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Formics have No Mouths but still must Scream

10/10
Author: XweAponX from United States
11 April 2014

Basically, you can't make some of these books into Movies. Lord of the Rings? At roughly 12 and a half hours running time for all three extended versions, there is STILL so much left out. And so much changed, but despite that so much of it is exactly as I imagined it when I first read it. Lord of the Rings, that is, I have never read "Ender's Game" and I'm glad I never have.

The same goes for Ender's Game. We know we are getting a simplified story, so I choose just to accept it as it is. Even Orson Scott Card says they stuck to the basic book - So if the Author thinks that, then I can deal with it as well.

So - Asa Butterfield, aka "Hugo" is in another film with his Hugo Co- Star Gandhi, aka Ben Kingsley. And Harry Ford is looking OK just shy of what, 70? And ready for another Star Wars adventure, I think.

What I liked about this film was the mixing of Child Actors and the older actors, who we've seen over and over, so there is a lot to anchor on here- We see these kids, in "Battle School" and we see their Teacher Colonel Graff, so I can handle the Unknown Kids factor much better.

Most astonishing is the appearance of Abigail Breslin as "Valentine" being the exact same little girl she was in "Signs" - She becomes the way the "Buggers"/"Formics" can get into Ender's Mind.

The other total standout here is Hailee Steinfeld, who I thought was a better Mattie Ross for True Grit than the original actress in the John Wayne version. Her Petra is perfect for this film, I don't think anyone else could have done it as well.

And this is the big MacGuffin of the film and of the book - Ender thinks he has stumbled into a Game loaded into his school "iPad" - But his "Game" is more related to what is really happening in his universe than what Graff and later "Mazer Rackham" (Kingsley) are telling him.

And he has to figure this out, but he is being tricked, as we are being tricked by the clever underlying story of the book.

In fact, during the first battle with the Formics, Mazer had learned something important, something which Ender is learning through his Game. In fact, Mazer is tricking Ender into playing His game, while Ender is being shown the Real Game in his device.

When it comes down to it, we can either blow up our enemies into molecule sized chunks and obliterate them forever, or we can find a way to talk to them, even if they do not have Mouths and cannot Scream.

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Who doesn't like surprises?

9/10
Author: pilonen from Sweden
3 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Great movie for almost all ages! Almost all Hollywood movies have really dumb scenes but this movie overlapped all does faults. The boy actor was really good. besides of that the design or what you call it was great. Effects and stuff like that was not overwhelming.

I like all the surprisings in this movie. By surprises i mean scenes and actions the characters did and said things you didn't really expect. The last surprise was really cool when Ender founds out that the last game wasn't a game. And the game strategy it self was cool too even though it surly would not work in reality.

I don't know really how to explain but I'll try. I like what actor the producers chose for the charters. Really good pairing! But when Admiral Chjamrajnagar started to talk the first time I thought he was going to read a bedtime story or something for the children :-) He's voice did not really fit in :) But its OK. I got used to it.

Of course like all movies there stile was many things that was really predictable and made the movie a bit less better then it could been. For example the scene where the Sergeant dap told Ender about the gas tub. This kind of scenes spoil the flow of the movie. But on the other hand I cant really imagine how to do that scene in a deferent way. And there is some question marks about why Ender wouldn't report about Bonzo bullying him? Where was a couple of other things such as these that I made a note on but duo the lack of good memory I have forgot what they were about. :-)

But Overall I really like this movie and I am usually kind of picky about what movies I like. Thank you!

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Better than all the other sci-fi rubbish of 2013

8/10
Author: punishable-by-death from Australia
2 April 2014

First off, I am not a fan of CGI. There is a very short list of movies that I thoroughly enjoyed that had a lot of CGI.

This film, however, is easily the most enjoyable movie I have ever seen with a lot of CGI. And I mean a lot.

I thought this movie was as visually great as Gravity, if not better, as the cinematography added a lot to the CGI, especially the 2001-like circular shots. The CGI also works because this is a fantasy world. It makes more sense in this situation, whereas in GRAVITY it was supposed to look real.

I still cannot get over how brilliant that combination of cinematography and CGI turned out. I have not seen it before or since, including GRAVITY. It was a visual feast.

Of course, there is more to this movie than the great CGI. The battle-games, while they seemed random and irrelevant, at first, were again brilliantly captured by moving shots as the kids floated around.

The acting and dialogue was solid, from Harrison Ford and Viola Davis to the young Asa. What was especially great was the confrontations between this triangle of characters, and the lack of repetition within these confrontations.

Each time they felt tense, because it was tense in the movie. Every time, an argument or confrontation had a point. Add this to the grit that Asa somehow put into his performance despite his baby-face like features. This came to the fore when he is confronted by fellow cadets who don't take a liking to him. It was a strong combination of solid acting, from all the cast.

Another big plus was the lack of a meaningless, distracting 'love-interest'. Perhaps that is because it is based on a novel, but it certainly does the movie a favour.

The ending was also meaningful, it was thought-provoking while not being a silly 'Sixth Sense' twist, and its emotional strength stands this movie above most others, especially regarding sci-fi.

This was a very solid film, better than all the other sci-fi rubbish that hit the screens in 2013, by a stupendous margin.

Fantastic!

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Eye candy, but something's missing

6/10
Author: Tantrum1701 from Netherlands
1 April 2014

Having never read the book, it's hard to compare the two. But still I got the feeling something was missing.

All through the first three quarters of the movie, I found myself wondering what happened from scene to scene. It all seemed so disconnected, so like the jagged edge of a saw and although the special effects were spectacular at times, it could not capture my full attention.

After reading some of the reviews, I understood why. There was indeed something missing. Only those parts of the book that could be converted to movie were used, the rest was skipped or deleted, and that was exactly what I experienced watching the movie.

That doesn't mean, however, that this was a bad movie. On the contrary, a great performance of Asa Butterfield and the last quarter of the movie made more than up for it. On the whole it was barely satisfactory, so 5.5 out of 10.

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Shocking

2/10
Author: supatube from South Africa
31 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think it is safe to say a film will never take off if the script is a pile of bull... but somehow this film got some air beneath its wings in order to be made, alas for all involved it should rather have not been.

It's just weak and from the beginning asks you to completely abandon all logic, and yes its a Sci- Fi but its not the over convoluted story that is hard to fathom but the basic human emotions that are somehow not basic nor believable.

The story is long, and boring.

I personally feel if they started with the ending it somehow could have turned into a compelling story, unfortunately we are left watching a simulation that is not a simulation. and the irony, you will ask yourself through the movie " When will we get to the real war?" and when you discover the truth it has an even more deflating effect that the entire story.

This film isn't even so bad to garner a viewing to see just how bad, it's a plain old waste of time.

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Excellent Sci Fi movie

8/10
Author: michaeljhuman from United States
29 March 2014

I did not read the book. A friend did and watched movie with me, and said he was impressed by how similar it was to the book, albeit missing a lot of details which is fully understandable given the time constraints.

I was interested the whole time. So the pacing is good. Dialog is pretty good. CGI graphics very well done. Acting better than normal in sci-fi movies, I can't fault it. Actor who played Ender was very good.

I recommend this to anyone especially sci-fi fans.

I could think of two complaints. One, the movie could explain some details better because I was left with questions I was told the book answered. Questions I thought were important

The other complaint is, some of the plot seemed similar enough to Star Ship Troopers which led to a feeling of been there done that. It's not a fault of the movie, but made me wonder which came first? Card or Heinlein with some of the movie's ideas. Having elite humans, so to speak, fighting a war reminded me of the Forever War, but only a bit.

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What's all the hate mail for?

9/10
Author: GeneMod 111 from Australia
28 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Personally, as someone who has read the book, I cannot understand why people are going nuts about how bad they thought the movie was. Ender's Game is a very, very hard book to make a film adaptation of, simply because the book really centers on Ender's thoughts. The movie contained some really nice CGI, and hey, the acting was not nearly as bad as some reviewer's claim. I will say, however, that there was not much character development, which is a bit of a let down, as it would have been a huge plus to an already decent movie. I will also say that the score is simply amazing, probably one of the best movie scores I have ever heard. The only other objection I have with this movie is what they chose to include from the book. There is so much source material in the novel that the movie could have been at least another half-hour long,and it would have been a huge plus. Other then that, a fairly solid action adaptation of a very popular novel. 9/10 stars.

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Fails to realise the book

4/10
Author: Darren Petts from United Kingdom
26 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First up, I'm a big scifi fan. I've read the book and wasn't a great fan of it. The basic premise was OK but I didn't like the writing style. The film is fairly true to the book but of necessity rushes some very basic parts - principally that Ender is driven to win in every contest he participates in. This is absolutely central to the plot and is skipped over in the film to it's detriment.

The characters appear to come from "my big book of film characters" and have been seen many times. This is not something that Harrison Ford normally does so comes as a surprise. By failing to capture Ender's determination and ability to win under great adversarial conditions during training the film leaves you wondering why they are trusting the defence of the planet to some pre-pubescent kid and falls down accordingly.

The effects are very average being primarily cgi and very obviously so. I honestly expected this film to fall flat and wasn't shocked to find my expectations fulfilled. It's not a horrendous effort but is firmly on my list of films not to watch twice.

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An excellent movie, as long as you haven't read the book

8/10
Author: Nathanael Kaur from London, England
24 March 2014

I started watching this movie with no expectations, I simply thought it was about a guy flung into space to be a hero in a sci-fi war hero.

Just as I have approached in naively in respect to what Ender's Game (the book)was about, it seems there are far too many reviews on hear from people who not only understood the book, but apparently DO NOT understand the film medium.

When converting from a book to a film you always have to amend the script, it simply isn't possible to include every last detail within the film. Certain concepts and scenes have to be simplified in order to present a final product (film) which is both coherent and enjoyable.

Despite not having read the book, the film was excellent, and very enjoyable, I'd recommend it to anyone

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Don't watch with pre-conceived notions of how it should be done

7/10
Author: Mike-DD from Singapore
21 March 2014

I've never read the books, only the Wikipedia article, so I watched this with little preconceived notions of how it should have been done. And I thought, as a movie, that it acquitted itself quite well amidst all the news and hype surrounding it.

I found the movie story told well enough - children recruited for war and the dilemmas it posed, a colonel with a win-at-all-costs attitude and his independent protégé who disagreed. I read some comments which reviled the movie's pace, but I think it was meant to be that way, keeping in mind that the creator of Ender's Game resisted a film adaptation until he had control of the script. I conclude that the movie must have at least compared well enough with his vision for it.

The visuals were well done, even if I had some problems with some of the exaggerated gestures used that distracted me from the battle screens. The battle scenes and views of the fleet were done epic-style, but I did wish there were more of it. I also wished the battle and fight scenes were longer - the rush didn't have much time grow before you're forced to the climax.

The standout actors have to be Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield. Ford is excellent in his portrayal of Colonel Graff - the no-nonsense commander who has seemingly no compassion, whose only goal is to win at any and all costs. Butterfield acquitted himself well in the role, but his emotions seem forced - you couldn't really see the battles in his mind unless they were spoken out loud. This may be a fault of the script - there isn't really a lot of time for character development considering the fast tempo of the film. What time was spent for development wasn't used effectively enough.

The other actors in the movie performed a good job. The majority of the main cast are child actors, and they did well in roles which did not allow them to be children.

If you don't come watching this hoping to see a 100% faithful adaptation of the book, you will be able to enjoy the movie for its story, its visuals and the acting.

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