Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Moises Arias

Directed by: Gavin Hood

Synopsis: Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.

This film garnered a lot of negative press due to its authors questionable political views. To be honest, I don’t really care about all that. I don’t know who the author is and I’ve never read any of his books. The only thing that matters to me is whether the film adaptation is any good. And it was OK.

Asa Butterfield, fresh from another lead role in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, plays the title character and is recruited by Harrison Ford for his prodigious talents. Most of the movie is taken up with training of cadets etc. The film has more than a hint of Star Wars to it. Ender could be Luke Skywalker training to be a Jedi. Harrison Ford is in it. There are numerous gadgets that allude to it as well, not least when Ender is talking to Hailee Steinfeld’s character via a sort of hologram thing much like Princess Leia all those years ago.

The trouble that Enders Game has is that, unlike Star Wars, it doesn’t have any memorable characters or any charm or good nature to it. Everything is very serious, although I did have to laugh at the introduction of Ben Kingsley seeming to try and do a New Zealand version of his Sexy Beast character. I’m not joking, it is strange to say the least.

In fact it was around the introduction of Kingsley that I started to lose interest in the film. Up to that point I was fairly engaged and happy to go along with it. All the young actors do well in their roles, with Butterfield and Steinfeld (also good in the Coens True a Grit remake) clearly destined for good things.

Enders Game will no doubt spurn a few sequels (no idea how many books there are) and I will happily watch them. I just won’t get excited about it.

3 clappers

About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.


  1. I think Kingsley should do his Sexy Beast character in every film he’s in!

  2. the art design of the movie was gorgeous, but u are right none of the characters were particularly memorable. As for the negative press, i always make it paramount to distinguish an artist from his art, i dont care about his own personal views as long as his work of art stands out to me

  3. Thanks for this review, Tom. Sounds interesting enough to watch. 😉

  4. Good review Tom. The movie never quite knows who it is exactly for, but rather than being bored out of my because of that, I was slightly interested in seeing where it would go and what it would try to say.

  5. Harrison Ford is in this? I was unaware. It does not look that interesting, and a lot of people suggested I stay clear of it. Or just watch it when I am really bored. Just seems meh….

  6. Reblogged this on Forget the Viagra, Pass Me a Carrot and commented:
    Another great movie and music review site that I visit regularly – put on speed dial before you make that cinema visit.

  7. Matthew Ryan

    I am a big fan of the book (and the author;s work, regardless of his views) and there have certainly been worse adaptations. The film just wasn’t deep enough for me. The visuals were good and the acting was fine, but the characters were poorly developed.

    Though, as you noted, Steinfeld and Butterfield are great, promising young talents. True Grit and Hugo were two awesome performances.

    Enjoyed the review!

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