The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) Poster

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Will Smith's Kid ruined it for me.
griffnut-929867 January 2018
If Klatu and his robot had come to Earth to kill Jaden Smith, i would have given this Movie 10 stars. I'll be Frank. this kid ruined the movie for me. The 1951 version is still my favorite. 2008 version has some good effects, But changing the storyline is stupid. Casting is atrocious. And I'll say it again Jaden Smith killed the Movie for me.
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Poor casting
prooilxchange28 December 2019
Jaden Smith is the worst part of this entire film! He alone makes it almost unwatchable!
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Very disappointing
toby00712 December 2008
Why do these movies feel they need to include a bratty, spoiled, overbearing kid?? The ridiculous performance of Jaden Smith added annoyance to the empty script.

The movie starts off well enough, and then tries miserably to develop the characters and make us care for them. The Bates role is absurd; Cleese's role has virtually nothing to say this amazing encounter. The military point of view is typical; as if there's only one area where the military is useful (I would expect nothing less from "Hollywood").

There were some very interesting ideas (the sphere-like ship, the nanobots, the Gort acronym) and the effects were top notch, however Gort (the one thing the movie had going for it) was on screen for less then 10 minutes.

Keanu was perfectly cast and Connelly does a good job with what's given to her. All in all, another flop of a remake. This actually makes the War of the Worlds remake shine.

I saw this movie in IMAX - if you're going to see it, find an IMAX theater. Lastly, am I the only sick of seeing the same old New York back drop? I love New York City, but come on! Be original!
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The Kid's Not Alright
ccthemovieman-124 April 2009
Can one little kid ruin a movie?


Think I'm exaggerating? Watch this film. You can see Exhibit A of it right here in this science-fiction "classic" film, a re-make of the 1950s hit movie of the same title. This re-make actually would have only "bad" without inserting this annoying kid, but he made it "horrendous." Jaden Smith as "Jacob Benson" is a spoiled, chip-on-his-shoulder, disrespectful kid who incessantly talks back to his mother, who puts up with it - which is equally annoying for most audiences.

What was the purpose of inserting this kid in the film? What were the writers thinking? I'm glad to see a number of reviewers here agree with me on this one. I guess if you're the son of a famous actor (Will Smith), they'll insert you in film roles, even if there is no purpose to it. And Hollywood wonders why people don't go to the movies much any more, and they sneer at pitiful re-makes?

Meanwhile, Keanu Reeves was a good choice for his starring role: an emotionless robot-like alien. Reeves is such a wooden-sounding actor to begin with that playing a bland robot is good casting for him. "Klaatu" is tailor-made for him.

Comedy was provided via the ludicrous environmental fear-mongering message in here. I laughed out loud in several spots when "Klaatu" explained to us the reason for his mission. It's so stupid, it's laughable. I was reminded of Ed Wood's horrible sci-fi stories in the 1950s.

I will say some of the special-effects and the surround sound in here is excellent. It was the highlight of the movie. These are good visuals and good audio, and a nice film to view on Blu-Ray. Unfortunately, the story got in the way.
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Why was that kid in there?
hotjocktravels14 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
That kid ruined a movie that might have been okay. There was no reason to constantly hear his wining and back-stabbing. It really ruined a movie that was just hanging onto me by a thread. I really wanted that kid to just die at the end of the movie. Everything about him was awful.

The rest of the movie was okay. It should have been much cooler. The 50's version had cutting edge and suspense. This had none of that, plus bad CGI work. How many times have we seen NYC destroyed? We don't need to see that anymore. The "Ship" was very lame. A saucer would have been much better, but anything would have been better that what they picked. The Military people and all were awful.

Overall it was mildly entertaining and really felt more like one of those bad Sci-Fi channel movies, bad graphics and all. Get the DVD and just fast forward it every time you see that kid and the movie will be much better.
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The Day the Audience Shrugged Their Shoulders
WriterDave14 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is a stunningly inept remake of the 1950's classic of the same name. It's one of those big-budget films so unfathomably dull and inane, you wonder how it ever got made. Whereas the original warned of the dangers of nuclear armament, this modern update boldly chides us for being mean to each other and not taking care of the environment. Gee, Hollywood, thanks for the swell insight! This Christmas season Hollywood teaches us that people can sometimes suck, but only that special kind of film can suck totally.

Although the entire production is horrible from top to bottom, the inert direction of Scott Derrickson and the randomly asinine script from David Scarpa bear most of the blame. The screenplay clearly went through arbitrary rewrites, perhaps after being focus-grouped to death, and shows not a single breath of imagination. Around every turn, it wastes opportunities and insults the intelligence of the audience and gives us not one authentic character or moment to connect to. Even when it thinks it's being cool (like the lame reveal that those alien spheres are actually "arks" trying to save animal life before the world is annihilated) the script fails miserably. One sphere that is shown on the back of a pick-up truck being attacked by flame-throwers in some foreign desert town inexplicably contains squid, because, well, the shadows of squid inside a giant sphere look kinda neat, that's why! At least the script teaches us one thing. Apparently all you need to do in order to survive an apocalyptic robotic alien insect attack that devours everything in sight is to hide under a bridge in Central Park!

The saddest part of the film is how the director wastes his talented cast. The always wooden Keanu Reeves was perfectly chosen to play the alien Klaatu, but even he seems to be disbelieving the words that are coming out of his mouth. Poor Jennifer Connelly, an immensely emotive and alluring actress, appears to be in physical pain or constipated for most the film, obviously stunned she agreed to star in this junk. Kathy Bates and John Cleese apparently showed up only for their paychecks and sleepwalk through their lines, and at one pivotal moment where Bates' Secretary of State attempts to show regret for some bad decisions made, she actually appears to fall asleep in her chair. And then there's poor little Jaden Smith, who appears bored to tears throughout the film and is given no direction from Derrickson except when he is asked to cry on cue in the supposed emotional climax of the picture that left me feeling sorry for all involved.

However, if anyone should be hung for this travesty, it's the producers, who must've run out of money at some point and filled the gap in funds with some nauseating product placement. How else do we explain Klaatu's trip to McDonald's for an important meeting with another of his kind?

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" is easily the worst film of the year. At least "The Happening" had its accidentally humorous moments. This clunker offers no such relief. Even the special effects are done in a lazy and unimaginative manner. It's so awful, I was stunned into stillness while the rest of the audience seemed to shrug their shoulders.
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Mildly entertains, but never reaches its potential.
Otoboke10 December 2008
The epic science fiction blockbuster is slowly but surely becoming a dying form of cinematic entertainment. Not since the days of cold war paranoia and the initial splurge of CGI technology back in the nineties has the genre seen much love either from its core enthusiasts or those looking for something big but different. Yet there are numerous obvious reasons for its decline in demand, most of which are unavoidably apparent in this, the latest and arguably first of its kind for over a year now, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Based upon a movie from the genre's heyday, director Scott Derrickson's version lacks the same sense of awe, conviction and relevancy to our current social climate. Bombarded with underdeveloped themes, an incoherent plot and extremely rough characterisation, the movie suffers not just from a lack of significance in its arrival, but also in its implementation. Most disappointing of all however is that in spite of the many technical flaws present, the biggest let down is that the movie simply doesn't convince; the effects are impressive and the story can be gripping through its thick layer of foreboding atmosphere from time to time, but an overall lack of substance hurts the film's ability to truly draw you in and take off. It's a routinely enjoyable experience sure enough, but an over reliance on this safe-play structure stops the feature from excelling beyond mere light entertainment.

Telling a first contact story that involves rather heavy handed themes of a doomsday like prophecy, like most good science fiction movies big to small, The Day the Earth Stood Still retains a sense of wonder and mystique to its tale, particularly early on. During these initial moments of exposition which come to an eventual climax of contact with an alien presence visiting Earth for unknown reasons, the movie achieves its only real piece of coherent and engaging drama; the way in which it unfolds is magnificent and capitalises on the movie's big effects budget in ways that feel impressive and yet substantially eerie at the same time- there are moments when this big shot sci-fi movie actually feels like a genuine product of imagination and heart.

Disappointingly however, this does not last very long. From here on in the feature slowly but surely declines in both mystique and interest, culminating in a third act which is about as convincing as it is exciting; which believe it or not, isn't much at all. It's around this point that things take a drastic turn from intelligent and insightful science-fiction to big dumb blockbuster action movie; the themes that are brought up during the movie's initial stages are belittled to a deux ex machina that never quite seems justified, and the climax –if you can call it that- feels stunted and perfunctory for the sake of giving a clean feeling of catharsis. It's perhaps the biggest reason why most major productions based on sci-fi scripts never seem to work; the balancing act between catering to the mass public and those wanting intelligent drama is a hard one to pull off, and nobody here seems quite sure how to do such a thing.

If there is one thing that I can praise the movie for, outside of its opening act that is, it would simply be within its excellent aesthetic design. From the dynamic score penned by Tyler Bates to the often endlessly interesting photography of David Tattersall, The Day the Earth Stood Still gets most of its outer shell right, even if everything that lies underneath is a less than inspiring mess. One also has to draw attention to lead star Keanu Reeves who plays Klaatu, the alien/human hybrid visitor and mediator who is welcomed to Earth with a less than hospitable, but terribly human introduction. Reeves is an actor known for his alien-like, wooden style- which is why he is so often found in these kinds of films- and it suits his character adequately enough here. Co-star Jennifer Connelly holds her own too, and while she isn't given much to work with throughout, she does a fine job in playing as Keanu's contrived human sociology lesson.

When the credits roll however, despite the movie's impressive effects, imaginative premise and somewhat entertaining moments, The Day the Earth Stood Still simply feels like an empty experience. As science fiction, the movie conjures up some intelligent questions and yet David Scarpa never seems quite up to the task of taking them any further; and as popcorn fodder, the movie simply doesn't do enough rule-breaking to come off as anything but standard fare. This awkward need to balance both crowds irrevocably results in a feature that indeed avoids polarising, but only to the point where mostly everyone will leave feeling under-stimulated. It has its fair share of compelling and visionary moments, but a distinct lack of development, coherency and substance stops The Day the Earth Stood Still from being one worth remembering. Light sci-fi with a dash of social intrigue that mildly entertains, but never reaches its potential.

  • A review by Jamie Robert Ward (
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The Day The Earth Stood Stupid
JoeWho13 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Ouch! $11 times 2 wasted on IMAX. There are so many plot holes in this film I don't know where to begin. 1. A UFO is rushing towards NYC. Prediction is a cataclysmic collision. They assemble a team of scientists and rush them right to ground zero. Are you kidding? Never happen. 2, The UFO "lands" and the first people out are the scientists. Even ahead of the military. One walks right up to shake hands with the alien. Please! Never happen. 3.Klaatu is brought for interrogation. They bring him into a room with a lone interrogator and leave. Are you kidding? No guards in the room? Never happen. 4. The military decides to enclose GORT in giant steel panels. They built these in a matter of hours? How? Where? 5. After enclosing him, he is lowered into some underground laboratory that appears custom-made for him. Where did that come from? How did they get him there? 6. They break a diamond drill on GORT and say it will take 24 hours to fix. The boss barks "Fix it now"!. They send in a poor schlub who promptly screws on a new drill bit. Then the sucker dies. 7. Klaatu meets with another of his kind who has lived among us for 70 years and apparently become quite fond of us. Why didn't he convince the rest of the aliens not to destroy humanity? He came to the same conclusion that Klaatu eventually reaches. 8. The "swarm" is destroying everything man-made in its path. We see it destroy Giants Stadium in a matter of seconds. Then it is in Central Park. Why aren't all the buildings in Manhattan falling down? Klaatu hasn't done anything to stop them up to this point. Oh--I could go on and on. Then there are all of the plot clichés; Good scientist resists evil government. Frustrated step-mom/ disconnected stepson find redemption through love of dead father/husband. Boo hoo hoo. Stupid general fires all his big guns at indestructible alien. You know what's going to happen. Yup, general gets destroyed/vaporized/eaten. Oh, fugitive scientist, alien, and kid go to see kindly old professor. They always do that. And the authorities always show up there. This movie stinks on ice. I'm not a huge fan of the original but at least that had a story and decent acting.
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A soon-to-be forgotten remake of a timeless classic
BruddanChrist13 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The 2008 version starts off somewhat promising. Unlike the original, there is a build-up to the first encounter with Klaatu, which is sort of effective in eliciting both wonder and fear. It's reminiscent of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Independence Day. It proceeds down a similar path to the original for a while afterward, embellishing a bit in some areas.

While Michael Rennie's Klaatu was a complicated character, simultaneously coming off as creepy and trustworthy, Keanu Reeves's Klaatu is hardly more than a robot. He is completely inexpressive and undynamic. There's no way the audience can identify with him, so his fate seems ultimately unimportant. Also, his purpose is largely unclear in this version. He was a messenger in the original; the closest thing he can be related to in this version is a harbinger of death...

Which brings me to my biggest complaint with the movie. Robert Wise's version had a clear underlying message to its audience; Scott Derrickson's version doesn't. Though the "big issue" that the film deals with has been changed from the nuclear arms race to global warming, it is hardly touched upon. The destruction of the human race is triggered with little more than a few lines of explanation.

Not to undermine the efforts of the 1951 classic's film crew, but The Day The Earth Stood Still is a classic because of its message, a message that easily still applies today. Derrickson's version of The Day The Earth Stood Still could have been a marvelous way of touching modern audiences with an old truth. Instead, it focuses more on thrills and special effects. Klaatu would be disappointed...
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A Better Solution to an Old Problem
b-p-dixon9 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So far every review I've read has been negative about this movie. To each-his-own.

This movie recreates the same problem (humanity being a threat to the world, itself, and the universe) but gives a better and more mature solution to the problem than the original film.

In the 1951 film, the best solution that the writers could come up with was forcing humanity to "behave" under the threat of violence from a force greater than us. The 2008 version of this film gives a much more sophisticated answer: that being the beauty of the human condition and the need for a people to face the "precipice" in order to embrace necessary change.

Although this solution may have been better served by not being so overt, it still shows the growth in our thinking. The simple fact that the first version's solution was merely a new threat of violence, while the remake's solutions was to see that the beauty of our human condition makes our existence meaningful, made the remake worthwhile.

The role that Jaden Smith played was tremendously annoying. But I think that was the goal. He was the archetype for what mankind is: an annoying, untrusting, and overly-simplistic child-race. Although his sudden change into "maturity" was anything but smooth, he again represented the degree to how abruptly mankind would need to "grow-up" if we ever face similar situations.

I think this movie was an amazing look into the ongoing development and maturing of mankind. It shows that even our creative side (Hollywood) has grown up since the original film. It shows that humanity doesn't need a greater threat of violence to make us mature; we merely need to look at the beauty of our human dilemma, and to draw from that strength to grow.

Idealistic? Probably. But hey - that's why it's a movie.
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FabD110 December 2008
Let's be blunt: this is definitely not a good movie; it's not horrid either, it's just somewhere between average and bad. There are quite a few problems. First, with the script, which tries to incorporate all elements of the 1951 movie into a new, updated whole. The end result lacks cohesion and plays more like a sequence of 5 to 10 minutes scenes badly sewn together, the prime objective of each scene being either to introduce an element taken from the original movie or, on the contrary, an idea absent form the1951 original, instead of simply advancing the story. Second, the direction: poor, poor, poor. Third, some of the worst acting I have seen in a mainstream movie for a long time; I found the leads, especially Keanu, quite good but the other actors are decent at best, with Katie Bates delivering a frighteningly catastrophic 'performance'. I was not shocked (positively or negatively) by all the other aspects of the film.

Coming out of the theater, I found myself pondering about this remake and the 1951 original. I find the Robert Wise movie quite good, but not the masterpiece some claim it to be. I was therefore ready to accept a remake and the few new ideas offered by the 2008 movie made me painfully aware that a remake could indeed have been interesting, had it been put in better hands or, if I dare say so, in much better hands. So, to me, it's another sadly missed opportunity.
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What Happened to Gort?
ScarecrowsBrain10 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Day the Earth Stood Still is an utterly pointless movie remake. The original - and I'll pause here for everyone who's never seen it to roll their eyes - is one of the best sci-fi films of all times. This modern telling keeps only the names of the characters and abandons everything else.

In this version the trouble starts early on. Alien visitors arrive on earth (in an improbably crowded Central Park at night) but we don't see the landing of their vessel. Instead we get lots of dramatic mist and scientist types in haz-mat gear looking lost. Keanu/Klaatu emerges from a pretty orb, greets the pretty microbiologist, then gets shot.

Cue Gort, the indestructible robot guardian of peace. In what should have been the most dramatic part of the film ends up being its biggest disappointment. Gort, a textbook example of budget CGI filmaking, appears and makes a loud noise that frightens police dogs. And just when he seems poised to open a can of whip-ass, he gets silenced by Keanu/Klaatu who is coiled up in a fetal position on the pretty microbiologist's lap.

The rest of the movie plays like a throwaway Spielberg vehicle with a cute kid, lots of cheap sentiment, an alien who eventually goes home and the never-ending message that Love Will Save The Day.

Listen folks, save your money and seek out the 1951 version, filmed in beautiful black & white. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of a rental and when you see it, you can join the legions of fans who's eyes glaze over when they hear those three immortal words: klaatu barada nicto.
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Humankind saved by spoiled brat - again
dierregi6 March 2011
I saw this movie on TV last night, as I would have never gone to the cinema and wasted my hard-earned money on it. Especially not after having read some of the negative reviews posted here. I cannot but agree with most of them.

In a nutshell: Keanu Reeves was probably born to play this part. He is inexpressive and emotionless as the alien role is playing requires. Whether thanks to his acting skill or personality, I do not know, but he does a good job. Apart from him, everything else sucks. Connelly is totally unconvincing playing a scientist. Never saw any scientist looking like a model; honestly, if you are that attractive, you plan a career in show business, not in a lab. The kid – Will Smith's son - is a total brat. Obviously he got the part thanks to daddy. But what has this got to do with actually being able to act? Absolutely nothing.

To compound the felony, humankind is supposed to be saved thanks to the emotional connection of the alien with this obnoxious child. If this was a real life situation, I think the alien would speed up destruction after having met this unbearable brat. How is whining and being a pain in the ass supposed to prove that humankind will change for the better? If our salvation depends on a child – especially one like this – we are definitely doomed. And perhaps the aliens have a good point.
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I couldn't sit still, let alone stand.
moutonbear2513 December 2008
I don't know about the earth standing still but I certainly had a hard time moving after this one finished. I think I may have been in shock. I didn't know they still made movies as bad as this. That's me, I guess; the eternal optimist, thinking one day Hollywood will see the error of their ways. I'm starting to think there's a greater chance of aliens landing in Manhattan though. You don't take a highly regarded classic like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and update it for no reason other than to make a few bucks. Sure, you can pretend there is purpose; you can cash in on the current environmental crisis fears by insinuating that aliens have come to earth to save the planet from the horrifically unappreciative human race. When you make a film with such disregard for quality though, you can't do anything to convince me that you actually care about what you're trying to say.

I will give Hollywood this though; they have finally found the perfect vehicle for the now- veteran Hollywood actor, Keanu Reeves. Reeves plays Klaatu, an alien in human form who has no capacity of expressing human emotion or understanding the intricacies of human nature and interaction. It might as well say that at the top of Reeves's resume so this is Reeves in his element. Honestly though, this is the first time I can say that Reeves's presence in a film has absolutely nothing to do with why it is unwatchable. You know you have a problem when dialogue is so bad that it even drags Reeves's acting down. In fact, having the familiar Reeves on board for this uneventful journey, alongside the strikingly beautiful, Jennifer Connelly, at least gives us something pretty to distract us from the banality of the entire affair. Klaatu certainly rocks that three-piece suit though.

The earth is supposed to stand still on this particular day because aliens have descended upon Central Park in a giant weather sphere of sorts. It is a momentous occasion, one that could be the sign of the end of days. Yet, in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, panic hardly seems to be in the air. Panic comes from a fear of the unknown and an inability to see a solution to your problems but David Scarpa's script is so painstakingly obvious and formulaic that you can see right through to the end at all times. I hope I'm not giving anything away here but as if this film would finish with humanity's extinction. And when the devices used to create the melodrama are so laughably contrived (who knew that a white step mom and a black step son could have such hard times getting along?), at least you have the special effects to revel in. Mind you, when the special effects are even more ridiculous than the ensuing melodrama in a big sci-fi pic like this, what is there to keep you sitting still, let along standing?

You'll never believe this but humanity, or at least the American government run portion of humanity, take immediate military action against the alien invaders before giving them the chance to make their case. This next bit is even more shocking. Apparently, violence is not the answer to solving our problems. I swear, I learned so many hard life lessons watching this movie. Perhaps the most important lesson though is that humanity will never learn. THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL represents the same disposable and commercial interests that are the root of our environmental problems. Yet, here is it preaching against the very values that justify its existence. For that reason alone, I would consider this film to be one of the most hopeless (and hapless) films of the year. We're essentially doomed so I say you can take it, Klaatu. Earth is all yours. We clearly don't deserve it.
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Not in the same Universe as the original
bluess-112 December 2008
Probably the biggest letdown of my sci-fi viewing life. Even worse than the 3rd "Alien" movie. So many bad points that I can't remember them all. I'll touch on the lowlights.

First, as the unidentified object approached earth, everyone seemed dumb on the reason for the change in direction. Duh uh, like wouldn't a spacecraft immediately come to mind as a possibility?? Then the excitement and anticipation of a visible ship was taken away by clouds and fog and a vague vessel.

As stated elsewhere, the initial contact in the park was ended with Klatu getting shot for an offered handshake (no mysterious equipment popping open). And several times in the movie, there were vehicles, equipment and/or people more evenly spaced out (in large areas) than a marching band.

Rather than go over a scene by scene critique, the following complaints come to mind. 1)bad writing; all actors had trite and often repetitive lines. 2)The Secretary of State was scary, illogical, and didn't seem to be in much contact with the bosses(the President and VP). 3)Poor or no acting by the "Stars" and the kid. 4) choppy flow, frequently too slow or unclear. Weak continuity, scenes seemed to be just stuck together. 5) Gort was pathetic. Like the recent "Hulks", unconvincing CG and too big to realistically show it in contact with humans. (should have gotten Shaq for the part).... 6) No actor to actor chemistry ever formed. 7) The final scenes completely missed out on the dramas of the "standing still" time and the alien departure. What message did he leave us with?

Since I'm a poor typist and can't immediately recall all of my issues with the film, I'll end my comments by saying that I have no problem with changing a remake so that it is more up to date and offers some different twists to add interest. However, this film completely missed the mark of maintaining the strengths that the original script had, namely convincing acting with consistent story and character build-up leading to a dramatic final scene with a clear message to all of the world.

They could and should have done far far better.
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Why Have so many bashed this movie? It's GREAT!!!
laserdude15 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this movie The Day The Earth Stood Still (DTESS) with the feeling of wanting to compare this one to the original. I had read many of the comments about this movie and wanted to see for myself what the negative buzz was about. I was tremendously surprised at how much I liked this movie. I think a couple of things may have misled viewers because of the coming attractions of this film. It seems like folks were probably expecting the robot GORT to go around destroying cities and being a general baaaadasss character. But what DTSS turned out to be was a really good sci-fi movie. You have to really pay attention to the dialog to get the full jist of this tricky film. For Klaatu never really has any love or care for humanity. Their goal is to wipe mankind off the face of this planet to allow other forms of life to exist as well as future beings from other worlds. And pay close attention to what he says near the end of the film when he decides to stop humankind's extinction. He said it will cost you something. It's a tricky line, but if you follow it and watch the end of the film you'll understand why the Earth stands still. I won't piece it together for everyone...see if you can figure it out. I love this movie for it's smartness. Many have complained about this being another special effects, mindless mess. It is not. The visuals enhance it...but you really have to think along with the film and sit back an enjoy.

(Updated June 06, 2009). The film's ending where Kathy Bates character looks at her watch and sees that it has stopped. Then scenes are shown of trains, cars, boats stopping - suggests to me that the price humanity had to pay for their world being saved was to have all electrical and mechanical devices shut off permanently. Remember that Klaatu doesn't have any real love for the human race but begins to see the possibility of their having compassion. So since it was mankind's machinery that was effecting the planet, the best way to solve this situation without wiping humnity off the planet would be to neutralize all manmade things. Hence the title "The day The Earth Stood Still". I might have it wrong, but that's my take.
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The day my life stopped still
garyabel8 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
My initial groans at the dialogue and absurd actions of the military gave way to shock that any studio had the courage to release this film.

However, as the antics continued I became more and more hooked. What new levels of stupidity in the plot could be reached in the final hour? I was on the edge of my seat.

By the end I was not disappointed, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had successfully become one of the worst stinkers I've ever seen.

The decision for Keanu to play Klaatu, an alien devoid of human emotion, was inspired. I'm not going to criticise Keanu, it was a typical performance from him.

But that whining, little kid. Whine, whine, whine. He was even more unnecessary than Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars movies. If he died at the end, I would have given it 10 stars.

I will recommend watching this movie to my friends, it is quite simply unbelievable.
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In the age of the remake, a example of how NOT to do it! Just AWFUL!
agardk13 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a big fan of SciFi and as with many who love the genre, I considered the 1951 version a classic. So, I was quite anxious to see the remake. The obvious change in the primary point of the plot, (war/violence to environment/climate) seemed workable, and if properly executed, had potential.

As it turns out, it was potential unfulfilled. I left the theater thinking that was 2 hours of my life that I'd never get back.

Mediocre acting can sometimes be overcome by a really good story and script but no amount of great acting or special effects, which this film definitely did not contain, can overcome a lousy script.


In the original the scenes of the Earth standing still occurred at a point in the story line that made sense in the flow of the story. The point was to demonstrate that the aliens did indeed have the ability to destroy the earth. In this version they choose to plug that event in at the end of the movie leaving viewers wondering why.

The change in the plot from advanced races sending a being to evaluate and warn us to changes our ways to one in which the decision to destroy humanity has already been made guts the point of the original story and makes this noting more than another "B" aliens come to destroy the Earth movie.

Finally, the acting in this bomb leaves much to be desired. Keanu Reeves was emotionless, as usual. Jennifer Connelly was almost as bad. Perhaps the most disappointing was Kathy Bates, who is usually a great actor, although I do not know that anyone could really do all that much with the flotsam of a script they were saddled with.

Bottom line is that this film is definitely not worth the cost or time and effort of a trip to the theater. If you must see it, do yourself a favor and wait for it to make it to the movie channels or show up in Red Box.
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Horrid Film
gmanigault12 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Just saw the film. It was AWFUL! What a way to ruin a classic film. This version has NOTHING on the original.


(Global Warming) WEAK! Beginning sequence disjointed and confusing! More holes in this story than swiss cheese! What did the opening sequence have to do with the story? Klaatu walks out of the "Globe" (where is the ship???) and just as the good Dr. is about to shake hands with him, he is promptly shot! He wasn't reaching for anything but a handshake the universal sign of 'hello'.

Klaatu is taken to makeshift hospital where we learn that he was walking in a 'placenta' suit one minute and then the next minute they are marveling about how he was 'just born'. ???

Later in the film he uses some of this 'placenta'material to bring back to life a cop he just KILLED. It grossed me out when he stuck his finger in the 'planceta' and then in the dead cop's mouth! Why did he bring the cop back, if he was on a mission to kill the entire human race?

Later we learned that the Globes were all over the planet, and they were the 'ARK' that was saving stuff to be used after the world was 'cleansed'. (They actually used the word CLEANSED in this context)


Then there is the ACTING, (If you can call it that) The acting was DEPLORABLE! Probably the worse I have seen in any movie in the last 10 years!

Kathy Bates as Sec of Defense SILLY, OVER THE TOP, NOT BELIEVABLE. ( I kept looking for her to break somebody's ankles)

"The One" as Klaatu was just plain PITIFUL and PAINFUL to watch! He sleep walks thru almost the entire film. (Oh wait that is what Reeves calls 'acting')

Jennifer Connelly was terrible also. She was not believable as a Scientist nor as a mother! She never connected with Reeves or Jaden Smith on any level! (It may not have been her fault, I don't envy what she had to work with!!!)

Jaden, the Smith kid, What in the world made them think this kid could act! I looked for the credits to see if they were the producers on this film! I didn't see their name! How did this kid get the part! It didn't help that the part they wrote for him was as a spoiled brat who needed his butt….. (I wish I would call an adult who is now my mother by her first name….)

I would not even rent the DVD to see this movie, I am sorry I wasted $6.00 on it.

Save your money, The Day the Earth Stood Still was when I wasted an hour and 40 minutes of my time watching this crappy film!

Thank you "HollowWood" for messing up another Classic Film! "No soup for you"!
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Not a masterpiece. But meaningful
keinewarheit11 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Frankly, the film can impress me.

I went to the cinema expecting nothing from this movie. I thought this must be just another SpecialFX showcase. I surprised me so much.

The film began with a man discovering that glassy sphere in the trailer on the top of an icy mountain. In the next shot it left the man and just started telling us what was happening in the present day. Scientists and military people are summoned for an urgent meeting after a strange object had been detected to crash on the earth. Sounds like a very old-school sci-fi? The movie, however, contain little action and a lot of talking about this and that, all of which concerned much with human's basic instincts and behaviors.

The opening sequence wasn't really thrilling at all. The acting wasn't perfect. The scripts sound ridiculous at times. If it's this flawed, then why did I gave it 7/10? Keanu Reeves gave an interview indicated that Klaatu will become more 'human', he was absolutely right. Just this 'human' is a kind of human portrayed in the film.

Yes, i praised the quality of special effect. From the beginning those scenes were real eye-candy. In my opinion, casting Reeves as Klaatu was a right decision. He has successfully portrayed something 'alien' to us. Did you thought that a boy and many character in the film should be killed? If you did, then the movie have completely fulfilled its purpose: to teach you what human being really is. I didn't understand this until the movie ended and let me having some time with myself. According to the film, Klaatu learned that human race loves violence. And, without any bias, yes, we are. Seeing men fighting for a ticket in the train station, a higher-rank left his crew died just to be safe, and a representative of US government (one good performance from Kathy Bates) acting like she rules the world was, for me, reminded me how cruel people treated each others.

It you pay fully attention to the dialogue, you'll see that there's more that just a heavily CG-ed sci-fi.
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You know what's sad? 1951 had better special effects than we do!
Smells_Like_Cheese22 March 2009
So I was one of those people who was screaming no at The Day The Earth Stood Still remake, the original is one of my favorite movies. It's a terrific sci-fi film, probably the best to come out of the 50's era. I highly recommend it; moving onto the, sigh, remake. Keanu Reeves, mmmm, what on Earth about him scream alien? I guess since it looks like it hurts when his face expresses human emotion, he's what the director needed. But what I didn't appreciate about the remake is that it completely changed the story and the moral the first movie brought to us. If we were to have a remake of this story, at least it seems like in today's world it moral is more important than ever, that humans are just destroying themselves with all the technology and violence that we have created. Instead, I get 2 hours of Jennifer Connelly complaining to a stubborn Keanu Reeves on how much humans rock.

Dr. Helen Benson, a Princeton professor, and other scientists are hastily assembled by the government in order to formulate a survival plan when it is feared that a large unknown object is due to impact Manhattan in approximately 78 minutes. Nothing can be done about it because a vital military satellite has been disabled. It hits Earth and out of the sphere comes a being named Klaatu emerges from the sphere while accompanied by a large robot. Klaatu, a representative of a group of alien races, has come to assess whether humanity can reverse the environmental damage it has inflicted on planet Earth. In the frightened confusion, Klaatu is shot, but survives and is taken to a government facility. While recovering from his injuries, Klaatu is detained by Regina Jackson, the United States Secretary of Defense, and is barred from speaking to the United Nations. Klaatu manages to escape, and he soon finds himself eluding the authorities throughout northern New Jersey, specifically Newark and the forested Highlands, with Helen and her stepson Jacob. After speaking with Professor Barnhardt about how his own species went through drastic evolution to survive its sun's demise, Klaatu is convinced by Helen and Jacob that humans can change their ways and are worth saving The three go toward the sphere in Central Park to stop the machine from destroying the world.

So when I really think about this movie, it just makes me sad. I was going to be fair with the rating, but gosh, those special effects? For 2008, it seems like we got worse with CGI, the ending effects were just way way way over the top. Keanu Reeves is sadly the only convincing actor in the film...? Oh, my God, did I just say that? Not to mention, did Kathy Bates owe someone a favor? She's a terrific actress, why was she in here? I also love how Jaden Smith, Will Smith's son, is taking his daddy's footsteps in alien movies, does Will Smith come from another planet? Because it seems like that family is obsessed with aliens. I'm going to do you a favor and recommend watching the original Day the Earth Stood Still, believe me, it's so much better.

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A Real Disaster Movie
jery-tillotson-117 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The days when Hollywood once turned out such classics as the l951 THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, are long gone. When we go to the multi-plex today, we're treated to endless, lousy remakes of Asian horror flicks, endless sequels (i.e., Saw, Alien, Terminator, Halloween, etc.) that squeeze every drop of magic from the original until there's only a dried up rind. This remake of The Day the Earth Stood STill, is a perfect, sorry example of what passes for movie sci-fi/fantasy in the year 2008. While the l951 original still fascinates with its powerful acting, script, production and that fabulous Bernard Hermann's musical score, this new take features a shockingly inept cast and grade-Z special effects.

We're treated to a zombie-like Keanu Reeves who shows the emotion of an oyster. His face and eyes never change expression. His voice sounds like a dead man. His fellow living corpse is Jennifer Connelly who acts as if she exists in a different universe with no connection to what's happening around her. Even worse, is the obnoxious, surly black kid, Jaden Smith (oh, yes, son of the mighty Will Smith) who is so repulsive you wish the giant robot Gort would zap him off the screen. It's as if the movie makers are so fanatically politically correct that they gave us a black child who is supposedly adopted by a white woman, Jennifer Connelly. They have no rapport, but then the child is so hostile, one can understand why. One of the key figures in the original was the young boy played by the wonderful child actor, Billy Gray. He was so genuinely sweet and likable that you really loved him. When he shows the alien the memorial graveside of countless dead military men and women, and then visited the Abraham Lincoln memorial, you were profoundly moved. When Jaden Smith does this in the remake, a glycyrine tear dribbles down his cheek ss he glares sullenly at the zombie-like Reaves. Wow, what a really down, hostile scene.

There's no sense of impending disaster and when the day finally comes for the Earth to stand still, a swarm of badly executed CGI bugs destroy Yankee Stadium and then stop. Keanu Reeves has obviously discovered that mankind isn't all evil. That's because the black kid and his mother have persuaded him that there is still good in the human race. If only, there was some good among movie makers, the type of goodness that would persuade them to give us some original, scary movie magic--like Alien, The Thing, The Terminator, halloween, etc.
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Keanu as Klaatu and other comical touches
agmancuso13 December 2008
Laughter makes the almost two hours not a total loss. But I don't think, somehow, that "The Day The Earth Stood Still" was meant as a comedy. They must have realize however, that having John Cleese as the scientist was bound to provoke some giggles. Keanu Reeves is priceless as the wooden, expressionless alien. A great, unintentional, comic creation. Kathy Bates, in pantsuits if you please, plays the American Secretary of Defense and the whole thing doesn't have a single ingredient of the elements that made the Robert Wise original one of the classics of its genre. The visual tricks are good but repetitive and rather confusing. I must admit I wasn't bored I was just puzzled.
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My dog would write a better script...
quargelbrot25 June 2011
Saw it today on TV and am glad I saved my money three years ago.

SImple said: If Aliens would like to visit us, NEVER, I repeat, NEVER show them this film. They would destroy the entire planet...

Bad acting (Keanu, of course. The annoying kid...I've got aggression during his performance) Plot holes with the size of a comet crater... Horrible CGI's... A completely senseless message among a completely senseless and ridiculous story...

This is the symbol of the lack of ideas Hollywood have right now.

The bigger the budget, the smaller the money for a script, it seems.

Annoying in all points.
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A disaster
zetes14 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I am not one who is against remakes in principle, not even remakes of really good films. The Day the Earth Stood Still is, as far as I see it, a prime candidate for remake. It would be easy to update this story to comment on current times. Modern audiences, after all, are very little effected by the Cold War anymore. The makers of this new version do, in fact, attempt to relate their film to modern affairs. The alien visitor, instead of interfering over Earth's nuclear ambitions, comes to out planet in order to stop us from destroying our environment. That's a perfectly acceptable updating. Unfortunately, as is the problem with most remakes, The Day the Earth Stood Still '08 has the unmistakable aura of having been made for a quick buck. You remember there's a classic called this? Throw us a few bucks, and you won't have to sit through it in black and white anymore! And there'll be a couple explosions! It all feels so rushed and sloppily thrown together. Scenes contradict each other, little of the plot makes any sense. The visual effects are wildly uneven. Gort in particular is a computer generated monstrosity that looks like he's been imported straight from a Nintendo 64 game. Pretty much all of the actors don't seem to want to be there, and almost all of them give abysmal performances. We expect that from Keanu Reeves, but when Jennifer Connelly, who gives it her all even in junk like Hulk, phones it in, you should realize your project has little merit. The entire film is poorly paced and frequently stilted. It never works.
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