All member reviews for Ender's Game

Common Sense Media says

Thought-provoking sci-fi adventure with military violence.

Users say

(out of 63 reviews)
age 10+
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Parent of a 9 year old Written byboychilds mama January 1, 2014

For those who loved the book...

...you'll probably enjoy the film. Followed the book closely, although naturally not as in-depth. Was excellent for my 12-year-old nephew, a bit too intense and mature for my 10-year-old son. Too bad the second and third books in the trilogy are less likely fodder for film!
Teen, 15 years old Written byJosh2515 November 10, 2013

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
Adult Written byslasher23 August 16, 2014
some violent
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written bySeth S. March 7, 2014

3 1/2 stars:

You know what two things are extremely similar? My enjoyment for Ender's Game the book and my enjoyment for Ender's Game the movie. Let's start with the book, shall we? I read Ender's Game about a year ago. And I thoroughly enjoyed it from the first chapter to the last. Not only is it an entertaining story, but it also provided a canvas for Orson Scott Card to say deeper things about the tolls of war, the psychology of a leader, and the power of technology. In addition, it is a book that is well ahead of its time, in the way that it handles the World Wide Web. As I said, I liked the book from the first to the last chapter. BUT ... the book has an epilogue. And in this epilogue, the book completely lost me. After that last ending scene, I really had no desire to read any more of the Ender books. And the movie is pretty much the same. I was entertained for the vast majority of the film. But then the last 10 minutes happened, and we're treated to Ender's mind becoming one with the aliens. It's a plot development that's going for a home run, a way to bring in one final philosophical idea. But for me, it just didn't connect at all. Before we get to the plot, quick sidebar: For all those people making a huge fuss about boycotting this movie - are you doing anything to boycott the latest Roman Polanski movie? Nope? Didn't think so. People don't boycott Polanski's movies, they actively embrace them. Taking it a step further, renowned filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen, Darren Aronofsky, and Stephen Frears have all signed a petition to bring Polanski back to the States. So, child molestation is okay, but simply speaking up for a personal belief is boycott worthy... You can't have it both ways, but nobody seems to care. Anyways, Ender's Game is the story of Ender Wiggins. At the end of its rope, humanity must turns to children for deliverance. Ender is enrolled in "Battle School," where he'll try to become the greatest commander Earth has ever seen. He must protect humanity from "The Formics." Ender must climb the ranks at an unsightly pace, if he want's to protect those he loves. The movie does an exceptionally good job of bringing over a lot of what the novel has to offer. Sadly, the movie can't take the time to address the Valentine/Peter relationship, and that's the biggest thing missing. Other than that, the majority of Ender's story is in tact. And it's not just that much of the story is the same. The director and screenwriter, Gavin Hood, does an admirable job of capturing the essence of the book. We can feel the weight of the world as it slowly presses down on Ender. It's very well done. And speaking of Gavin Hood, this movie is infinitely better than his atrocity of a super hero film, X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That was free. My main problems with the movie rest in the aforementioned last 10 minutes (which is a fault of the source material, not the filmmaking itself). The pacing is a little slow at times. Some key/noticeable plot points aren't explained very well, such as Mazar's face tattoo thing, and the MD device. Now, if you've read the book, you can fill in the blanks and you know exactly what's going on. But if you haven't, you'll be pretty bemused at times. I'll get to my last problem in a second. The cast, or the vast majority of it, is exceptional! Asa Butterfield, of Hugo fame, hits all the right notes as Ender. He can play the confusion, the superior intellect, and ultimately the moral tragedy of the character. After the big twist at the end, Butterfield really turns it up a notch. What might be the most impressive thing about the performance is the fact that Butterfield has to go toe to toe with actors like Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. And speaking of those three, they all do what they can with what their given. Kingsley doesn't have a very large part, but he is Ben Kingsley after all. Viola Davis has the most thankless role as Major Anderson. But, like Kingsley, she has enough talent to make up for a bland character. Harrison Ford, on the other hand, has the meatiest role of the three. Colonel Graff, more than anybody else, is responsible for the final outcome of this story. Ford gives a performance that doesn't feel as phoned in as it could very well have been. As for the other child actors, they are solid in limited roles. It doesn't hurt when you cast two Academy Award nominees as your main female characters. Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld give entirely well-done performances. Sadly, Breslin is limited to only two or three scenes ... a shame. Steinfeld has more to do in the story, and she does it well. But the last problem I have with the movie lies in one of the villains (and one of the child actors). Moisés Arias (of Hannah Montana fame ... is that fame? I guess not.) just doesn't cut it as Bonzo. He's supposed to be this formidable, intimidating figure, but Arias is everything but. In all fairness, his acting isn't too too bad. But the main problem lies in the fact that Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld both look to be a good 7 or 8 inches taller than Arias. And the with that, the intimidation factor goes right out the window. The action and special effects are top shelf. The scenes in the Battle Room are surprisingly exhilarating! That's the part of the novel I was most looking forward to seeing on screen, and it didn't disappoint. The visuals are a pleasure to look at, and there's never a weak moment on screen. I bemoan the fact that James Horner was replaced as composer for this movie. In his place, we have the producers and the director demanding a completely derivative score. Steve Jablonsky's music for Ender's Game is a hodgepodge of previous musical efforts. Most noticeably, he completely rips off the Game of Thrones theme for his Battle School theme. It may be an imitative score, but that doesn't mean it's entirely ineffective in context. In a lot of places, Jablonsky's music does add a driving force to the images on screen. I applaud Ender's Game for its high ambitions. I applaud it for capitalizing on the source material and reaching most of those high ambitions. I also applaud it for being a YA movie that doesn't pander to any crowd. Still, the film is not without its flaws. But at the end of the day, I'm completely fine with the final product. It's a movie that deserved to be made. It's a movie that I enjoyed watching. But, like the book, it's also something where I have no real desire for a sequel. As a standalone film (which is what this will be, as it turns out), I was pleased and entertained. Nothing more or less. "In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him." 7/10
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 11 years old February 18, 2014

Worthy for the Best Book Ever

Orson Scott Card's masterpiece book Ender's game is great. This is a little violent and har to understand.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bySocrates2000 January 22, 2014

Wow... not as good as the book, but still great!

This movie was EPIC!!! As a person who only says "epic" when absolutely needed, this is a huge compliment. I go to school and ask my friends if they know what Ender's Game is, and I am always so surprised when some don't, as the movie seemed to be a smash hit. They left out some major scenes: Ender's friendship with Alai, Ender's rocky start with Bean, the Locke/Demosthenes plot, and of course the unforgettable fact that, in the book, he is 6 when he comes to Battle School for the first time.I would have wanted to see Valentine show her tough side, and the REAL way Ender comes across the Hive Queen (see the book Ender in Exile for the full story). I did, however, adore this movie for the things they did get right. For example, they DID manage his bad relationship with Peter, though I wish they would have expressed his constant fear of being like him. The positive message was kind of obvious: no matter what, you can do it (it being whatever). As for positive role models, Ender is the best one out there. He makes mistakes, but is always striving to fix them. The violence in the movie (more so for the books) is extreme. Children are killed by other children and there are wars with aliens in which millions of humans are killed, though there is no blood in either scene. There are people holding hands in the movie, though one of the things I adore about the movie/book is that there is no romance. If you want romance, go to the second book in the series, Speaker for the Dead, though there isn't much in that, either. Bad language isn't as frequent as it was in the book, though there is the words "crap" and "smart a**". This movie was a thoroughly enjoyable one (except for those few quirks that I stated at the top), and I plan on watching it again. Unfortunately (at least for those who, like me, have read all of the books and are obsessed with the Enderverse), there will be no "Speaker for the Dead" movie, at the author's request (at least this is what I heard). He claims that some violence can't be seen on the big screen (see the piggies disemboweling the humans). The books are a great read, though!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old December 24, 2013
I watched this at Olympus Theatres on my birthday and it was awesome!Some intence sci-fi violence.Some hand holding and insulting.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byLsfederico November 16, 2013

Sci-if mom (read the book, liked the movie)

This movie was exactly what it was supposed to be...a great science fiction story. I did read the book. As with most books made into movies, the film was too short to cover the plot completely. However, the creators did a pretty good job of including events from the text. In several cases events were combined into one screen battle, which actually took place over many battles in the book. But the point, that Ender is "the one" is clearly and interestingly portrayed in the film. I was glad that I had read it but the movie also stands alone quite well. We will take our kids (11 and 13) to see it in the theatre. It is not overtly violent considering the whole plot is a war. Most of the violence is virtual, just ships and lasers. The only real violence is self-defense. In fact, the message of non-violence is part of the story. A good movie. Go see it.
Kid, 10 years old November 12, 2013

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
Parent of a 12 year old Written byfriendlytoanimals November 9, 2013

Very violent, fairly true to the book

I liked the movie well enough, but I think the reviews here were a bit misleading as to just how violent it is. It's intensely violent, although not intensely gory. Pretty much the whole movie is filled with both real and simulated violence, as well as the rather twisted emotional violence heaped on the kids in the film. It's not just two scenes of kids brutally fighting, it's many many scenes of space war - just because these scenes look like a video game doesn't mean it isn't violence. This is all part of the story, and true to the book, so I'm not criticizing it, I just think that parents who don't like their kids to see violence should know. Anyhow, the movie does a fairly good job of portraying the book's major themes, however it fails to show the intellectual genius of Ender, and his siblings. Especially his siblings whose role is minor in the movie. The entire earth politics in the book are entirely omitted. We also don't get to have the understanding of the Buggers that the book provides, and I missed this a lot. The acting is good, the special effects are great, and the overriding theme is accomplished, but it wasn't what it could have been.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byMeerkat.dog.yo December 28, 2015

Violent, yet great film.

The first thing I want to point out, is that "smart-ass" is can be heard at one point in the film. Plus,"mother--ker" in Spanish. Other than this, the language is very minor (including "crap", "coward", and "jerk"). There is also tons of sci-fi violence. A tracking device is removed from a child's head. He is told, "this won't hurt at all," but the scene ends with him screaming. The device is put into a glass bowl, and the blood on it flows around in the water. In another scene, a character's head is whacked against a hard floor, you can hear a crack and he ends up dying. There is also bullying. PLUS, there is tons of shooting. Ender sacrifices his entire fleet in battle, thinking it is only a simulation. He is later upset when he finds out he was tricked. Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfield star in this death-dyfing adventure.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byCrimefighterpunch49 November 17, 2015

Super futuristic, and very interesting.

This was a very thought provoking movie, where ultimately compassion and mercy are shown as the better alternative to violence. Some fight scenes are a bit too intense for kids, also a scary-looking monster and insect-like aliens may be a bit disturbing. The main character, Ender, is just a child, but he is wiser than most of the adults. Great movie if you love sci-fi and good stories.
What other families should know
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old September 26, 2015

Ender's Game: Comes Even With the Book

Huge, amazing, mind-blowing, friendship, family, battle, truth. Seven words to describe Ender's Game's wall-breaking movie based off the book. This movie goes beyond the human race, and beyond Earth, and most of all, beyond a boy named Ender Wiggin, who fights FOR his family, his friends and the dystopian environment around him. He fights AGAINST buggers, truth, and himself; without even knowing it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old May 23, 2015

Really good but sometimes violent drama is disturbing.

My rating PG-13: some violence, and disturbing content.
Teen, 13 years old Written bySapphire12 November 12, 2014

Good movie! Highly recomend

I would highly recommend it for kids 12+. Some scenes might be scary for younger children.
What other families should know
Great messages
Written byAnonymous November 2, 2014

Stunning and thrilling action sci fi is very gripping and moody

My rating:PG-13 for violence,language,sensuality,drug references and disturbing images
Teen, 15 years old Written byRadelite October 25, 2014

Awesome Space movie

Every Teen should see this movie if they have ever wanted to see a good space movie. Description: Follows a young kid(Ender Wiggin) who has been bulled by his brother and kids at school. And ends up beating up the leader of the bullies just to be sent to space where he gets bullied again and then must battle aliens with space ships that are light years away.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old October 22, 2014

Good but forgetteble

Violence- 3 (Characters kick at one another, scream and have laser fights)
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 12 years old August 17, 2014

OK movie

I saw this movie when I was 11 with my whole family including my 7 year old brother and 11 year sister. The movie was pretty good and I thought it was better than the book. At some points in the movie it got a bit boring. There were some swear words but otherwise very kid friendly.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byHightech Redneck August 4, 2014

Not very good.

NOTE: I HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK! Not much humor, could use more action. The story wasn't good. The visual effects were good. The acting was average. Some of my friends told me this is a great movie with a great story and deep meaning, it's a not very good story with a liberal message. The ending is pretty violent and some language is used. Overall, there are so many better movies, I wouldn't bother.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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