I don’t know why the critics gave this one such rough treatment, I loved it.
Checking on Yahoo! Movies before heading out one night when I was home alone and needed some entertainment, the critics were giving it a C- and users were giving it an A-. Now, I’ve repeated this ritual many times, and usually the critics are one full grade behind the users (a difference which I put down to cognitive dissonance), but there were quite a few “D”s in the reviews, which made me a little worried, but I always knew I was going to see any movie where high school kid discovers super powers AND fights aliens.
I thought the main actor Alex Pettyfer (who I’d never seen before) was a decent actor, the alien bad guys were both intimidating and funny at the same time (neat trick), and the pacing of the movie was well done with a bunch of action at the end that’s like a good 4th of July fireworks finale.
True, there’s nothing original in the plot, and some of the critics complained that the internal logic doesn’t fully hold up, but I thought that was pretty thin criticism. Apparently there’s a book too, because many of the indignant teenage reviewers were complaining that the book was so much better (but isn’t it always that way).
All in all, I recommend it. It was a good time. If you loved “The Last Starfighter”, or “Explorers”, or the first “Spider Man” movie, you’ll like it.