Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
The mildewed found-footage technique allows some tension to build from offscreen action, but also renders the knockoff John Williams score inexplicable.
New York Post:
Even at a cramped and frenetic 82 minutes, the movie feels long. That's what happens when the audience can guess everything that's going to happen in advance.
Wall Street Journal:
Unlike the very successful Spanish horror thriller [Rec] or even the nausea-inducing Cloverfield, which Echo more closely resembles, this film doesn't maintain a consistent point of view or any logic about what's on screen.
Almost anything's possible if you stick with your friends, work together and remember how to get home. A nice message, in any decade.
Green wears his '80s-era Amblin inspirations on his sleeve in this good-hearted "E.T."-meets-"Chronicle" hybrid, which never quite finds its own voice.
The movie's continually reiterated theme of lasting friendship is unlikely to affect even the most impressionable young viewers ...
The young cast's interaction is terrific. You might come for the turn-on-your-heartlight riff, but you'll stay for the connection the boys share.
If the movie is a waste, at least it's an instructive one, signaling just how offensive children's entertainment might become in the YouTube era.
With authentic characters, dialogue and settings, Echo's filmmakers have successfully created a story younger kids and pre-teens growing up in a Millennial and post-Millennial culture can relate to.
"Earth to Echo" recalls - but doesn't live up to - films like "Super 8" and "Stand By Me," stories of youth, innocence and the Summer That Changed Everything.
Combining some classic plot movements and plenty of modern trappings (just, like, a lot of cell phones), Earth to Echo is a sweet family film that has something for everyone.
Despite all those echoes of classic '80s sci-fi fantasy adventures, Earth to Echo proves engaging in its own right.
Los Angeles Times:
On its own modest terms, the alien adventure "Earth to Echo" is a lively and likable knockoff that should divert, if not exactly enthrall, tweens and young teens.
Savvily, and perhaps cynically, seeks to be the first to surf what I fear will be the new cinematic language: automatic Google Glass.
San Jose Mercury News:
The moviemakers tell us there's a bond between these characters, but they don't really show us. Nor do Green and Gayden give us many moments that we'll remember.
The movie tracks "E.T." so closely ... that you can almost hear the legal ice cracking beneath the children's bicycle tires.
At least the title is honest. The whole movie's an echo - of something better and far more original, now bounced back at us, more and more quietly, until it finally fades away.
Orange County Register:
Spielberg's E.T., so ugly it was cute, was also full of personality. Echo is adorable and forgettable, and the rest of the characters are simply plot holders in a narrative contraption that generates jeopardy-raising obstacles to Echo going home.
Globe and Mail:
A digital remastering of E.T. for the smartphone social-media kinderkultur.
With so few kid-friendly movies on the summer slate, Earth to Echo offers a heartfelt and often comic adventure. For that, some copycatting can be forgiven.
You can imagine ET phoning his legal team, but although this kids' sci-fi adventure is derivative, its characters are drawn with more care and insight than you'd expect.
Every generation deserves its own visiting extra-terrestrial.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Earth to Echo has just enough teen angst to toughen up its adorability and to temper its predictability. It's a simplistic movie, but there's a darkness to it.
Sandie Angulo Chen,
Despite its flaws and recycled parts, "Earth to Echo" is engaging enough to impress pre-teen audiences and nostalgic enough to please their parents.