The 5th Wave (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

The 5th Wave (2016)



Critic Consensus: With unimpressive effects and plot points seemingly pieced together from previous dystopian YA sci-fi films, The 5th Wave ends up feeling like more of a limp, derivative wriggle.

Movie Info

16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.more
Rating: PG-13 (for violence and destruction, some sci-fi thematic elements, language and brief teen partying)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 3, 2016
Box Office: $34.9M
Sony Pictures - Official Site


Liev Schreiber
as Colonel Vosch
Chloë Grace Moretz
as Cassie Sullivan
Nick Robinson
as Ben Parish/Zombie
Maria Bello
as Sergeant Reznik
Maggie Siff
as Lisa Sullivan
Matthew Zuk
as Wounded Man with Cru...
Ron Livingston
as Oliver Sullivan
Alex Roe-Brown
as Evan Walker
Alex MacNicoll
as Flintstone
Marc John Jefferies
as Boy on the roof (unc...
Nadji Jeter
as Poundcake
Paul S. Ryden
as TV News Anchor
Terry Serpico
as Hutchfield
E. Roger Mitchell
as White House Spokesma...
Charmin Lee
as Ms. Paulson
Zackary Arthur
as Sam Sullivan
Madison Staines
as Teary School Kid
Derek Roberts
as Private Parker
Tara Jones
as Co-Anchor (uncredite...
Geoffrey Kennedy
as Bullhorn Soldier
Hunter Denoyelles
as Cheerleader (uncredi...
Devin McGee
as Confused Man
Justin Smith
as Armed Man
Adora Dei
as Exam Room Tech
Kevin Johnson
as Sniper in Woods
Courtney Munch
as Helicopter Soldier
Kendrick Cross
as Situation Room Soldi...
Chelsea Hayes
as Tech Soldier
Michael Beasley
as Major Bob
Kelly Rose
as Quarantine Victim
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The 5th Wave

Critic Reviews for The 5th Wave

All Critics (120) | Top Critics (28)

"What's the point of any of this?" asks Cassie. I kept hoping, but no such luck. It's a question that is never answered.

Full Review… | February 4, 2016
New York Observer
Top Critic

There's no way around the clunky exposition and rampant clichés that make up the majority of The 5th Wave.

Full Review… | April 22, 2016

Evoking ... almost every YA sci-fi offering, The 5th Wave will surprise nobody, introducing a procession of stock-character types into well-worn narrative arcs.

Full Review… | April 6, 2016
South China Morning Post

In a movie like this, I'd expect a grand display of visual effects that sadly fall short, given that whenever they're used (which is sparingly) they feel cheap and poorly made. [Full Review in Spanish]

Full Review… | March 2, 2016

Too often, characters feel the need to tell us exactly what they're doing and why. And then they take an awfully long time to get there.

Full Review… | February 23, 2016
Irish Times

Another weekend, another movie adaptation of a young-adult sci-fi novel.

Full Review… | February 19, 2016
The National (UAE)

Audience Reviews for The 5th Wave


In the film, "The 5th Wave" refers to the fifth stage of attacks made on humans by alien invaders. It may also refer to the successive waves of nausea induced by this insipid bit of big budget YA drama-teen claptrap. For those who delight in sci-fi alien destruction movies -- despair. "The 5th Wave" joins the ignominious ranks of alien films that never actually depict the aliens on screen. (The ship shows up for 15 seconds in the sky, but no one ever seems to disembark.) It also may sire an entirely new genre of disaster films that do not actually depict any disaster.

Although "The 5th Wave" is marginally entertaining, one cannot resolve the nagging question posed by such an unfulfilling film: "What was the point of that?"

Christian C

Super Reviewer

In the spirit of young adults-in-danger classics like The Hunger Games and Twilight and Divergent comes this shocking aliens-taking-over-the-world scenario that threatens to shake up the status quo of all that went before ... Not.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Ender's Game meets Twilight in the teen sci-fi thriller The 5th Wave. The story follows a high school girl named Cassie who goes searching for her younger brother after they get separated and he's conscripted into the military as part of a special unit designed to fend off the 5th Wave of an invading alien force. Chloe Grace Moretz leads the cast and gives a decent performance, but the script is pretty weak and doesn't really give the actors much to work with. And the whole child solider plot is rather contrived and doesn't make a lot of sense. Still, the first half of the film is fairly solid and does a good job at depicting the initial alien attacks and at building suspense and intrigue. While it has some exciting action scenes and is entertaining, The 5th Wave is a derivative sci-fi thriller that doesn't have a clear vision.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

The 5th Wave Quotes

Evan Walker: I hear voices In my head that are quite
– Submitted by Jonathan M (4 months ago)
Evan Walker: I hear here voices in my head that are quite
– Submitted by Jonathan M (4 months ago)
Ringer: You want me to shoot you?
Ben Parish/Zombie: Don't pretend you haven't thought about it.
– Submitted by Trina B (4 months ago)
Evan Walker: Love's not a trick. It's real.
– Submitted by Trina B (4 months ago)

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