Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    This movie made my heart glad. It is filled with innocence, hope, and good cheer. It is also wickedly funny and exciting as hell.
  2. Always a magical film. For its anniversary rerelease, though, it's been extensively restored and even partly reshot by Spielberg. It now looks better than it did back then.
  3. Beaming back on screens for its 20th anniversary, holds up spectacularly well.
  4. 100
    An all-time classic that seems even better after two decades.
  5. If we approach with sympathy and curiosity, we will be rewarded with same. And our souls, not to mention our bicycles, will soar to the heavens.
  6. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Music for the eyes. That's why it has become a treasured classic. That's why we'll see it again and again.
  7. It's one modern film worthy of being called a contemporary classic.
  8. 100
    The least fussy great movie ever made.
  9. Just as moving, uplifting and funny as ever in its slightly modified form.
  10. In E.T., Spielberg proved a herald of the age when moviegoers would make full-time friends with fantasy, but his most special effect was taking us into ourselves.
  11. 100
    One of the loveliest and happiest of American movie entertainments.
  12. 100
    Unchecked goodness has its price, after all, and childhood wonder wouldn't be nearly as sweet if it didn't fade. That may explain the film's appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber -- then, now, and for any time.
  13. 100
    Seeing E.T. again reminds us of how much we've remained the same, how gratified we still are by a film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy.
  14. 100
    Watching E.T now, in an era dominated by cold, loud special-effects-laden extravaganzas, one is struck less by its lavish grandeur than by its intimacy and precision.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Had the aura of an instant classic when it was released, and the good news is that it looks at least that good, if not better, on the eve of its 20th anniversary reissue.
  16. 100
    A sophisticatedly sappy masterpiece that bucked the prevailing Hollywood vision of aliens as nasty invaders and recast them as friendly collectibles for children.
  17. 100
    Spielberg wrote a poem. And all the best movies are poems. [25 Mar 2002, p. 86]
  18. 90
    The film's real power to move flows from its low, childlike angles, which, rather than infantalize its audience, bring it down to where the hurt and fear, and hence the comfort, loom larger.
  19. 83
    It's a fascinating look into what Spielberg truly loves, but it's not so much a masterpiece as a nice milestone.
  20. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    One of the most popular movies ever made, E.T. translates religious myth into cute, familiar terrain.
  21. 80
    When E.T. debuts on DVD, you can choose between the new version, which better matches E.T.'s words to his lips, and the sweetly clunky, digitally deprived version redolent of penis breath. I don't need to phone home to know which one I'm buying.
  22. We're told that this new version is tweaked and enhanced, with the E.T. puppet digitally smoothed out, and the guns in the meanies' hands removed (silly, but bravo).
  23. Doesn't make it a masterpiece, but it's fun.
  24. A fine picture because it can still, without fail, make an entire audience of children shut up and fall in love with a little green alien with big eyes and a turtlelike body.
  25. Reviewed by: Rick Kisonak
    The story itself holds up fairly well though, twenty years later, does come off as thinner than I recalled.
  26. Reviewed by: Don McKellar
    E.T. is a dog movie. Genre-wise, I mean. It's about a boy meeting a dog, naming it, taming it, learning from it, and growing up. Of course, the genre is superficially disguised as science fiction, as was the fashion at the time.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 230 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 46
  2. Negative: 9 out of 46
  1. Oct 20, 2010
    E.T. is an heartwarming family hit and it will cherrish moviegoers of all ages.
  2. May 6, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. HE IS AFRAID

    Weather you like it or not, I truly believe at everyone has to admit that E.T. Is a pristine example of a perfect film! It is so much more than a little boy meeting a slimy little alien. E.T. Is the 1982 masterpiece about the innocence of nature not only from this world, but the innocence that the rest of the universe might quite possibly obtain. E.T. shows you that no matter how far away, sometimes the most important person in your life could be one that lives 3,000,000 light years away from you and that despite the distance, you and that person will always have a phenomenally strong connection no matter what. It shows in the film when E.T. gives his life for Elliot out of nothing less than pure true love and compassion for him.

    The cast is phenomenal despite only making one true star, Drew Barrymore, while she's fantastic, Henry Thomas Knocks it out of the park with the greatest performance I have seen from a child actor ever. This movie s brilliantly directed by Steven Spielberg who made so man fantastic decisions, such as filming the scenes in order of when they occur in the story so that the child actors would not get confused. Steven Spielberg, a man who planned to never have children, was convinced due to how like able these child actors were. Spielberg has even claimed that he feels like they were his first kids, he basically was there for Drew Barrymore's entire life and is basically a father figure to her.

    E.T. Is easily the most emotional film of all time as well, making little kids to grown men cry like a lost kitten not once, but twice in the film! The film also manages to have it's little comedic moment to lighten up the mood, which are placed out perfectly throughout the film. Not to mention the adult cast is amazing as well, specifically Dee Wallace, who might very well be the ultimate mother figure to ever grace the big screen playing the type of role countless of times. It is a movie that is perfectly paced throughout it's two hour runtime that just draws you into the story and towards the end makes you crave for more like the chunky lad on a baseball team craving a bottle of water after running to first base. It perfectly builds up to an epic finally completely built up by your emotions which consists one of the greatest scores in film history by John Williams.

    Not to mention E.T. Steals the show by completely controlling the audiences hearts like a puppet on strings. E.T. is so easy to just fall in love with that he could even make a queen xenomorph tear up! This film truly shows how you could use practical effects rather than CGI, check out the deleted scenes in the twentieth anniversary edition, in a much more effective way. E.T. remained the highest-grossing film of all time for about twenty-one years until another definitive Spielberg film called Jurassic Park. E.T. blew up like a pimple on prom night, being on the cover of everything such as, T-shirts, cereal, and candy. Hell, E.T. even became best friends in real life with the so called "greatest entertainer to ever live Michael Jackson,"to the point where they even took one of the most iconic images involving the two from the iconic E.T. soundtrack.

    E.T. is probably the only big moneymaker in film history to escape an amateur sequel, trust me I read the plot, because Spielberg came and told the studio that they couldn't do a sequel, because they truly did have a perfect film.......and the studio agreed for once. E.T. Not only is the biggest film to come out of the 80's, but it is probably the first movie to gain as much support from the audience as it did. E.T. Is still remembered today as one of the all time greatest masterpieces in film history and still continues to touch audiences hearts around the planet..........and will continue to do so until the end of time! E.T. is Pure....... Perfection! My Favorite Film Of All Time!
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 21, 2013
    What a pile of horse faeces, this just reeks of being over-rated. Considered a classic but in my opinion just a pointless piece of work. I do not care about the characters or the plot, the movie is a waste of time but I shouldn't influence your choice; watch it and make up your own mind. Full Review »