Earth to Echo 2014

Critics score:
48 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Joe McGovern, Entertainment Weekly: The mildewed found-footage technique allows some tension to build from offscreen action, but also renders the knockoff John Williams score inexplicable. Read more

Kyle Smith, 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. Read more

John Anderson, 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. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Almost anything's possible if you stick with your friends, work together and remember how to get home. A nice message, in any decade. Read more

Geoff Berkshire, Variety: 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. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: The movie's continually reiterated theme of lasting friendship is unlikely to affect even the most impressionable young viewers ... Read more

Tom Russo, Boston Globe: 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. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Sean Fitz-Gerald, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: "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. Read more

Kate Erbland, 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. Read more

Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter: Despite all those echoes of classic '80s sci-fi fantasy adventures, Earth to Echo proves engaging in its own right. Read more

Gary Goldstein, 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. Read more

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly: Savvily, and perhaps cynically, seeks to be the first to surf what I fear will be the new cinematic language: automatic Google Glass. Read more

Tony Hicks, 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. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: The movie tracks "E.T." so closely ... that you can almost hear the legal ice cracking beneath the children's bicycle tires. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: 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. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: The movie feels less like a weak "E.T." than a substandard "Mac and Me." Read more

Nicolas Rapold, New York Times: A chipper, shallow knockoff of classic suburban adventure movies ... Read more

Michael Sragow, 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. Read more

David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer: Sure, Earth to Echo is derivative, but it's refreshingly updated. Echo, I.M. home. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: First, the script is dumb. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It's as if there's a barrier between the viewer and the story that never comes down. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: There is a whole lot of echoing going on in the screenplay. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail: A digital remastering of E.T. for the smartphone social-media kinderkultur. Read more

Linda Barnard, Toronto Star: 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. Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: 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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Every generation deserves its own visiting extra-terrestrial. Read more

Bilge Ebiri, 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. Read more

Sandie Angulo Chen, Washington Post: Despite its flaws and recycled parts, "Earth to Echo" is engaging enough to impress pre-teen audiences and nostalgic enough to please their parents. Read more