Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 34
  2. Negative: 7 out of 34
  1. This contemporary remake of the science-fiction classic knew what it was doing when it cast Keanu Reeves, the movies' greatest stone face since Buster Keaton.
  2. 67
    The one unforgivable crime committed in this remake is the lack of the original's most famous line of dialogue: "Klaatu barada nikto." Would it have been so tough to squeeze that in somewhere?
  3. Surprise! The remake is not a heresy. It's a decent enough stab at being what the old movie was to its time, following the same basic plot, full of respectful references to its model, updated with a gallery of fairly imaginative special effects.
  4. 63
    Just because the new The Day the Earth Stood Still is green, though, doesn't mean it's dull. If anything, there's a lot more mayhem and destruction this time around.
  5. An entertaining rethink of the 1951 classic.
  6. 63
    Passed my popcorn-movie test. Using the vast, expensive technology of a big studio production, it roused enough cheap energy to drive me to eat a bag of popcorn fit for a circus animal and wash it down with a quart of Diet Coke.
  7. I can't explain the film's main problem without giving plot points away; suffice to say that, after decades of watching Earth, Klaatu's team of observers has missed a crucial event you and I witness every day. I can tell you about the secondary problem, though: too much money.
  8. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    A remake that does not disgrace the original, this is sufficiently different to stand alone and just as relevant in its concerns – as well as succeeding (arguably better) as a thriller. And after this performance, are we sure that Keanu Reeves is really human?
  9. 58
    Like the big shiny sphere at its center, the film is fairly pretty, but there's no real sense that there's anything inside it.
  10. For most of the way this ecofriendly fantasy is pleasantly clunky, and Reeves, whose expressive range here is slim to none, is perfectly cast as the alien.
  11. Despite the best efforts of stars Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, this new "Day" is tired and corny.
  12. 50
    All this is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail.
  13. Keanu Reeves plays Klaatu, confining his usual two-and-a-half-note vocal range to half that.
  14. 50
    One of the big problems here is that, despite much exposition, the nature of Klaatu's mission on Earth isn't at all clear.
  15. Reviewed by: Cammila Albertson
    Pretty good as science fiction thrillers go, but sadly, there isn't much more to say about it.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The story, an updated version of the 1951 classic about a portentous extraterrestrial visit, feels musty and derivative, and not only because it's a remake.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Something has been lost in the translation, and it's not just the script.
  18. 50
    It lacks the simple elegance and intelligence of the earlier film, and employs special effects and pointless action scenes to replace passages of dialogue.
  19. As a message movie, it's preachy without being serious; for an action movie, there's a lot of racket but not much fun.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    A 'so-so' movie. It's not particularly good, but it's competent and more or less successful in its goals.
  21. Reviewed by: Luke Y. Thompson
    The problem here is that there are no big ideas.
  22. 50
    Although the new version, which stars Keanu Reeves, is likely to make audiences pine for the meta-irony of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," it's not a complete failure.
  23. 50
    The opening stretch, when the visitor arrives on earth and blithely dresses down mankind, is great fun. But screenwriter David Scarpi has drained away much of the sentiment.
  24. The original Day the Earth Stood Still had a paranoid poetry that lifted the audience up even as it warned the world to come together. This one is so dour it just comes off as a scolding.
  25. The film's major action sequences are never exciting, and even the now-requisite destruction of New York feels lazy.
  26. 40
    Any movie that awards a former Monty Python cast member a Nobel Prize in anything cannot be all bad. And The Day the Earth Stood Still could be worse.
  27. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    This botched remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" seriously dishonors the seriously fine 1951 sci-fi landmark on which it's based.
  28. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Dunno about the Earth, but time certainly stands still for a goodly portion of Scott Derrickson's expensively produced but utterly boneheaded remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  29. Klaatu is a dream role for the beautifully blank Reeves, since he doesn’t even have to pretend to emote.
  30. How can this movie not be fun?
  31. 20
    A jumble of spare parts and leftover dialogue, as if it had been assembled out of unused bits of every movie where an unknown whatzit threatens our way of life and the government goes into full institutional pants-crapping panic mode.
  32. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Suffice it to say that these morons have, quite simply, turned The Day the Earth Stood Still on its head and what's falling out of its pockets in that upended state is a stream of junk.
  33. What's never explained is why anyone would do such a dumb remake of Robert Wise's 1951 sci-fi classic.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 192 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 106
  2. Negative: 53 out of 106
  1. Nov 26, 2010
    This was quite a bit better than i had expected. Thematically updated for the world's current parlous state. Keanu Reeves is well cast as Klaatu. Maybe not the classic of the 1951 original but still watchable. Full Review »
  2. Aug 5, 2011
    Another failed attempt at making a remake of a fantastic classic. I can see where they were going when they got Keanu Reeves to play klatuu. He's your perfect stone faced actor with one expression and he did this part well. But this movie failed hard to bring back the classic 1951 film by the same name. This movie for one was rushed and that got me angry. NOT a good movie and do not recommend it. Full Review »
  3. Apr 6, 2013
    The Day The Earth Stood Still got off on a decent start, offering some suspense and mystery despite several incosistencies in the plot but then again, it is a Hollywood movie. However, halfway through the movie slowly develops into a piece of modernist propaganda about how the human race is destroying the earth and how we're not worthy of living on it, the military is evil and big government can only make things worse.

    And yes, there's no denying that but at some point a gigantic McDonalds "M" shows up and you realise that this movie isn't trying to make a difference or criticize the industrialist's destructive behaviour, it's trying to tell us that the current human condition is as good as it gets and that we should be at peace with what's happening. After all, even an alien race that came to destroy us can be convinced that human civilization is in fact completely awesome and worth saving! Now drive out there with your Honda, buy yourself a hamburger at McDonalds but be sure to keep an eye out on your Citizen's watch, you wouldn't want to forget about time; the one invention that makes sure we all do exactly what we're told when we're told to do it.

    Still, this doesn't really bother me. I've watched many propaganda pieces before and I've enjoyed some of them thoroughly but TDtESS is simply a bad movie. It has completely miscast actors, plotholes large enough to fit a gigantic robot through and the story is a rehash of every single Hollywood cliché of the past 30 years or so: annoying kid that constantly gets everyone into trouble smart and friendly older scientist, handsome saviour, lonesome white widow who apparently adopted a black child (Why she couldn't be his mother is beyond me, are they worried it'd make her less attractive or possibly offend the audience? This movie is all about political correctness). I didn't find the low-budget special effects very good either, some of it seemed rather 90's videogames material, especially the gigantic robot. I could not care for any of the characters, new people were constantly introduced but none of them made a lasting impression and they all seemed like cardboard cutouts when it came to their emotions.

    Not recommended unless you're a fan of cheesy sci-fi flicks that take themselves way too seriously.
    Full Review »