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Earth to Echo Review Critics


Dave White Profile

SelfiE.T. Read full review

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Geoff Berkshire

    Earth to Echo reaches for the stars with its gentle sci-fi shenanigans, but the rote result remains decidedly earthbound.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bill Zwecker

    The saving grace for this film is the group of young actors.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Credit a youthful, energetic spirit, nicely conveyed by its cast of naturally-acting newcomers, a workable raw-footage construct and a spare but smartly spent special effects budget for the satisfying end result.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Earth to Echo is about adventure, bravery and excitement, but mostly it's about friendship— a subject that resonates with audiences of all ages.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

A gentler, tech-savvier E.T. for today's kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Earth to Echo is a family-friendly alien adventure that's reminiscent of E.T., The Goonies, and other films featuring preteens who ultimately save the day. There's some mild violence (against the adorable alien), peril, and the threat of violence, but the main characters remain unscathed, and the villains aren't overtly scary. One guy makes a suggestive joke that may go over younger kids' head, and the boys occasionally make comments about "hot" girls (one lies about kissing the most popular girl in the class), but overall there's little romance. The young leads get into some iffy situations (they go to a bar and a high school party, etc.) and lie to their parents, but they're unconditional friends to one another and selflessly commit to helping their extra-terrestrial discovery. Note: The film's found-footage shooting style results in some jumpy, jerky visuals that may be physically difficult for some viewers to sit through.

  • Families can talk about how Earth to Echo portrays the use of technology. How are the kids connected to social media and one another? Is this an accurate description of the way kids use technology?
  • For those familiar with other alien and adventure movies -- how is this an obvious homage to films like E.T., The Goonies, or even Stand by Me?
  • Do you think there are enough live-action movies aimed at preteens? Is the amount of violence and romance appropriate?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: The boys discuss how the Internet helps them learn everything from how to get somewhere to how to drive, and young viewers will pick up on the various ways that technology makes life easier.

  • message true4

    Messages: Positive messages about friends sticking together, helping those you care about find their way home, and having/watching your friends' back, even when it's not convenient or easy. The kids also realize that distance doesn't have to ruin a friendship and that kids can and do make a difference. The boys' shifting relationship with Emma sends the message that you can't judge people based solely on what they look like.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The boys all care about one another and are willing to protect and defend Echo. The boys do lie to their parents about where they're going/have been and get into a few potentially dangerous situations, but in the end they rescue Echo.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Not as intense as other alien adventures, though there's plenty of tension and some peril. The kids ride away from shady-seeming adults who seem to be chasing them. A kid drives during a car chase; a collision seems likely but doesn't happen. At one point, an adult rather easily takes the backpack containing Echo after a brief back and forth. One kid is held against his will, and a group of adults tries to keep his friends in their custody, too. A boy records a goodbye message in case he doesn't make it out of one situation alive. The adults also surgically operate on/torture Echo. Very young kids might find Echo a bit scary at first (he makes things move/crash around).

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Mild flirting between a boy and a girl, who hold hands once. A boy makes a suggestive joke about how he'll be in a friend's mom's bed "not sleeping" when he and friends kid about a three-way sleepover lie. A boy lies about having kissed a girl, whom they all refer to as either "hot" or "mannequin girl."

  • language false1

    Language: A few "what the"s with a left-off expletive, plus insults like "loser," "liar," and "stupid."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Brand product placements include close-ups of Apple computers, Nokia and iPhone smartphones, a Herschel supply backpack, and an old sports car.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The kids stumble into a biker bar where adults are drinking; the kids are given age-appropriate Shirley Temples. They later go to a high school party where teens drink from red Solo cups; presumably some are drinking alcohol, because they flee once the cops arrive.