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Ender's Game (+UltraViolet Digital Copy) (2013)

Harrison Ford , Asa Butterfield , Gavin Hood  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,723 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley
  • Directors: Gavin Hood
  • Writers: Gavin Hood, Orson Scott Card
  • Producers: Aaron Johnston, Alex Kurtzman, Bill Lischak, David Coatsworth, Deborah Del Prete
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Summit Inc/Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,723 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ender's Game (+UltraViolet Digital Copy)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The climactic battle scene that builds to a spectacular crescendo in Ender's Game is at least as thrilling as the overall visual splendor of Gravity. The difference is that Ender's Game makes its mark as an all-out science fiction extravaganza as opposed to Gravity's masterful attempt to reproduce science fact. The similarity is the photorealistic sensationalism that both movies deliver. Ender's Game revels in imaginary futurism full of gleaming spaceships, high-tech gadgetry, and a galactic war against an alien race that have a stunning reality of their own. It also tries hard to convey a soulful moral message. Based on the popular series of books by Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game is aimed at the same young adult crowd that gobbled up franchises like Twilight and The Hunger Games, but it has plenty to satisfy older audiences too. Ender Wiggin is a pubescent genius selected for training in an elite battle school some 70 years after an apocalyptic global attack by the insectlike Formics that killed tens of millions. The Formics were defeated, but the threat of their return remains and it's up to children like Ender to become strategic commanders who will take up the mantle of defending Earth. The martial sensibility of a child army is crisp and believable in the scenes of boot camp on space stations and distant planet outposts. Asa Butterfield (Hugo) makes Ender the scrawny, brilliant misfit who really may be a savior to end the Formic threat forever. He's bullied and alienated, a theme that recurs throughout the story in many ways and comes full circle in the brutal, beautiful finale. His mentor and tormentor is Colonel Graff, the grizzled commander who believes Ender is "the one," but must hide some essential truths as a measure of control. Harrison Ford makes a bang-up return to stardom as Graff with barely dimmed wattage that pays more than a little homage to Han Solo. That Ender believes he's involved in an elaborate game gives a cruel irony to his training, his relationship with Graff, and his interaction with the large, highly capable multiethnic cast of kids that populate the movie (Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin are particularly good as Ender's best friend and beloved sister, respectively). For most people the dazzling CGI imagery will probably be the real star of the movie. Every aspect of the digital sorcery is immaculate. Standing on a command stage using gestural controls to fight the Formic army, Ender becomes literal conductor of a symphony of special effects in a conflict with echoes of the tribulations that have pretty much defined his young life. It's probably safe to assume that we'll see Ender again, which is an exciting prospect for his character and the constantly evolving science of moviemaking magic. --Ted Fry

Product Description

In the near future, a hostile alien race has attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training the best and brightest young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
524 of 553 people found the following review helpful
I'm a big reader of science fiction, and Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series is probably my favorite. The only things that come close are Hyperion by Dan Simmons and Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. I've read Ender's Game more than 10 times, including two or three occasions on which I finished it in a single sitting. One of my college papers is based on the novel and is published on Card's website.

Yes, I'm a fan.

So, as you can imagine, I have been looking forward to an Ender's Game movie long before I ever thought it might happen. For me, it had the potential to be the best science fiction movie ever made, if done well. After assembling a strong cast, my expectations could not have been higher as I sat down to watch the IMAX version today.

The basic premise is that an alien race, known as the Formics or Buggers, invaded Earth fifty years ago. The invading fleet was defeated, but another attack is expected. In order to be ready to face a species that learns from its mistakes, the International Fleet has come up with a strategy: A program was established to observe the behavior of young children, hoping that the best young geniuses of the time would be able to become the top military strategists by the time they were needed. Ender Wiggin was chosen as one of the trainees.

The movie deviates considerably from the book, but it's necessary. I am not here to tell you why the book is better, I'm here to tell you whether Ender's Game works as a movie. However, I must explain some of the key differences. In the book, Ender begins his training at the age of six, while all of the trainees in the movie appear to be 15 or older. I understand that it would be impossible to find dozens of 6-year-old actors capable of carrying this story.
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143 of 159 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great adaptation, but not enough time November 9, 2013
I've seen a lot of complaints that this movie didn't cover every scene, plot twist, character development, etc. in the book. It seems like many reviewers still don't understand just how different novels and movies are as creative media. For movies, time is precious - most movies have only around 2 hours to tell their story - whereas books generally don't face a hard limit on the page count. Moreover, movie are expensive to make whereas books are cheap (basically the author's living expenses and and market campaign).

Looking at Ender's Game as a movie and not just as an adaptation of the book, it actually holds up very well. Asa Butterfield manages to subtly portray both a ruthless and compassionate side to Ender. The rest of the actors generally do a good job bringing their characters to life, which is no small accomplishment give that most of them are kids. Even though the kids are older than their counterparts in the book, they still look, feel, and act like kids. Ender's voice even cracks a bit, like a kid going through puberty. While Ender and Petra do have quite a few scenes together, I was very pleased to see that Hollywood didn't try to insert romance into their relationship.

Gavin Hood, the director, obviously realized that he wasn't filming the book and the script makes some significant but smart changes. The arc of Ender's siblings - Peter and Valentine - is drastically curtailed (even in the book, it was only peripheral to the main plot). More importantly, Ender's character arc isn't quite as exhaustive or exhausted as in the book. I appreciate that Hood implicitly acknowledges that movie Ender hasn't been at Battle School nearly as long as book Ender and the movie doesn't try to cheat and shortcut that experience.
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119 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THOUGHT PROVOKING and MEMORABLE November 5, 2013
“Ender's Game”, a 1985 novel from Orson Scott Card, is the subject of a new film and director Gavin Hood (X:Men Origins: Wolverine). It is a science-fiction action film with an uncharacteristic premise. It is uncharacteristic in the sense that as a science-fiction action film, it is less eventful and more thoughtful. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is an extremely gifted kid with the mentality for success in battle. He is closely watched by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and quickly moved up the ranks of a futuristic military academy.

An alien species called the 'formics' or in the book, 'the buggers', are threatening earth's existence and desperate moves are needed to be made. “Ender's Game” does have elements that are similar to two films in my opinion, but seeing as though the book came out in 1985, those films appear to be inspired by the book. Those movies are “Full Metal Jacket” (1987) and “Starship Troopers” (1997). The film focuses on the training of military recruits preparing for war against bugs and it makes a broad statement about war and its effect on the human condition.

This is easily the best thing that Harrison Ford has done in years and his performance is only bolstered by the performance of sort of unknown Asa Butterfield. Butterfield encompasses everything needed to portray a complex and challenging role. Maybe his previous performance in a rare gem like “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” prepared him for such an emotional and deep character. Much is placed upon the shoulders of the teenager Ender Wiggin and Butterfield was flawless at bringing you into an inner-turmoil that many times can only be described in a book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a turkey
I thought this movie was a bit of a turkey. Not very good and a bit tedious and plodding throughout. Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Gino Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but the book was better
good movie but the book was better. the movie glossed over some of the way Ender was treated in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Published 11 hours ago by Vernon G. Schoonover
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie
Great movie throughout left a lot of room for sequels down the road as the kids grow up and they train others.
Published 13 hours ago by JerryL1042
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I hoped for.
I read the story years ago and enjoyed it. The movie was worth the wait. Will there be a volume two?
Published 15 hours ago by noel knapp
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment!
In the book, you ache and have empathy for a boy who is forced to become a cold-blooded commander through a dehumanizing process. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by Thomas Privett
4.0 out of 5 stars True to the book
This one is true to the book as I remember the book (read it 15 years ago). Overall very linear and no real surprises.
Published 18 hours ago by William Chipman
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE
Great movie if you like sci-fi and if you like a twist at the end. Good family watch. Clean no nudity or in appropriateness, no foul language just fighting if that is ok.
Published 18 hours ago by Mary Millholland
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God!!!
Yes, Yes I say Yes! Not my usual genre choice but I absolutely loved this one from beginning to end! Action packed and with brains no less. Read more
Published 1 day ago by JeepGuyFL
4.0 out of 5 stars Read the book first
If I were to watch this movie without having read the book, I would not really know what was going on. Read more
Published 1 day ago by A. Riffe
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Syfi movie
Pretty good Syfi movie. I don't know if it is wise for younger children but young adults would enjoy it.
Published 1 day ago by christine oldham
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