Ender's Game 2.0 stars

Ender's Game movie poster

Brilliant young tactician Ender Wiggin is called upon to defend earth from nasty foreign invaders — and you know what they say about what makes the the best defense. Not for nothing does space commander Harrison Ford say that "What we need is a Julius Caesar, a Napoleon." But while Asa Butterfield conveys Wiggin's complicated, chilly interior with a brave disdain for mere likability, Ford stumbles as his equally complicated and possibly chillier mentor/advocate/father-figure. All growls and glares and gravel, he's more general than god. Still, the film makes a fine transition from the classroom to the battlefield — interestingly, it's the classroom that involves actual bodies in motion, while the battlefield is all holodecks and drones. And except for a sloppy climactic confrontation, it manages to manifest its concerns with clarity and force. Director Gavin Hood has an eye for a battle scene, and keeps the action clean and clear no matter what the scale of the conflict. With Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin. 2013.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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