takes cues from the likes of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 in its depiction of a totalitarian, book burning society and message of individuality and what it means to be human. But by far the biggest difference is in its star; Christian Bale's far superior range makes for a performance that's both emotionally engaging and believable in its depiction of a man suddenly in conflict with everything he had been taught and dealing with emotions he has no experience with. Equilibrium is a very under-rated film in my opinion and is everything a sci-fi movie should be about; style, action, strong concepts and a message about the human condition. More V For Vendetta than The Matrix and definitely worth seeking out if you like sci-fi with a political slant.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Equilibrium Quotes

News & Features