Box art for Ender's Game

  Ender's Game

action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

As fears of an alien invasion grow, Earth's International Fleet recruits an unlikely leader a young and brilliant boyto command its forces and fight for the future of the human race.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

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  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 12
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
2 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
1 out of 5
3 out of 5

Thought-provoking sci-fi adventure with military violence.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ender's Game is the highly anticipated adaptation of Orson Scott Card's best-selling 1985 sci-fi novel. While there's not any sex and only very minor language, there's a lot of violence in the militaristic story: from two near-fatal personal fights to weapons-based strategy competitions to simulated war battles to the annihilation of an entire planet and alien race. The book author's outspoken political comments have led to controversy surrounding the film, but the film itself promotes positive messages about empathy and moral responsibility, honest communication between adults and children, and peaceful diplomacy as superior to military aggression.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about one of the movie's central themes: compassion/diplomacy versus cruelty/warfare. How is Ender gifted at both war and peace? In the end, do you agree with Ender or with Col. Graff?
  • How are the relationships between adults and children portrayed in the movie? Are the miscommunications, omissions of truth, and expectations of obedience realistic?
  • This movie is controversial, partly because of political remarks made by the book's author. Should you separate a work of art from its creator or not? What does it depend on?
  • On one hand, the officers tell the young soldiers that their peers are competition not friends, but on the other hand, they expect the soldiers to work together under a leader. Are these ideas contradictory or can competitiveness still strengthen teamwork?
  • Those who've read the book, how does the movie compare?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

3 stars

What it wants, this intergalactic tale of us versus them, is to be be associated with expressions such as "epic!" and "awesome!". To this end Harrison Ford's presence has been got, a reminder of another intergalactic of which he played a small part, now ushering in a new generation as it were, Hans Solo passing the baton, and he does well here. The young director charges his actors to amp up the emotion in every scene and the young cast does its best though not given a real chance to connect. All in all not a bad first installment to another in the space opera canon.

- ApeneckFletcher, Friday, November 8, 2013

2 stars

The film adaptation of "Ender's Game" vividly illustrates many of the books cool concepts, but the thing that separates the story from other sci-fi plots is also its biggest detriment: the kids. While Steinfeld and Butterfield have both proven themselves talented actors, the script makes even their dialogue sound stilted, and its much worse for the less-talented kids. Unlike the book, which really depicted an Earth in desperation, it simply does not feel believable enough that the human race would be put in the hands of children. The effects may be pretty cool, and the film is impressively cast, but "Ender's Game" squeezes too much and ends up delivering too little.

- fb791220692, Thursday, November 7, 2013