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Family Movie Review: Ender’s Game (PG-13)

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MPAA Rating: PG-13        Length: 114 minutes

Age Appropriate For: 13+. This movie is far less brutal than Orson Scott Card’s original book, which is about children being trained for war. The protagonist has an older brother who is a bully and physically abusive, and is himself prone to bursts of violence; he is responsible for severe harm to two other bullies. Also some action violence, which isn’t bloody or personal; training games where children shoot games and immobilize each other; and some nightmare imagery and bug-like aliens. What’s most problematic about the film, though, is its suggestion that these brilliant children shouldn’t be held responsible for their violent actions, and should instead be rewarded for them.

The film version of ‘Ender’s Game’ suffers from the same moral relativism as Orson Scott Card’s original sci-fi novel, but also from a number of other problems. In its streamlining of the book, the movie’s version of the story severely loses its impact, decreasing the relatability of the protagonist and making him into too much of a martyr figure.

By Roxana Hadadi

As the final high-impact sci-fi film of the year, “Ender’s Game” has some big shoes to fill—it has to be more visually spectacular than the recent “Gravity,” has to live up to more hype than this summer’s “Star Trek Into Darkness,” and has to fulfill the expectations of fans of the source material, Orson Scott Card’s award-winning and ridiculously popular 1985 novel. Perhaps it could fulfill the final criteria, but it shouldn’t—”Ender’s Game” disappoints in all regards, not only as a standalone film but also as a faithful adaptation of Card’s work.

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