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After Earth

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

M. Night Shyamalan

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Plot Summary

One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind's new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai. When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai's craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 189
  • Fresh: 21
  • Rotten: 168
  • Average Rating: 3.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The movie takes off from a concept as basic as a videogame, and it sticks to that concept, without surprise. – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly, May 31, 2013

Rotten: As drama, After Earth offers no surprises; as action, it's rarely stimulating; as a parenting manual, it seems that Will has thrown Jaden into water that's a little too deep. – Richard Brody, New Yorker, May 2, 2014

Rotten: The characters are emotionally neutered; the average viewer won't care about them. The pacing is plodding and uneven. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, May 31, 2013

Rotten: The effects are second-hand stuff from Alien and Star Trek, spliced with Shyamalan's regular homilies on Personal Growth. – Anthony Quinn, Independent, May 2, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

I've Seen Some Pretty Bad Movies, But This Is Just Atrocious

"After Earth" is basically what happens when a seemingly enjoyable sci-fi adventure goes off the deep end. Directed by Hollywood in-joke M. Night Shyamalan (whose reputation was once highly regarded before he started making awful flicks like "The Happening" and "The Last Airbender") and starring the father-son team of Will and Jaden Smith, this bloated futuristic action film mainly plays out like one big, mindless video game that never seems to end. Essentially, we follow Jaden's character on his big journey across a now-deadly future Earth to locate a missing rescue beacon after he and his father crash-land on the planet, leaving Will's character badly injured and unable to join his son. But before the plot even begins, we get several minutes of instantly forgettable sci-fi exposition that adds nothing imaginative or interesting to the lifeless script. The rest of this flick is full of fake-looking CGI creatures, artificial visual effects, and countless plot holes that are never once brought up. But the biggest aspect of this entire film that really annoyed me was the acting. And boy, was it horrible. I know Jaden isn't the most naturally talented young actor in the movie industry, but the performance he gives here is so bad, it deserves a Razzie award. He overreacts in nearly each scene and practically shouts all his lines. As for Will, he doesn't fare any better. Because he's unable to move throughout most of the flick due to the fact that his legs break from the ship crash, he's somehow given a much weaker and more useless character than his son. Not to mention the fact that he speaks in a bizarre, monotone accent that can barely be understood. At the same time, this story lacks any tension, suspense, or competent drama to keep us consistently entertained for 100 minutes, and the fact that the ending is instantly predictable certainly doesn't help matters. When all is said and done, it's no wonder why this movie has been getting so many terrible ratings from critics and audiences. Practically everything about "After Earth" is just a mess. Shyamalan's direction is all over the place, the editing is choppy, the pacing is incredibly slow, and any ounce of talent in the two Smiths is never once shown on screen. I don't think I've ever seen a movie this dismally dreadful since M. Night's previous flick, so if you want my honest opinion, I say just skip it at all costs. Unless you get a kick out of watching bad films, there's no reason why you should have to sit through this bland disaster like I did.

Very Good

I am unsure of why so many people hate this film. I found it very entertaining and I truly enjoyed it. Don't listen to the haters as this film really is good.


Alright, I'm just gonna right come out and say it. "After Earth" is quite simply one of the worst sci-fi flicks I've seen in my whole life, let alone this year. Directed and written by the once-promising M. Night Shyamalan, whose signature twists in all his early films made him a household name, this big-budget monstrosity of a summer blockbuster is a sad reminder of the days when seeing one of his flicks was actually a fun experience. But after the massive backlash of 2010's notoriously horrendous "The Last Airbender," his reputation as a filmmaker, at this point, has practically been tarnished to pieces. And the release of this bland futuristic thriller is certainly no high mark in Shyamalan's already-spiraling career. The same should also be said about the flick's stars, Will and Jaden Smith, who easily give some of the most embarrassingly awful, Razzie-worthy performances in any 2013 movie. Along with forced exposition, an endless array of action clichés, and one of the dullest sci-fi scripts ever brought to the big screen, it's just no wonder why this flick inevitably flopped at the box office. This movie essentially takes place one thousand years after a series of cataclysmic events forced humanity's escape from Earth, leaving a planet known as Nova Prime to be mankind's new home. There, General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is seen as a legendary hero, while his teenage son Kitai (Jaden Smith) is constantly struggling to live up to his father's name. So Cypher decides to take the teen along for a seemingly routine mission to a now desolate and dangerous Earth. But when an asteroid storm damages their craft, killing everyone else onboard, they crash-land on the hostile planet. With both of Cypher's legs terribly injured, it's up to Kitai to trek across the wild terrain in order to recover their rescue beacon. On this mindlessly perilous journey, we're forced to watch as our "hero-in-the-making" mumbles out terrible dialogue, makes blank facial expressions, and shows no emotion, all while going up against a ton of badly computer-generated animals. I know it's not entirely Jaden's fault that the material he's given is just so weak, but let's be honest. The kid can barely act. I mean, sure he was charming in the 2010 update of "The Karate Kid," but here, he and Will are just depressing and utterly soulless. There's nothing about their over-serious characters, in any way, that makes them the least bit likable or sympathetic. Jaden, in particular, genuinely seems to have no idea what control is. For instance, whenever he's supposed to have a dramatic scene, he overreacts to the point where he easily comes across as unintentionally hilarious more than anything else. As for Will, I'd probably say his tired, lifeless performance disappointed me the most. Basically, throughout the majority of the film, we simply see him confined to the inside of a flight deck as he watches and guides his son on the deadly journey because, you know, the whole movie is just one huge, forced moral lesson about how "danger is real and fear is a choice" or something totally corny like that. But to be honest, I might've been willing to forgive "After Earth" of its embarrassing acting, horrendously poor visual effects, and ridiculous plot if it just wasn't so boring and dull to sit through. Between the lackluster, slow-moving narrative that repeats the same annoying flashback of Kitai's sister's death to the awful climax in which he somehow has the ability to defeat a huge "Ursa" alien that escaped from the ship, there's hardly any narrative cohesion in this entire story that manages to make a single ounce of sense, and as a result, it's pretty difficult to actually stay invested in everything that goes on, let alone at all. At the end of the day, "After Earth" is just nothing more than an expensive (and financially unsuccessful) vanity project for the Smith father-son team with a convoluted premise that feels like a lazily developed video game and thin, emotionless characters that completely lose our attention. There's no doubt in my mind that this is easily the worst blockbuster of the summer, and another bad low point in M. Night Shyamalan's career (although it's still better than "The Last Airbender," but that's not saying much). Unless you enjoy watching forgettable, unoriginal adventures that leave you more bored than thrilled, skip this time-wasting movie and rent a better one. You'll be glad you did.

After Earth
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings