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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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



2,612 ( 343)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Myron
William Kwan


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


12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

12 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

D.T.E.S.S.  »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,000,000, 12 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | | (IMAX version)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


While traveling in a car with Klaatu, Jacob Benson remarks that his father would have fought the alien visitors. Benson is played by Jaden Smith, whose father notably battled extra-terrestrial invaders in Independence Day (and policed them in the Men in Black franchise). See more »


'Sidewinder' missiles are fired at GORT while in robot form and in insect form. AIM-9 Sidewinders are heat seeking, air-to-air missiles, targeting objects on the thermal scale of jet engines. There is no suggestion that GORT is emitting a heat signature on that scale in either of his forms, and they would not have been used when GORT is in his robot form, as he is on the ground. See more »


John Driscoll: So is it a machine or a living thing?
Flash Chamber Colonel: Both. Or neither.
John Driscoll: What do you mean 'neither'?
Flash Chamber Colonel: It seems to be some sort of silicone-based hybrid. We're calling it GORT: Genetically-Organized Robotic Technology.
John Driscoll: The military and their acronyms...
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The Goldberg Variations: Aria Da Capo and Variation No. 1
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Ryan Franks
Courtesy of Crucial Music
[Played at Professor Barnhardt's home]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sponsored by McDonald's, Citizen, Honda and LG
13 December 2008 | by See all my reviews

A schizophrenic film. Scott Derrickson has done his best to make a run of the mill CGI-enhanced sci-fi thriller but has found himself thwarted by the remarkable screen presence of Keanu Reeves and the ghost of Bernard Herrmann.

Reeves was the draw for me; where some find him laughable, I find him sober and engaging. His alien-in-a-human is at once non-porous of emotion but registers the emotional to-ing and fro-ing that decide his actions. He's a classy screen idol, well-cast. The rest of the cast (the very capable Jennifer Connelly included) are at the mercy of a truly ridiculous story both in concept and in local narrative. The gravity of the situation in which humankind as represented by Americans finds itself is only captured in the single-gear performance of Reeves and the unobtrusive but peculiar 'Herrmann' score, resurrected for the film by Tyler Bates.

There's a lot of silliness - a lot of cartoonish world's end drama which, strangely, doesn't do what it purports to which is update the 1951 original. It still feels dated. We are also presented with John Cleese as a Nobel Prize winner. Well that's also ridiculous on the face of it - but I tell you something, if the end where nigh and you wanted someone leftfield to plead your seemingly intractable case, you'd do a lot worse than Cleese. As a final oddity the product placement in the film seems at odds with the frowning upon consumerism that's at it's heart. Or maybe they're companies leading the charge to save the world. It's all a bit confusing. 4/10

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