The Day the Earth Stood Still

  • 12
  • Scott Derrickson (2008)
  • US
  • 99 min
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Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Robert Wise's alien-invasion film The Day the Earth Stood Still, released in 1951, is an iconic entry in the canon of 1950s sci-fi, thanks in part to its muted parable of Christian redemption. Fifty-seven years on, this fatuous remake ditches the Cold War/religious subtext - and even the flying saucers - in its attempt to deliver a more contemporary allegory, as spaceman Keanu Reeves arrives with a warning for humanity. At his best when dealing with the CGI-heavy action, director Scott Derrickson fumbles the plotting, which degenerates into messy confusion the moment Reeves escapes from government custody with the help of scientist Jennifer Connelly. It's a pointless remake that would be passable on its own terms but suffers terribly in comparison with its source material. The general sense is that the film-makers lost sight of what was unique about the original while they were shoehorning in the umpteenth scene of tanks being blown up by alien weaponry.

Plot Summary

Sci-fi remake starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly. When a mysterious spacecraft lands in New York City, the American government hastily assembles a group of scientists. A humanoid called Klaatu (Reeves) and a giant robot emerge from the craft with a message that they have come to save the Earth, but when Dr Helen Benson (Connelly) learns of the scale of their intentions, she has to act quickly to protect the human race.

Cast and crew


Keanu Reeves
Dr Helen Benson
Jennifer Connelly
Regina Jackson
Kathy Bates
Professor Barnhardt
John Cleese
Jacob Benson
Jaden Smith
Michael Granier
Jon Hamm
J C MacKenzie
Mousa Kraish
Dr Ikegawa
Hiro Kanagawa
Sunita Prasad


Scott Derrickson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 12 Dec 2008
Certificate 12