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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  12 December 2008 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 128,931 users   Metascore: 40/100
Reviews: 686 user | 274 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

A remake of the 1951 classic sci-fi film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.

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Cast

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Storyline

Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

12 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

D.T.E.S.S.  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,752,132 (UK) (12 December 2008)

Gross:

$79,363,785 (USA) (27 March 2009)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | (IMAX version)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The orb was supposed to be filled with white limbo light, but Scott Derrickson felt the concept would then be unoriginal and changed the colour to greenish, a more appropriate colour for an environmentally conservative race. See more »

Goofs

The sphere in Central Park is bright and glowing, yet it doesn't seem to be reflected in the windshields of the vehicles on the site of the landing. See more »

Quotes

Guardswoman: [Catching Helen with a cellphone after they had been forbidden] Is that a cell phone?
Helen Benson: [nods]
Guardswoman: [Chokingly] Can I borrow it?
See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Radio
Written and Performed by Larry Bagby
Courtesy of California Country Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A really good try, but what starts out as something potentially great ends up only a little above average
3 January 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Yes, this is yet another remake from the "Hollywood Machine," and as with all others that came before it, the announcement of this one was met with anger from film buffs all over. The original, nearly 60 years old, is considered a classic of Scientific Fiction. I myself have yet to see it, so I can't compare the two, but I didn't mind that this was a remake and went into it with an open mind. The film showed great promise. An all-star cast, a talented director who seems to get better with each film, striking visuals, and a good premise. Now this of course isn't the first of the 1950s Sci-Fi flicks to get remake.

In 2005 we saw a new 'War of the Worlds' and in 2007 a third update of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' in the simply titled 'The Invasion.' Both have their supporters, but neither really did that well at the box office and reviews were mixed, especially for the latter. But I guess they both did well enough that other studios felt updating other genre classics was a smart move. Come 2008 we have this latest addition and so far it too hasn't sparked too much excitement and after seeing it for myself, I can see why. The film that showed so much promise, is far from failure, but will not be thought of as a classic as the original is and always will be.

Pros: A stellar cast, great performances from all. Director Scott Derrickson showed promise in 'Hellraiser: Inferno' and has proved to be a strong force in the director's chair. He keeps things moving, handles the action well, and creates stunning visuals. Tyler Bates composes a strong score. For the most part the CGI is very good. Moves at a fast pace. Some decent action scenes. A few good shocks.

Cons: Sometimes the CGI is too obvious and hurts the impact of some scenes. Jaden Smith is a good actor, but his character is so poorly written. He's so rude and bratty. This starts out like it will be a film with more depth and substance than most, but is executed in such a simple and straight-forward way. Things wrap up too quickly.

Final thoughts: It's such a shame when a film has such a great cast, looks so good, has some good ideas, and isn't dull, but has such a bland script. So much more could have been done with this but instead of escaping the clichés and going outside of the box, the makers of the film played it safe and gave us something that looks good on the outside, but lacks substance. If you go in with low expectations and view this as little more than a popcorn movie with an A-List cast and direction you might enjoy it.

My rating: 3.5/5


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