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Generally favorable reviews- based on 443 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 443

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  1. Nov 1, 2013
    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.
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    The only thing the movie lacked really was great Character Development.. its pretty much a mash up of all the key elements of Ender's Game.. and they also dropped the idea of adding in Ender's Shadow.. I liked what I saw, and thought it was a good enough adaption from the book.. though someone who has not read the book I thought might be a little lost in what's happening when in the movie. However my girlfriend watched the movie with me and she has not read the book but still thought it was a good movie. I think they should have made it a 3 hour movie and kept everything they did.. but DEVELOP the characters more and give it a little filler. Expand
  3. Nov 1, 2013
    I first read the book that this movie was based on. I have to say that the movie stayed true for majority of the book while I watched it. Its true that the movie was going a little quick for viewers to keep pace but I believe that the entire movie was great and I had a lot of fun with watching it. It was definitely worth the ticket price and I don't usually say that. All in all, if you are a fan of the series, then you will most certainly enjoy this movie but if you are not, then you will still enjoy it well enough to understand what is happening. Expand
  4. Nov 14, 2013
    This move is a shining example of how to take a book, and turn it into a movie. A director put in charge of moving the creative vision of a writer from the printed word to the visual medium of the big screen has to be very careful not to change the emotional content of the story, while being willing to change the sequence, action, and dialog in order for the story to make a good movie. Ender's Game was the height of this art, provoking the same power emotions as the book, staying true to the heart of the characters, all the while taking a complex plot and distilling it down into a 2 hour movie. Well done, sirs, I salute you. Expand
  5. Nov 2, 2013
    This was a brilliant film, very true to the material, well acted and very humble, just like the book.

    Don't let the critics fool you. Critics nowadays are more interested in their pre-conceived "checklists" against which movies should be measured and have no interest in whether the movie was actually GOOD or not. Did you grow up with Ender's Game as one of your favorite novels? If
    yes you will love the movie. If not I think you'll love it too but you might have different expectations that could possibly cloud your impressions of the movie. Expand
  6. Nov 10, 2013
    I thought the movie was very good. I understood all the missing scenes. I wish there were more battle school scenes. It seemed a bit rushed. Overall though, it was very good.
  7. Nov 3, 2013
    Not really sure why the critics were so hard on this, even that one guy giving a 0/100, that's kinda ridiculous. I've read the book, and loved it, and this movie is pretty faithful to the book, the only thing really different is Ender's siblings not having a big role like they do in the book, and the ending is slightly different. The movie may have benefited more if it was a 2 parter, because the pacing in this is a bit off, things happen a bit too quick, but it's still an enjoyable movie. My dad, who has never read the book really enjoyed the movie as well. Expand
  8. Nov 4, 2013
    They captured the important points of the book but bad casting of Mazer Rackham. I'm looking forward to sequel and Blu-rays. A prequel would be awesome too showing the first war.
  9. Nov 3, 2013
    Love love loved it.

    I was concerned about what portions of the book were going to be kept and what parts were going to be thrown out. My fears were alleviated, as the movie trimmed the right portions of the story to keep the plot moving without being confusing.

    No one can deny the visuals are fantastic. The film is simply gorgeous and was filmed without "shaky camera syndrome" as I
    like to call it that frequents movies with action these days.

    The end of the film had me in tears. Just as moving as I remember in the book.

    I think you can divide people's reactions into two camps. If you enjoyed the book, you'll like the movie. If you haven't read the book or didn't particularly care for the book, you might think it's... meh. But my hopes are that those of you who haven't read Ender's Game will fall in love with the plot of this film and develop a desire to read the book it's based upon.
  10. Nov 4, 2013
    I have to say the film surprised me and did it's best to be very loyal to the book. Yes, some scenes just didn't make it, Hollywood these days really does seem to focus on 90-120 minute films. That said, good pacing, quality action, and some surprising acting chops from the younger generation. Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley are always solid...but this film was easy to enjoy from beginning to end.

    Highly recommended.
  11. Dec 26, 2013
    Great adaptation, very loyal to the original material.
    I simply loved it. I am a big fan of the book and was really scared about the adaptation going really bad.
    After 5 minutes I realized I had no reason to be afraid.
    The movie is amazing. That was the general opinion of the friends who watched with me and hadn't read the book. My friend said: I had no expectations whatsoever for this
    movie and it was awesome!
    I agree entirely.
  12. Nov 3, 2013
    This movie's (and book's) concept is staggeringly brilliant. The fact that some of these same critics rated Jackass:Grandpa higher than Ender's Game displays their stupidity and makes me wonder how these people got their jobs.
  13. Nov 17, 2013
    I really enjoyed this movie. Considering how badly a novelization of this great book could have gone, this was a spectacular job well done. There was a lot of plot and a lot of character and a TON of heart packed into two hours, and it was pulled off surprisingly well. Considering the train wrecks that movie adaptations of bestsellers often turn out to be, Ender's Game was very true to the book. My only criticism is that they dropped the Peter and Valentine subplot. It makes sense if they're not going to do any of the sequel movies, but I felt like Ender's siblings weren't really characters so much as objects to drive the plot.

    Overall, my suggestion is, watch this KNOWING that you'll like the book better, and just enjoy it for what it is.
  14. Nov 9, 2013
    As a disclaimer, I have not read any of the books. I loved this movie, stunning visuals, great story, It was everything that movies have been missing recently for me. I would recommend you see it.
  15. Nov 6, 2013
    Don't believe this movie has such a low score. I guess it's hit or miss. Movie was GREAT IMO. My friends all was happy and people around me at the movies seemed happy too
  16. Nov 2, 2013
    Saw it last night and loved it! From what I remember it follows the book rather closely. I really enjoyed the acting. Asa and Harrison do a great job. Special effects were fantastic as well. Go see it!
  17. Nov 5, 2013
    Ender's Game is a fantastic Sci-Fi movie, one of the best this year in fact. Having never read the books I can only go on what I saw at the Cinema. The movie had a strong central cast, was paced well, was compelling and had a truly unexpected twist (providing you never read the books). All around a fantastic movie!
  18. Dec 10, 2013
    In being an avid fan of the Enderverse series and having been looking forward to the possibility of this movie for years, I must say, this was well worth the wait. Obviously, no movie adaptation can encompass the depth and volume of a novel, but Hood's media conversion does so elegantly and faithfully. The movie stays true to the narrative and storyline of the novel and does so in such a way that chooses all of the right moments and dialogue that add up to make a very entertaining experience.

    Overall, the acting, character portrayals, cinematography, CGI, score, and pace of the movie was high quality. This movie is worth seeing, especially if you are a fan of Sci-Fi, whether you've read the books or not. As a last note, I also got a good deal of Tron: Legacy vibes from the film, which to me, is a great thing!
  19. Nov 3, 2013
    Great movie. Very action-packed. Nice effects. Keeps moving forward without boring you. Nice twist at the end which saves the movie and makes what otherwise would be one of the worst movies...into one of the best.
  20. Nov 2, 2013
    Although the movie cuts quite a bit from what's in the book, what's left is a great movie. I would have liked it split up like they're doing with the hobbit to allow for more story, but that might be difficult as the book mostly takes places in Enders head.
  21. Nov 8, 2013
    I don't care how is the book, but it's already based on the true storyline, all the effects and it's characters with those actors and actresses, there's nothing i can say but AMAZING. It just done very well.
  22. Nov 12, 2013
    Maybe because of some have read the book. But I have not read it. I love this movie.
    It's quite hard to bring or represent everything which is in the book into film.

    At this moment, I give 10/10 in the view of person which hasn't read the book.
    But I will read them all, and hope it fulfills my management skills lol.
  23. Nov 13, 2013
    Great science fiction movie. Great plot, great acting, terrific screenplay, great special effects. This is a science fiction movie for adults with a brain and a heart. I hope they make a sequel. It is much better than the star wars movies.
  24. Dec 6, 2013
    This movie had a few differences from the book. It didn't follow some characters as much as the book. But just like the LOTR's and Narnia movies, its part of the process. Making a long book to one movie is a difficult challenge. The movie without the book is a very good movie that has one wondering what's going to happen next. Only to have one of the most original twists of all time.
  25. Dec 6, 2013
    yes, the book is better.... but i think that this movie is one of the best adaptation that i ever seen. guys, please, don't "critic" the movie if you don't know anything about the book! you look like core less ships! ah! yes! i'm a spaceship!
  26. Dec 7, 2013
    When this film becomes available for home viewing it will likely lead many teens and adults to read the imaginative 1980s novel that it was based upon. The film depicts some of the ideas and scenes from the novel in interesting ways. The child actors were quite good in their abbreviated roles. The film is relatively brief in comparison to the story it was based upon. The production quality of this film is high. Expand
  27. Dec 9, 2013
    Rarely my children and I agree but this was one it was good, the movie as well as the representation of the book very impressed they did not butcher it especially since I read this back in high school in the 80's and had my kids read it when they were in elementary school about 7 years ago. I hope they come out with the sequel (speaker of the dead) it will be interesting to see if they continue to be true to the context. Expand
  28. Nov 18, 2013
    Written during the peak anti-Soviet hysteria of the mid '80s, this book and movie still raise important questions for society to discuss. I hadn't read the book in 15 years but I remembered, while watching the movie, why I liked it (and I generally don't read Sci Fi). It's not just a good story about a boy's handling bullying, growing up, finding what makes a good leader, etc. It also asks us to think about how quick we are to make enemies out of those perceived as different, and to fight rather than do the hard work of trying to understand and communicate, and whether or not it is right to take lives to theoretically deter a future war. For Card to raise those questions in the Reagan anti-Communist era was courageous. Also, the Battle Room was cool! Expand
  29. Nov 11, 2013
    This review contains spoilers. First to the critic, Joe Neumaier from New York Daily News, seriously? What are you a disgruntled CoD: Ghosts player reviewing BF4? A zero as in the movie has no redeeming qualities whatsoever? I hope you don't get paid for your reviews, because reading yours was as much of a waste of time as your score was based off your own review even. Back to the movie. A very good adaptation of the book, got it about 90% right. There were some major changes, there was no second invasion where Mazer is in space fighting them with a small reserve fleet--they went with him piloting a F-22 Raptor which makes no real sense, but still defeating the Formics in the same manner. In 50 years we went from F-22's to interstellar travel? They went way further out of the solar system than they should have (should have been on the asteroid Eros) for command school and compressed how he got the queen egg as well. They also only had one "little doctor" device, but plenty of other capable firepower. Not enough at all to say "they ruined it", but enough to go, why did they change it? Technical limitations are not the answer, I mean they cranked the CGI to MAXIMUM. It is a beautiful movie with amazing effects. So that is an unknown, why the changes that is. Regardless the movie still works and in some ways even better so with the emotional aspects of the story. I felt bad for Ender, really bad, and I have read the book once as a kid and a couple times as an adult. It plants the moral dilemma right in your lap. How do you deal with a bully? You beat them so bad they never even think about trying to hurt you again. How do you deal with an alien invasion fleet that you can't reason with, just as you can't a bully? You wipe them from existence. But at what cost? The complete wrecking of a child's mind? And as a person or a child defending against a bully by beating them so bad they never fight you again, what do you cost yourself? Is the permanent change in your personality worth it? Just as in the book, the film answers with a resounding yes. The enemy's gate is down, and he must be destroyed, because in the end it is your or them. Yet you are left with sympathy and pain for having to do it. "‘In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him." You love him yet you destroy them anyways. Having read the book, once the credits started me and my wife got up to leave. The crowd was not huge (3rd weekend playing, matinee, only about 25 of us) yet they seemed shell-shocked. No one besides us was moving, at all. Did they expect an extra scene? Well there weren't any to see and I don't think so. I think their brains were still trying to grasp the total destruction xenocide they witnessed and trying to process the moral dilemmas that Orson Scott Card masterfully presented in 1985. Which is also why this movie is not a "zero" as that idiotic critic rated it, but a very solid 9/10. Collapse
  30. Feb 8, 2014
    Ender's Game is quite a decent movie. I had some expectations towards this one and after the ending I was quite happy for seeing it.
    The acting is decent. I feel like i should highlight Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield's acting, it's very good. They really achieved the goal to make me care about their characters, and for that I can thank both the actors and the producers.
    The CGI
    effects are great, providing amazing battle scenes.
    I understand that this is basel on a novel, and many plot elements have been excluded in the movie, but if you didn't read the book or don't know anything about the story (like myself) think it's a very enjoyable experience.
  31. Dec 21, 2013
    Is this film as good as the book? Well no. Does it stick to the exact details of the book or choose the more compelling moments to build a good story. The second one. But despite these things, it keeps true to the spirit of the source text, successfully compressing it down without cheapening it or pulling punches. Harrison Ford gets a somewhat expanded part, but he is terrific to watch.
    Overall in my opinion its the best Sci-Fi film of this year and probably last year too.
  32. Nov 1, 2013
    This movie is a great adaptation of the book. The scenes were well directed, the effects were wonderful and the emotions of the characters are felt. It doesn't receive a 10/10 due to some casting issues. Harrison Ford was excellent in his role, but some of the children roles came lacking. Overall I would recommend it.
  33. Mar 1, 2014
    I didn't read the book but the movie is really good. Here we have this fantastical future where children are treated like they have brains (and hormones), and prepared for adulthood from a young age. The main character is a bit hard to believe, as he is a 13-year-old genius, hacker, laser marksman, master of space-battle tactics, who learned judo in about 5 days. I would discuss the parallels with American nationalistic imperialism, but it obviously went over most people's heads anyways.

    Great acting all around. Harrison Ford should retire now and end on a good note before he does something stupid like another movie with Shaih Bluff. 
  34. Feb 15, 2014
    just terrific..I honestly started watching without expectations and turned out to be quite interesting..watching a bright boy as Ender and his intellectual capabilities. Director Gavin Hood has delivered a fantastic movie. Too bad it's not getting the praise it deserves.
  35. Nov 2, 2013
    A lot of the negative reviews seem so unsubtly over the top that they are probably tied to the recent Orson Scott Card controversial Gay Rights comments, and likely have nothing to do with the terrific adaptation of a classic novel.
  36. Nov 2, 2013
    For those who have never read the book:
    So, we won a war with an extremely desperate, hostile race that we could not communicate with or understand. We kind of did it in a stroke of luck, but our losses were devastating. The world has united under a militaristic power in an effort to prevent a future invasion that we are sure is coming, but don't know when. We are breeding and cultivating
    super children for the purposes of creating the ultimate commander who will win the war when the enemy comes back to destroy us. This movie is about that training and the culmination of that war. Its a pretty difficult pill to swallow for a lot of people, and even harder for actors to portray in a believable way.

    The powers that be believe that Ender is that commander. And if he isn't, they are going to engineer him to gain what he is lacking. They've been watching him for his whole life, and he's paid for it in spades: with an abusive brother, and classmate bullies. Then they further separate him from everything he loves and knows to pit him against the only other people in the world who could actually enrich his life.

    Despite the incredible nature of the characters, and catastrophic consequences, the staff rises to the challenge. The staff does a great job of allowing you to empathize with characters that could only exist given very restrictive, catastrophic circumstances. The adult actors are phenomenal, while the child actors do quite well, but have very limited amount of time to establish the relationships that would take quite a few more scenes to develop. Asa, in particular, does a great job of allowing the audience to identify with a child genius (because, let's face it, we're not all child geniuses) that is incredibly aware of the consequences of every single one of his actions. He sells this movie as best he can.

    While it is a well done movie, it is not a happy movie. It is entertaining, but is also there to make you think and feel. It is not a sci-fi action movie, though there is a lot of sci-fi and a little bit of action. It also is not a movie for kids unless you are willing to take the time to explain the concepts that the film touches on. There's stuff very serious stuff in here. The writers do a great job of trying to minimize the impact upon a younger audience, but if you do take your kids, there will still be some work to be done.

    For fans of the book:
    There were some minor changes to the story. While those who appreciate the level of depth of the book may miss those specific details, they are more central to our perception of the characters than they are to the story. The movie does an amazing job of incorporating nearly every pivotal scene in almost the complete way that it was written. The only solution would have been to make the movie 1/2 hr 1 hr longer. Given the special effects, that probably would have created an unrealistic budget for a film with a more limited audience.
  37. Nov 2, 2013
    A spectacular and true to the book rendition of Orson Scott Card's masterwork of the same name. Asa Butterfield delivers a masterful performance as the eponymous Ender, capturing the intensity and moral complexity of a boy genius who is called upon to save his world despite his reluctance and uncertainty in what he is being asked to do. CGI enables Director Gavin to replicate Card's universe it is only in the depiction of the Battle Room that the strategy and tactics of Ender's genius are not fully realized. In addition, one could have hoped that Bean could have been a more fully realized character and a little less made of Petra in a foredoomed effort to interest and placate the distaff members of moviedom. Expand
  38. Nov 2, 2013
    Think of the movie as an homage to the book. Truthfully, if you were to watch the movie without having read the book, I don't think you could appreciate what's happening. Gavin Hood's interpretation is very "on the surface" while Orson Scott Card has commented that Ender's Game is told almost entirely from inside Ender's head.

    Traditionally there is a "see the movie before you read the
    book" mentality when it comes to film adaptions of classic novels (e.g. you can't appreciate the movie once you've read the book; the movie changed too much). I think Ender's Game is different. Read the book first and then go see the movie. Watch the movie as though it were simply trying to remind you of what you loved about the book; yes, some of the details are different, but you'll recognize Card's masterpiece hidden inside of it. Expand
  39. Nov 2, 2013
    Outstanding! As a fan of the classic novel I was skeptical a film could adequately capture all the intensity, thrill and layers of nuanced psychological twists- But Director Gavin Hood was able to deliver. This movie has plenty to offer adults, kids, families and the tried and true sci-fi nerds who fell in love with the book. Loved it so much I saw it twice!
  40. Nov 3, 2013
    I went into the theater feeling very nervous and afraid that it would be bad, since I'd been reading a lot of reviews and quite a lot of them only gave it an average score (or even bad). But I forgot my fear even after only a few minutes into it. It was so good, almost as great as I expected it would be, and it certainly deserves better than the so-so rating people are giving it. Yes, the pacing is probably too fast, and some moments felt cheesy, but apart from that, I really couldn't find any other flaw. More time would certainly help the character development and build up our emotions for the big climax, but I think Asa Butterfield performed so well that it really didn't matter that much. He was the perfect Ender--both vulnerable and violent, sympathetic and scary. He was so good in the climax, and so were the movie makers--the climax and the twist were handled VERY, VERY WELL I couldn't stop crying at that part. But then again, maybe that's because I've read the book, so I knew exactly what Ender was feeling--I had already had the "empathy link" that allowed me to enjoy the movie emotionally, and I had also understood all the logic behind the story, while non-book readers might need that extra screen time and exposition to develop those. Maybe due to the break-neck pacing some non-book readers (and even some book readers) wouldn't really get the morality, the theme about empathy and humanity, and Ender's fear in all those, but really, it was all there in the movie for you to discover and digest. All in all, it was excellent movie, and more than that, it was an excellent adaptation. It was truly satisfying and definitely worth the wait. Tell everyone to watch it! Expand
  41. Nov 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I will start this off with saying that I have not read the book...yet. I found the story compelling, but there was a lack of the perception on time. That did not take away from the movie though. Ender is put through various trials and is forced to make some decisions. Even though the book was written in the 80s (iirc) there is still plenty about the movie that can be applied to modern day society. Some of the issues include bullying and dealing with authority. The ending was almost abrupt, but it makes sense in the end as not even Ender knew that it was going to be the final battle. The movie also brings up the concept of morality, and how one persons victory, could be the shame of another. Now here is the spoiler: Ender is tricked into the final battle with the alien race. After the battle has been won, the higher ups praise Ender for his victory, they call him a hero. Ender on the other hand, once he has realized what has happened, thinks of himself as a killer, and that the shame of the genocide will be on him forever. In the end Ender shows both the ability for compassion and violence, and he knows when to use both.

    OVERALL: Great movie that might not have stayed overly true to the book, but I have yet to find that out. I would recommend!
  42. Dec 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. AWESOME movie!! A SEQUEL should come out! The Book was GREAT ,but it was even better seeing the ACTION in front of you! It was just Outstanding! Can't wait for what come next! Expand
  43. Nov 23, 2014
    Ender's Game es una película que contiene unos muy impactantes efectos visuales y que logra convencer.

    Equipada además con varios actores que ganaron o estuvieron nominados al Óscar, el film nos muestra una trama con un muy buen desarrollo que va aumentando y volviéndose más interesante a medida del avance del largometraje.

    Además logra dar al público un gran espectáculo en el
    espacio de una forma muy constituyente y alucinante. Expand
  44. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    Ender's Game was pretty good. Acting was a little (just a little) corny, but most of the actors in this film are under the age of 20, so it's hard for them because they're just beginning their career, so I cut them some slack, and that made me give the movie a 9.
  45. Sep 27, 2014
    Excellent movie. Hope to see sequels. Do not understand the negative reviews. It's an adventure movie, not a philosophical treatise. What's not to like?

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: Dana Stevens
    Nov 2, 2013
    I can understand wanting to skip Ender’s Game as a matter of moral principle, but you can also feel free to blow it off just because it’s not that good.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 2, 2013
    Ender’s Game is a blandly sanitized spectacle.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 2, 2013
    Straightforward, a bit literal-minded, very faithful to the book and largely compelling.