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After Earth Review Critics


Dave White Profile

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Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    The disappointingly generic film, which strands a father and son on Earth a thousand years after a planet-wide evacuation, will leave genre audiences pining for the more Terra-centric conceits of "Oblivion," not to mention countless other future-set films that find novelty in making familiar surroundings threatening.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though it's meant to be pulse-pounding, After Earth is a lethargic slog.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie takes off from a concept as basic as a videogame, and it sticks to that concept, without surprise.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Won't change your world, but it's attractive and Smith the Elder, lowering his voice to subterranean James Earl Jones levels, delivers a shrewd minimalist performance. His son may get there yet.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Exciting sci-fi action and warm father-son bonding.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that After Earth -- which stars Will Smith and his son Jaden and was directed by M. Night Shyamalan -- is a scary monster movie with a few dead bodies and some blood. The alien monster is grotesque, overpowering, and able to trick humans into feeling fear, and viewers see a few of his human victims impaled on tree branches. No main characters die, but a majestic eagle who saves a boy's life sacrifices its own to do so, and viewers see animal carcasses. Punctuating the exciting and violent sci-fi action are laughs and scenes of strong family warmth and bonding, strong role models, and positive life lessons learned.

  • Families can talk about movies set in the future. What makes them so appealing? Which are your favorites?

  • Was the violence and blood shown in After Earth necessary to tell the story? What other ways filmmakers can create excitement=?

  • How does Kitai overcome his fear? Is there something you're afraid of that keeps you from realizing your potential? Teens: Have your parents given you words of wisdom that you rely on in tough times?

  • Compare Earth today, with all its majestic beauty and dangers, to the planet that the Raige family lives on. The future world looks pretty sweet and has lots of cool tech. Is there anything on today's Earth worth trying to save?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Kitai's journey teaches him that only by facing your fears can you realize your full potential. His father teaches that although danger may be real, fear is just a state of mind. A cautionary tale about taking care of our planet (destroyed by years of pollution and war) is mitigated by the eye-catching new planet of 1,000 years in the future.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Adults and children model virtues worth aspiring to. Although Cypher is distant and stern with his son, his love radiates clearly. And in the end, he's able to demonstrate his love and open his heart and mind to what his son has to give. Kitai is brave and loving and overcomes his fears. Mother Faia is an exemplar of loving support, and sister Senshi is brave and caring, saving her brother's life more than once.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Constant peril. Some gross scenes with blood, as when Cypher must operate on his own leg. Kitai sees some crushed baby eagles that he wasn't able to save. Human victims of the alien monster are shown impaled on tree branches. Most of the violence depicted on screen appears in shadow or silhouette, and blood is mostly after the fact. A few moments when something scary pops out unexpectedly. The backstory involves a boy witnessing his sister being killed by an animal.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Flashback kisses and affection between husband and wife.

  • language false1

    Language: Cypher says "damn" once, there's one "oh God" (as an exclamation), and there's one reference to something that "sucks."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cypher almost takes pain killers that would make him drowsy (entirely understandable given his severely broken legs and little hope of rescue) but decides against it.