for some sci-fi disaster images and violence
A remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL follows astrobiologist Helen Benson (Jennifer Connelly) as she is unceremoniously plucked from her everyday life with her stepson (Jaden Smith), and whisked away to consult the government on a top-secret matter. That matter happens to be the arrival of a massive glowing sphere in Central Park, accompanied by a towering robot-like protector dubbed Gort and an alien ambassador named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves), who takes up human form to communicate with the people of Earth. When Klaatu finds himself faced with hawkish, uncompromising officials, he goes on the run with Benson and her son as the fate of the world gradually becomes clear.
Directed by Scott Derrickson (THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE), this reimagining of THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL is fairly reverent to the original film, while adding a number of 21st-century elements, most notably a darker tone embodied by a more threatening Gort and the chilly, contemplative Klaatu, who is portrayed with pitch-perfect remove by Reeves. While the film--and the fate of humanity--rests on Reeves's shoulders, the cast is impressively filled out by Connelly and Smith, along with Kathy Bates, John Cleese, and familiar TV actors Jon Hamm (MAD MEN) and Kyle Chandler (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS). Derrickson also tempers excellent special effects with a bleak color palette and plenty of existential turmoil, making this EARTH a thoughtful and fascinatingly moody blockbuster.
Epic action and mind-blowing effects rock the planet in this thrilling reinvention of the sci-fi classic, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. Keanu Reeves portrays Klaatu, an otherworldly being whose arrival on Earth triggers an unstoppable series of events that threaten all of mankind. In a desperate attempt to save humanity, governments and scientists race to unravel the mystery behind the visitor’s appearance. When a woman (Jennifer Connelly) and her young stepson find themselves embroiled in the alien’s plan, they become the world’s only hope to stave off apocalyptic annihilation.
"Mr. Reeves's deadpan basso and permanently perplexed features make him an ideal Klaatu, as the space visitor is called." (New York Times)
"This contemporary remake of the science-fiction classic knew what it was doing when it cast Keanu Reeves in, the movies' greatest stone face since Buster Keaton, as a perplexed alien....[An] enjoyable updating..." (Los Angeles Times)
3 stars out of 5 -- "[Reeve's] performance here is subtle to the point that you might miss it altogether, yet it's perfectly calibrated....There is real tension..." (Empire)
3 stars out of 5 -- "[Keanu Reeves] looks weird, displaced, a true alien among us....A pleasing strangeness colours the first half..." (Total Film)