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Ender's Game (2013)

 -  Action | Sci-Fi  -  1 November 2013 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 141,682 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 505 user | 307 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.

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(screenplay), (based on the book Ender's Game by)
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Cast

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Stilson (as Caleb Thaggard)
Cameron Gaskins ...
Slattery (Leopard Army)
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Storyline

The Earth was ravaged by the Formics, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a quiet but brilliant boy, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother and brought to battle school in orbit around earth. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise what he does as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family. Written by CrystalSinger45, Jesse Daniels, strouda56

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The enemy's gate is down See more »

Genres:

Action | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El juego de Ender  »

Box Office

Budget:

$110,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,017,351 (USA) (1 November 2013)

Gross:

$61,656,849 (USA) (3 January 2014)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Gavin Hood was drafted into South Africa's army at age 17. See more »

Goofs

Colonel Graff remarks that Napoléon Bonaparte "conquered the known world," which is absolutely untrue. First, in the time of the Emperor Napoleon I, the basic coastal geography of all continents except Antarctica was already known, so "known world" is a tautology in this case. Second, although Napoleon conquered a large area in Europe and briefly controlled some colonies in the Americas, his realm at its furthest expansion was only a small part of the whole world. Its strength lay in its population centers and trade routes, not its square mileage. It never matched the size of either the British Empire or the Russian Empire, both of whom were his frequent enemies. Napoleon's obsessive attempts to cripple those two empires backfired on him and led to his downfall. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ender Wiggin: Fifty years ago an alien force known as the Formics attacked Earth. Tens of millions died. It was only through the sacrifice of our greatest commander that we avoided total annihilation. We've been preparing for them to come back ever since. The International Fleet decided that the world's smartest children are the planet's best hope. Raised on war games, their decisions are intuitive, decisive, fearless. I am one of those recruits.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film included an "undomesticated quadruped wrangler". See more »

Connections

Features Knowing (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Peace Sword in B Minor (Open Your Heart)
Written by Wayne Coyne, Michael Ivins, Steven Drozd, Kliph Scurlock and Derek Brown
Performed by The Flaming Lips
Produced by The Flaming Lips, Scott Booker and Dave Fridmann
The Flaming Lips appear courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ender's Game review
4 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It seems as though all the great sci-fi takes forever to become films. It took over seventy years to give John Carter his big-screen debut. I had a copy of L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth that claimed that it would become a motion picture soon, but that never happened until almost twenty years later (and many would probably argue that it should not have been made). Ender's Game is another one of the best sci-fi novels I've read, and a film for it has been in development for something like ten years. So, in 2013, I couldn't have been more excited.

Ender's Game is kinda like The Hunger Games set in outer space, only more aggressive, more fantastic, and more original. EG has its fair share of special-effects-laden spectacle, with massive swarms of spaceships and incredible planetscapes filling up the screen. Fortunately, it's not all just action for the sake of action, it is all a direct consequence of the story. When the space battles aren't breaking out, the film still moves very fast with loads of character-driven conflicts.

The film still maintains most of its focus on telling the story, and it does hit up all the necessary plot points that were in the original novel. Some major subplots get cut out, the training/battle scenes are truncated, and various other liberties are taken, but for a two-hour movie, the filmmakers did their best to cover the entire plot, right up to its bizarre ending. A lot of scenes are exactly as I pictured them from reading the book (even the fantasy CGI mindgame scenes, which I always fancied should be animated Pixar style, and it turns out they were!), and the dark aggression of the book is mostly translated well into the film. Best of all, the book's biggest twists still bear some decent weight in the movie's narrative.

Unfortunately, some things are lost in translation. Just as it is with The Hunger Games, the specific nuances of the characters, their relationships, their emotions, and their overall pathos is better conveyed in the narrative of the book than it is on film. Ender's relationships with his friends (and even his enemies) are left at the surface level, and never really reaches the same depths as the novel. Some things remain unexplained or glossed over. Deeper themes are never fully explored. Although one can't expect every single thing in the book to make it into the film, EG falls just a little short in immersing the audience in the characters. It may be easy to root for Ender when he stands up to his bullies and commands a whole fleet, but the film won't leave that much of a lasting impression.

As a film, it looks pretty slick and stylish, with solid photography and editing. Acting can be rather mixed: I think all of the child actors did their jobs really well. Harrison Ford gets the most grief for his role, for he pretty much phones it in, but I still didn't think he was as terrible as other reviewers make him out to be. Ben Kingsley plays it kinda creepily in his role, and Viola Davis is pretty much herself. Writing in this film is okay, but has a rather bad penchant for exposition. This production has some good-looking sets, props, costumes, and special effects. The music score is not bad either.

As usual, the book is better than the movie, but I think the movie still does a good job as an adaptation. I expect that average audiences unfamiliar with the book will think this movie is okay, but might miss out on certain nuances. Book fans might gripe that the film doesn't do justice to certain things. In any case, I think the movie is worth a rent to all dedicated sci-fi fans.

4/5 (Entertainment: Very Good | Story: Good | Film: Pretty Good)


33 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Foolish And Unrealistic Premis he88
Why Ender's Game fails as an adaptation starfish69
Please read: I want your opinion on the story of Ender's Game. WingsOfWax
Am I the only person who enjoyed the movie? ekhobella
For me, Ender was a fool in the end. cirobolzani
Didn't read the book, the ending sucked americandesik5
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