E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 1982

Critics score:
98 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune: It is the kind of film that young people are going to want to see again immediately after they've seen it. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: A magical film. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: A film that connects so beautifully to our sense of wonder and joy. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: If we approach with sympathy and curiosity, we will be rewarded with same. And our souls, not to mention our bicycles, will soar to the heavens. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: What E.T. does so well is to capture that moment in life when childhood seems to be slipping away. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: Read more

Vincent Canby, New York Times: [It] may become a children's classic of the space age. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A masterpiece that deserves to be seen and appreciated on a big screen. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Captivating, endearingly optimistic and magical at times, Steven Spielberg's fantasy about a stranded alien from outer space protected by three kids until it can arrange for passage home is certain to capture the imagination of the world's youth. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Unchecked goodness has its price, after all, and childhood wonder wouldn't be nearly as sweet if it didn't fade. That may explain the film's appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber -- then, now, and for any time. Read more

Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader: Though marred by Spielberg's usual carelessness with narrative points, the film alternates sweetness and sarcasm with enough rhetorical sophistication to be fairly irresistible. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: Though marred by Spielberg's usual carelessness with narrative points, the film alternates sweetness and sarcasm with enough rhetorical sophistication to be fairly irresistible. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: A sublime modern fairy tale, a movie that, if anything, looks subtler, darker, and more intimate now than it did when originally released. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: We have yet to recover from his revelation: that there is nothing more real than sitting in your own back yard -- waiting for the unreal to come down, take a handful of candy, and fly you to the moon. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: It holds up beautifully. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: Spielberg's direction and Melissa Mathison's script never lose sight of the realistic, low center of gravity world of childhood, in which such marvelous adventures happen every day. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: On inherent merit, the movie would not warrant such a highly publicized re-release, but this is one of those films that transcends what's on the screen. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Spielberg left it open for all of us. That's the sign of a great filmmaker: He only explains what he has to explain. Read more

Charles Taylor, Salon.com: What's perhaps most amazing about E.T., what distinguishes it from many of the other fantasy films of its era, is its ability to put an audience under a spell of childlike wonderment without infantilizing it. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Viewers returning to it, as well as those discovering it, will find it an enduring children's film -- but one whose impact has diminished with the passage of time. Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: A contemporary classic. Read more

David Pirie, Time Out: Although conclusively demonstrating Spielberg's preeminence as the popular artist of his time, E.T. finally seems a less impressive film than Close Encounters. Read more

Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic: An appealing film this new one is, with some charm, some glee in the childrens' triumphs, some share in their friendship with E.T. Read more

Don McKellar, Village Voice: More than the work of any other filmmaker, Spielberg's output seems uniquely designed to induce in me this queasy false-memory syndrome. Read more

Gary Arnold, Washington Post: E.T. is essentially a spiritual autobiography, a portrait of the filmmaker as a typical suburban kid set apart by an uncommonly fervent, mystical imagination. It comes out disarmingly funny, spontaneous, bighearted. Read more