Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 39
  2. Negative: 5 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Nov 1, 2013
    30
    Some of the movie isn't bad.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    Nov 1, 2013
    38
    Most Ender's fans, of course, won't care about comparisons and consider the film adaptation a long-awaited victory in itself. Those fresh to the tale — or at least expecting something fresh from it — may wonder what the fuss was about.
  3. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Oct 31, 2013
    38
    Gavin Hood relays a vague sense of what it's like to live in duty, and yet at a distance from one's home, but this vision of the future never rouses, never asks to be remembered.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 31, 2013
    0
    Not only does Ender's Game have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 31, 2013
    0
    Ender’s Game, the book, may have a special place in pop-lit. The movie, however, is as special as a migraine.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 425 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 161
  2. Negative: 36 out of 161
  1. Nov 1, 2013
    10
    Go into it knowing that some things from the book will be change. That's just how it is for any book to movie adaptation. On its own merits this is a fantastic sci fi movie that I hope will do well enough for them to merit a sequel. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. A lot of surface structure, but no heart. In the end, bedazzling graphical scenes took front seat to capturing the depth and conflict the majority of the characters in the book go through. There are quite a few of the book's characters present, but really, just a hollow shell of what made them lovable throughout the series. The 2 most important characters were severely reduced; Ender and Graff. This movie failed to capture any of the depth that is Edner Wiggin. Graff went from a very complex and morally conflicted character to a soulless bureaucrat who's only interest is results.

    Locke and Demosthenes were completely eradicated from the story, and Peter was only present for 4 minutes of the film.

    A 4 year story was reduced to just over a month, which was impossible to follow at the brisk pace the movie moved at. Years of battleroom competitions condensed into 2 battles, the second demonstrating abilities of a well-oiled machine that doesn't make any sense considering half the competitors had never set foot in an actual battle.

    In all, it just felt completely rushed, and void of depth. The battleroom sequences were awkward at best,. The Bonzo-Ender confrontation felt completely weird, and the majority of inter-character relationships were cardboard cutouts as plot devices.

    I understand that a majority of things are lost in translation when brought to the screen, but there ARE adaptations that were well done (LotR, Interview with the Vampire, and even Hunger Games).

    After waiting 17 years for this to come to life, it left a lot to be desired for. Those who enjoy action sci-fi, and not looking for a deeper meaning will enjoy the flick. But, anyone who is intimately familiar with the book and are looking for any resemblance beyond sequence of events and a couple peppered in characters will likely leave the theater feeling disappointed.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    0
    First, I am a huge fan of Ender's Game, the book. It's an insightful and meaningful look at the mind of a gifted kid, with deep social and psychological commentary. Anyone who grew up "gifted" can relate to the isolation and otherness, the self doubt and fear, Ender feels throughout. The book meant a LOT to a lot of people, and whoever wrote this screenplay clearly did not understand it.

    They turn ender into a totally unlikable Mary Jane character who advances through the movie with no motivation, is pushed through ranks for no reason whatsoever, and somehow inspires loyalty in random people by doing approximately nothing, all while being a violent, irritating prick with no empathy for those around him.

    The changes to the plot are nonsensical, things were changed for no reason. Worse, some of them ignore reality (for instance, the command school being in another solar system if that were the way it was in the books, Valentine would have been old and the fleets would have been long past their destinations, as there is no FTL travel). They ruined the mind game. They made great characters flat as hell.

    Long story short, the lost the message, the characters, everything great about the book and gave us a crappy, generic piece of science fiction. Avoid this movie if the book means anything to you.
    Full Review »