ENDER NEWS REVIEW-O-METER:     68 %   (187 reviews)


A.V. Club (3.25/5)
"The film manages a sustained sense of momentum and tone that is rare for a contemporary, big-budget movie."
Adventures In Poor Taste (3.5/5)
"Asa Butterfield is talented enough to carry the whole picture, and portray that hypersensitivity of youth in his expressive eyes."
Aleteia (David Ives) (3.5/5)
"With its over-abundance of ideas and the guts to go with a resolution that completely turns the typical Hollywood ending on its head, Ender's Game is a welcome addition to a genre that too often of late settles for the shallow. "
AllMediaNY.com (3.5/5)
"Excellent performances from [Asa] Butterfield and from Ben Kingsley gave the film just enough life to make viewers keep up with a plot that felt rushed at times. "
Alone In The Dark (4/5)
"Ender's Game proves itself to be surprisingly weighty in its tackling of military foreign policies, as well as providing a commanding character in Ender and some cracking action to boot."
andPOP (3.5/5)
"While gorgeous and exhilarating, this ambitious film is definitely not perfect. "
Arizona Republic (3/5)
"There seems to have been coffee shortage on set, too, judging from the barely there performance by Harrison Ford as a gruff commander named Graff."
At Tha Movies (3/5)
"Fun action sequences, and a strong performance from Butterfield (and Ford proving he's awake) go a long way toward making the film worth a watch. Just don't expect this particular game to end with much more than a simulated whimper."
Breitbart (3.5/5)
"A commendable drama and one hopes that it serves as the start of a franchise that further explores this visually-satisfying and thematically-powerful world."
Bullz-Eye (Jason Zingale) (3/5)
"Not to say the movie isn't entertaining, but for a novel that's so highly regarded by sci-fi fans, it should have been a lot better."
Catholic News Service (3.5/5)
"One plot feature concerning population control and a limit on the number of children families are permitted will trouble Catholic viewers."
Chicago Sun-Times (Richard Roeper) (3/5)
"Ender's Game plays well to all audiences. Spectacular visuals, superb cast overcome overly weighty moments in script."
Chicago Tribune (3.13/5)
"Though I don't believe they ever share a scene, it's astonishing nonetheless how Kingsley and the main Formic handle close-ups in exactly the same way, never, ever, ever, ever blinking. Ever."
Cine Vue (3/5)
"Ender's Game has a dark undercurrent which complements the narrative effectively, but the enemy is conspicuous in its absence."
Cinema Blend (4/5)
"All this -- the spectacular special effects, the deft storytelling and the strong ensemble performances -- blend together to create a pretty remarkable movie that I believe both kids and grownups can appreciate."
Click (4/5)
"A stunning adaptation of a sci-fi classic."
COED (4.37/5)
"It's a fun, popcorn-munching movie that isn't afraid to make you ponder the big questions."
Contact Music (3.5/5)
"Butterfield is a terrific actor who lends the character a steely interior life that catches our interest."
Crave Online (4.75/5)
"The most faithful and dramatically impactful adaptation that fans of the novel could hope for."
Culver City Observer (4/5)
"There is no end to the beauty and intensity of Ender's Game. WOW!"
Daily Express (3/5)
"Young British actor Asa Butterfield more than holds his own against a gruff Harrison Ford in Ender's Game, a terrific looking sci-fi adventure based on the book."
Daily Herald (3.75/5)
"This movie, an old-fashioned morality play masquerading as a kinetic video-game in space, understands some basic truths about youngsters."
Daily Mail (3/5)
"Most youngsters will love it, if only for the thesis that we grown-ups should hand them the controls."
Daily Mirror (4/5)
"An engaging and continually exciting science-fiction flick - one, in fact, to bring out the 12-year-old in all of us."
David Kaplan (3/5)
""Ender's Game", the movie, belongs to Asa Butterfield, the actor. He doesn't stumble once, and exhibits a credible emotional reaction when he realizes the consequences of his actions."
Dawson Reviews (3/5)
"Some aspects of the story didn't really work, but it was worth it for an outstanding ending that left me thinking about the value of life and whether the ends justify the means."
Den of Geek (3/5)
"Hood doesn't bring very much in the way of sweaty-palmed tension to his combat scenes, but he does succeed in bringing some of the weightier elements of Card's book to the big screen."
Detroit News (3/5)
"Still, it looks pretty good. More considered than your standard lunk-headed blockbuster and certainly visually engrossing, this game is played well."
Digital Spy (3/5)
"Ender's Game feels more closely aligned with The Hunger Games and JJ Abrams's first Star Trek. It never reaches the heights of either, but it should be admired for attempting to splice a grey-area morality play into a CGI space adventure."
Dustin Putman (3.12/5)
"If a continuation does not transpire, then "Ender's Game" will stand as a frustratingly unfinished curiosity. If it does, then it could be the respectable prologue to far greater things yet on the horizon."
Eye For Film (3.5/5)
"Ender's Game may not offer quite the spectacle of some other blockbusters, but when it comes to giving its target teenage audience something to think about, it wins the fight."
Film Journal International (3.5/5)
"However the franchise plays out, the deftly made Ender's Game is smart and exciting enough to succeed on its own. "
Film Racket (3.5/5)
"Ender's Game is one of the better Harry Potter wannabes out there. Along with The Hunger Games, it stays true to its roots while finding ways to make the modern moviegoer happy."
Film.com (3.25/5)
"By all appearances, this should be an excellent sci-fi adventure. But Hood keeps such a steady, unvaried pace that the revelations of the final act - which should be HUGE - have the same dramatic heft as everything else."
Film4 (3.5/5)
"Whatever you make of the book's widely derided author, Ender's Game is one of 2013's more thematically original stories, with a compellingly icy lead performance from Asa Butterfield."
First Showing (4.25/5)
"Thank God someone realized and executed Ender's Game as well as it could have been done. Now, if only it could have been 20 minutes longer."
Flick Direct (3.5/5)
"Teens will have a blast with Ender's Game a science fiction adventure that's well acted and directed."
Fox News (4.5/5)
"One of the coldest, starkest and most mature science fiction films for young adults."
Geek Smash (4.25/5)
"Ender's Game mixes great film heros with vibrant new talent and fantastic visual effects."
Geeked Out Nation (4.5/5)
"Great coming of age story which includes solid performances, no shaky cam action, and thought provoking ideas and themes that will have you leaving the theater satisfied."
Hindustan Times (3.13/5)
"Don't expect originality of either content or style from Ender's Game and you won't be disappointed."
HitFix (3.5/5)
"Virtual reality gets complicated for Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in smart, solemn "Ender's Game.""
Hollywood.com (3/5)
"Ender's Game works just fine for anyone looking to float free from the world for two hours."
Honeycutt's Hollywood (4/5)
"A thrilling and efficient sci-fi'er with plenty of action and intrigue for its handful of characters. The young actors are all excellent and the adults never stoop to camp."
I Love That Film (3/5)
"Ender's Game makes up for an occasionally clunky script with some impressive spectacle and weighty themes that lift it slightly above the average soulless science fiction extravaganza."
IGN (3.5/5)
"Butterfield's performance is worth the price of admission alone."
IndieLondon (3/5)
"Ender's Game can't quite realise all of its potential, especially in the way that it struggles to deliver the emotional clout that had been promised."
InSession Film (4/5)
"Ender's Game is a fun, dramatic look that is different and unique for most sci-fi movies."
Irish Times (3/5)
"This big budget adaptation of Orson Scott Card's popular space opera is a bracing, if dubious, orgy of youthful militarism."
Jeanne Kaplan (3/5)
"If you're a fan, then "Ender's Game" is a must see on the big screen, preferably an IMAX. It is a visual wonder - stunning, in fact. I'm just not a fan"
JoBlo (3.5/5)
"It's a smart, sophisticated sci-fi yarn, and well worth checking out."
jsonline.com (3.5/5)
""Ender's Game" is a compelling and intriguing science-fiction saga."
Kansas City Star (3.13/5)
"Butterfield is superb during these high-stress moments, imparting both the confidence of a budding genius and the stress of someone in way over his head."
Kidzworld (4/5)
"Especially for the importance of the film to young people, we'll go 4 stars."
Las Vegas Weekly (3.5/5)
"Although the special effects are outstanding, the movie's ambivalence about war robs the big space battles of some of their power."
Llanelli Star (4/5)
"It is refreshing to see that the young adult market is being granted a film with real substance and even themes that act as a relevant social commentary on warfare over the last decade."
London Evening Standard (3/5)
"The film itself -- a sci-fi thriller based on Card's 1985 novel -- is a kid-centric, technically whizzy extravaganza and takes great pains to promote a brave new world. I liked it."
Los Angeles Times (4/5)
""Ender's Game" turns out to be our game as well."
Loughborough Echo (4/5)
"As Colonel Hyrum Graff, Ford is back to his screen-commanding best for the first time since K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)."
Madison Movie (3.75/5)
"The film raises real questions about the wisdom of turning young men into killing machines."
Mania (4/5)
"It's a very good film. Just not quite as good as it wants to be and what it comes agonizing close to reaching before stumbling over its own good intentions. "
Metro (4/5)
"The story -- a provocative study about the morality of warfare and conflicts of leadership -- injects something powerful and new into the familiar "chosen one" plot trajectory."
Mid-Day (Mumbai) (3/5)
"Visually, Ender's Game is unexpectedly epic -- the CGI is absolutely top-notch and the anti-gravity war room scenes are incredible to behold."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (3.75/5)
"A thoughtful, intelligent portrait of a world where we are all made victims of the battles being fought in our name."
Movie Fanatic (4.5/5)
"Davis is also spectacular Both bring gravitas to the film that gives it credence beyond what some might simply call a young adult story."
MovieWeb (4/5)
"There isn't a dull moment in this film. Hood and his editing team move slowly when focus is needed, but are smart enough to not get bogged down."
MSN UK (3/5)
"Ender's Game makes an exciting enough cinema trip, but don't expect this to be popping up in any sci-fi classic movie lists any time soon."
National Post (3.13/5)
"Ultimately, Ender's Game might have benefitted from the Peter Jackson treatment, split into two or even three parts, or recast as a TV miniseries."
Nerdist.com (3/5)
"In what could be mistaken for a two-hour video game trailer, Ender's Game is saved in a multigenerational effort with strong performances from kid wonders and film veterans alike."
Nerdvana (Bob Leeper) (3.75/5)
"Even though it is clunky at times and rushed at others, Ender's Game is still one of the best science-fiction films to come along in some time and is absolutely worth seeing on the big screen."
New York Post (3.75/5)
"The young Butterfield gives "Ender" depth beyond its video-game setup. With his wide-set eyes and unflappable gravity, punctuated by subtle moments of wry humor, the kid's a magnetic screen presence."
Next Projection (3.5/5)
"The film is quite entertaining through and through, and a wonder to see on the big screen."
Northamptonshire Telegraph (3.5/5)
"Gavin Hood directs at a brisk pace, integrating a miasma of digital effects with the live action to ensure his sharp-shooting adventure packs plenty of thrills to complement the tears and heartbreak."
Philadelphia Daily News (3/5)
"The Sci-Fi spectacle "Ender's Game" turns out to be a bit depressing, and I mean that in a good way."
Philadelphia Inquirer (3.13/5)
"The CG and visual effects in "the Mind Game," as in the rest of Ender's Game, are top-notch. Butterfield brings lots of adolescent earnestness to his role, and Hailee Steinfeld is an affable sidekick."
Reel Views (3.75/5)
"Ender's Game manages to be exciting and engaging while conveying weighty ideas."
San Francisco Chronicle (Walter Addiego) (3.5/5)
"Overall it's an absorbing and thought-provoking spectacle."
San Jose Mercury News (3.75/5)
""Ender's Game" a stunning success."
Scene-Stealers (3.13/5)
"The plot moves efficiently forward, the special effects and set design are convincing, and the training-fight sequences are filmed clearly and with precision."
Sci-Fi Movie Page (5/5)
"A powerful adaptation of a landmark novel and a stunning achievement for all concerned."
Scottish Daily Record (4/5)
"Ender's training, growth and eventual battle in the stars make for an engaging and exciting sci-fi flick to bring out the 12-year-old in all of us."
Screen Crush (3/5)
""Ender's Game" isn't a terrific movie, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse. In a way, it sticks to its guns and remains true to the book."
Screen International (4/5)
"The movie walks a delicate line between celebrating violence and condemning it, and that tension is embodied in the tense relationship between young Ender and the battle-tested Graff."
ScreenRant (3/5)
"In the end, Ender's Game is just... good. It's not the most visually stunning, or brilliant sci-fi film of the year (there's that Gravity movie again) but it is an interesting and well-acted representation of the novel."
Seattle Times (3.75/5)
"Gavin Hood's adaptation of the sci-fi classic, brings heartfelt acting together with remarkable effects, and builds to a wrenching moral crisis."
SFX (3/5)
"Maybe Hood was banking on his A-list cast providing the fireworks. It's a good job all those Oscar nominees (and Asa Butterfield, excellent as Ender) keep up their end of the bargain in style."
Shadows on the Wall (3.5/5)
"With above-average effects and a strong cast, this teen sci-fi adventure asks some provocative questions about the nature of leadership and the rush to war."
Shockya.com (3.5/5)
"Parents will exit theatres with their children with the feeling the movie was addressed to them with an imperative signal of warning."
Skewed 'n Reviewed (4/5)
"Do yourself a favor, put your feelings towards the author of the book aside (whatever they may be) and go check this out. You won't regret it."
Sky Movies (3/5)
"Butterfield, who impressed in Hugo, gives it a good shot as Ender, though his scrawny frame gets somewhat lost amid all the CGI-heavy pyrotechnics."
Slash Film (3/5)
"The question is, does the film live up to the promise of the book? The answer is: yes and no."
St. Paul Pioneer Press (3.75/5)
"The title character is a fascinating and complex person who is given his due in Asa Butterfield's intuitive, open-hearted performance."
Starburst Magazine (3/5)
"Time may well see Ender's Game become a genre classic but modern blockbuster-soaked audiences are likely to be frustrated by its heel-dragging and its sense of inertia."
Sun-Times Media (3.5/5)
"There's a lot to admire about this surprisingly substantial big-budget sci-fi spectacular."
Sunday Mirror (4/5)
"Ender's Game has an all-star cast and stunning effects but Asa Butterfield steals the show."
Sunday Telegraph (3/5)
"This is tolerably interesting - Butterfield has a highly watchable, other-worldly face - but it doesn't quite catch fire."
Technology Tell (3/5)
"I wish the movie commenced about five or ten minutes earlier. Then I'd be carrying that Hallelujah tune as we speak."
The Globe and Mail (3.75/5)
"Some chilly ideas trump conventional movie spectacle in Ender's Game, a promising if risky start to what is intended to be a blockbuster franchise."
The Guardian (3/5)
"Gavin Hood's adaptation of Orson Scott Card's bestseller remains pacy and visually pleasing despite an overload of ideas."
The Harvard Crimson (4/5)
"Director Gavin Hood proves his ability: "Ender's Game" loses neither its awe-inducing creativity nor its difficult questions of morality in its translation to the big screen."
The List (3/5)
"But at least, as blockbusters go, it's a considered, rather than thoughtless, ride."
The Movie Bit (4/5)
"Sure, it's flawed in places, but Ender's Game is a thoroughly entertaining slice of sci-fi, presenting an absolutely compelling story that will stay with you for a long time."
The Observer (3/5)
"The Last Starfighter meets Heart of Darkness in an efficient sci-fi adventure pitting a gaming geek against an alien invasion."
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (4/5)
""Ender's Game" is an engrossing popcorn movie. It's aimed at kids, but adults may also find themselves caught up in Ender's evolution."
The Playlist (3/5)
"As a mainstream sci-fi film, this enjoyable, occasionally poignant effort too often feels messy in the wrong ways."
The Telegraph (3/5)
"The adapation of Scott Orson Card's 1985 novel is refreshingly idea-driven and forces you to grapple with the morality of war-as-videogame."
The Times (4/5)
"The film combines the battling kids formula of The Hunger Games with the alienating techno-thrills of Tron."
The Times of India (3.5/5)
"Note: You may not like this film if you don't enjoy sci-fi movies set in space."
The Times-Picayune (3/5)
""Ender's Game" shapes up as a decent franchise starter and a film that makes it hard not to be intrigued by what will come next."
The Verge (3/5)
"Hood has taken the core of what was once considered an unfilmable novel, and turned it into an accessible and ambitious film."
The Wrap (4/5)
"Bolstered by solid performances and a clean, elegant visual style, Hood ultimately delivers a film that actually earns the distinction of being for audiences of all ages."
Time Out (3/5)
"The cast are strong, the effects well designed, and the script's interest in how violence influences and inspires children is timely and insightful."
Topless Robot (3.5/5)
"It's about as good as we could have expected - the final-final ending still packs an emotional punch - and that's no small thing."
Toronto Star (Peter Howell) (3.13/5)
"Perhaps most surprising is how convincing the adults are. Ford, Kingsley and Davis are all seriously engaged with this otherwise generic material, especially Ford, who often seems bored by his movie choices."
Toronto Sun (Bruce Kirkland) (3.5/5)
"Some plotting is simplified, as is the case with all adaptations from book to screen. But the core of the action and the intent is maintained, including moral dilemmas."
Total Film (4/5)
"An absorbing portrait of Lord Of The Flies-style morality housed in imaginative sci-fi casing."
Tulsa World (3.75/5)
""Ender's Game" is a thrill to the senses, while at the same time provoking thought. "
Up and Comers (4.5/5)
"It's a pleasant surprise to be able to say that Gavin Hood exceeded expectations on his adaptation of the Orson Scott Card sci-fi classic, a cool, fun and original-looking film that doesn't delve too deep but is entertaining as hell."
Variety (4/5)
"Against considerable odds, this risky-sounding Orson Scott Card adaptation actually works, as director Gavin Hood pulls off the sort of teen-targeted franchise starter Summit was hoping for."
ViewLondon (3/5)
"Watchable sci-fi adventure enlivened by some decent special effects and strong performances from Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis."
Washington Post (3/5)
"Moisés Arias, a performer who's usually known for playing goofballs, also makes a surprising and powerful impression as the bully Bonzo."
We Got This Covered (4/5)
"The combined strength of Butterfield's lead performance and Hood's direction turn Ender's Game into an actual movie instead of just another "for the fans" YA novel adaptation, and it's a pretty good one at that."
WFAA (Hayden Pittman) (3.5/5)
""Ender's Game" is fascinating for fans of science fiction fantasy and appears to be geared for a largely teen audience."
Wharf (4/5)
"An eye-popping smart bomb of a movie, timely and, perhaps, important."
Willie Waffle (3.13/5)
"We do get some very good special effects, even if the aliens look a little phony, so Ender's Game is better than most."
Wired (3/5)
"Hood's film strips the story about children socially engineered to lead a war against an alien race down to its core, and while the movie version is more sizzle than steak, it does have moral and emotional meat on its bones. Just not enough."
WNCN (Raleigh) (3/5)
""Ender's Game" is still a very unique experience and a good film. Still, I can't help but think about how great a film it could have been if Hood and company had approached the material with a little more patience."
York Press (4/5)
"Ender Wiggin is one hopeful, determined to succeed where his older brother Peter and sister Valentine failed."


Badass Digest (Evan Saathoff) (2.5/5)
"Ender's Game is nowhere near the disaster provided by Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but while never all the way boring, it doesn't really grab you either."
Big Shiny Robot (2/5)
"A lousy excuse for a science-fiction movie."
Blue-ray.com (2.5/5)
"Instead of Spielbergian force, "Ender's Game" remains frustratingly calm, almost passive, as it explores Ender's turmoil and the International Fleet's intentions for the boy."
Boston Globe (2.5/5)
"This version of "Ender's Game" lacks passion and pain."
Boston Herald (2/5)
"The misguided, mili­taristic "Ender's Game" celebrates weaponizing children as a means of wiping out a subhuman future enemy from another world."
Colorado Springs Independent (2/5)
"The book is better. I haven't even read it, yet I know this must be the case because there's little here that can account for how highly fans rate the 1985 novel."
Columbus Alive (2.5/5)
"The friend accompanying me who had read the book had a much better (if still imperfect) experience, probably because she fleshed in the gaps the movie creates."
Empire (2/5)
"The film's problems are dialogue-based; the script never quite explains why these children are so important, especially given that Ben Kingsley's war hero, Mazer Rackham, is still around."
Entertainment.ie (2/5)
"With nothing at stake, a one-dimensional hero, and lifeless visuals, Ender's Game fails to entertain."
Examiner (2/5)
"It's hard to tell who this Ender's Game was meant for, but surely this isn't the start to a potential franchise that fans of Card's work had been hoping for."
Financial Times (2/5)
"Space battles and supersized bugs apart, the movie is mammoth talk sessions in mammoth sets."
Flick Filosopher (2/5)
"My soul was never stirred. My spirit did not soar. My intellect did twitch a bit in ways that made my heart ache disagreeably, however."
Forces of Geek (2/5)
"My hope is that Ender's fans can appreciate something about this movie that I could not. To me, it was formulaic, predictable, and emotionally flat despite the fact that much of the film is a close up of Ender's glossy, tearful eyes."
GetReading (2/5)
"Like John Carter before it, its confusing take on the source material makes it unfathomable and ultimately unsatisfying for audiences."
HeyUGuys (2/5)
"Despite the solid performances - and an admittedly intriguing final 10 minutes - Ender's Game is an underwhelming sci-fi that makes poor use of its thought-provoking material."
Hollywood Chicago (2/5)
"It's a shame that the script and dull direction of "Ender's Game" are so defeating because the cast actually isn't half-bad. "
Hollywood Reporter (2/5)
"The adaptation is a shallow sci-fi spectacle that almost makes you care."
Jeffrey K. Lyles (2.5/5)
"It hardly leaves you wanting more out of this potential franchise thanks to its non-starter opening installment."
Little White Lies (2/5)
"A film that's drained of all vestiges of fun, that features no likeable characters and offers very little in the way of original action sequences. Prequel-era George Lucas would love it."
LiveMint (2/5)
"A good video game does not always make a good film."
Long Island Newsday (1.88/5)
"It's all setup to a sequel. None of it is convincing in the least."
Lost Highway Hotel (0.5/5)
"So the kids are out, and the adults will be rolling their eyes by the end. Who's left? No one. This film is for nobody."
Mark Reviews Movies (Mark Dujsik) (2.5/5)
"We have to get through a lot of rah-rah rationalization and glorification before the movie reaches its point. "
McClatchy-Tribune (Movie Nation) (2.5/5)
"It's good-looking, cautionary and clever enough. But there's not much in this "Game" that you'd call heartfelt, thrilling or fun."
Minneapolis Star Tribune (1.88/5)
"They play so many rounds of float-and-zap that the first hour of the film feels like a laser tag documentary."
Montreal Gazette (2/5)
"Hood tries to play on [Ender's] victim status at the start, hoping to kindle empathy, but there's a human disconnect because the whole thing feels robotic."
Movie Habit (2/5)
"What I found in Ender's Game is a juvenile helping of sci-fi that wrestles with some big, topical issues, but would require ample applications of intellectual Clearasil before it's ready to claim an unblemished place in the sci-fi big leagues."
Movie Talk (Jason Best) (2/5)
"Gavin Hood packs some interesting – and chilling – ideas into his adaptation, but observing Ender honing his strategic skills by playing laser-tag in zero gravity proves far from gripping. "
Movies.ie (2/5)
"Ender's Game is an uninspiring film. Much of the acting is so wooden that the characters come off as cold and one note, the dialogue is often cheesy and the Game such a focus that nuance and subtext somehow get lost."
New York Daily News (0/5)
"This movie of a 1985 outer-space military allegory is one of the dullest, dumbest, most tedious movies this year."
New York Times (2.5/5)
"It's pleasant to watch these tiny untethered bodies float like cosmic motes and to follow Ender into an appealingly detailed animated computer game, in which he tumbles down a rabbit hole and discovers a mystery that will presumably only be fully..."
Newark Star-Ledger (2.5/5)
"The sets are marvelous, particularly the rocketships and spacestations where much of the children's training takes place. But when it comes to character and action, Hood seems clueless."
One Guy's Opinion (Frank Swietek) (2/5)
"A futuristic parable about a bullied young boy's inherent wisdom in a world dominated by adult fear and manipulation that comes across, at least in this adaptation, as oddly constricted and curiously dispassionate."
Reason.com (Kurt Loder) (2/5)
"The movie is cold and overwrought; and despite all of its beautifully rendered pop-pop-pow video-game imagery, it's surprisingly dull."
Red Eye (2.5/5)
"The anti-climactic "Ender's Game" ultimately tries and fails to remind young viewers there's a difference between video games and real war. It's nothing a total rewrite couldn't fix. "
Reviewed.ie (2.5/5)
"The film lacks power and clarity. To put it simply if you have not read the book you can't really understand what is going on."
RogerEbert.com (Simon Abrams) (2.5/5)
"A few of the film's more special effects-intensive sequences look cheap, but even its relatively impressive-looking space battles are underwhelming because Hood rarely lets viewers get lost in Ender's world."
Rope of Silicon (2.5/5)
"The story is fascinating and the themes and modern world correlation are definitely relevant to today, but the project overall isn't good enough to support it all."
RTE Ireland (1/5)
"Thankfully, in space no one can hear you snore."
San Diego Union-Tribune (2.5/5)
"There are a number of interesting ideas found in the new film, ... but Hood dips his toes into these ideas, rather than diving into the deep end."
ScreenIt (2.5/5)
"The end result is a pic that sort of falls into a cinematic no man's land. It's not entirely smart or complex enough to work as heady sci-fi, nor is it engaging and enthralling from an action standpoint."
Slant (1.88/5)
"Hood relays a vague sense of what it's like to live in duty, and yet at a distance from one's home, but this vision of the future never rouses, never asks to be remembered."
SpoilerTV (2/5)
"Hopefully Ender's story ends here and Hood does not get his hands on the half-dozen other novels Card wrote in the series."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (2.5/5)
""Ender's Game" is a blandly sanitized spectacle. Ender spends half his time playing tablet-based video games and the other half floating through training exercises that are based on them."
Star Tribune (1.88/5)
"Gavin Hood doesn't condescend to the material in this young-adult space melodrama but he never gets a dramatic grip on it, either."
The Advocate (Baton Rouge) (2.5/5)
"Hogwarts in space? Starfleet Academy for kids? "Ender's Game," is a little of both and not enough of either."
The Dissolve (Tasha Robinson) (2.5/5)
"A bombastic action blockbuster that delivers explosions and thematic development at the exact same ear-splitting volume."
The Independent (2/5)
"An unwieldy mix of elements from Star Wars, Tron and boot-camp movies, Gavin Hood's adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel is heavy-going."
The Ooh Tray (2/5)
"These after-school soldiers, plot essential or no, are too slight to engage our attention while the adults, Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, cut mono-dimensional figures in a film that desperately needed some weight to bring it to life."
The Oregonian (2/5)
"This "Bugsy Malone" treatment of "Starship Troopers" moves through the familiar boot-camp hoops; sometimes it feels like a two-hour training montage. "
The Scotsman (2/5)
"Wars have felt shorter and better managed than this long-winded epic."
The Village Voice (2/5)
"The ridiculousness outweighs those few strong qualities."
The Washington Times (2.5/5)
"Mr. Hood clearly loves "Ender's Game," and grasps why it has inspired such loyalty amongst readers. Alas, his love is not enough."
Twitch (2/5)
"Ender's Game Is Not Worth Playing."
USA Today (2.5/5)
"Certainly, no outer space film wanted to be the first to follow Gravity. While the zero-gravity scenes are accomplished in Ender's, they still leave the movie looking like an echo to the sci-fi shot heard round Hollywood."
Virgin Movies (2/5)
"Hood might think he's ticked all the required genre boxes but forgets that for us to root for these kids he's got to make sure we actually care."
Wall Street Journal (1/5)
"Not only does "Ender's Game" have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal."
Wayne Post (2/5)
"In its final moments, the script blurts out a conclusion that pathetically cries out for a sequel but can't make up its mind if the film is sending its message to hawks or to doves."
WhatCulture (2/5)
"The film often poses many interesting themes to explore, such as man's love of war, but due to attempting to do too much at once, we barely scratch the surface of any of these themes."