Parents' Guide to

The Day the Earth Stood Still

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sci-fi remake has big effects but no real power.

Movie PG-13 2008 103 minutes
The Day the Earth Stood Still Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 10+

Great movie!

This movie Is a real thinker and has normal violence for a PG movie
age 11+

The Day the Earth Stood Still

It was a boring movie for the most part, but it had its moments.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (22 ):

This remake of the 1951 genre classic might have better visions and visuals than the low-budget original, but it lacks the heart and sense of wonder the first film had. It's as if the people behind this film figured they could get by on special effects alone. Reeves plays the alien visitor as an unlikable, unrelenting functionary who's doing what he must: "The decision is made; the process has begun." Connelly's character tries to get him to change his mind, while also fitting in some relationship management with her distant, moody stepson (Jaden Smith); as Benson pleads and Klaatu stays impassive, the film throws plenty of big-screen spectacle at us, but it never really connects the high-tech tricks with any heart.

Director John Derrickson has previously worked on lower-budget horror films and thrillers, and he shows a capable hand with the bigger budget -- but he doesn't show as much promise with the film's bigger ideas. The Day the Earth Stood Still wants to move our minds and quicken our pulses, but it does a far better job of the latter than the former; for all of the film's discussion of how mankind is destroying the Earth, there's precious little mention of what we're doing wrong or what we could do better. It as if the filmmakers were afraid of upsetting anyone ... while they proceeded to destroy New York and show us the end result of their effects budget. In the attempt to avoid saying anything controversial, The Day the Earth Stood Still winds up not saying much of anything at all.

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