E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Reviews

Top Critic
Gary Arnold
Washington Post
July 21, 2015
E.T. is essentially a spiritual autobiography, a portrait of the filmmaker as a typical suburban kid set apart by an uncommonly fervent, mystical imagination. It comes out disarmingly funny, spontaneous, bighearted.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
June 29, 2015
Captivating, endearingly optimistic and magical at times, Steven Spielberg's fantasy about a stranded alien from outer space protected by three kids until it can arrange for passage home is certain to capture the imagination of the world's youth.
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
June 29, 2015
What's perhaps most amazing about E.T., what distinguishes it from many of the other fantasy films of its era, is its ability to put an audience under a spell of childlike wonderment without infantilizing it.
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
June 29, 2015
Spielberg's direction and Melissa Mathison's script never lose sight of the realistic, low center of gravity world of childhood, in which such marvelous adventures happen every day.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
June 29, 2015
It holds up beautifully.
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
June 19, 2015
Though marred by Spielberg's usual carelessness with narrative points, the film alternates sweetness and sarcasm with enough rhetorical sophistication to be fairly irresistible.
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Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
August 4, 2013
It is the kind of film that young people are going to want to see again immediately after they've seen it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
August 4, 2013
Unchecked goodness has its price, after all, and childhood wonder wouldn't be nearly as sweet if it didn't fade. That may explain the film's appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber -- then, now, and for any time.
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Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
February 15, 2011
An appealing film this new one is, with some charm, some glee in the childrens' triumphs, some share in their friendship with E.T.
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Don McKellar
Village Voice
June 4, 2007
More than the work of any other filmmaker, Spielberg's output seems uniquely designed to induce in me this queasy false-memory syndrome.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 4, 2007
On inherent merit, the movie would not warrant such a highly publicized re-release, but this is one of those films that transcends what's on the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
June 4, 2007
A contemporary classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
June 4, 2007
Though marred by Spielberg's usual carelessness with narrative points, the film alternates sweetness and sarcasm with enough rhetorical sophistication to be fairly irresistible.
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David Pirie
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Although conclusively demonstrating Spielberg's preeminence as the popular artist of his time, E.T. finally seems a less impressive film than Close Encounters.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 31, 2003
What E.T. does so well is to capture that moment in life when childhood seems to be slipping away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Vincent Canby
New York Times
October 24, 2002
[It] may become a children's classic of the space age.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 9, 2002
A film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 24, 2002
Viewers returning to it, as well as those discovering it, will find it an enduring children's film -- but one whose impact has diminished with the passage of time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 24, 2002
If we approach with sympathy and curiosity, we will be rewarded with same. And our souls, not to mention our bicycles, will soar to the heavens.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 24, 2002
The tenderness of the piece is still intact.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
March 24, 2002
A sophisticatedly sappy masterpiece.
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
March 23, 2002
| Original Score: 4/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
March 23, 2002
We have yet to recover from his revelation: that there is nothing more real than sitting in your own back yard -- waiting for the unreal to come down, take a handful of candy, and fly you to the moon.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 22, 2002
A masterpiece that deserves to be seen and appreciated on a big screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 22, 2002
A sublime modern fairy tale, a movie that, if anything, looks subtler, darker, and more intimate now than it did when originally released.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
March 22, 2002
A magical film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
March 22, 2002
Steven Spielberg's masterful film has lost none of its power to sweep the viewer away in the most 'excellent' late-20th century boy's adventure one could hope for.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Spielberg left it open for all of us. That's the sign of a great filmmaker: He only explains what he has to explain.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4