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

The Day the Earth Stood Still Reviews

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½ October 8, 2016
Get to watch it properly on Netflix through my 60 inch Smart TV and studio wired headphones. To see and listen this swarm-transforming giant robot like a swarm of ferocious bees sweep chaos in the city, there's just not enough trash-transforming destruction to keep destruction-loving fans glued to the screen, fans who tend to trash their possessions or house items out of anger ;;
September 22, 2016
If you are an unashamed movie geek like me and can recite "Klaatu Barada Nikto" and
"18, 24, 61, B, 17, 17, 4" (the data uplink code from The Running Man) without googling them, then you might like this film. Considering how bad the original film was, this is somewhat of a triumph.

There is a rather large whiff of "Neo" about Keanu's uninspired performance and Jennifer Connelly is as wooden as an extra from a Hulk movie but I have watched far worse. If your choice is between this and a film with a title that is a rip off of a blockbuster, "starring" ex-adult movie stars trying to be real actors, choose this.

Not good but not dire.
August 29, 2016
One of the worst films I have ever seen. Keanu Reeves' acting was soo wooden, I looked for termites. An absolutely ridiculous plot!
August 5, 2016
Disappointed. The original is superb but this just feels dull and reliant on special effects.
½ July 30, 2016
The special effects and acting serve the plot very well and offer some sense of immediacy and believability; unfortunately the films plot lacked the endurance or the meat and potatoes, and just stalled out in the end. As a constellation we do get a heavy dose of the beautiful Jennifer Connelly, who undeniably has become even more beautiful with time. Woo !
July 29, 2016
Having never seen the original I can't tell you if it's better or worse, First off I thought the plot was intelligent and different to any other alien invasion movie it was told well but it felt like they didn't know how to end it and felt rushed and will probably leave most feeling abit let down, Keanu Reeves does an ok job but most of the time it feels like he's a robot not an alien so his style of acting wasn't helping the movie, I didn't care for Jaden Smiths character as I think kids in films like this are just annoying as 99 times out of 100 they survive so that also makes us difficult to get into the film as we all know kids ALWAYS survive, The effects were great and done well, There was very little action and I think just adding abit more especially with the giant robots would of gone down better with viewers, It's not a terrible movie it's just a let down as Hollywood seems to think that good effects can save a poor script.
July 16, 2016
other than it being a different story. I did like the effects
½ June 27, 2016
Crap.  Not recommended.
½ June 24, 2016
This is not really a remake of the 1951 movie of the same name. To say that it is "loosely based on it" seems like a more accurate description. Keanu REEVES is, as usual, emotionless and, strangely enough, has been given some impressive surnatural powers not at all unlike those he wields in The Matrix trilogy. Jaden SMITH has his trademark clueless look at all times. John CLEESE makes an excellent, yet brief appearance.
May 15, 2016
Atrocious. One of the worst "blockbusters" I've ever seen. It was lame, uninteresting, boring...any other synonyms of those words. Keanu Reeves half-assed his way through the movie (as usual) and Jennifer Connelly's way-too-serious stare into the distance can only get her so far. This movie never should have been redone.
½ May 13, 2016
This is a B movie (and not an enjoyable one) with a few A-list actors added in, nothing more, nothing less. Rarely do I find myself contemptuous of a movie, but in this case, it seems to match the contempt the director feels for his audience. Our intelligence is insulted at every opportunity with cardboard cut-out characters, lame dialogue, limp acting, and oh yes - people making stupid decisions. Don't you hate it when you're watching a movie and you say to yourself "that's silly, nobody would act like that?" Yeah, this movie is full of that. Not to mention your stereotypical precocious mouthy little brat that NOBODY finds cute - yet movie directors always seem to cast - replete with smarmy-ass dialogue that nobody under 16yo would articulate. Keanu Reeves deadpans his way through painfully stilted dialogue; with his weak speaking voice and complete lack of charisma, he is a terrible match for this part. Everybody else phones their performance in. And as for John Cleese... well, I hope he got a big fat paycheque for his role. I didn't expect to see him slumming in a movie of this (low) calibre. All in all, this movie is a fine example of bad movie-making.
½ May 6, 2016
A great story dumbed down for todays audiences. Keanu Reeves should have played Gort, he was so robotic. Jennifer Connelly is gorgeous though
April 5, 2016
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a mysterious, and even chilling, sci-fi mystery film... for the first act. Unfortunately, the film descends into a story that is not only overly familiar and formulaic, but also quite boring. The screenplay hits every plot point expected from films of this type, leaving a film that feels unnecessary, especially considering its a remake of a (much campier) film. It's a shame that the film is so narrative flawed, because director Scott Derrickson certainly has an eye for visual flair. Acting-wise, the film is hit-or-miss: Keanu Reeves gives a chilling, albeit stoic, performance as the mysterious otherworldly visitor, and Jennifer Connelly is great as always, but the supporting cast is either bland, or has their talent wasted. Jaden Smith in particular is pretty poor: it's easy to put his performance off due to him being a child actor, but he's simply not good enough to carry his material. It's definitely not a good sign when a desire to have a child character killed off is a recurring feeling. The Day the Earth Stood Still is a pretty big disappointment that's too slow and too formulaic to be worth watching. Stick to the original.
½ March 24, 2016
shite of the highest order
½ March 22, 2016
A boring and dumb adaptation that makes you constantly question what the point of the movie is.
March 22, 2016
2008's The Day the Earth Stood Still is a package: one that's a completely nonsensical mess of mediocre visual effects slapped over a contrived and forced message, all wrapped up in overt messiah metaphors.
½ March 19, 2016
A worthless film that is a complete waste of time. Keenu Reeves has been one of my favorites, but its a shame to see him work in a film like this. It doesn't make any sense.
February 28, 2016
In the current age of limited thought and writers strikes, it was inevitable production companies would eventually start trawling the archives hoping to rehash a classic and make it a hit once more. Sadly, The Day the Earth Stood Still remake with its distinct lack of tension and dull script fails to create that necessary sense of impending doom required for a successful disaster movies and buckles under its blockbuster expectations.

Wooden acting phenomenon Keanu Reeves with his naturally vacant expressions and uncomfortable screen presence seemingly fits a re-born alien role perfectly. However, his frozen faced and surprisingly flat performance is tiring to watch and is merely more than instantly forgettable.

Exploiting the ever-so-safe preapproved formula of modern end-of-the-world movies, A large unidentified spherical object is hurtling itself at warp speed towards earth (gasp) and as if you were surprised the US government takes it upon themselves to be our saviour.

Leaving tact and decorum at the door and forcefully collecting any citizen that may be of help, leading astrobiologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connolly) is taken without explanation to a secret location(what a surprise), without the company of her sarcastic maladjusted stepson Jason (Jaden Smith) to save the world from inhalation (hopefully before the 78 minute collision deadline).

When officials get caught off guard and the object stops short of impact in central park, Helen and fellow scientists are rushed to the scene. Flanked by a full and aggressive military arsenal, an unearthly shape suddenly appears in the fog (on a perfectly clear New York night) and advances. A trigger-happy soldier takes a shot injuring the whale-blubber Michelin man shape unknowingly awaking an in-build security system. (Predictably enough) A giant Cyclops robot appears to protect its charge by disabling all electronic equipment within the vicinity.

The injured form is rushed back to the secure military facility for medical attention under Helen's instruction, after extracting the bullet the protective outer "placenta -like" cocoon falls away revealing a human shaped alien named Klaatu.

While being questioned by a presidential representative Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates), Klaatu reveals his intentions "I am here to save earth". This ominous opening statement and his vague attempts of communication leads the government to believe that Klaatu is an enemy, and Helen is ordered to assist in sedating the alien. (As expected) By this stage of course, Helen has developed a feeling of connection to the being is compelled to help protect him by defying orders.

Klaatu, in his 'no-so-sedated' state is lead away for interrogation via lie detector (yeah an alien who can control electrics is going to be susceptible to lie detector, logical) using his abilities to manipulate the situation he escapes. Once free, Klaatu realises that his injured body requires attention and reaches for assistance from Helen along with her defiant son to succeed in the purpose of his visit.

With sphere's materialising around the globe subtlety carrying out their Noahs arc duties of preserving a sample of each of earths living creatures, the obligatory race against time to save mankind ensues. But will Helen's attempt to emotional reach Klaatu and prove our ability to adapt and learn from our mistakes gain his protection before the cleansing process removes all trace of our existence.

The suspense that follows is little more than uninteresting subtly hidden behind a barrage of special effects. Stephen Derrickson's hands-off-approach to directing leaves Jennifer Connelly's attempt to inject passion into a single heart-plucking scene falls short of touching.

Verdict: The predictably formulaic style and mediocre delivery lacks intensity and stamina. Where the original film is unassuming, this version is intolerably full of its self and presents as a bloated X-files episode engorged to pseudo-cosmic proportions. If you're after a tuned out Saturday evening fluff movie this fits the out-of-worldly bill.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 16/01/2009
December 25, 2015
In 1928, a solitary mountaineer encounters a glowing sphere. He loses consciousness and when he wakes, the sphere has gone and there is a scar on his hand where a sample of his DNA has been taken. In the present day, a rapidly moving object is detected beyond Jupiter's orbit and forecast to impact Manhattan. The United States government hastily assembles a group of scientists, including Dr. Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly), to formulate a survival plan. The object is measured to be moving at 30,000 kilometers per second - enough to destroy nearly all life on Earth - but as it nears the planet, the object slows down just before impact and is revealed to be a large spherical spaceship, which lands gently in Central Park. The sphere is quickly surrounded by police and a heavily armed, hostile, and rather chaotic US military force. An alien emerges and Helen moves forward to greet it, but amidst the confusion, a soldier shoots the alien. A gigantic robot then appears that temporarily disables everything in the vicinity. The alien voices the command "Klaatu barada nikto" to shut down the robot's defensive response. A military surgeon discovers that the alien body is actually a bioengineered space suit, composed of placenta-like material covering a human-like being. The being quickly ages into Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who looks like the mountaineer. Klaatu informs Secretary of Defense Regina Jackson (Kathy Bates) that he is a representative of a group of alien civilizations, sent to talk to the leaders of Earth at a United Nations conference in the city. Jackson instead orders that Klaatu be sent to a secure location for interrogation. Klaatu manages to escape and Helen and her stepson Jacob (Jaden Smith) give him a ride out of the area. The presence of the sphere, and others like it around the world, causes a widespread panic. The military launch a drone attack on the sphere, but are thwarted by the robot. They cautiously enclose the robot and transport it to Virginia. Klaatu meets with another alien, Mr. Wu (James Hong), who has lived on Earth for 70 years. Wu tells Klaatu that he has found the human race to be destructive and unwilling to change, which matches Klaatu's experience. Klaatu decides that the planet, with its rare ability to sustain complex life, must be cleansed of humans to ensure that it can survive. Klaatu orders smaller spheres to collect specimens of animal species, to preserve them off the planet. Helen quizzes Klaatu about his statement that he has come to save the Earth and discovers that he means to save the Earth from destruction by humankind. Meanwhile, the robot, named "GORT" by the military, is being examined in an underground facility. The robot transforms into a swarm of winged, insect-like, nano-machines that self-replicate as they consume everything in their path. The swarm starts to erase all trace of the human race...

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" from 2008 is a remake of the 1951 film of the same name. The majority of critics found the film "heavy on special effects, but without a coherent story at its base. Bruce Paterson of the Australian Film Critics Association gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing that the generally poor reception for the film was "a sad fate for a surprisingly sincere tribute to Robert Wise's 1951 classic." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars and noted that the film had "taken its title so seriously that the plot stands still along with it", but also stated that it was "an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson". This remake suffers from underdeveloped themes, an incoherent plot, rough characterisation, wobbly acting and effects that takes over the storyline. The film starts off ok, but never really manages to convince due to lack of substance despite the fact that the story is intriguing with Klaatu wanting to save earth from mankind and not the opposite. In the end it just becomes a blockbuster action movie and not a full blown sci-fi movie with solid layers of a socio-political nature. Reeves is alien-like and wooden, no news here. While the talented and lovely co-star Jennifer Connelly isn't given much to work with, she still comes out of this with her dignity. And Jaden Smith is just a spoiled celebrity kid that adds nothing to the film. The idea was there, but the execution lacks a plenty.
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