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

The Day the Earth Stood Still Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 29, 2017
Started off pretty good but quickly became boring and irritating. The ending was horrendously unconvincing. Original was far better.
September 20, 2017
I know this movie is hated among critics but I won't be ashamed to say that I actually really like it. It's filled with clichés we've seen too many times but I can't help but defend it and say that these clichés have had life breathed into them with this new cast and modern retelling. I have yet to see the original 1951 'classic' but it's on my list. So without further ado here is, The Day the Earth Stood Still from 2008 starring Keanu Reeves as the alien Klaatu, Jennifer Connelly as Dr. Benson, and Jayden Smith as Jacob Benson.
The story centers on blue orbs coming down from space and landing of course in New York City. Not any place in NYC but Central Park. Clearly the United States and the President of the United States even to the aliens is the center of 'civilization.' The orbs do settle in other places but not nearly important enough to get more than 2 seconds of screen time. Because of these mysterious orbs doctors of biology, chemistry and a civil engineer get called upon by the FBI to help investigate what's going on. Dr. Benson, a professor of astrobiology, is one of those chosen few. She however is also a step mother of Jacob. Jacob's father who was also her husband died so the two are not blood related but she cares for him nonetheless even though he doesn't return that affection. Dr. Benson goes to see the blue orb with the other doctors and what emerges is a gigantic killer robot and a small space alien with the human DNA of Keanu Reeves. He and his fellow robot friend are taken in for testing but Benson helps him escape knowing that the secretary of defense (played by Kathy Bates) will only want to destroy him and not listen to what he has to say. Benson, Jacob and Klaatu drive around and discover more about each other. Benson realizes that Klaatu's plan is to destroy all of the humans who are killing earth in order to keep earth a green planet. Benson tries to convince him otherwise but when she does it's too late and the plan already started. The giant robot turns into trillions of little metal eating bugs destroying anything man made or human in its path (we even get the typical I am Legend scene when the bugs kill the unsuspecting scientist and the evil government agent watches not letting him out, and then the evil government agent gets killed by said bugs). Benson and Jacob who have been fighting for the whole movie finally reconcile their differences because they realize that they have to put up with each other for the rest of their lives which makes Keanu or 'Klaatu' realize that humans are worth saving. He sacrifices himself to save earth.

Yes this movies has plot holes. One of them being why didn't the government call on Dr. Benson's doctor friend who Klaatu sees and befriends later in the movie? But for all its plot holes the cast really carries this movie. Keanu Reeves plays a great unfeeling alien because he himself is good at not showing much emotion. Jennifer Connelly plays a convincing doctor as well as a strong mother showing that women can do it all. The fact that the secretary of defense and the main lead are women without shoving it down your throat is extremely refreshing. These types of movies where women are just strong characters without the script hammering it in with lines 'for a girl' or 'girl power' are my favorites.

In addition to the mainly feminine cast it is also racially diverse. Keanu Reeves is Asian and maybe this does play into the fact that the Asian American stereotype is that we are unfeeling robots but either way he does talk in mandarin with James Hong (Mr. Ping from Kung Fu Panda) and it's amazing (because who doesn't love James Hong?!). Benson as a white step mother and Jacob as her African American son helps blended families as well as racially diverse families be seen. It would have been great to see flashbacks of the African American father to show a black man with a white woman but I think it works over all. Maybe it does add to the stereotype that blended families are dysfunctional but it also shows that sometimes maybe water can be thicker than blood.

All of the sci-fi alien clichés aside the movie has no love story. There's no sexual tension with Klaatu or Benson or Benson falling in love with a fellow scientist, it's all platonic or familial which we almost never see in movies starring a male or female lead. In male centered movies it's even more of a requirement just to show that the man isn't queer. But the great thing about this movie is that it doesn't force a love story. It doesn't really force a lot of things since it heavily relies on old movie tropes like killing humans to make a better earth, trying to convince the alien humans are good, and self-sacrifice but those are all done well because of the cast.
I give The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) an 8.5/10. It's cliché but just edgy enough to keep me interested and entertained. The familiar plot doesn't distract but almost fades into the background to let the actors shine. Plus, some points like the aliens landing in New York City can be laughable and fun.
July 23, 2017
170723: Caught and appreciated the Noah's Arc reference this time around. Has a good message.
½ July 10, 2017
June 13, 2017
This movie has almost nothing to do with the original except the name. The earth did NOT stand still!. And the most famous 3 word in

sci-fi history were NEVER SAID. The original was uplifting positive
while this version was dark and depressing. I have stop, I don't to go on a rant. Please watch original and burn this one.
June 4, 2017
As a remake, I think they did an excellent job. The scenes and dynamics were realistic to me, and thought it was very entertaining. The special effects were pretty amazing. Loved it!
May 29, 2017
I saw this 2008 version several years ago, and I just watched the original 1951 version. This remake turns a sci-fi classic into some kind of an enviro-nut stink-fest. There is a bunch of destruction and special effects, but they are not very interesting.
½ May 24, 2017
First things first I don't know why people hate this movie so much, I actually was shocked by how entertaining this movie is. Keanu Reeves, the girl from hulk and will Smith's kid for some odd reason. I still am shocked that they casted Jayden freaking Smith , him present day is a dumb teen who does dumb things. Now the answer to the question that everybody wants to know , what is better the Reboot of war of the worlds with Tom cruise or this movie with keanu Reeves. The answer is the day the earth stood wins because I wasn't bored at all in the movie. Yes their are some cheesy parts like when the alien metamorphs into Keanu Reeves. But besides that and Jayden Smith sucking the plot was not bad but not the best, just right in the middle.
May 17, 2017
It may have nice visual effects, but without the heart and message that made the 1951 version a classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" it's just another Hollywood rehash that uses style over substance. Keanu Reeves looks bored in his role as Klatuu and Jaden Smith's character is so annoying that he make us wished he was dead. Why the father had to die? His role would have been more interesting than the son. If the film focused more on our humanity rather than the action, then we would care more about the characters and why is it okay to be human. Plus, it would have be fun to see Klatuu interact with several characters in our world, which would have been a humorous, yet heartwarming journey. Again, the concept is still great, but it's how you execute it that matters. Scott Derrickson failed to understand what the filmmakers did in the original film. But I'm glad he learned from his mistake after he did "Doctor Strange" for Marvel.
May 12, 2017
Yan's Mom Jennifer Saw This Movie And She Walked Out Of It During The Middle Of It, She Told Yan It Was So Bad And Awful, It Was New York Times Film Critic Jay Sherman's Tenth Worst Film Of 2008.
March 22, 2017
beastly movie. interesting story and different in a lot of ways. lots of amazing and memorable scenes. another perfect role for keanu's limited acting ability lol (ie. the matrix and john wick). lots of cool syfy-ish ideas (about 3 viewings)
February 2, 2017
I Really liked this film!
December 21, 2016
Really dull and far too long.
December 4, 2016
I really liked this for the message: we are destroying our planet. It's true! Also, a great cast. A little slow but I like their imagining of how/why an advanced civilization would attack.
November 9, 2016
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.
November 9, 2016
Could it be 1/2 as good as the original?
½ November 6, 2016
Remake del clasico del mismo nombre de 1951, una mujer encuentra a un extraterrestre que es un emisario que intenta salvar la Tierra, pero en el proceso de salvar a la Tierra, podría traer graves consecuencias para la raza humana y podrían solamente salvarse unos pocos elegidos.
November 5, 2016
Skip it and see the orginal black and white. While the 1951 version will lack the great FX the story is much better and the acting not as flat.
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 ;;
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