Cinematic Releases: Ender's Game

Ender's Game is one of the better sci-fi films of 2013.

I'm a few days behind on getting a review posted of Ender's Game, but I'm pleased to say that this is one of the better science fiction films of 2013. This is one of the rare times that a PG-13 book to film adaptation is a good film across the board. Ender's Game is an acceptable movie for children of all ages and doesn't feature any hyper violent scenes and never uses profanity. As a parent, this is a welcomed change from the over sexualized teen entries like Twilight or the gross out comedies that are aimed at this age group.

While its not going to win any awards for acting, the movie is a definite standout in the graphics department and offers up some extremely detail oriented battle sequences. Unlike Transformers and other modern sci-fi/action movies, Ender's Game is fluid in its presentation of large scale sequences with beautifully rendered environments, top notch vehicle design, and stunning alien life. Despite a rather flat performance from the film's lead, this attention to detail definitely carries the movie beyond the standard sci-fi entries we've been getting lately.

Although Asa Butterfield (Ender) is the low point of the movie (insert Hayden Christensen Episode II joke here), we get Harrison Ford in a role that takes him back to the depths of space. Growing up with Star Wars, this was a great role for Mr. Ford and will hopefully tip the scales towards him returning as Han Solo in Episode VII. Viola Davis and Sir Ben Kingsley do their best with limited screen time and offer up a support system for a cast mainly made up of child actors. Hailee Steinfeld plays second fiddle to Butterfield and a quickly maturing Abigail Breslin plays Ender's sister. Neither Steinfeld or Breslin get much screen time, which I found to be a bit disappointing considering they can both act circles around the wooden and under trained Asa Butterfield.

If you're looking for a movie you can enjoy with your kids, this is it. Ender's Game is a nice change. The movie is acceptable for kids of all ages. Other than its underlying messages about war and genocide, Ender's Game won't really offend anyone. In fact, this is the kind of movie that would be a good childhood introduction to the genre as a whole. This is a good story about being responsible for your actions, growing up, and using your talents to their full potential. Yet, the movie is never heavy handed while remaining exciting enough to keep kids interested.

-Review by Chris George