Extraterrestrial (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Extraterrestrial2012

Extraterrestrial (2012)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

When Julio wakes up in a strange apartment after a night of partying, he's pleasantly surprised to discover it belongs to a beautiful one-night-stand he can't remember - Julia. What's already an awkward situation is made even more so when they discover a giant flying saucer hovering above the city, which is now deserted. Now Julio must contend with a jealous ex-boyfriend, an eccentric neighbor - and very possibly the end of the world! -- (C) Focus

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Critic Reviews for Extraterrestrial

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10)

It's easy to settle in for the oddball charms of this tale of love among the ruins.

June 22, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

A bone-dry and nearly pitch-perfect combo of romantic comedy, absurdist farce and alien-invasion drama...

June 15, 2012 | Full Review…

A tiresome roundelay of lies, lust and leaping paranoia.

June 14, 2012 | Rating: 2/5

As comedies go, it's as dry as bleached bones in the desert, but you can't blame Vigalondo for taking another shot at cleverness.

June 14, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

There is originality, certainly. But Vigalondo teased us with the moon and the stars, and delivered only the terrestrial.

June 14, 2012 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Quirky, but infinitely more interesting than big-budget Hollywood cousins.

June 14, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Extraterrestrial

I think I should mention, before get this review out of the way, that I am a fan of Nacho Vigalondo's work. What a fucking great name, for starters. Secondly, I think he has a very unique and clever style, he's always trying to think of things outside the box and, of course, I'm someone who always champions that. His first movie, that I saw, Cronocrimenes (or Timecrimes for my gringo friends) is an incredibly underrated sci-fi gem. His short in VHS: Viral (a largely terrible anthology movie and, easily, the worst of that series) is great. Open Windows, however, honestly, is not a very good movie and I do not know what went wrong with that movie, but I just know that it was kind of not a very good movie. Apparently he also did a short in the original ABCs of Death, which I do not remember. I also have not seen Colossal, despite very much wanting to. Yet there was always this movie, that I knew was part of his filmography and it was one that I found it very difficult to find anywhere. That is, of course, until yesterday. I have Starz On Demand on Prime and, finding it difficult to come across anything that I really wanted to watch, I kept scrolling down and scrolling down until I finally came across this movie. So this is what I watched. With that said, I know the title of this movie is Extraterrestrial and that's gonna bring to mind a certain image about actual aliens. Well, I'm sorry to disappoint, but there are no aliens in this movie. Yes, there are UFOs that are hovering all around Spain, like 30 or so saucers, but no aliens ever beam down, they never attack earth, they're just hovering above Spain for no well explained reason. I feel like the title of the movie works more as a metaphor as opposed to anything that's actually literal. The reason I bring this up is the reason that, when push comes to shove, sometimes people act like someone else entirely. Someone that you don't know, someone that's alien to you. And that's what this movie explores. So, yes, the UFOs themselves serve as nothing more than a plot device to explore the romance between Julio and Julia, especially when Julia is in a relationship with Carlos, who seems to be a good man until, well, you'll see if you watch the movie. On top of that, you have to deal with Angel, Julia and Carlos' nosy and incredibly intrusive neighbor. The military, shortly after the arrival of the UFOs, evacuated the entire town, leaving only a few people behind. I think it's an interesting narrative, because Julio and Julia, instead of telling Carlos the truth about the fact that they may have fucked, they make up this story about the fact that the aliens have infiltrated us, ala Body Snatchers, and that Angel might be one of the aliens in disguise. This really sets off what the narrative ends up becoming because, once again, to keep Carlos from finding out the truth, they let him believe that aliens are now passing themselves off as human. And the tragically funny thing is that Carlos actually believes them. The thing is, however, how far Carlos actually takes things. He becomes something of anti-alien vigilante, going around blowing up buildings (with no people in them) and exposing 'infiltrated' aliens on live TV. And it might sound silly in theory, they definitely do use it for comedy, but I do think they manage to make it work within the context of the movie. The reason I buy it is because Julia and Julio's relationship feels natural. You can sense how Julia would find herself attracted to Julio, particularly after going through a rough patch with Carlos, and vice versa. The romance isn't forced or contrived and their ways of getting around the truth are definitely comical, but one that could have had far worse repercussions than they did. Carlos, once again, took Julia and Julio at their words completely. He never questioned Julia, who's the person he admires the most. So, really, I like the way they develop the characters and tell a really quite unconventional love triangle. That's why I feel comfortable enough calling this a good movie. I don't think it's anything more than that, given that, as much as I did enjoy it, it doesn't feel as weird as Vigalondo's other films and that is what he excels at. I think the relatively negative audience score on RottenTomatoes, 39% of people did give it a score of 3.5 stars or above (which isn't bad), has a lot to do with the title not really literally delivering on aliens. Which, again, I could maybe understand, but metaphorically, the title makes perfect sense. I don't know, like I said, I definitely would say I enjoyed the movie. The script was good, the characters were well-written and the actors were all very good, but I think the limited scope ended up detracting a bit from what could have been a really strange and out there movie. I'm not saying that the movie had to show us any aliens, because I was never bothered by that n the slightest, but I don't know. Would have been interesting to see the concept turned up to 11. I suppose that's neither here nor there, of course. The film is definitely funny, but it's not hilarious. There's this TV crew that delivers the news and the 'newscaster' himself is so willfully unprepared and every time someone interrupts him, while they're actually live, a big argument breaks out where he ends up threatening a person behind the camera to not tell him to read from the paper that's in front of him. It's a funny running gag. In short, I don't really know what else to say about this movie. I suppose one could make the argument that this, without the backdrop of the UFOs, might have been a bland love triangle and there might be something to that if it was anybody else than Vigalondo. He interjects these characters with enough personality, there's enough comedy and strong character development that, even without the UFOs as the backdrop, this still would have been a good movie. And, realistically speaking, the way the movie was executed precisely showcases my point. The UFOs and/or aliens, as far as physical beings that you see, are a non-factor. The aliens are used in the narrative as a way to keep Julio and Julia's affair under wraps, but that's about it. With that said, I liked this movie. Wouldn't exactly recommend it to just anybody though, I think this is more of an acquired taste and better enjoyed if you're familiar with Vigalondo's work. If you want a full-on alien invasion movie, then this is simply not for you.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

½

"Extraterrestrial" starts with Julio(Julian Villagran) waking up in an unfamiliar bed, staring at a bra that does not belong to him. That's because it belongs to Julia(Michelle Jenner), as does the bed and apartment where they disagree over what exactly happened the night before. What they can agree on is the present where they find they have no cell phone service, internet or television reception, probably due to the honking big flying saucer downtown whose arrival they missed due to oversleeping, along with the resultant evacuation. But they are not alone as Julia's neighbor Angel(Carlos Areces) has stuck around, too. And then Julio finds out the hard way that Julia has a boyfriend, Carlos(Raul Cimas). I think there is a good deal to admire about the offbeat movie "Extraterrestrial," assuming one is looking in the right direction and ignores the four mile wide spaceship in the room. Granted it is an approach that might drive many viewers to chocolate but then they would miss the movie's neat insights into the nature of relationships, including one character in a moment of clarity and brutal honesty saying one thing so perceptive that I wonder why nobody has expressed it before. At the same time, the movie can be just as subtle in how we got here. In any case, I am left wondering what those visitors to this planet make of us poor deluded earthlings.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

"How big is it?" "Four miles wide!" Everyone knows what to do if one morning the sky would be absolutely full of UFOs: run as fast as you can. However, what would happen if the invasion started while you are in the flat of the girl of your dreams, the one you have just met?

REVIEW
A low key, sci-fi romantic comedy from "Timecrimes" director Nacho Vigalondo, "Extraterrestrial" is about a girl (Julia) and a guy (Julio) who engage in a one night stand, only to wake up the next day and discover an ominous looking spacecraft hovering above the city. Stuck with each other and nowhere else to go, the UFO becomes the least of their worries when Julia's boyfriend comes into the picture to make things more awkward for all three of them. For anyone expecting this to be a Hollywood-type alien invasion film, you will be sorely disappointed because the film mostly focuses on the three main characters (and one nosey neighbor) and the weird, sexual politics they're all caught up in. The sci-fi part is mostly backdrop and looking at the overall picture, is mostly inconsequential to the main narrative drive of the film. The cast do a stand up job of riffing off with each other and Vigalondo's painfully dry humor (and the comedy gold that is mined from a hilariously awkward situation) is brimming with character and charisma that bounces off the four corners of the apartment from the which the story mostly takes place in. A minimalist, very cheeky sci-fi comedy, but also an astute observation on human behavior, "Extraterrestrial" is understated brilliance, its out of this world.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

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