Parents' Guide to

Earth to Echo

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

A gentler, tech-savvier E.T. for today's kids.

Movie PG 2014 91 minutes
Earth to Echo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 42 parent reviews

age 7+

We really enjoyed this one. The kids, aged 12 and 8 (almost 13 and 9) really related to the adventure and camaraderie of the protagonists. The film has just the right amount of awkward adolescence to be fun for parents as well.
age 9+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (42 ):
Kids say (44 ):

Let's just start with the obvious: It could easily be claimed that Earth to Echo is imitating at least half a dozen kid-led adventures, but in this case, it really doesn't matter. Almost every movie is somewhat or even blatantly derivative, and at least this family film is so earnest that the copy-catting can be forgiven. Director Dave Green's first theatrical film probably isn't going to transcend the decades as a grand cinematic touchstone like Steven Spielberg's E.T., but it is cleverly poised to speak to today's crop of screen-obsessed preteens who text, chat, upload videos, and follow Google maps wherever it says to go. The three boys would literally not be able to complete their adventure without their phones and the Internet, and kids 8 to 12 get what that's like in a way parents likely never will.

Bradley, Halm, and Hartwig aren't super-slick Disney-fied actors. They're a bit rough around the edges, and that works in the movie's favor. Each is a different "type" with their own sensitivity and charm, and it's clear why Halm, the foster kid who has finally found a family he seems to fit in with, identifies so strongly with little Echo, who's scared and just wants to go home. The 89-minute runtime doesn't allow for a lingering explanation of Echo's home planet or even of a satisfying set of villains, but that just makes the story appropriate for slightly younger viewers who are just getting ready for live-action frights. Like the best movies in this genre, Earth to Echo is about friendship and banding together and knowing that kids may not have the same power as adults, but they can see things that adults can't.

Movie Details

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