After Earth Reviews

Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
May 2, 2014
As drama, After Earth offers no surprises; as action, it's rarely stimulating; as a parenting manual, it seems that Will has thrown Jaden into water that's a little too deep.
Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
June 4, 2013
Most disappointing is the film's lack of ambition, as what could have been a sparky mainstream space opera becomes just another tedious jungle chase movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 31, 2013
The movie takes off from a concept as basic as a videogame, and it sticks to that concept, without surprise.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
May 31, 2013
A film in which the text and subtext-an effortlessly gifted father presses his less-talented son to follow in his footsteps-are in perfect alignment. Alas, only in one of the two does the story end happily.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 31, 2013
By the standards of M. Night's Shyamalan's recent films, After Earth is surprisingly not horrible.
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Matt Zoller Seitz
Chicago Sun-Times
May 31, 2013
It's no classic, but it's a special movie: spectacular and wise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 31, 2013
It's impossible to take this movie seriously, certainly not as seriously as it takes itself.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 31, 2013
The characters are emotionally neutered; the average viewer won't care about them. The pacing is plodding and uneven.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 31, 2013
Too bad, too, that the CGI creatures in the film look as fake as the monkeys in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 31, 2013
Even with his charismatic dad in his earpiece calling the shots, Jaden can't turn himself into a movie star by sheer force of Will.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
May 31, 2013
After Earth at least looks distinctive, and the movie's overall atmosphere of close-quarter jungle delirium is enhanced by the cramped, earth-toned interiors of spaceships, off-world colony condos and crashed cockpits.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
May 31, 2013
It's just a somewhat mundane coming-of-age story with a terribly miscast lead.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 30, 2013
Is "After Earth" the worst movie ever made?
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2013
There is no small irony that this sci-fi action adventure is about surviving a serious crash. The scorched earth left behind by "After Earth" is sure to leave a scar on everyone involved.
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
May 30, 2013
Much of Will's dialogue consists of life lessons imparted to the boy, and they sound like a motivational seminar.
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
May 30, 2013
The futuristic production design is blandly generic, the special effects, props and costumes cheap and slapdash-looking.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
May 30, 2013
What undoes the film is its rather rancid parent-child sentimentality (a Shyamalan staple, admittedly) and a charisma-free performance from the younger Smith that suggests the apple has fallen very far from the tree, indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
May 30, 2013
Mr. Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, are producers on "After Earth," which suggests that there was no one on the production who could really say no to him.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 30, 2013
The truly sad thing is, this wouldn't be a bad story if you stripped away all the sci-fi flash and psychobabble.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 30, 2013
Though it's meant to be pulse-pounding, After Earth is a lethargic slog.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
May 30, 2013
After Earth merits comparison with 2000's Battlefield Earth, John Travolta's godawful film tribute to the sci-fi novel by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Yes, it's that bad.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 30, 2013
A passably entertaining adventure best suited to 10-year-old boys.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
May 30, 2013
The only value in watching it is to see an expensive disaster slowly unfold.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 30, 2013
After Earth is refreshing in that it's not rife with fast-cuts, whooshing camera shots, and overblown visual effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
A disastrous father-son endeavor about a calamitous father-son expedition, After Earth doesn't play to the strengths of any of its major participants.
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
May 30, 2013
"After Earth" isn't just chaotic and desperate -- and grindingly slow -- it's also lazy.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
May 30, 2013
Some of "After Earth" is intriguing, if you ignore the premise and the story and the direction and much of Jaden Smith's performance. Other than that...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 30, 2013
After Earth may lack the neck-swiveling awfulness of Shyamalan's The Last Airbender, but it quickly sinks in its logorrheic solemnity.
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
May 30, 2013
[Shyamalan's] grasp of film fundamentals is so tenuous that this hot-air balloon gets blown into the rarefied air of the worst movies ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
Hearst Newspapers
May 30, 2013
M. Night Shyamalan is branching out, coming up with new ways to make bad movies. His plan must be to exhaust all possibilities, so as to eventually come full circle and make a good one by accident.
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
May 30, 2013
Summer 2013 has its first bomb, and sadly, it's landed right on Will Smith.
Full Review | Original Score: 0/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 30, 2013
"After Earth" is a work of hubris magnified by multiple miscalculations, the kind of film that would cause Ed Wood to excuse himself and skulk to the exit.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
May 30, 2013
The level to which 'After Earth' is a catastrophe is amazing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.2/10
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
May 30, 2013
After Earth tells the story of an inexperienced boy trying desperately to please his father while making one mistake after another, and as such, it becomes an uncomfortable metaphor for itself.
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
May 30, 2013
Jaden is fine at running, jumping, fearful trembling, and affecting steely resolution. He doesn't yet have his father's charisma; perhaps to help him out, dad opted not to bring that charisma to the set.
Top Critic
Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News
May 30, 2013
Bits of the plot, including the environmental science of the new Earth, make no sense. The dialogue is leaden. And the special effects are surprisingly unconvincing ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
May 30, 2013
What do you give the kid who has everything? His own summer action-adventure blockbuster, of course ... Well, it certainly beats a cake and a card, but considering what a well-crafted bore After Earth turns out to be, perhaps not by much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 30, 2013
Basically, this is Smith and his real-life son, Jaden (both affecting ridiculous mid-Atlantic accents) talking the audience to death for something like 90 minutes before the closing credits.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
May 30, 2013
"After Earth" won't change your world, but it's attractive ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
Shyamalan's sensibility may not be enough to turn After Earth into a great (or even very good) film, but it does yield interesting-and at times strikingly realized-results.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
May 30, 2013
Shyamalan is clearly a director-for-hire here, his disinterest palpable from first frame to last.
Top Critic
John DeFore
Hollywood Reporter
May 30, 2013
[A] disappointingly generic film ...