Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 41
  2. Negative: 20 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    May 30, 2013
    38
    The art of storytelling is both of distinct narrative interest and personal issue in the latest payload of calcified nonsense from one of modern cinema's oddest would-be auteurs.
  2. 38
    An undemanding, childish adventure picture.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    May 31, 2013
    35
    A disastrous father-son endeavor about a calamitous father-son expedition, After Earth doesn't play to the strengths of any of its major participants.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 30, 2013
    33
    Fans of either Smith will be sorely disappointed. The elder never before appeared this listless on screen, and the younger misplaced his unforced rapport with the camera that made the Karate Kid reboot so impressive. Only Shyamalan delivers what moviegoers expect from him, and that's a shame.
  5. 30
    Were Shyamalan and Smith deliberately invoking the terror — now omnipresent in urban African-American communities — of lethal asthma attacks in children? I’m not sure how I feel about something so real and so wrenching in the context of a Grade D (unfit for human habitation) sci-fi picture like After Earth.
  6. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    May 30, 2013
    30
    For the most part it is an uninteresting slog alleviated only by the occasional unintended laugh and moments of visual beauty. Mr. Shyamalan generally torpedoes his movies with overweening self-seriousness.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 30, 2013
    30
    Running, or stumbling, only 90 minutes, After Earth may lack the neck-swiveling awfulness of Shyamalan’s "The Last Airbender," but it quickly sinks in its logorrheic solemnity. The movie makes "Oblivion" seem as jolly a romp as "Spaceballs," and gives neither Shyamalan nor Smith much to smile about.
  8. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    May 30, 2013
    30
    Jaden is fine at running, jumping, fearful trembling, and affecting steely resolution. He doesn't yet have his father's charisma; perhaps to help him out, dad opted not to bring that charisma to the set.
  9. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    May 30, 2013
    30
    Shyamalan is clearly a director-for-hire here, his disinterest palpable from first frame to last. Nowhere in evidence is the gifted "Sixth Sense" director who once brought intricately crafted setpieces and cinematic sleight-of-hand to even the least of his own movies.
  10. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 31, 2013
    25
    The sad truth about After Earth is that not only is it difficult to find things it does well, but there are numerous examples of outright incompetence dotting the landscape.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    May 30, 2013
    25
    You can’t blame Will Smith for wanting to give his son a leg up in the business. Maybe one day Jaden will have his father’s career — and his ability to carry a movie. For now, it’s a little premature to ask him to bear the weight of this soggy, waterlogged “Earth” on his skinny shoulders.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 30, 2013
    25
    The young Smith has energy, but not the acting chops. And he's no miracle worker. The burden of carrying this dull, lifeless movie is just too much. And it's hell on an audience. It's not a good sign when you sit there thinking – Make. It. Stop.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 30, 2013
    25
    Surprise — this bad dream is for real.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 30, 2013
    25
    Quite simply, this is one of the worst films of 2013.
  15. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 30, 2013
    25
    Jaden is not ready for his solo spotlight, and the film is the same action over and over. Another bad movie from Shyamalan.
  16. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 29, 2013
    25
    Basically, this is Smith and his real-life son, Jaden (both affecting ridiculous mid-Atlantic accents) talking the audience to death for something like 90 minutes before the closing credits.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jun 7, 2013
    20
    He's done it again. M Night Shyamalan has done it again. Again. Done it. Again. He has given us another film for which the only appropriate expression is stammering, gibbering wonder that anyone can keep making such uncompromisingly terrible movies with such stamina and dedication.
  18. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 30, 2013
    20
    The script has no nuance, none. And when Shyamalan moves into the director's chair, the script problems are magnified. Everything is spelled out, underlined in red.
  19. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    May 30, 2013
    12
    After Earth stupefies us with nonsense, such little thought and logic went into this idea that it can’t even be considered a rough draft, this is a movie almost daring an audience to emotionally detach throughout. For shame!
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    May 29, 2013
    0
    Summer 2013 has its first bomb, and sadly, it’s landed right on Will Smith.
User Score
4.2

Mixed or average reviews- based on 456 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 136
  2. Negative: 73 out of 136
  1. May 31, 2013
    1
    more and more it seems as if sixth sense was an anomaly
    and jaden smith couldn't act his way out of a paper bag
    this was disappointing but
    not unexpected Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2013
    0
    M Night is a very ambitious director, he only had one ambition, that is to become the worst director of all time. So he started from top to bottom, From Sixth sense to Last airbender, From good to worst. He has improved a lot for the past 10 years, he has mastered how to make a worse movie! So this is another which emphasizes that he is the worst director of 21st century! Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2013
    3
    The combination of Hollywood nepotism and a quickly fading directorial star provides the backbone for the futuristic sci-fi lack-of-adventure yarn "After Earth."In just his second picture since 2008, Will Smith teams with fellow Philadelphian M. Night Shyamalan, who is working from a story written by Smith, and a script by Gary Whitta "The Book of Eli" (2010). The once-revered auteur has long since fallen from grace, to the extent that his name was notably absent from any of the film's advertising. However, "After Earth" has problems that go far deeper than Shyamalan's bland tone and lethargic pacing. The movie is rarely fascinating, incredibly pedestrian, and curiously unimaginative.

    Shyamalan wastes no time commencing his narrative gimmick by announcing the rules of the story. It has been a thousand years since Earth self-destructed, ravaged by natural disasters and a deteriorating environmental infrastructure. The surviving humans evacuated the planet, settling on a new home known as Nova Prime. For 13-year-old Kitai (Jaden Smith), who is training to become a ranger like his often absent father, General Cypher Raige (Will Smith), he worries that he will let his dad down if he doesn't follow in his footsteps.

    The elder Raige decides to bring him along on his last mission before he intends to retire. En route, a meteor shower damages the spacecraft, causing it to crash-land on the now-uninhabitable Earth. With the rest of the crew dead and Cypher badly injured, it is up to Kitai to travel 100 kilometers across the harsh and wild landscape to find the tail of the ship and retrieve the beacon that will send help their way. If he doesn't succeed, father and son will perish.

    The special effects are adequate, but are noticeably fake compared to other effects-driven films like "Star Trek into Darkness" (2013) or "Oblivion" (2013). The film tries to tackle, on the most superficial level, the rites of passage. But with such a bland story and weak performances, the underlying meaning in the film only leads to indifference.

    Jaden Smith, who was decent in "The Karate Kid" (2012), completely falls flat in his performance for this role. The complete lack of emotional range stifles any of the hopelessly unimaginative screenplay's contrived father/son drama. The elder Smith may have a story credit here, but "After Earth" is not only an obvious attempt to keep his son relevant, but it is also a by-the-numbers survival story that never manages to surprise or excite despite an endless array of possibilities.

    "After Earth" feature's excessive CGI effects that rarely impresses, an A-list actor sitting on the sidelines, symbolism as obvious as the narrative is predictable, and is relentlessly uneventful. On a positive note for Mr. Smith, it's not nearly as bad as the completely forgettable "Wild Wild West" (1999).
    Full Review »