The Day the Earth Stood Still is the kind of movie that studio executives call critic proof. It needs to be, since most of the reviews are unmitigatedly awful. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times does allow that the sci-fi story "is presented in an expensive, good-looking film that is well-made by Scott Derrickson, but to no avail." The plot, he says, "stands still," too. A.O. Scott in the New York Times even pays it a left-handed compliment. It "could be worse," he writes. And Ann Hornaday comments in the Washington Post "It's not a complete failure." But most critics have nothing at all to admire about the movie. "A good portion of this sci-fi disaster movie is unintentionally comical," writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. "And the parts that aren't funny are just plain dull." Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal remarks that the movie "is as cold and blank as the expression on [star Keanu] Reeves's face." And referring to reports that 20th Century Fox is planning to beam The Day the Earth Stood Still to Alpha Centauri, Ty Burr in the Boston Globe remarks, "Man, are we asking for it."

12/12/2008