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: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 5, 2013
    After Earth is ultimately too thin of a story to support all of its grandiose embellishments, but so what? It's better to try to pack every moment with beauty and feeling than to shrug and smirk. The film takes the characters and their feelings seriously, and lets its actors give strong, simple performances.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 461 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 137
  2. Negative: 73 out of 137
  1. May 31, 2013
    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
    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
    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 »