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Generally favorable reviews- based on 442 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 61 out of 442

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  1. May 30, 2014
    Much better than I was expecting. With it's story being focused on brains over brawn, and it being able to actually use it's brain, this manages to be a serious science-fiction movie that doesn't come off as pretentious. Which is something I believe the genre has struggled with in it's more recent movie ventures. It all succeeds thanks to it's likable lead and supporting cast. Obviously though there are some pretty big issues. As almost always with movies that are based off books, there are some pretty important details missing. Details that would have otherwise made it easier to get fully invested in the movie. For instance what's up with the issue of a third child in the movies universe? It's mentioned that "a third" could be considered an embarrassment and you need permission to have one, but we are never told why. Also the obvious complexities with Ender's relationship with his various family members are never explored, which left me feeling like I was missing something throughout the entire movie. I imagine the book touches on these things, I do not know as I have not read it, but just keep in mind not everything is as well explained as it should be. This leaves the movie feeling flawed, but I still found it enjoyable. It's one I recommend that you give a shot. Expand
  2. Aug 11, 2014
    A big fan of the book, I felt this film was merely serviceable. Acting was ok, though I felt Harrison Ford was somewhat wasted in his room. I would have preferred it is he'd been playing Mazer Rackham. The space battle scenes were confusing and there wasn't enough of them.
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    The Ender franchise has turned into such a global phenomena that now, most kids are required to read it in High School. I was one of those kids and I absolutely loved the story. In fact I continued on with the books and they became unbearably strange. How they got almost 20 novels out of it is beyond me. While I was really excited to finally see Ender's Game on the big screen, I knew the chances of it continuing past one film would be slim at best. It all has to do with the ending, which is bizarre and really shouldn't have been continued. For those who don't know the story, in the future, Earth is at war with an alien species known as the Formics. The Humans have taken heavy losses and in desperation have started a recruitment program, that focuses on children. Knowing that kids think in a different way than adults do, they are hoping to find that one genius who has the key to defeating the Formics. That child turns out to be Ender Wiggin, a child who under Earth's new Government, shouldn't have even been born. Seeing the story I read so many years ago, come to life on the big screen, was magical for me. Finally I was able to understand the parts that were just too confusing to see in my head and get the complete picture. Ender is played by Asa Butterfield, who somewhat miraculously, at the age of 15, has had the starring role in every film he's been in. After watching Ender's game it's not hard to see why, he was to this film, what Ender was to the Human's in the story. The producers surrounded him and his young crew with a cast of Academy Award winners including Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis, which ultimately strengthen the movie and must of really inspired this kid to give the performance he gave. While the film simply broken even at the box office, (killing any chance of a franchise developing out of it) it was very well done and closely mirrored the book. They did a near perfect job of deciding what parts should stay and what should be eliminated, giving us a film that was just as good as the book, if not better. Collapse
  4. Jul 16, 2014
    On a technical level, Ender's Game does everything wrong. Gives no background, no setting, no plot, and no meaning and basically no acting. The movie is a total disaster from beginning to end and gets worse the further you get into the movie.
  5. Jul 17, 2014
    Ender's Game is another pathetic attempt to cash in on young adult books. The acting was horribly embarrassing, the script is inept, and the visuals were a mess. The overall story was just outright stupid.
  6. Jul 12, 2014
    Actually read the book the first movie is based on like years ago. Damn this movie adaptation sucks big time. No this not a over sensitive fanboy **** I read Lord of the Rings and I thought they did a competent adaptation of that series. This film craps on the memory of the awesome literary experience that is Enders game. Only Han Solo was memorable in the movie even Gandhi was a little off in his performance and hes normally really great in anything, even crap like this. Expand
  7. Nov 8, 2013
    Movie seemed a little rushed, trying to cram the whole story in under 2hrs, could have spent more time creating some character development. That being said it was a good movie and worth the price of admission.
  8. Mar 8, 2014
    If you enjoy sci-fi's, you are bound to enjoy this film. For me, the ultimate disappointment was probably some of the emotional scenes. Not to spoil anything, the funny thing about this film is that you're actually watching the cliffhanger but not knowing you're watching the cliffhanger.
  9. Nov 11, 2013
    I don't understand the people slagging this off. It's a really good film. Not quite as good as the book but when are they ever? If you haven't read the book, stay away from any annoying trailers that give it all away and go and see it expecting a powerful story that will slowly unfold into one of the great plot finales of any sci fi story. If you have read the book, be pleasantly surprised how this film might twist and turn with some of the elements but under all that, the basic feeling remains the same.

    If you can't leave your mobile phone alone for more than two minutes and drink red bull all day and never read a book, this movie isn't for you. But... for those of us who relish quiet time to reflect on life and are secretly a bit nerdy, this film is really worth it.
  10. 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.
  11. Aug 20, 2014
    The pros: The most important plots and twists were respected, the acting felt real, CGI were convincing. The cons: You really have to know the story well to follow what happens on the screen without being lost or feeling some piece of the story's missing, like how is it that everyone respects Ender after a simple fight. All in all, they did a great job pushing all this into a less than 2 hours long movie. Expand
  12. 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.
  13. Oct 11, 2014
    I was kind of disappointed in this movie, but it makes you think about how the government would lie to us about the Aliens intentions. This is about the only reason I give it a high rating.The final battle feels empty.I can`t say theirs much about Ender's Game that makes it memorable unless you like Harrison Ford taking the back role to some kid.
  14. Jun 3, 2014
    I'm giving it a 4 because while the special effects were brilliant, they screwed the story up way too much. They didn't develop the characters properly. They missed out too many chunks from the book that were vital to the story making sense, including MOST of Enders battles at battle school. They also changed things from the story. Like the Hunger Games movies, they dulled the story down to cash in on the teenage audience and made the constant tension that was in the book almost non-existent. None of the cast really matched their roles very well, including seasoned actors, Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, who, while absolutely brilliant actors, weren't really the right choices for their roles. The only right choice seemed to be Abigail Breslin for Valentine. They also missed out a HUGE chunk of the story with Peter and Valentine's characters Locke and Demosthenes. Expand
  15. Nov 3, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. AWESOME MOVIE, if you've never read the book. If you want to know the movie/book differences, keep reading.

    They had to make a lot of changes since it's a two hour movie. There's only two or three major changes I didn't like, but some are understandable, as Ender's Game takes place over years and years, a movie just can't do that. So, the movie takes place over a month or so. The age differences were known for a long time, I wish it would be possible to have younger actors, but it's just not realistic.

    Another change is that Bean and Ender are the same age. I heard that they were combining Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, and that's really NOT TRUE. In the movie, Ender and Bean are introduced right away. If you read Ender's Shadow, Bean is younger and he keeps getting compared to Ender. In fact, Bean thinks he's smarter than Ender. So I feel as if the relationship between Bean and Ender was not developed enough, In general, the character and relationship development isn't that good. There are tons and tons of battles in the book, and maybe 2 or 3 in the movie. A couple minor things here and there that weren't 100% true, but those can be ignored. For example, Ender was never told if Bonzo died, he never waited by his bedside, he only was told that Bonzo was iced in the book. Another one is that they had headsets and communicated by that instead of all sitting in the same room talking to each other when they were at command school.

    If you haven't read the book, you'll see Bean as a minor character. But in reality, he's a more important character, and a strange one too. They didn't show it, but Bean was the one who actually made the Dragon Army roster. The practice sessions Ender holds for launchies and other struggling people aren't shown in the movie, which is a shame because I really liked those.

    Overall, most of the stuff they missed is not important. I only wished for the characters and relationships to be developed more. Those being Ender and Alai, Ender and Bean, Ender and Bernard and maybe a couple more I'm missing. They might be making more movies, if they do, I would love to see a movie on Bean's past; it's extremely interesting.
  16. Jan 15, 2014
    Knowing nothing about this book I was lead to believe this film was going to be action orientated. It is not but that's not a bad thing because it's a character and story focused film. It doesn't go for too long, you aren't bored, and want to see how it ends. I was satisfied.

    The visuals of this film are great. I particularly enjoyed the zero G room used for the launchies' training
    exercises. In the future I suggest this be made available for recreation as it looks like a lot of fun. Also worth praising is how battles are shown from the holographic screens which zoom, tilt and pan to give ender the best view possible. It's almost like a video game except I asked 'how can he view battles like this'. Because surely in the heat of battle any drone cameras would be destroyed. But this is a minor grievance of how realistic viewing battles this way would be.

    All the cast suited their roles except for Ben Kingsley. The could've chosen Temuera Morrison who is a Maori and looks like a soldier for example. But he was in the new star wars trilogy which is why I think he was overlooked. Furthermore his character claims to be ender's enemy during training however he is actually another mentor of Ender's. A mismatch in dialogue and execution I think.

    At the end I had questions and got locked into discussion all the way home. I thought about events and occurrences not making sense or weren't explained properly. I thought about what I would do in Ender's situation. I thought about what was real and what wasn't. I lastly thought about the last scene and saying 'that isn't believable'. I thought and talking about a lot, but my friends and I agreed; this is a good but not great film yet entertaining nonetheless.

    I went we read the book and the second book Speaker for the Dead. If Ender's Game was not filmable then Speaker of the Dead is as likely as pigs flying. I also read the author does not want it made into a film.
  17. Nov 4, 2013
    From the director of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" comes a movie that's actually really good. Look, I've never read the book, so I went into this movie completely blank. In the end, while some of the story seems a little goofy, the solid acting and surprisingly interesting script really helps set the tone of a cool sci-fi. I really dug into this world director Gavin Hood has created and I got to say, it was really good. I give the movie a B+. Expand
  18. 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.
  19. Nov 3, 2013
    Not being a huge sci-fi fan of books or movies, which is quite contradictory when one considers I love astronomy and the wonders of the universe, although it's a strict layman's understanding, with no real math capabilities to study in depth the cosmos like real astronomers do. I just love to wonder about the infinite space and universe, or universes, and revel in its beauty and mystery. That said, "Ender's Game" is one of the better sci-fi movies I've seen in a while. Not a mind blower, but much better than "Gravity", which isn't saying a whole lot.
    I had begun to read this book years ago and lost interest because I found Orson Scott Card's prose boring. The movie is not of that. Capably acted by all the cast, including Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, while this is not exactly Star Wars material, I found the story line interesting and the special effects were very impressive.
    Special effects doth not a great movie make for most of us, but they do spark the imagination when done properly, allowing us to overlook the currently scientifically and physically impossible tasks of traveling at light or warp speed, much less barely tolerate the speed it takes to escape Earth's gravitational pull at over 17,000 mph, which is a snail's pace cosmically speaking.
    However, they laughed at Jules Verne, who predicted men on the moon and correctly calculated the speed needed to leave Earth, and H.G. Wells and Ray Bradbury imagined fictional worlds and situations that are closer than ever to realization. I am a firm believer that if we can imagine it, one day we'll do it.
    But getting down to brass tacks, "Ender's Game" is a movie that allows a certain amount of humanity in, some good, some terrible. The end is somewhat similar to "District 12", and we are reminded once again of our tendency to attack rather than understand or tolerate. It is that lesson I left the theater with. Fans of the book and genre will be more impressed, but a 7 from myself is quite the compliment.
  20. Nov 3, 2013
    As a huge fan of the novel, I have to give justice to both perspectives (a person who has read it, a person who has not). As a person that has read it, is pretty disappointed. However, the movies does capture some visuals that give justice to the novel, along with select characters. As a person who has not compare the movie to the book, the movie is very enjoyable and entertaining. The book is better in every way imaginable, but the movie is still fun, intense, and exciting at times. I advise everyone to read the book, but the movie is still something to have fun with. Just do not think the movie and the book are the same, because they are completely different. Expand
  21. Jan 14, 2014
    Without much in the way of strong character development most of the movie seems to just hand on it's flashy visuals. The story is not compelling mainly because it is simply too much to ask for an audience to connect with a very bland main character. The movie tries its hardest to make you want to root for him as if he is some kind of underdog but at the same time constantly points out that he is pretty much already the "Chosen One".
    In the end we are left with some great CG Special effects, a performance from Harrison Ford that borders on menacing, and a kind of cameo from Sir Ben Kingsley. No discredit to Asa Butterfield, but Ender just was not memorable which is sad for a movie titled after the main character.
  22. 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. 
  23. Jan 5, 2014
    Ender's Game holds a impressive unique universe, with stunning visuals and interesting story, but falls flat by the main protagonist's acting which at points is un-parable. The whole movie feels like it fell abit short of what I was originally anticipating, although the set of characters are truly some of the best personality whiles of 2013. Book fans or Si-Fi geeks will get their fix, but if your not at least one of the two I would wait for a DVD renal. Expand
  24. Feb 17, 2014
    Unrealistic. Many roles are miscast with people that you could never possible imagine, in real life, would be capable of defending earth against a horde of alien invaders. It feels more like a Disney Movie at times, and tries to hard to be "feel good" at the expensive of putting forth a moral thesis.
  25. Nov 17, 2013
    A Good Sci-Fi Movie Sticks Close To The Book Excellent SFX, Good Acting, Character Development is Fair, Kinda Loud, I Say It Will Earn A Sequel Or Even A Prequel About Mazor Rackham
  26. Nov 15, 2013
    While the story is fairly solid, the whole movie felt a bit rushed. While this is not a sci-fi movie that will go down in history, it is definitely worth a watch.
  27. Jun 9, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Let me begin by saying that I’ve read the book(s), but I’m not going to delve into the minute differences between them and the film. Frankly, it could’ve worked even with all the things that were cut - but it doesn’t, for a myriad of reasons:

    While the movie does contains most of the events that Ender went through, the pacing is all wrong - it feels as if you’re watching Ender’s story in fast-forward mode. For a movie 2 hours long, they sure managed to rush every scene. As a result, there is no meaningful character development - the kids are hollow, placeholder faces, which appear like a generic ad for diversity. In addition, there is no sense of achievement: success seems to fall out of the sky on Ender, and difficulties are overcome with unexplained, laughable ease.
    Finally, important concepts (like the limitation on number of children, or the Ansible) are not explained properly in-film, leading the viewer to guess and deduct on his own. On the other hand, “the enemy’s gate is down”, one of Ender’s critical insights, is gained nonchalantly even before his first battle, without any context, or apparent meaning. It’s as if 10-year-old Einstein sat for breakfast one day, and randomly told his mom, “you know what? I think E=MC^2”. What horrible storytelling.

    But the worst comes when the actual war begins. It’s as if this were Ender’s Game as told by the Buggers (AKA Formics for the polite). All of a sudden, humanity isn’t desperately fighting for survival against a superior, infinite enemy, that has murdered tens of millions. Instead, it has the bugs “boxed in”. A single-planet species, with an asteroid base somewhere, has somehow *boxed in* a species with an unknown number of colonies, and endless fleets. Perhaps the script writers require a rudimentary lesson in spacial geometry?
    Forget tactical brilliance against insurmountable odds, the inhuman fatigue that the children had to suffer, and the sacrifice of the people in the war fleet, up to the ultimate, last-ditch victory. In their place we are presented with Hollywood’s standard infantile anti-war morality, that turns humanity - yet again - into interstellar brutes that literally just won’t listen. In an astonishing accomplishment, this movie manages to avoid all the politics that are in the original story, while pushing its own inferior agenda instead.

    I'm giving the film a couple of points, since visually it was done quite well, and the actors did seem to put a decent effort into their roles. However, it is an insult to a classic science-fiction story.
  28. Feb 17, 2014
    Ender's Game is a strange and weird movie, but in the end is it okay, because the story is great and I really enjoyed it.

    This movie got an interesting beginning, and it's a very mighty and cool. The actors are okay, but not more, and overall is this movie well made and it's unique at one way. The music and the story is also good, but the story is a little weird. Ender's Game is a movie
    that contains strange things, but also slowness and it didn't contain many unique things, because some of the scenes I've already seen other movies. The tempo is also slow, which made it a little boring. It was also too much simulations in this movie, and it didn't feel real.

    Ender's Game gets a 7/10
  29. Feb 2, 2014
    I suppose “Ender’s Game” could have been a decent, average adaptation of a book that was written by a complete lunatic; however, the film was just an emotionless, joyless and thrill-less rollercoaster ride that had no real ups or downs. While the special effects look incredible, the film feels like that was the only important part of the film as every scene that should be about the characters plays out like the really cool looking CG effects are the real star. Even the great performances and themes of the film feel like they play second fiddle to a movie that was more about the special effects. In the end, “Ender’s Game” was just boring and lacked any real spark. Expand
  30. 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.
  31. Feb 15, 2014
    Another movie which sort of pales in comparison to its book. Well, its decent, but for a movie like this I expected more character development... Ender, for example, seems to near perfect right from the start, and does not seem to develop much, kind of like characters from the first Star Wars movie. He also suffers very few setbacks which protagonists usually do. It's just...not quite right...
  32. Nov 10, 2013
    The book was better, but you can't make a film with a book that is 4 years long. I can't complain about that, this is how every adaptation are made, they cut "useless" parts. Visual effects were really great.
  33. Feb 7, 2014
    La primera impresión en las primeras secuencias de Ender's Game me parecieron atractivas e interesantes sobre todo cuando hablan de personas que no tienen nada en especial, pero que más adelante terminarán salvando al mundo, pero luego Ender's Game vuelve a tender una temática dramática en exceso y con actuaciones que no asombran demasiado (a excepción de Asa Butterfield). También cabe mencionar que se hizo muy larga, pero en las partes finales puede resultar entretenida. En conclusión, nada especialmente bueno, solo es ese tipo de películas que te entretiene por unos minutos para después poder regresar a casa para la cena. Expand
  34. Nov 3, 2013
    Ender's Game transforms from the book to the screen in a very incitive way. Deals with bullying, unit cohesion and boot camp for youth. We all have to grow up sometime. Ender learns fast to compete out of the box and lead his team to final victory regardless of the cost. Two reviewers gave this movie a zero. Seriously! IMO they are hacks who are irrelevant and completely outside the curve. Zero, are you serious! Expand
  35. Nov 1, 2013
    Over all, a very enjoyable movie. Having read the book many times, I was on the watch for pointless changes in the story. While there were, of course, some things that did not fit, the story followed the book very closely.

    I thought the actors did a very good job with their rolls. Even the changes to the characters (Major Anderson) from the book were actually enjoyable.

    If you love
    the book, as I do, I think you will still enjoy the movie.

    I believe a lot of the terrible reviews from the critics you see will be because of them making a statement about Orson Scott Card and not so much a statement on the movie. While the movie is not perfect by any means, it is a solid sci fi movie and a good book adaptation.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.
  38. 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
  39. 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
  40. 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!
  41. 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
  42. Dec 6, 2013
    Ender's Game has far too many sub-plots for it's own good, and can't balance these and the main plot. Not even the great action sequences and above average acting can save Ender's Game from being a movie that has very brief character profiles, awkward and rushed sub-plots, and numerous plot holes in general.
  43. Nov 4, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Even if it's not perfect, it's still pretty damn good. I do, however, did not like how emotionless the characters were. With a solid plot, great visuals, and a fun movie to boot, it's great. Expand
  44. Nov 5, 2013
    Decent movie for those Science fiction fanatics. but this is a good retelling of the novel. which i really like. But this movie has some flaws. and the special effects are a bit outdated
  45. Nov 11, 2013
    It is a good movie that was simply a bit rushed. While it is a bit sad that there aren't more scenes from batle school, or a deeper explanation about the ansible, Enders battle school strategy, or the things happening on earth with his siblings, Enders game works well to skim through these parts, and bring the viewer into the more exiting parts of the story, working whith great CGI to bring the movie to life and creating all of the epic scenes in the book that those who have read it could only dream of. I hilt recommend reading the original book, not the movie licenced one to get a better understanding of it. It's not a masterpiece, but it's not trash eather so done give it pointless zeros and don't hate it just because some other people are screaming that it sucks on the internet. Expand
  46. 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!
  47. Nov 22, 2013
    I have not read the book but I did enjoy the movie quite a bit. Great story, special effects, and visions of our possible future. I will buy this movie when it is available and plan on reading the book when I can.
  48. Dec 16, 2013
    Since the books were horrible to begin with, it is probably best that the movies includes almost nothing at all from them. Once again, you get what you expect with this movie. CGI, Bad acting, and nothing new under the sun. Im afraid I have to give it points for CGI. But at what point are we going to stop giving movies a free pass just because some visual effects company got paid 20 billion dollars to make realistic looking graphics. Scifi effects are not the only thing that scifi fans want in a movie. We have reached a point in public consciousness of moviegoing, that we do not want to be treated like infants that need to be distracted with a bright, shiny, red balloon. We need a bit more substance people. Expand
  49. lmb
    Dec 1, 2013
    Honestly, I can't help but feel like this review is a little biased, but after a great deal of thought I realized that it is, and that is why this movie was doomed to fail from the start. Ender's Game is one of the deepest, most thought provoking books there is, and is a must have for every bookshelf. The problem with an idolized masterpiece such as Ender's Game is that any attempts to re-create it as a motion picture will certainly be compared to the book. As most of us know by now, turning a book into a movie is no easy feat. You have to pick and choose what parts should be in the movie, who should portray the characters, and how to interpret the more abstract parts of the book. Ender's Game is about a boy who's spirit is crushed and who's childhood is extinguished for the good of mankind. The story contains numerous moral dilemmas, most of which don't have an easy answer. All in all, as a movie, Ender's Game was fine. It wasn't great, but it had it's moments and if you haven't read the book then I would advise you to go see it. However, as an avid fan of the book and all it's sequels, I feel like the movie fell victim to the inevitable outcome of not living up to the book's standards. Re-inventing the book as a movie has dented the god-like status that Ender's Game holds, and I feel like they shouldn't have tried in the first place. Expand
  50. Dec 5, 2013
    I don't want to give the wrong impression by rating it a 6. It's not a bad movie. It looks great, it sounds great (I saw it in IMAX 3D) but the feel is all wrong. The book really draws you in and makes you feel for this kid and I think the movie misses on that front. Interested to see where they take the series or if this was just a one off.
  51. Dec 7, 2013
    Sticks to the book rather well, and is brilliantly filmed. The sets/special effects are beautiful, though the acting could use some work. The way the movie ends is an excellent visualization of the rather abstract ending of the book.
  52. 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
  53. Jan 23, 2014
    I never heard about this story before I watched the movie, so my review should be objective. As a sci-fi fan I quite enjoyed Ender's Game, athough I was severely disappointed with how the movie ends. The acting was alright, the setting and CG was good. There were some unique ideas included in the design.
    The main flaw of the movie is a really weak plot and too many unanswered questions
    and too many kids on the set. If you are into sci-fi movies, this is a definitely watchable and you should enjoy it. If you are not a sci-fi fan however, the movie will seem an idiotic cosmic flick with giant insects. Expand
  54. Jan 10, 2014
    The plot was so difficult to understand! I could only get about 25% of the plot before it ended, and the voice acting is a bit choppy. It is overall bland and confusing. Special effects aren't bad but rather overused. Lacks a lot of major scenes, such as (blocked) and (blocked). It is generally a bit mediocre, and with the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and other good novel adaptations, it's generally gonna be overlooked. Expand
  55. Jan 29, 2014
    I had high hopes for this movie, Ender's Game was one of my favourite books when I was younger. The movie was a failure in capturing the flavour of the book and wasn't even especially entertaining in it's own right. To anyone who hasn't read the book I would expect them to be confused and not even understand why some elements of the movie existed.
  56. Feb 3, 2014
    In the year 2086 alien species called Formics attack the Earth. Commander Mazer Rackham sacrifices himself to save the planet. 50 years past without any sign of alien form of life on our planet but humans are still getting ready for future battles, that might come any moment. The only weapon they have (except than machine that cost 7 billion USD) are genius kids - specially trained highly intelligent people. Most outstanding of them is Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) - a 15 years old boy with brilliant military tactics. He and another dozens of youngsters were permanently instructed and prepared on International Fleet's base in the space. However, they were never taught to be friends with each other, because only one of them would be "the chosen one" to lead the rest. If you look at Ender, he is an absolute outsider - a tiny, feeble, shy boy who sometimes turns out to be the biggest geek. But here comes a "surprising" plot twist that he has to defeat enemy that killed thousands of brave soldiers (no, seriously, this is not a plot twist, at all).

    So, the movie basically evolves around him. And we're having quite long and peaceful voyage with Wiggin from very beginning to the end. At first I though of seeing massive battle scenes, with brilliant CGI, a lot fire and blood, but instead we have quite logical and predictable story of a confused kid who was foisted real guns. Watching a fantasy movie, I was not surprised how awesome and unreal Ender's character was. I liked how steadily and permanently he evolved on the screen, how he turned from a simple boy into a complex person. Asa Butterfield delivered very confident and emotional performance, even surprisingly better than I expected. He was great in Hugo, but here, having more character resources, he did exceptionally better. Wiggin is a little boy and a grown man the same time, who has self-reliance of elders and sensitivity of younger. All these was convincingly expressed in every emotion or movement of Asa.

    The rest of cast is quite good, including Oscar nominees Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld & Harrison Ford, and Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley. They all do their best to make a average story look more interesting.

    Lacking massive attack scenes, it is hard to be surprised with visual effects. Only last 20 minutes bring enough action to see how well CGI and different techniques were used. But I still think there is nothing new even here, especially compared to Gravity, Star Trek into Darkness and The Hobbit this year.

    Here is what I found to be the biggest problem. Ender's Game is not either kids movie or adults movie. It's somehow in the middle having few battle scenes for big people and few computer games scene for kiddos. Mixing these things does not fully worked with me. Personally, I'd love to see more action here. If Gavin Hood as a director could decide for whom he's making a film, I'd be more pleased.

    Novel, on which film is based, has a sequel. I hope they'll make a sequel to motion picture too, but I want it to be more breathtaking and involving. Something like Star Trek into Darkness has done to me this year.
  57. Feb 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I find the concept of taking children out of their homes for the express purpose of raising them into soulless ADULT military tacticians very intriguing but that's not what this movie is about. Ender's Game would have you believe some supposedly genius kids are fit to fight aliens with death star like spaceships after playing a mouse video game and few rounds of laser tag.

    That's like handing a ballistic missile submarine over to a bunch of kids from a school for the gifted. In my opinion there is a great deal of potential for a story here but it just wasn't handled well. If I wrote the script I would had Ender, in his teens, being chosen for International Fleet after doing well on a mandatory military/tactical test given to the students of his school. Ender is ripped away from his fairly carefree childhood into a military world of discipline and brutality.

    Instead of learning literature and history like regular middle/high school kids Ender learns about military science and strategy. Instead of playing laser tag Ender and his peers would learn the ins and outs of space warfare by controlling real starships (small fighters at first then graduating up to bigger more powerful vehicles) in training exercises. Throughout the film we would see how Ender copes with his new environment as he grows into a young adult (and his brain finishes developing) including his emotional struggles such as being away from home, having no or few friends, and living by the harsh rules of military discipline.

    I would also add some a some depth to the Formics. Give them a reason for attacking Earth, have them do evil and sinister things, and most importantly make it so you couldn't beat them just by hitting them with a death star laser. In the final battle Ender and his peers are actually inside the starships they are commanding, therefore creating the element of danger.

    Simple changes like this would have vastly increased the quality of the plot in my opinion. As it stands the impressive visuals of Enders Game were entertaining but that's all I liked about the film.
  58. Sep 26, 2014
    this is one of the films which is not fun at all totally boring but graphics are good though in space. I was watching tv at home flipping through channels then i saw the middle of the movie well last 5 or 10 minutes of it. Wrost film of 2013 %$#$%^&* total bull **** this movie is. Are they seriously gonna make Ender's game 2 ? . Grade ?????????
  59. May 15, 2014
    The plot is very solid, the screenplay is not very smart and fluid, and I still find troubles with kids acting, but there's something so interesting about the movie that makes you keep on watching, it is a catching story about alien invasions, with a different moral than all the other movies about the same topic.
  60. 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
  61. 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.
  62. Mar 17, 2014
    To start off, this review is not for those who are fans of the the book, but for people who haven't read it. Enders Game, in a world where kids are trained to become part of the military, one boy, "Ender" (what kind of name is that) shows, 'promise' so he is chosen to be trained to become a commander. With a cast that it has, what can go wrong? Well first i will say, i enjoyed it; it is one of those movies that you watch once and then you would probably re-watch it a year or two later because what happens will just shock you to the point that you don't understand what the story did. There is very little sympathy with the character, because it is hard to connect to the characters themselves. Sure enough Ender is represented as the typical high school smart kid who gets bullied because of his smarts, yet has anger issues whenever he gets picked on. Entertaining, i can say that would describe this featurette, just like any other Harrison Ford movies, entertainment, cheesy one liners, serious periods that take just a few minutes to get over, and a child to exceed his expectations (just like Shia Lebouf from the latest Indiana Jones movie).

    When rating this i will not be going by the book, but the film itself as a stand alone.


    Music: B
    Acting: C+
    Cinematography: B+ (lake scene is nice)
    CGI: A- (very interactive)
    Narrative: Start, and middle B, near the end C+, end B-

    Positives + entertaining, make sure you have good speakers, a monitor is also enough to watch it. The CGI is very interactive, pay attention to the games that are played within the movie.

    Negative - the narrative is too straight forward, and the shock will just make you annoyed. Acting is alright, but sometimes it is just like every other war story just mixed with kids, which is just like the representation of the playground. Just without ships, bombs, and zero gravity.
  63. Mar 23, 2014
    It's a bit like putting my youngest child in Heathrow Airport's Flight Control tower and just letting him get on with it. I'm sorry, really I am, but I simply cannot buy into an annoyingly precocious child being responsible for the safety of all mankind, with the power of all of humanity's armed forces at his disposal. I don't care how much training (not much, evidently) he is purported to have had or whether or not he has been bred and nurtured for this very purpose. I am not eleven.

    Adapted from the book (not read it, sorry, nor am I going to) this tale of one child's training as a future Admiral in the next Starship Troopers sequel (oh alright, I take that back) has had its own set of problems, development-wise, judging by just how long it took to reach us. Pitched as a sci-fi with eye candy, exploring more than the average number of themes for this type of thing, our hero, Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield) takes destiny and apparent fate by the scruff of the neck and goes about trying to save us all from the evil Formics, a race of bug-type aliens that previously tried to colonise earth some fifty years earlier, ultimately failing, but killing tens of millions in the attempt. Ever since, plans have been afoot to take this war to the enemy planet and do away with them once and for all. And the best people to tactically outsmart the foe on this possible final day of freedom are apparently young children with no actual experience of warmongering whatsoever. So, a global blockbuster epic of galactic proportions. And with it, a hefty $110 million in the making.

    Perhaps it's because I never read the book(s), but I didn't know or care who any of these people were. The film takes alot for granted with regard to its audience, assuming that we have a clue what the hell is going on in the lives of everyone involved, what their motivations are and what, if any, relevance they have to events taking place. Such hefty production expenses would usually have to ensure that the film reached as many people as possible, but it really didn't feel like the previously uninitiated were being considered, which is unfortunate, given that this would have comprised most the paying members of the audience.

    Add to this the incredulity that those very same audience members will have felt by having this young man in charge of their very existence and just how likely, even in magical Hollywoodland, that would actually be. I can swallow quite a bit, but even this seemed more far-fatched than the clearly questionable premise was to begin with.

    Now I don't want to come across as a bully, but Asa Butterfield really doesn't have the gravitas to pull off a tactical master of the universe. For a start, he looks like he's about twelve, he has no charisma to speak of that would garner any kind of respect, especially from other children, who are, without doubt, the most difficult of demographics to get any kind of common-sense, consideration and deliberation out of. Even more so with teenagers. His direction may have been to play Ender as understated and thoughtful, but these qualities are not enough to make this character believable. Age is not on his side here, and what he lacks in years, he must therefore make up for in other areas. Sadly, this was not the case.

    Perhaps there are elements of Ender that we (them that didn't read the book) are not aware of. Again, we return to the problem of the characters not being fleshed out well enough for the more clueless in the audience (ie, me) to appreciate. I just don't know. I didn't read the book, so I don't know. What I do know is that I felt like I must be missing something fairly relevant to a plot that I was largely unaparty to.

    The performances from the grown-ups on show were all pretty good, though none were outstanding. Harrison Ford, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley all supported the fledging war-maker suitably, although most of the time, they appeared to be just as reticent as me to believe this mere slip of a boy could muster enough respect to command a trip to the shops, far less potential genocide of an entire alien race.

    Looked pretty but lacked a cohesive narrative that the newcomer to the stories could follow and was sorely lacking with the choice of Butterfield as the lead. Not to be too harsh on him, but the finger of blame should probably go to the casting department in this regard, for choosing an actor that already had a serious handicap in this area, through no real fault of his own.

    This will come and go and you probably won't notice.
  64. Jul 20, 2014
    this is a fine movie btw, but im getting a little tired of ender as a person. and i hate that the movie tries to be funny sometimes, but its not. its ok
  65. Nov 10, 2014
    Ender's Game has an overstuffed plot and might not be as though-provoking as its source material but still provides some solid action sequences and a good script.
  66. 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.