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E.T. The Extraterrestrial
Short plot summary

ET, the extraterrestrial, is befriended by a young family who keep his presence secret, but there's trouble a'brewing...

Elliott (Henry Thomas) finds the short, thankfully passive, ET monster and, along with his older brother and younger sister (Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and Gertie (Drew Barrymore)), manage to keep the monster secret from their mother (Mary (Dee Wallace)). ET seems to be able to control the mind of Elliott: this leads to much in-school classroom mayhem involving frogs...

What our panel of critics thought

"ET has all of the emotion of a squashed cigarette packet on legs."

"A weepy, very slow, great to snooze through, subliminal marketing friendly movie. The kids will love it, and then, hopefully, buy the merchandising or we're ruined..."

"Lots of bicycles and, yet, none of our hero's wear safety helmets even during the flying above the forest and in front of the moon scene!"

"Why did the astronaut come to the house in his full walking-on-the-moon costume? It makes no sense at all, but I am sure the Health and Safety in the Workpace people were happy..."

"The first alien makeover in a movie, bravisimo!"

Please tell me the ending

The US military get involved and revive ET who then escapes thanks to our young hero's. ET finds his spacecraft again and, presumably, just flies off home, but not before that bicycle chase doomed to become a popular Disneyworld ride...

Dr Bravisimo-Encore II Movie Review

Welcome to 2D movie heaven! Some nice performances (Drew Barrymore is amazing) populate this superficial effort where a brown, crinkly, ugly, alien, with the bulbous glowing finger and big eyes, befriends children who, initially, keep him a secret from their mommy in exactly the same way children are told not to...

The main character, of course, is the short, stocky, brown, crinkly, thing we know as ET, a slightly rubbery-wobbly effort when judged to today's standards.

No expense is spared to ensure marketing tie-ins from M&M's, cans of Coke, baths, telephone services, pot plants for mommy, bicycles with baskets in the front and Speak & Spell machines, which, in their day, almost succeeded in giving the entire English speaking world an American accent.

But this movie is memorable and indeed is, probably, most touching, if you get to the end of it. I, unfortunately, always fall to sleep whenever I watch it. The ET monster, today, looks too rubbery for this old wizened eye.

Quotable quotes (real)

"EEEE TTTT phooone hooommeee..."

"You must swear the most excellent promise."

Other comments

Family friendly. This movie may encourage children to bring home strays or very short people off the streets, beware.

All in all, a reasonably harmless movie, although it's all very superficial stuff. The ending is likely to make you cry.

Date of review

January 12 , 2004

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