We went to see this based on the strength of District 9 (2009) - same director - Neill Blomkap. And while Elysium explores similar themes, namely a future earth that is borderline destroyed and the controlling class live in the relative safety of space, the storyline behind Elysium is not nearly as original as District 9. That being said, the performances of Matt Damon and Jodie Foster are worthy of praise and the movie's bad guy "Kruger" dominates every scene he is in. Kruger is played by Sharlto Copley who was the main protagonist in District 9. His South African accent is just terrific, the way he seems to chew up his words and then spit them out with venom.
As mentioned, the plot is a bit thin, kids needing cures, etc. Offsetting this are solid special effects, especially the great wheel in the sky contraption where the wealthy humans live.
Two bones of contention: how does the colony in space create an atmosphere hospitable for humans and where were their defense forces when the illegals landed?
Elysium had a budget of $115 million, big name casts will do that... and took in $30 million on its opening weekend. Will it break-even? District 9, a much better film, cost $30 million but made well in excess of $200 million.
You could wait for the DVD, but Elysium is probably best viewed on the big screen; however, I would wait for the $2 matinee - or do they still have that?