Battlefield Earth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Battlefield Earth Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 30, 2013
Now this film wanted to be epic, it really tried, Travolta put millions of his own fortune into it and pushed people into helping him create it. These type of catastrophic alien invasion films were all the rage around this time after the success of 'Independence Day'. The films title alone sounds epic, a thundering statement...BATTLEFIELD EARTH!, it sounds like the ultimate sci-fi action film, so what's wrong with it?.

First and foremost it looks like, and for all intense and purposes, is an extended 'Star Trek' episode. The plot is very dull and plays out like a dull episode of Star Trek, one involving lots of dialog about mining for minerals (gold, for what reason? I dunno), slave trading and general alien politics. The mistake made with the alien race (with the rather stupid name of 'Psychlos', is that the best Hubbard could come up with??) in this film is that they are dissected too much. We hear about all sorts of trivial background stuff that isn't required, in the end they just seem like large humans, there is no mystery.

On top of the really overly laboured plot is the simple fact that these aliens look crap. Putting aside the obvious 'Klingon' like appearance, they look like huge platform wearing transvestites with dreadlock-like hair in campy goth space suits. As if they belong in some fetish club or one of those freaky bizarre goth circus's.

Then there's the simple question of why Travolta's face isn't the same as the rest of the alien race? why do all of them have devil/vampire-like faces but Travolta's is normal?. Is this because Travolta didn't wanna be hidden behind makeup?. Who's decision was it to let Travolta have/keep his little goatee? that kinda detracts from the whole alien design don't you think, a humanoid goatee. And who are these really old looking alien politicians with the flabby necks? is that what 'Psychlos' look like with age? why don't they look like the other 'Psychlos' facially?.

Other minor issues spring to mind also such as the fact these guys don't feel pain, Travolta's arm gets blown off yet it doesn't really faze him. Whitaker seems to be the only black alien in the entire race. Then there's the amusing observation that most of the cast clearly can't walk too well in the stilts they are on, no running by these aliens hehe.

Then we have the human element, or what's left of them. OK so humans are almost extinct and the 'Psychlos' have been ruling them for 1000 years apparently. So why has humankind completely forgotten everything about their past? the ability to use their brains, know what basic objects like glass or weapons are, names of places etc...they have forgotten everything which makes no sense. Mankind has been enslaved by aliens but why have they gone backwards to primitive cavemen? they don't know what a city is or what stars in the sky are, they worships Gods like ancient humans once did and they all scream and yelp like monkeys. But they still wear trousers.

The plot totally loses it once the rebellion begins, the last humans led by Pepper conveniently find apparent secret military bases still stocked to the gills with weapons, Harrier jets and power it seems. Little bit of training and many of them are now proficient in guns and even better...can fly Harrier Jump jets no probs!! just like that. So much so that they are able to engage alien ships in a fancy ass dogfight.

There really are so many plot holes and question marks I can't possibly mention them all or remember them all!. I do recall the effects being somewhat bigged up at the time, they were suppose to be pretty neat for the day. I guess they aren't too bad to be honest, some shots look nice, mainly ruined cityscape's, the alien ships are a reasonable design as is some of the ship flight sequences. Sets are pretty bland and uninspired, just faceless metallic facilities whilst the whole film has this quite ugly blue/grey/green tint/hue to it which is unusual.

So for a film called 'battlefield earth' there actually isn't that much in the realms of mega earthbound conflicts going on, its all based in one location. On a certain silly level the film can be enjoyable with its action sequences, it totally jumps on the 'Independence Day' bandwagon that's for sure, but it can still be minor fun.

Had this been a few half hour episodes of a TV sci-fi series then it could be looked on more favourably. I mean the film really isn't much better than a TV show, but I must admit to liking Travolta's wickedly evil campy performance. That and the 'Psychlos' females that we get a glimpse of, a kind of fetish wearing gothic 'Cenobite' with very very long tongues, film highlight for me.
Super Reviewer
½ May 4, 2012
From what I've heard befire I watched this movie, it's one of the worst films ever made, quite possibly even the absolute worst. I knew nothing about the movie so I rented it and here's what I have to say: ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?! How was this movie allowed to be made? Who thought this would work? What parts of the movie make sense? The plot is simple and stupid; it's in the year 3000 and a weird race or something called the "Psyclos" are ruling the Earth and this group of humans has to stop them. The leader of the psyclos is named Terl and he's played by John Travolta. Why would you cast him? His only good role was in Pulp Fiction. His performance in this shows why he'll never be taken seriously as an actor ever again. His line reading is hammy and he's the definition of over-the-top. Another actor is Barry Pepper and he's mostly known for his role as the sniper in Saving Private Ryan. If only he could've brought that role on the set of Battlefield Earth and sniped the director. A really odd thing about the movie are the weird camera angles. All the angles are tilted so that whatever is on screen is close to being exactly diagonal. It's mind-numbing and it gets old really quick. The special effects are awful. They made me feel like I was watching a campy, public domain action movie.The editing also doesn't help for the "action" scenes. It's just all over the place. One example is when (Spoiler alert, though I'm pretty sure you've lost you're ability to give a shit with this movie.) Terl gets his arm blown off. The guy blasts it, his arm is on screen for barely a second and that's it. I didn't even know what had happened until I saw Terl with a missing arm in the end scene. Oh and the "clever" irony of the last scene involving a bunch of gold is enough to make anyone groan or make a sarcastic remark. (You don't say?!) Avoid this movie by all means. It's an hour and forty-five minutes that will just drag on and on. The worst part is you probably won't be able to get it back.
Super Reviewer
½ December 4, 2011
It's difficult to describe how bad this movie is. It's one of those movies that's so bad it deserves to be classified as a comedy.
Marc L.
Super Reviewer
½ August 23, 2011
Well la dee dah. What do we have here? Oh yeah, one of the worst movies ever made. Terrible script, beyond awful acting, absolutely no logic, pitiful lighting, ugly sets. I truly believe that there are only about 50 or 60 people who even found this one tolerable. It may very well be one of the 10 worst movies of all time.

First of all, this is pretty much the worst script I've ever heard. Seriously, ever. Even the memorable quotes were lame. It was like a 3rd grader was writing the script for a fantasy sci-fi movie he was writing for his buddies.

Also, the movie is infamous for it's bad acting. And the pinnacle of all that bad acting has got to be Barry Pepper as Jonnie Tyler, leader of the human resistance. When he is not viciously overacting he is underacting, and his character comes across as INCREDIBLY annoying. John Travolta wasn't very good either, but he did a better job than most of the other cast.

In addition, the lighting is horrible. It's dark when it's supposed to be light and light when it's supposed to be dark. It's all one giant mess. I felt like I was watching a home movie made by two Star Trek nerds.

The sound was really messed up too. You remember how revolutionary the sound affects in Star Wars were? That would be the opposite of "Battlefield Earth". There are plenty of awkward silent sequences and even more awkward laser sounds.

You know, there are some movies that make me want to yell at every one who can possibly enjoy them. This is one of them. Awful. Truly, truly awful. One of the worst films of all time awful.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2007
An ugly, unpleasant viewing experience worsened by horrendous acting and terrible sets, this serves as the "Plan 9 From Outer Space" movie of our time, as a horribly misguided sci-fi epic. What makes this all the more depressing is that a good cast is hurt by horrific dialogue and ridiculous camera angles and makeup, and the result is some of the worst acting ever caught on-screen (Barry Pepper is especially bad, notice how everything he does is....the most...important...thing EVER!). If you care for yourself whatsoever, do not sit through this movie, unless you are viewing the "Mystery Science Theater 3000" version of it - then it MIGHT be worth it.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2011
Possibly one of the worst films to ever be made. Travolta has lost all credibility. A person doesnt have to be a critic to tell what went wrong. The plot had so much holes and crsp it was kinda funny. God how I despise this movie.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
Everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The film is either tedious or boring at best. All of the dutch angles clearly points to a cinematographer with a peg leg.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2010
Quite possibly the worst film ever made.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2010
Based on the Church of Scientology founder book, Battlefield Earth is coherent mess of a film. The film is painful to watch, with bad acting, dialogue and stupid storyline. This one of the worst films I have ever seen, not because it's related to Scientology, but because the film is a waste of time, and purely and simply bad.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2010
Bad movies don't come any finer than this. In the tradition of Waterworld, this presents a world that is both uninteresting and too wacky. Maybe if it didn't take itself serious I could find some respect in there, but this is dead serious. The acting is horrendous and almost scary, especially when Forest Whitaker and John Travolta aren't usually ever bad (I blame the script, those nose pieces and crazy costumes). Barry Pepper leads the human race in its fight for survival, yet he has absolutely no charisma or anything really intriguing about him. The visuals are not even the worst part, even though they are some of the worst uses of CGI. I think it's worth seeing to show what not to do when making a movie.
Super Reviewer
January 22, 2010
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen! The plot is lacky all over, the acting is horrible, the effects are extremely cheesy, and the dialogue is so laughable that I sort of like it! The only good thing to credit this movie with is the 1 minute that John Travolta takes to actually act and say a great line! Normally a bad movie I can say is at least good looking, but for this I cannot!
Super Reviewer
½ May 20, 2008
This really ISN'T as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I can think of 100 worst movies to waste your time with. Barry Pepper is completely underrated; however, John Travolta is a really strange alien....
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2007
The only reason this movie was somewhat watchable was to laugh at John Travolta and Forest Whitaker in their silly costumes and make-up. I can't believe I actually saw the whole film. Piece of garbage that is only viewable as a comedy.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
Oh those scientologists.
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2007
All I could think of when I watched this film was, "are these guys for real?" Good concept though.
Super Reviewer
May 21, 2007
Don't know if I should give this one star or five. If you are into truly terrible movies this is the flick for you. John Travolta's vision of the future through Scientology-colored glasses is a hoot. A must-see for lovers of crap cinema.
Super Reviewer
½ January 23, 2007
A cliche story of a post-apocalyptic Earth, written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Possibly the worst movie of all-time, but it's still entertaining, and finds the most innovative use for a Harrier Jump Jet that I've ever seen!
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2006
I heard you get a free e-meter reading if you see this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ May 17, 2006
I watched this on a family movie night with an ex girlfriends family. This is the exact moment in my life that I realized I hate white people.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2006
A mess. Not much else to say. Maybe one day it will be seen as this generation's Plan 9
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