The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)



Critic Consensus: Heavy on special effects, but without a coherent story at its base, The Day the Earth Stood Still is subpar re-imagining of the 1951 science-fiction classic.

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Movie Info

In this contemporary reinvention of the 1951 science fiction classic, renowned scientist Dr. Helen Benson finds herself face to face with an alien called Klaatu, who travels across the universe to warn of an impending global crisis. When forces beyond Helen's control treat the extraterrestrial as a hostile and deny his request to address the world's leaders, she and her estranged stepson Jacob quickly discover the deadly ramifications of Klaatu's claim that he is "a friend to the Earth." Now Helen must find a way to convince the entity who was sent to destroy us that mankind is worth saving--but it may be too late. The process has begun.
PG-13 (for some sci-fi disaster images and violence)
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
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Keanu Reeves
as Klaatu
Jennifer Connelly
as Helen Benson
Jaden Smith
as Jacob
Kathy Bates
as Regina
Jon Hamm
as Dr. Granier
John Cleese
as Prof. Barnhardt
Kyle Chandler
as John Driscoll
Robert Knepper
as Colonel
James Hong
as Mr. Wu
John Rothman
as Dr. Myron
Brandon T. Jackson
as Target Tech
Sunita Prasad
as Rouhani
Juan Riedinger
as William Kwan
Rukiya Bernard
as Student
Alisen Down
as Laptop Woman
Lloyd Adams
as Agent Driver
J.C. MacKenzie
as Grossman
Daniel Bacon
as Winslow
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Critic Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (46)

The special effects in 1951 were hokey fun. Here, in the first half of the movie anyway, they are hokey but they aren't fun.

December 15, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

The remake of that fine old fifties alien-invasion picture The Day the Earth Stood Still comes to a standstill about an hour before the Earth does in the wilds of New Jersey.

Full Review… | December 15, 2008
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

What a ridiculous movie.

Full Review… | December 15, 2008
At the Movies
Top Critic

One can only hope that in the future [Reeves] will devote himself to playing androids, less-self-aware species of undead, stylish pieces of contemporary furniture, and other roles that do not require the exhibition of any recognizably human traits.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you go into this movie with lowered expectations.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Solemn, sober and efficient, The Day the Earth Stood Still gets the job done and moves on.

Full Review… | December 12, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

three stars

MisterYoda ?
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer


"Change his mind. Not with reason, but with yourself." A mysterious alien presence arrives on earth, causing chaos, confusion, and many questions. Primarily, why is it here? Is this humanity's hour of judgment, or salvation? I really don't know how I found The Day The Earth Stood Still to be bearable enough to finish. It's clunky, often boring, and heavy-handed in a way that good science fiction never is. The worst flaws are the script and dialogue, which are simply terrible. Poor Jennifer Connelly often looks like she can't believe the words that are coming out of her mouth, and the other actors don't have it any better. I like Keanu Reaves, but here he is somehow still too stiff and emotionless for a character that's SUPPOSED to be stiff and emotionless. Dull subplots focusing on annoying characters somehow make an already boring movie even worse. There's really not even an memorable action or special effects scenes to make things interesting, even briefly. There's no emotion here, no excitement, nothing to engage the viewer. The Day the Earth Stood Still is just an empty experience.

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

awful. absolutely awful... "Now, please; tell me why have you come to our planet?" *Keanu Reeves turns his flat and expressionless face towards the speaker* "Your planet? It is not." LOL OK

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

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