“After Earth” is not projected to have a particularly big weekend at the box office — and it’s certainly not having a good one with movie critics.
The sci-fi film starring Will Smith and his son Jaden and directed by M. Night Shyamalan is one of the worst-reviewed movies of the summer, scoring a dismal 13 percent ratings on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. So harsh are reviews that more than a few are invoking another epic bomb with “Earth” in the title, the legendarily bad “Battlefield Earth.”
Here’s a sampling of reviews, including one positive one for good measure.
“There is no small irony that this sci-fi action adventure is about surviving a serious crash. The scorched earth left behind by ‘After Earth’ is sure to leave a scar on everyone involved.” [Los Angeles Times]
“Is ‘After Earth’ the worst movie ever made? Maybe not; there’s always ‘Battlefield Earth’ to remind us how low the bar can go. But that’s the wrong question, since it implies that this bizarre enterprise is a movie in the conventional sense.” [Wall Street Journal]
“‘After Earth’ is ultimately too thin of a story to support all of its grandiose embellishments, but so what? It’s better to try to pack every moment with beauty and feeling than to shrug and smirk. The film takes the characters and their feelings seriously, and lets its actors give strong, simple performances.” [RogerEbert.com]
“For the most part it is an uninteresting slog alleviated only by the occasional unintended laugh and moments of visual beauty.” [New York Times]
“[S]urprisingly not horrible. … Once you accept the simpleminded setup, it’s possible to relax and let the silliness run its course. ‘After Earth’ has a relatively lean palette.” [Vulture]
“So what we have here is a Will Smith, devoid of humor, charm and screen time, waiting in the car while his kid does the driving. Whaat? The young Smith has energy, but not the acting chops. And he’s no miracle worker. The burden of carrying this dull, lifeless movie is just too much.” [Rolling Stone]