Universal Pictures | Release Date: June 11, 1982
8.3
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 353 Ratings
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Positive:
305
Mixed:
34
Negative:
14
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5
beingryanjudeAug 28, 2014
E.T. is extremely thin--it pretends to be a much more heartwarming and spectacular than it actually is. I've found it difficult to emotionally connect and am unimpressed with Spielberg's attempt at creating fantastic science-fiction.
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4
SpangleFeb 28, 2017
One day, people will eventually realize that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a bad movie. I did not like it as a child and could not stand it as an adult. Truly a timeless disaster. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial certainly stands as a testament toOne day, people will eventually realize that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a bad movie. I did not like it as a child and could not stand it as an adult. Truly a timeless disaster. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial certainly stands as a testament to how little I can stand children in films. The kids in this film are universally grating and deserve to be run over with a steamroller. In particular, Drew Barrymore plays the annoying little snitch of a little sister and she does nothing scream in a high-pitched little kid scream and it drove me mad. Alongside her, Henry Thomas plays an annoying ten-year-old who apparently was tasked with, along with the rest of his class, to kill frogs for dissection. Absolutely wild. When I dissected frogs in high school, they were dead already. We did not have to kill them ourselves. Are these the horror stories of growing up that will be told by people that were young in the 1980s? Instead of having to walk up and down hill in a driving blizzard, they had to kill frogs with chloroform and then cut them up. Predictable, lacking wonder and magic, and simply overly manipulative and sentimental, E.T. is yet another 1980s childhood classic that I hate, joining esteemed company with Gremlins (why does that woman want to kill the dog) and The Goonies (where did they find all these annoying little screamers in the 80s).

The film is simply unfunny, in spite of attempts to be funny. Scenes of E.T. getting drunk and having some weird connection with Elliott (Thomas) that makes him drunk and kiss a girl with a fat kid serving as a lift for the shorter Elliott are creepy. Now, it is in line with E.T. as a whole who is creepily designed and then lures Elliott in with candy. Slow your roll, pervert. Add in the alcohol that gives him the guts to kiss a girl and the film has worrying messages about drinking and candy from strangers. A series of reaction shots towards the end of the boys on bicycles making weird faces as they fly are also incredibly grating and seem like something out of Tommy Wiseau's The Room instead of an alleged childhood classic. The only part of the movie that is funny is when Michael (Robert MacNaughton) finds E.T. burning in the sun and a raccoon was clearly hanging around and possibly eating E.T. That still makes me laugh.

The film is also quite cliched in its plotting with the kids all doubting Elliott, the kids getting behind Elliott, the mom freaking out, and then the adults who do not understand E.T. or kids get in the way and "kill" him. Even worse, the astronauts just bust into the home like common cat burglars. They are coming in from every window in a honestly surreal sequence that feels like something out of Blue Velvet and not a Spielberg film. Even worse, the scene where E.T. dies (unfortunate, since Elliott is saved as a result and yells, gratingly, in agony) is obviously a fake out as we just wait Elliott to go over and save him with the power of love. Wrapped up with a similarly sentimental ending, E.T. is merely a manipulative film that uses emotions regarding death and the loss of a parent to adultery as a gateway to trying and getting people to cry. It has no sense of wonder or magic in its own story, just sappy emotions and sentimentality that feel unearned with a hollow emotional core in the film.

The only source of any magic and wonder is the score from John Williams, which admittedly sounds good, but it entirely used as a crutch. The characters have to literally scream over the score with Williams' music sounding more akin to the Oscars playing somebody off the stage during the acceptance speech than a film score. Constantly telling the audience how to fell and single-handedly trying to make the film feel wondrous as a celebration of childhood and imagination, the score just does not work in this film because of bad mixing. It just distracts too much and tries to manipulate the audience into buying the sentimental and sappy emotions of the plot and dialogue. It nearly works and has made many people cry, but for those not buying the plot and dialogue, the score just becomes massively annoying with the score constantly getting louder and louder.

With a creepy connection between a boy and the alien at the center of this film, a lack of originality, a predictable plot, annoying child actors, a score that is too loud, no comedy, no wonder, and no magic, E.T. is a disaster of a childhood film. It may appeal to the vast majority of people, but I desperately wanted this thing to end. The adults being the bad guys because they do not let kids run all over the earth acting like **** is a truly annoying trope and this film relies upon it quite heavily. All in all, this film may have some fun special effects and is glorious in its 1980s cheese while being mildly entertaining, but it largely falls flat and is hardly an enjoyable experience due to the litany of issues it has.
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5
NShep53Apr 17, 2015
I can definitely see the appeal of E.T. and the nostalgia of it. But, as a child of the 90s, I never saw E.T. until I was older. It is not my favorite Spielberg film, but is definitely worth the watch.
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