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678 out of 939 people found the following review useful:

Worth Watching Just So You Can Say You Saw the Worst Child Actor in History

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
3 June 2013

After Earth (2013)

* (out of 4)

M. Night Shyamalan's big-budget vanity project for father and son team Will and Jaden Smith turns out to be much worse than the trailer. In the film, the father and son crash land on the planet Earth a thousand years after the people were forced to leave it. With daddy's legs broke, the young kid must go out into the scary landscape to retrieve an item that will allow them to make contact with their own world. AFTER EARTH is without question one of the worst sci-fi summer blockbusters ever made. Part of the blame can go towards the director but his handful of haters can't put everything on him. The incredibly bad screenplay also deserves a lot of the blame but so do the Smith boys. I seem to say this after each of his films but it's clear young Jaden has yet to take an acting class and just keeps getting passes because of his dad. I'm sorry but he's just not got a talented bone in his body and he certainly can't show any type of emotion, which is something the story here called for. The fact that he can't act to save his life really kills every emotion that the film goes for and it turns these scenes into something rather laughable. Mr. Will Smith doesn't come in any better. Although I liked his more quiet, laid back style, it just doesn't work considering the screenplay has him sitting around simply talking to the kid. Where Will deserves a lot of blame is getting his son these type of roles, which he can't do and which will eventually make him one of the most laughable actors in Hollywood history. The first couple films he did were just embarrassing but no one has given him the word that he can't act and apparently no one has seen fit to get him into classes so it's really just getting worse. Still, Shyamalan didn't improve the film any as there's really no drama, no suspense and no tension. It also doesn't help that the screenplay is full of cliché moments as well as being 100% predictable. I will say that some of the visuals were good but certainly not good enough to sit through this thing.

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677 out of 993 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely Boring and Pathertic

1/10
Author: stogyman-702-800389 from Atlanta GA
3 June 2013

I have been a Will Smith fan since Fresh Prince, but in the last several years his on-screen personae and talents have been severely lacking. It is with no small amount of regret that I must say this is the bottom of the barrel for Smith. The short version of it is this: Will has no personality in this movie whatsoever, his non-talented son Jaden is absolutely laughable as a lead figure, the plot drags along for seemingly unending hours with little or no excitement or humor or intrigue to keep our attention or interest, and the underlying themes and tone is nothing more that pure hype for the scientology church. I don't say this very often about most movies...but I seriously would like my $10 and 3 hours of wasted time and money back. This one is a serious stinker

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646 out of 995 people found the following review useful:

SAVE YOUR MONEY! Horrible!

1/10
Author: green111 from Wash DC
2 June 2013

First, I am a HUGE sci-fi fan and love most sci-fi movies but this was just wrong on so many levels. Bad acting.... No plot.... Story was all overthe place...you couldn't get a good understanding of what was going on in the movie. Graphics & visuals were so,so. I would wait for DVD/Blu Ray and even then I would avoid this movie. I feel like they made a movie just so Will Smith's son could star in it. Save your money. Trust me, you will thank me! I almost walked out of the theater at one point because it just wasn't worth sitting through anymore of its. ..... ..... ..... Nothing else to say. Just save your money! Why Will Smith? You had a pretty good rep on movies now you're starting the Tom Cruise slide into just making a movie cause you think you should.

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472 out of 710 people found the following review useful:

Makes Battleship Earth look like a classic....

Author: Julian0922 from United States
3 June 2013

I do not know what I want to say, but I want to say something so people won't waste money on this piece of whatever one wants to call it.

I am a big SciFi fan, yet something like that I never experienced. Was it the effects that ruined it, was it the lame story, the extra-lame acting of the second Smith in the movie, the directing of someone who got after Signs too much credit and couldn't deliver since (with the exception of the low budget Devil). I really cant say. Its just very disappointing and I wished I would not have seen it, not spend the time nor the money. But I wanted to know it for myself if the critics are right, since they are so many times wrong (in my opinion).

Well, they are right, and yet they even gave the movie way too much credit. Probably because of Will Smith.

The year is not over, but I do not think that After earth will be topped in the category for "the worst movie of 2013"!

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368 out of 524 people found the following review useful:

Kitai Litter

3/10
Author: jadepietro from United States
4 June 2013

This film is not recommended. Father doesn't always know best, the latest result being After Earth, a vanity project that Will Smith has concocted for his son, Jaden. This wobbly sci-fi tale of survival will certainly test both Mr. and Mr. Smith's star power. Director M. Night Shyamalan, the man who continually keeps falling from grace, one film after the next, is still tumbling further from his talented beginnings, although here the director crashes and burns. This is not to say that After Earth is hopelessly clichd, it's just hopeless. Shymalan's well- made film has some striking imagery, mostly of panoramic vistas, but his ill-conceived screenplay (co-written with Gary Whitta) keeps this exercise in filmmaking rather earthbound. Adding to that, his main star and one of the film's producers, Papa Smith, pushes nepotism to its limits with this unoriginal dreck. (He is also given story credit for this silliness.) It's not just that this film has no Will power, it just has too much of it, both on screen and off. Will Smith plays the fearless Cypher Raige, a no-nonsense military commando sent on a mission with his newt of a son, Kitai, played by Jaden Smith. Cypher is disappointed with his son's lack of achievement as a cadet and their relationship is a bit strained, just like the acting. The Smiths obviously look the part and act the part with the same stilted delivery. Like father, like son. Unfortunately (for us), they crash land on the apocalyptic Planet Earth. Cypher is injured with two broken legs, but pain is not an option. However a better script would have helped matters. Kitai must now go into rescue mode, wearing his amazing technicolor space suit, fighting beasts and creatures along the way to becoming a man. On his journey of self-awareness, Kitai contends with imminent peril: giant baboons, poisonous leeches, carnivorous tigers, and such. He needs to deal with the fluctuating below-freezing temperatures and an active volcano too. Life is hard. Kitai even battles a monster called the Ursa, a predator that hunts by sensing fear. (If the creature could instead sense the smorgasbord of bad acting on its plate, the Ursa would never go hungry again.) The elder Smith underacts and speaks in annoying solemn platitudes while the younger Smith overacts in a squeaky nasal voice that only a teenager can tolerate. The art direction is mind-numbing. The futuristic sets are bargain basement knockoffs of Disney World's Tomorrowland, circa 1960...very unimaginative with an overabundance of Rubbermaid-influenced interiors and enough flowing linen sheets to make one think that Bed, Bath, and Beyond had given the filmmakers a cut-rate deal for some product endorsements. All of the special effects are barely adequate and not the least bit compelling. After Earth has a strange lethargic listlessness throughout its short length. The film never builds any real tension or suspense. It's just so dull and unrelenting in its stupidity. After Earth is the type of film that gives the sci-fi genre a bad name. Shyamalan and the Smiths might want to use other aliases after creating this debacle. Let's hope they refine their own survival skills when making another film. After Earth is strictly Ursa Minor. So dear moviegoers, heed the film's tag-line: "Danger is real, Fear is a choice". You have been sufficiently warned about the real dangers in viewing After Earth...Fear not, it's still in your control. GRADE: C-

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312 out of 436 people found the following review useful:

Believe the critics!

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
6 June 2013

This film is about a space craft that crash-landed on a dangerous planet called Earth, and the only two survivors have to struggle to stay alive.

The first few minutes of "After Earth" already look not so promising, and it only goes downhill from there. Acting is consistently bad by Jaden Smith, he is so annoying as a teenager who constantly freaks out. Will Smith is supposed to be a fearless commander, but his supposed bravery makes him so wooden as if he was a wax statue.

The plot is simply ridiculous. There are so many plot holes that are so obvious, that they simply should not happen. For example, if Will Smith is such a great commander, how could he not command people to wear seat belts when they were about to hit a meteor shower. And the masks are not even connected to anything!? The whole story, from the macro level to the micro level is very poorly written and makes no sense. The supposed emotional climax is so weak, that I wonder if that scene is really supposed to make me feel proud of what is shown on the screen.

"After Earth" is a terrible mess. This time, believe the critics.

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433 out of 698 people found the following review useful:

Worse film of the decade

1/10
Author: rob baylis from United Kingdom
5 June 2013

I watched this film with my girlfriend expecting to see another great film by Will Smith. After you have seen him in films like I am Legend, I robot and other great films. I thought this would be yet another. I was poorly mistaken, the acting was terrible. from both Will Smith and his son. I cant help but feel his son only gets parts in films due to his fathers fame. Maybe if the boy were to sell popcorn and soda to people, his contributions to the film industry would be more welcoming. As his acting is far below par. The film was so shockingly boring that my girlfriend and I left the cinema 20min before the film ended. As a few other people had done before us. Avoid this film like the plague. If I could have given it no stars I would have. Bad story line, bad acting, bad film.

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334 out of 513 people found the following review useful:

After Earth

2/10
Author: Eddie Kureczka from United States
4 June 2013

After Earth should be retitled After Birth, because that is exactly how sloppy and dirty this pathetic excuse for a film is. Gross analogy, I know, but trust me, a delivery room after a woman has given birth is a better produced show then this. I honestly don't even know where to start. The film decided to market itself as a Will Smith film, which was the only way to get people to go because of how silly its plot is. Even the Will Smith fans were let down because all he does is sit in a chair the whole time and speak to his son in an over-serious and unintentionally hilarious monotonous voice. He easily gives his worst performance to date, but it is not quite the worst acting in the film. Jaden Smith gives a Razzie worthy performance as an underdeveloped character with a useless upsetting past and an ear-cringing accent. He whines and makes the most stupid mistakes a film character has ever made in the history, provided by the horrendous Shamylan-Esq screenplay where you can't tell if its supposed to be funny or not. "He let me borrow the book Moby Dick, he even let me hold it.""Hold what?" "The book...dad" Word for word. This comes off as a terrible joke some sixth grader tries to make, and there are many nonsense lines like this crammed into the ridiculous plot with gaping and obvious plot holes. Why is he making a fire when he's right above a geothermic vent? Why in the heck did the bird who just tried to eat him save his life? Why is that oxygen mask working when its not even attached to anything? Why did Jaden need to get higher on the volcano to send out the transmission when he was just getting closer to the "radioactive cloud"(dafuq)? A ton of these mistakes are so obviously scattered throughout the terrible script. It really just makes it funny. If you enjoy being entertained by stupid movies, I definitely recommend you check this out because it is so bad its funny.

GRADE: D- (The only reason I'm not giving this piece of crap an F is because it's still not as bad as Last Airbender, so you need to give Shamylan some credit)

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202 out of 293 people found the following review useful:

What happened here?

Author: keiichi73 from United States
31 May 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Generally, Sci-Fi is supposed to fill us with awe with its visions of other worlds and of the future. All After Earth managed to fill me with is an overall sense of boredom. This is a lifeless adventure story about a gruff military father and his son bonding when they are both stranded on an abandoned planet Earth. The father and son dynamic, which is supposed to be the main dramatic force which drives the story, fails because we don't believe in the relationship, and the actors have zero chemistry. This is odd, considering said actors are the real life father and son, Will and Jaden Smith.

After Earth is the latest movie from director M. Night Shyamalan. Not that the studio would like you to know this. You might remember how just a few years ago, the studios heavily hyped each release from the director, plastering his name all over the poster and ad campaign. However, after a series of expensive flops, Shyamalan's name is no longer a selling point. And so, they literally have hidden his involvement with this stillborn movie that contains some of the shoddiest CG effects I've seen in a big budget summer movie. Just look at the CG baboons, lions and eagles that threaten our heroes during the course of the film. Compare it to the work done with the CG animals in Life of Pi, and the end result is almost comical.

The plot - We learn through endless, droning exposition that humans have been forced to flee Earth for another home planet. Considering the recent Tom Cruise Sci-Fi film, Oblivion, opened in a similar manner, it only made me wish I was watching that film instead. The humans have generally been living peacefully on their new world, except for some pesky encounters with some big, ugly aliens called Ursa who are blind, and can detect people only by smelling their fear. They're yet another hostile alien race who have mastered the art of the jump scare, but not intelligent conversation, since all they can do is roar, growl, and generally look and act like generic CG.

One of the main war heroes in the battle against the Ursa is General Cypher Kaige (Will Smith). Cypher is a tough, battle-hardened military man who seems to have a hard time differentiating his work life from his home life. His son is Kitai (Jaden Smith), a young boy who desperately wants his father's approval, and is trying for a position in the military, but fears he will never live up to dad's lofty expectations for him. Kitai is also haunted by the memory of seeing his older sister, Senshi (Zoe Kravitz), being killed by an Ursa right before his eyes. Cypher's wife suggests a father-son space voyage, so that they can bond. This doesn't go very well, as the ship is severely damaged in an asteroid belt, killing everyone on board except Cypher and Kitai, and sending the ship crashing on the abandoned planet Earth.

So, now they're trapped on Earth, and must rely on each other for survival. Cypher has broken both of his legs in the crash, so it is up to Kitai to get them home. The journey Kitai undertakes is supposed to make him into a man, while allowing his father to win respect for him. This could be effective, if it weren't portrayed in such a crashingly obvious way. Each adventure he undertakes is small in scope - He runs away from a pack of baboons, he fights off some lions, he is briefly poisoned by a parasitic creature...All of these encounters seem like annoyances, rather than grand adventures. There is no sense of scope here, no sense of awe or wonder.

But the real question here is, how could the performances by both Will and Jaden Smith be so wooden, unemotional, and unconvincing? I'm not exactly sure, but my best guess is that they took their character descriptions completely to heart. In the case of Will Smith, I imagine his character bio read something like this - "Cypher is an emotionally distant, gruff military man who has a hard time showing emotion, or being open with his son". And so, Will Smith interprets his character as if he is completely devoid of any emotion whatsoever. He reads all of his lines in a passive, monotone voice. It got to the point where I found myself wondering if I wasn't watching the wax statue figure of Will Smith from Madame Tussaud's museum instead.

The performance by young Jaden Smith is not much better. He often comes across as shrill and grating, his voice pitched at this high and whiny tone. It just made me want to peel him right off the screen and replace him with another actor every time he opened his mouth. Who is to blame for these awful turns by these actors who have been likable in the past? Was the director's heart just not in this project? That sounds reasonable. Say what you will about Shyamalan's recent body of work, but I've often found something to admire in the look of a lot of his films. Here, we get no interesting visuals. Even the fleeting glimpses we get of humanity's new planet home are disappointing, and look like they were shot on a studio soundstage.

After Earth is the kind of movie experience you want to forget as soon as possible. In a year that has already brought us Sci-Fi films like Oblivion and the flawed-but-enjoyable Star Trek Into Darkness, this movie feels all the more insignificant and lame.

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168 out of 259 people found the following review useful:

A low point in both M Night Shyamalan and Will Smith's careers, with one of the worst child performances I've seen for any film

1/10
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
7 June 2013

It is not as if I immediately hate on M Night Shyamalan. The Sixth Sense was a masterpiece and Unbreakable was great. Of the movies that get a lot of hate The Village was the least bad, not great but pretty decent(while Shyamalan didn't direct but produced and wrote Devil, that also applies here). Signs was pretty good until it went off the boil in the second half, which really brought things down to a significant degree. The others were as bad as I'd heard. Lady in the Water was well-made generally and I liked Bryce Dallas Howard in it as well as the score but the rest was a muddled mess. The Happening and The Last Airbender suffered mainly from having such potential but falling hard big time, Happening did have some unintentional comic value(mainly because Mark Walhberg's acting was so laughably bad) and Airbender had great visuals and score.

After Earth didn't have as much potential as those two but didn't have any of the things that raised the other two up a slight notch. That of which in my mind makes After Earth worse. It is not the worst film I've seen or one of the worst and but it is the worst film that I've seen so far this year. I wouldn't say that James Newton Howard's score is bad actually here. It does have some beautiful sounds, it's just sparingly used and while well-composed and fitting it is also one of those scores that I came out of the cinema not remembering most of. The visuals didn't do anything for me either, the sets were surprisingly drab and unimaginative and the special effects were very repetitively used. The photography and editing had moments where they were decent but others where they were amateurish, too many times steering towards the latter, the jump cut shots were just annoying and took away from any shocks, tension or suspense. With Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, up until after The Village Shyamalan showed potential but after that point saw him getting lazy. And that was the case with After Earth, I saw little if any heart or character in the directing.

Same with the story and scripting too. The dialogue was so awkward-sounding and clichéd, often I found myself not being able to take what I was hearing seriously. Instead of making me get engrossed in the characters, their situation and feelings, I found that the dialogue and delivery was just distracting. Shyamalan showed with Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and the first half of Signs that he did have potential to tell a good story. Since though, his storytelling has consisted of some good ideas that are executed badly, all too clear here. The already admittedly by-the-numbers story here was incredibly plodding and confused, very little made sense and there was nothing gripping. I found it very difficult to get emotionally invested in the characters either or the father-son relationship(a bad thing considering that this is the driving force really of the film). The acting was very poor, even from pretty and quite talented Sophie Okonedo, who was under-utilised. Will Smith is a likable actor and guy, but has never been this one-note or disengaged before, maybe his character was meant to be like that but it didn't mean that Smith had to take it to extremes.

Jaden Smith, Will Smith's own son, was even worse, and along with the story his performance was probably the worst thing about the film. He had nowhere near enough experience for this type of film and probably in general(though he was not too bad in The Karate Kid), and clearly looked uncomfortable. Along with a very uncharismatic presence and painful dialogue delivery his performance was stilted and (in the voice) very shrill, it is one of the worst child performances on film I've seen personally- that's saying a fair bit too- and I sensed no chemistry at all between him and his dad which for obvious reasons is quite ironic. All in all, a really terrible film and the only film of Shyamalan's that, apart from perhaps the nicely composed if spare and at the end of the day forgettable score, was close to having no redeeming values.

Critics have increasingly gotten an undeservedly bad rap, true there have been a fair number of times where I have disagreed with them but After Earth is one of those times where they got it exactly right. And before anybody who likes it flames me, I did watch After Earth with an open mind and no prejudices, though admittedly with knowledge of its reputation. If you liked it, good for you, I and a lot of other people didn't and for perfectly valid reasons and should be allowed to think what we want. If you can't see that, that's your problem, not ours, and this is in general on IMDb. Sorry for the irrelevant rant there but I have seen a lot of critic-bashing going on lately and lots of accusations like "being pretentious", "pretending to like it", "having the inability to make up our own mind" and "not having a sense of humour" and I'm getting sick and tired of it. And please stop using the racism argument, it is very shallow and it is not fair for people who did genuinely see it, rated it fairly as we thought and for whom racism and bigotry is a pet peeve of theirs.

1/10 Bethany Cox

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