The Earth was ravaged twice by the Buggers, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent our own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggan, a boy of only six, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and brought to battle school in deep space. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who despises himself as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.









Film information

Genre: , ,
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Nov 1, 2013
MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.
Official website:
Runtime: 114 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 75
    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) - by Liam Lacey
    Ultimately, the movie is not, to paraphrase the U.S. Army slogan, all that it could be. The climax is uninvolving generic eye candy, and the sequel-friendly coda is unconvincing. more

  • 75
    ReelViews - by James Berardinelli
    Ender's Game is uneven - at times almost maddeningly so - with the first half offering more enjoyment than the second. Perhaps that's because, in military-style movies, I often prefer the training segments to the battle sequences. more

  • 75
    New York Post - by Sara Stewart
    A big, dark film that should satisfy the many fans of the Orson Scott Card novel and engage newcomers, too. more

  • 75
    Chicago Sun-Times - by Richard Roeper
    At times Ender’s Game throws so many metaphors and moral dilemmas our way, we almost forget to appreciate the stunning and gorgeous visuals covering every inch of the screen. Almost. more

  • 70 - by Andrew O'Hehir
    Straightforward, a bit literal-minded, very faithful to the book and largely compelling. more

  • 70
    Los Angeles Times - by Kenneth Turan
    Its strong special effects make its simulated battles effective and, echoing the book, its story line touches on a number of intriguing issues. more

  • 67
    Tampa Bay Times - by Steve Persall
    Plenty of ideas float through Ender's Game but the notion of honing a child into a war machine is one that sticks. Writer-director Gavin Hood's adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel doesn't offer much else, bottled up with battle jargon and special effects debris as it is. more

  • 67
    The A.V. Club - by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Though it can’t overcome the source material’s problematic themes — namely, Card’s intentionalist morality, which prizes a character’s ideals over their actions — or its all-too-convenient characterizations, the film manages a sustained sense of momentum and tone that is rare for a contemporary, big-budget movie. more

  • 65 - by Eric D. Snider
    Since it took 28 years to get it to the big screen, the fact that the end result feels rushed and hasty probably qualifies as irony. more

  • 63
    Philadelphia Inquirer - by Steven Rea
    There's lots of zero-g action in Ender's Game - even old Han Solo takes a whirl. more

  • 63
    Chicago Tribune - by Michael Phillips
    A bit of a tweener, neither triumph nor disaster, a war-games fantasy with a use-by date of Nov. 22, when the new "Hunger Games" movie comes out. more

  • 60
    New Orleans Times-Picayune - by Mike Scott
    In the final analysis, that's the real endgame here: to get people into theaters and build a film franchise. For all of their film's flaws, Hood and company do that well, as Ender's Game shapes up as a decent franchise starter -- and a film that makes it hard not to be intrigued by what will come next. more

  • 60
    Arizona Republic - by Kerry Lengel
    Character development, dramatic tension and emotional resonance all get short shrift in the checklist exposition by writer-director Gavin Hood. ...

  • 60
    The Hollywood Reporter - by Marc Bernardin
    If only adapter-director Gavin Hood's movie had been tempered with craft and care and wasn't such a blunt instrument, one that seems designed as a delivery system for CGI derring-do instead of the heartbreaker it should be. more

  • 60
    The Telegraph - by Tim Robey
    This starfighter-recruit blockbuster is refreshingly idea-driven. more

  • 60
    The Guardian - by Peter Bradshaw
    The movie's apocalyptic finale indicates that it's bitten off considerably more than it can chew in terms of ideas, but it looks good, and the story rattles along. more

  • 58
    Entertainment Weekly - by Chris Nashawaty
    By the time the movie finally manages to get interesting, audiences may be too numb and their retinas too fried to win back. more

  • 58
    The Playlist - by Charlie Schmidlin
    As a mainstream sci-fi film, this enjoyable, occasionally poignant effort too often feels messy in the wrong ways. more

  • 55
    NPR - by Ian Buckwalter
    It may seem odd for a teen-focused action movie to feel so glum, but that's actually something that the director gets right, even if it threatens to make this a dull affair: Ender's Game is a dark story of a children's crusade built on the crushed psyches of damaged youths, and too much uplift would undermine it. more

  • 50
    Slate - by Dana Stevens
    I can understand wanting to skip Ender’s Game as a matter of moral principle, but you can also feel free to blow it off just because it’s not that good. more

  • 50
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    Ender’s Game’s only lyrical presence is Breslin’s. The actress has a gentle soul. In the end, she’s the movie’s mascot, and its mournful spirit. more

  • 50 - by Simon Abrams
    The film's biggest problem is a matter of tone and characterization: the characters constantly talk about how mean they can be, but their actions suggest otherwise. more

  • 50
    Portland Oregonian - by Marc Mohan
    Eventually the movie wants to have things both ways: to approvingly entertain mainstream audiences with the glittering spectacle of space battles and to pay lip service to the notion of conscience. more

  • 50
    Austin Chronicle - by Marc Savlov
    Hood's realization of Card's novel is a tightly constructed, thought-provoking meditation on adolescence trapped by permanent war footing, alloyed with some of the best CGI effects work I've seen since, uh, "Gravity." more

  • 50
    The New York Times - by Manohla Dargis
    Mr. Butterfield is one of those young performers whose seriousness feels as if it sprang from deep within. And while he’s an appealing presence, little Ender can’t help feeling like a pint-size psycho. ...

  • 50
    The Dissolve - by Tasha Robinson
    It’s a brutal story and a heady high-concept idea, but it plays out through characters with no identity other than their symbolic ones, and through shouted, simplistic arguments that repeat the same points over and over. more

  • 50
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    Sure, it’s good-looking, cautionary and clever enough. But there’s not much in this “Game” that you’d call thrilling or fun. more

  • 40
    Empire - by Helen O'Hara
    It admirably avoids many of the pitfalls of adapting this book, but seems to have lost some of the life and pace as well. more

  • 38
    USA Today - by Scott Bowles
    Most Ender's fans, of course, won't care about comparisons and consider the film adaptation a long-awaited victory in itself. Those fresh to the tale — or at least expecting something fresh from it — may wonder what the fuss was about. more

  • 38
    Slant Magazine - by Chris Cabin
    Gavin Hood relays a vague sense of what it's like to live in duty, and yet at a distance from one's home, but this vision of the future never rouses, never asks to be remembered. more

  • 30
    Village Voice - by Alan Scherstuhl
    Some of the movie isn't bad. more

  • 0
    Wall Street Journal - by Joe Morgenstern
    Not only does Ender's Game have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal. more

Movie images
User Comments & Reviews

  1. Liana Shimunova

    The movie Ender’s Game is so-so, and will probably be so-so for just about everyone, whether they’ve read the book or not.