Movie Review: Ender’s Game

Fifty years ago, aliens attacked Earth. Ultimately, humans won the battle and the aliens were forced to flee back to their home planet. But everyone is afraid that the aliens will return–stronger than before. The International Fleet is determined to find a leader who can prepare the world for another attack. The best and the brightest children are trained to be these leaders. When Ender, one of the kids, is chosen to continue on to Battle School, he learns more about the aliens and what it means to be a leader. But time is of the essence, because another attack may be imminent…

*Note: I have never read the book version of Ender’s Game, so I don’t know much about it in terms of quality or appropriateness*

When I first saw this movie, I didn’t really like it. I won’t say too much for spoiler reasons, but the ending is kind of depressing. It isn’t totally hopeless, but it doesn’t have the sense of closure I usually prefer, either. I recently watched the movie again, and I found I appreciated the ending more the second time around. Because Ender’s Game has something most alien invasion movies lack.

Depth.

Ender’s Game is more than just an action-packed movie about aliens and spaceships. Yes, the battle scenes are very well done and the cinematography is amazing, but Ender’s Game also presents some interesting questions about the ethics of war. Do the ends justify the means? Is compassion a character flaw and brutality a strength? Is it ever okay to do the wrong thing if it’s for the greater good? How far should someone go to win? I love how Ender’s Game reminds us that we should never sacrifice right and wrong just for a victory.

I also appreciated Ender’s character. We live in a world where we define a hero by his physical fighting skills. But Ender is interesting in that his strength lies in his ability to outsmart his opponent. He does know how to fight, but most of his victories are achieved because he’s analytical and strategic.

As for content, Ender’s Game is fairly clean, There’s a handful of mild profanity, and there isn’t much (if anything) in the way of sexual content. Violence can be little intense, although it’s never overly-graphic.

As far as alien movies go, I think Ender’s Game is one of the best. The  story leaves you pondering right and wrong. I would recommend Ender’s Game to anyone who loves sic-fi (or even dystopian) movies.


Have you seen Ender’s Game? What did you think?

Do you enjoy alien invasion movies?

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13 Comments

  1. I also liked Ender’s Game better the second time I watched it. I thought they did a good job picking the actors for the movie. It was hard watching Harrison Ford play a jerk instead of the charming hero.

    Ender’s Game is a great alien movie that comes across as believable and has depth where most fall short.

    1. I know; I’ve seen Harrison Ford as characters like Han Solo and Jack Ryan for so long that seeing him play a less-than-likable character was very different! I also thought the acting was great.

  2. Hi Ashley – if you like the movie, you’ll LOVE the books (yes, it’s a series)! But, the ending of the movie does leave you wanting and the ending of the book is handled better. Just another proof authors should write their own movie script whenever possible!

  3. Okay it’s been a while since I saw this movie, but I remember having chills when I finished it. I agree that it has a lot more depth than a lot of scifi movies and brings up really big questions. I was also shaken by the fact that Endor is, like, twelve (I think he may be even younger in the books; I haven’t read them either). He’s way too young to be put in these high-pressure situations, but the adults in control don’t care about that. I did love the movie, though. I actually really liked the abrupt ending because it left me thinking about what had happened while I feel like a happy ending could have swept my horror under the rug whereas the abruptness left me to come to my own conclusion as to how I felt about what happened.

    1. I agree; if Ender’s Game had ended differently, I think the message would have been lost a little bit. I love movies like this that make you think, even long after you’ve finished watching it.

  4. You know, I had this on a ‘to watch’ list a while back. I never got to it, though. ?
    And while I do like a good alien invasion book, I find it hard to find some decent ones. I need to finish watching Battleship, (which wasn’t too bad, but the main character’s a pain in the beginning) and I enjoyed Independence Day.

    1. For the most part, I find alien movies to be a little corny and after a while they all start to feel the same! 😛 But I thought Ender’s Game had some unique twists.

  5. Well, it was pleasant to read all of your comments. Maybe this is one movie I can find time to watch. Thanks for all the critiques.

  6. I was happy to see your movie review, as I have always trusted your taste in movies/books. Sometimes when we watch a movie for the second time, we do notice things missed in our first viewing. Thanks for this review 🙂

  7. It’s been a couple decades since I last read the book, so I only remember bits and pieces of it. But I thought I liked the book’s ending better than the movie’s.

    There are some alien invasion movies I love, and others that I don’t like. It just depends on how it’s handled. The old Independence Day with Will Smith was my favorite movie for years. But some others like War of the Worlds are just too dark and hopeless for me. I don’t like to see humans turning against one another in a struggle for survival. I’d rather see humans put aside their differences to band together against a common threat.

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