The Day the Earth Stood Still - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day the Earth Stood Still Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 3/5
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Christine Champ
Film.com
May 6, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
February 3, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
December 15, 2008
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.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 15, 2008
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.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
December 15, 2008
What a ridiculous movie.
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
December 12, 2008
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.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 12, 2008
You'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you go into this movie with lowered expectations.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 12, 2008
Solemn, sober and efficient, The Day the Earth Stood Still gets the job done and moves on.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2008
Where the original film was unpretentious, this version, with Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, is insufferably full of itself, an X-Files episode pumped up to pseudo-cosmic proportions.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 12, 2008
A good portion of this sci-fi disaster movie is unintentionally comical. And the parts that aren't funny are just plain dull.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 12, 2008
The only awe this movie inspires is realizing how well the original stands up, and how little we puny Earthlings have learned in the past 57 years.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
December 12, 2008
... must be the worst major release in what may be the most disastrous year in recent Hollywood history.
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
December 12, 2008
This was supposed to be the winter season's big special effects picture. So why does it make Al Gore's PowerPoint presentation look like Spider-Man 2 by comparison?
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 12, 2008
Remaking a movie is easy. Engineering a good remake is difficult. One key quality that separates the two is inspiration, and that's a characteristic not to be found in 2008's The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 12, 2008
The Day the Earth Stood Still may bill itself as science fiction. But it understands neither.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 12, 2008
Unless you've seen Robert Wise's original semi-documentary The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), you'd never suspect the utterly generic remake was based on a seminal sci-fi classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 12, 2008
The stone-faced silliness in this new TDTESS at first seems like an homage to old-fashioned '50s watch-the-skies movies, until it becomes clear it's just newfangled bad filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 12, 2008
Neither offensively bad nor particularly good, The Day the Earth Stood Still may be best remembered for the clumsiness of its intrusive product placement.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 12, 2008
Even if you know the original by heart, the new Earth has a couple of surprises in store, although the message remains the same: Watch it, Man.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Leydon
Houston Chronicle
December 12, 2008
Arguably the worst reconstitution of a '50s sci-fi classic since the ghastly Godzilla remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a stunningly misconceived folly that is bearable only for as long as it remains a fair-to-middling chase movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 12, 2008
Despite all the fog machines and giant glowing spheres and TV actors excited to be in a big-budget movie, this remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic that gave baby boomer kids chills simply fails to strike any sparks.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
December 12, 2008
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" doesn't lack heart. It's surprisingly sincere. No, the human quality it could use a bit more of is humor.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
December 12, 2008
This movie is as clunky and unappealing as the space-saving acronym being used to avoid its endless title -- TDTESS.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 12, 2008
The new Day the Earth Stood Still lacks the courage of its own eco-pessimism, and the final scenes play like a rushed, embarrassed concession to our need for happy endings, no matter how far-fetched.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 12, 2008
After Wall-E and I Am Legend and the dozens of apocalypse flicks since the last Day the Earth Stood Still we can surely do better. Even Klaatu looks bored and distracted, much as he did back when we knew him as Neo.
| Original Score: 2/5
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David Jenkins
Time Out
December 12, 2008
Sending a flying v-sign right at the splendid Robert Wise original from 1951, this daft and pointless sci-fi remake has very little to recommend it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 12, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 11, 2008
If this is the best the human race can do, forget it.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 11, 2008
Super-serious but very lame.
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
December 11, 2008
Dunno about the Earth, but time certainly stands still for a goodly portion of Scott Derrickson's expensively produced but utterly boneheaded remake.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/10
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
December 11, 2008
Like the big shiny sphere at its center, the film is fairly pretty, but there's no real sense that there's anything inside it.
| Original Score: C+
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 11, 2008
As a message movie, it's preachy without being serious; for an action movie, there's a lot of racket but not much fun.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 11, 2008
Klaatu's temperament is not the only thing that has been changed in this enjoyable updating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 11, 2008
In one eye and out the other, the sullen remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still airlifts certain story details straight from its source material.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 11, 2008
An entertaining rethink of the 1951 classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 11, 2008
The film fizzles in the second half, when flashy effects replace coherent storytelling, and everyone goes all weepy over the innate decency of humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
December 11, 2008
This botched remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still seriously dishonors the seriously fine 1951 sci-fi landmark on which it's based.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
December 11, 2008
The movie stumbles to an ending that's more whimper than bang.
| Original Score: 2/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 11, 2008
The original movie's climax, an endearingly corny homily about the necessity of peace, has been replaced by a pointless tsunami of digital effects.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 11, 2008
All this is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Luke Y. Thompson
Village Voice
December 11, 2008
The problem here is that there are none of the big ideas that have kept the 1951 film in the public consciousness
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 10, 2008
This Earth could have moved if they had embraced the heart of Starman. Too bad they settled for a half-hearted Independence Day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 10, 2008
Better to just sit back and enjoy The Day the Earth Stood Still for what it is: a fair amount of fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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David Germain
Associated Press
December 10, 2008
While Robert Wise's science-fiction classic The Day the Earth Stood Still" was a simple story of deep ideas, the remake is an overblown, puny-minded tale featuring extraterrestrials too stupid or lazy to do a background check on the species they condemn.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
December 10, 2008
The original Day the Earth Stood Still had a paranoid poetry that lifted the audience up even as it warned the world to come together. This one is so dour it just comes off as a scolding.
Full Review | Original Score: C-