All member reviews for Ender's Game

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Common Sense Media says

Thought-provoking sci-fi adventure with military violence.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 46 reviews)
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Teen, 14 years old Written byMekalekahai October 31, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Fantastic Movie!!

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. The graphics are fantastic, the music is stunning. The characters are aged up a bit from where they are in the book, and the timeline is sped up a bit, but they managed to keep most of the details, and overall it was very impressive! The only thing I was a little bit disappointed with was how little they talked of Bean's past on the streets of Rotterdam, and the whole Locke/Demosthenes issue going on down on earth. But of course, a movie adaptation can't include everything, and it was still an extremely impressive and enjoyable movie. Go See It!

Kid, 9 years old November 1, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!

im 9 and i saw it the day it came out. it was deficiently my FAVORITE M0VIE EVER!!!!!!! the only thing that i wanna tell you about is that its a little intense
and really hard to understand. i would recommend this movie for 9 and 10 year olds depending on you maturity

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovielover7271 November 2, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

I've been waiting for this!!

As a huge fan of the book, ender's game didn't disappoint. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is a troubled genius that is selected to train for the Inter national fleet years after the second alien attack. Cool strategy and action alongside great acting will keep you entertained, I say ages 9+ because the action is very stylized rather than realistic and they should be fine with the bathroom fight scene. You should go check it out if you haven't already. Grade A

Parent of a 11 and 14 year old Written byexitedreviewer November 2, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Everything I Could have Wished For!!

Ender's Game is based on one of my favorite novels from when I was a kid. I made my kids read it, and even though they were reluctant, they thanked me after. I took my kids to see this on the opening day, and it was everything we could hope for. There were amazing performances by the child actors such as Asa Butterfeild and Hailee Stienfeld, and the movie really captured the essence of the book. There is mild violence and children shot at eat other with laser guns, but I really had no problem with this move. Great for ages 9 and up!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byLarperMan5 November 2, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

I'll give it a 3.5/5

The film was a pretty good adaptation of the book, however, we had the young Nicolas Cage as Ender and the role of Dap was clearly written for Samuel L. Jackson. However, I am glad that the director (notable for his work on the horrible "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" has had a lesson-learned scenario and learned how to direct a movie. Ender is a positive role model as he is a character doesn't want to kill anybody, and wants to bring peace to the galaxy, however, there are positive messages as well, because it shows that peace isn't exactly easy... Violence is very large scale, similar to that of a summer movie, and the language and sex are pretty much combined. There's an occurrence of the word "smart ass", and there are two occurrences of sexual dialogue ("I'm a woman but I have more balls than this whole team", "Your mom cheated so now you look like a plumber") however, these are the same kind of dialogue that can be heard in Elementary age classrooms. Overall, if your kid's 8, he can probably handle the film.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byCamberus November 3, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Overall very good

I saw Ender's Game last night with Shauri (and the Rackhams - it was very cool to have our friends in the row in front of us). It mostly met expectations, which for me were very high. I was happy with the acting except for Abigail Breslin; I've seen her in other films and she didn't seem to be herself here. Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, and Ben Kingsley all did very well, and Viola Davis (The Help) was perfect for her role; after seeing her play Major Anderson with such controlled emotion and inner torment, I completely agree with the decision to cast the role as female. Ender's parents were completely forgettable, as they also were in the book, so that's okay. I was very pleased with the visual effects and the music. My main complaint was that the film moved too quickly compared to the book, which is something you'll always find in the film format. Things that took weeks or months to accomplish in the book took days in the film, and you get 1 scene per story piece, with no taste for repetition. For example (spoiler alert), you get 1 Salamander army battle, you get 1 Dragon army battle, you get 1 classroom scene, you get one practice session. If you had even had a short montage showing a couple Dragon army battles interspersed with short glimpses of practice sessions, you would have had more of a sense that they had to earn their way to greatness rather than the impression we have: that they only have 1 battle, they win it, and then Ender gets shipped off to the next phase in his training. Of course do do this, you probably would have needed to either make it a 3 hour movie or split it in 2 films. There were a few major changes in the story toward the end (with the use of Dr. Device, and with the location of Command School, for example). Little changes like whether or not Ender could see his commanders don't affect the real story, but these had a large impact. I can't see that they had any good reason other than condensing the story for a film format, but they did work well with one exception: when we learn that the invasion fleet has 28 days left til it reaches the Bugger world, and then Ender gets shipped out to Command School, you had better be sure that the location of Command School makes sense for the speed of technology that is available. Card never presents the reader/viewer with faster-than-light travel, in fact he's explicit in his writings that nothing faster than near-light speed is available in most of the books, which is the whole cause for Ender being 3000 years old in book 2 *relative to Earth*, because he has been hopping around the universe at near-light speed for 3000 years, and time goes on for the rest of humanity, causing him to seem unaged due to relativistic effects. You don't freeze time when you put your hero on a transport and ship him to Command School, the clock keeps ticking for everyone *except* him, not the other way around, and it was very disappointing to see the filmmaker/scriptwriter get this detail wrong, when it's so important to the Enderverse story. There was one more major change with the Hive Queen that didn't have to be made and didn't make sense entirely, but I won't comment further on that because it would give away the ending. Overall, I am very pleased with the film, and it has left me with a lot to ponder. It sparked a discussion between Shauri and I about what hurtful challenges (spiritual and emotional, not physical) our kids encounter in public school, and whether it would be best to consider homeschooling more of them next year. The actor playing Ender (Asa Butterfield) reminded us both a lot of our son Cathan, who had a horrible experience yesterday while waiting to be picked up after school, with some 8th grade boys and girls loudly telling really nasty, crude, ugly things to each other. He was so upset by it that he was in tears on the way home. Adelaide, who is 2 years older, commented that she's only been in public school for 2 years, but she's heard some extremely nasty things; she feels badly that Cathan, who is so tenderhearted, has been in public school for 4 years and probably has heard worse. That experience, coupled with watching a movie that shows kids being toughened up in a harsh environment away from their parents, prompted us to rethink how much we want to expose our children to the garbage that's inherent to schools. Back to the film: I recommend seeing it. I would caution you about taking anyone younger than 10, but it appears that it was intended for an audience at least that young. They kept the language very clean. They go very light on the violence that is found in the book, making it mild by comparison, but you still see some fighting between Ender and the two main bullies he has to defend himself against. I would recommend discussing afterward topics of genocide, empathy, when and how it's okay to defend yourself, sibling rivalry and sibling closeness, and the morality of authority (such as when it's ethical to disobey an order). Some studies have shown that a large percentage of our high school graduates don't understand what a moral dilemma is, so this would be a good time to discuss them. Overall, I would give Ender's Game 4 and a half stars.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byRhian De Questa November 3, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

The enemie's gate is down

Before anything else is said, congratulations to Gavin Hood for turning such a difficult, plot-packed story into a film that still follows it well. Some larger aspects of the books are left out, such as Locke/Demosthenes and deeper relationships with Ender and the people in his life, and while difficult to portray some of the aspects of Ender’s mind, such as his unique and beautiful ability to understand the minds of others, the film does it justice in it’s own way and the acting for both the children and the adults is superb. Parents should know that while the violence and language rate is less than the book, it is still there and two children are beaten near to death, one with a spiked instrument and kicking and the other with hot water and punches, ending in falling against a concrete block and cracking his head. Little blood is shows but it is still ghastly, especially as both beatings are done by another child. Both children later die in the book but this is not said in the movie. There is some language and crude words also said, and Ender is threatened several times with death by other children, including his brother. Main characters consist of Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, who is taken from his family (his parents, violent brother Peter and loving, compassionate sister Valentine [played by Abigail Breslin]) to be taken to Battle School. There he is forced into a series of tests that will not only grade his ability to become a leader and a brilliant strategist, but also to understand how well he deals with pressure, rejection, hatred and frustration. Throughout the film Ender’s physical and psychological trials are difficult to watch. While at battle school he faces much enmity but also finds friends, the main two being Petra Arkanian (Hailee Steinfeld) and Bean (Aramis Knight). While Petra’s relationship with Ender is larger than the book and Bena’s smaller, they both retain their characteristic qualities, though Bean’s own talents being on par with Ender’s are unmentioned. Ender’s fascinating road to becoming a leader is necessarily left out as the film can only be so long, but enough of it is shown that people who haven’t read the book won’t be confused. The final main character is Colonel Graff, (Harrison Ford), who is good at what he does - find brilliant children and train them to be loners and leaders. Graff cares very little for the children themselves, and perhaps the most fascinating thing about the film is the moral controversy people always have when it comes to war and ‘do the ends justify the means’ question that has plagued the world for so long. Enough justice is given to both sides of the argument that a viewer with an opinion on the matter won’t be disappointed with a lack of evidence for their side. Graff and his counterparts Anderson (Viola Davis) and Rackham (Ben Kingsley) have their job clear and simple - find the best commander, use him to win not only this war, but the possibility of all future wars. They use Ender’s gift of understanding for their own morally debatable purposes, which is probably the greatest element of the book and movie. With stunning visual effects and characters and plotlines not easily forgotten, ‘Ender’s Game’ is a movie you can watch without reading the book but is definitely better if you have. It is a difficult novel to make into a screen adaption and they did a great job. Hats off to everyone who made this movie.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byiPunk November 3, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Tense movie stays somewhat faithful to the book

Ender was fighting, not for a confidence boost like most people, but to defend himself. When people fight back intending for it to be in self defense, sometimes people argue that they are the attacker. In the beginning, Ender gets into a fight with a classmate (the classmate started it), but when Ender put him to the ground, he kept kicking him. He said it was to avoid fights with him in the future. Which showed that he didn't feel safe around his classmates. Which was an issue for him. So he went to battle school desperate for an escape. There are some fight scenes, and some tense moments.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byBlaze Mom November 2, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Awesome family movie!

Great movie! I saw it with my 12 and 13 year old sons, and we all loved it.
It is so good to see a movie with NO sex or graphic violence. We saw it at the IMAX, which I highly recommend if you have one near you. It's highly entertaining, with great special effects and a unique story.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written byTheAustinNY November 4, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

My 7 &10 year-old boys really liked it...Probably best for 10+, but some 7-9 year olds could handle it

I took my 7 &10 year-old boys to see this on opening night, and they really liked it...For the most part, it's probably best for 10+ in general, but I think there are plenty of 7-9 year olds that could handle it ...I typically am more conservative in terms of exposing my boys to movies that might have inappropriate or questionable content (Other than Jurrasic Park, they have never seen another PG-13 film)...But my 10-year-old had read the book and was very eager to see the film...So I gave Enders Game a chance, and it turned out to be a good film that was suitable for both of them.

From a content point of view, it was not objectionable...There weren't any questionable sexual/romantic situations at all, the language was very tame, and even most of the violence was large-scale and non-detailed - Space ships shooting alien bugs, no real in your face blood & guts. There are a couple of brief bullying/fight scenes, which are not especially pleasant to watch, but do provide good opportunities to talk about bullying and fighting (in once case, the virtues of sticking up for yourself when cornered, and in another case, the unintended consequences of fighting/physical violence).

From a story point of view, it was entertaining, and even when characters behaved badly or exhibited questionable morality, that provided opportunities for discussions on why certain characters made the choices that they did, and allowed us to examine their motivations behind the actions and to asses the consequences. And while the film starts off with a bit of an "every man (child) for themselves, there is definitely an strong emphasis on the benefits of teamwork as the film progresses.

Overall, I'm glad I took a chance on it...My boys enjoyed it, and we had some good conversations about violence, bullying, and even war and peace. Definitely recommended.

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old Written bylaura926 November 11, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Only the BEST young adult adaption EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!

I read the book several times, and this was an almost perfect adaption of it. Nothing important was cut out, and they captured all the exciting moments perfectly. Barely any language, Ender and Petra are just good friends, and only mild violence. The actors are very talented, and Ender, Valentine, and Petra are excellent role models for anyone. Great social messages. Read the book first, then SEE THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah November 10, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Void of social commentary or thought-provoking dialogue.

Some films are a missed opportunity, but this is a series of boring and repetitive missed opportunities. There are many chances for social commentary here, but they instead allude to it - not even directly address it - within two lines of dialogue. They could have discussed children's increased aggression, the younger generation's affinity with video games and their potential influences, or war draftings, but no. We instead get many, many scenes of awkward child actors playing futuristic war games over and over spliced with what comes off as a not-so-good Full Metal Jacket ripoff, what with the "everyone except one kid hates a main protagonist and the drill sergeant is brutal" routine. Speaking of which, none of the kids are that good. Even Asa Butterfield as the lead is awkward; there are many narration sequences where you can totally tell that he's reading his lines off of a piece of paper behind a microphone in a post production studio. Ben Kingsley shows up for a bit but he doesn't do much, nor does Viola Davis (who they desperately needed to showcase more). I guess I was surprised to see Harrison Ford not do his famous finger point, but whatever. If anything, the film successfully proves that movies don't necessarily need to be in 3D to be immersive. There are scenes with first-person shots and floaty sequences of battle that work, but the film's very repetitive setup and lack of much character overshadows that. 4.8/10, lame, two thumbs down, below average, etc.

What other families should know
Great role models
Educator and Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written bylogosdad November 8, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

The shallow end of the pool that is Ender's Game

Listen, if you've read the book(s), you'll understand my title...I'm not going to dig into the differences here, as there are just too many.

Bottom line, even though it's really just a skeletal version of the story, it still works on the big screen. The actors (main characters only) did quite well with the script they were given. The smaller players are relegated to the background, so much so that even Abigail Breslin is pretty much an afterthought. Visually, I highly recommend IMAX, particularly for the Battle Room & war scenes.

Content wise, the scenes where Ender is defending himself from bullies are the toughest to approach with kids. He doesn't JUST defend...once he has the upper hand, he kills to prevent the danger from ever appearing again (although in the Bonzo fight, it's made to appear more like an accident). It's integral to the story (since it's why he was chosen to fight the Formics), but brutal to watch. Be prepared to talk to you kids about the reasoning behind those scenes.

As for the overall story, you will also need to be prepared to discuss genocide as that, ultimately, is what the IF is looking to Ender to accomplish. Fortunately, we do see Ender realizing this and showing the empathy that really makes him a hero.

If your 8-9 year olds are particularly advanced & will be receptive to the underlying themes, then take them and talk to them about it. Otherwise, I'd say the age limit for viewing should be closer to 10+.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 8 and 10 year old Written byHothr November 8, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Mild for PG-13

I took my 8 year old son, and 10 year old daughter to see this. I was nervous about the PG-13 rating, but have read the book(s) and didn't expect anything too bad in the movie.
The worst word used in the movie was probably b*st*rd, but I wasn't paying too much attention. The most violent scenes are the Ender vs Bully scenes, which show little blood, no gore. But involve some violent hits and trauma.
Both my kids thought it was a great movie. I believe this movie could almost be PG, but is probably just a little too intense.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old November 12, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Enders game

The movie opens with a violent alien vs. human battle that takes place in the sky.Ender beats up two kids the first one is a little bit bloody the second one he almost kills him with a head trauma.Some laser beam fighting.The final battle scene has a lot of deaths and destruction including a planet and a whole alien race.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 10 years old November 11, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

One of the best films of 2013

This is arguably one of the best films of 2013, to be honest, the only sci-fi franchise i have liked is transformers but this has taught me that even people who hate that stuff can have a new opinion on sci-fi. Ender's Game is well though and planned, and perfectly executed. Harrison Ford was great in this film and the ending has a plot twist, overall very violent from the start and disturbing in some scenes. Great for everyone 11 and up

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 15 years old Written byJosh2515 November 10, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Best movie of the year.

This is a really good movie definitely the best movie of the year so far. There are good messages about not giving up. not much language actors are really good and as for violence there is a bit like a kid falling and slamming his head on the corner of a shower. It stays pretty close to the book.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byShadowofchaos41 November 4, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

PERFECTION!!!!

Great movie. Nothing to be too terribly concerned about. I strongly suggest it.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written byironkid21 November 12, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Sci-fi adaptation has its cool moments but is overall just okay...

Ender's Game at first sounded like a fun idea. Then the trailer came out. Not that it looked bad but it looked really boring. And is it? Kind of but does it have redeeming moments. Yes I'd say that. When they are training through this portal thing where if they get shot, they freeze and stuff, those scenes were really fun! But most of every other scene in Ender's Game is quite dull. It takes itself way too seriously to the point where, at least, I felt bored. And most of the cast seems to be borderline overacting. Asa Butterfield, as great of an actor as he is, gets some pretty stale dialogue, and Harrison Ford, as great of an actor as he also is, is doing nothing but his usual grumpy old man routine that we've seen over and over again in his most recent films. The actors who get to bring their A game the most is Hailee Steinfield, Ben Kingsley, and Abigal Breslin! And the anticlimactic ending...maybe they're aiming for a sequel but lets hope it's better. Overall, this sci-fi adaptation may impress some but for me...it's just alright...

What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written byNolane November 7, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Good, but not great and fine for kids

This is a good movie, with excellent acting and special effects, but is suffers from a surprising lack of action and a disappointing head scratcher of an ending. Also, I have no idea why this movie is rated PG-13. It is a PG if I have ever seen one. There is some violence, but not very much. A few scenes with bullying involved- but the bully is dealt with pretty harshly. Fine for kids, although they might be bored by the lack of action.

What other families should know
Too much violence

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