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Battlefield Earth

Action & Adventure and Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by Roger Christian

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Yep, it's really that awful. 4%

  • Oct 23, 2011
I heard about this movie when it came out eleven years ago and haven't seen it until the summer of 2009. I remember seeing stuff about it when it was released and everyone rightfully said "You don't want to see that, it's one of the worst movies of all time." I saw this last Friday and I wasn't expecting this to be any good at all, I saw it because this has so much notoriety surrounding it, I just had to see how loathsome it was with my own eyes. Trust me, every bad thing you heard about Battlefield Earth is 100% true.

I won't judge the movie on religious matters, I'll judge it strictly on a cinematic level. Basically, the plot is that an invading alien race called the Psychlos (really creative names) have conquered Earth and the humans, who are living caveman-like lives, are fighting back.

I'll get the one good quality out of the way. I do believe that Barry Pepper really did put effort into his role, despite the fact that everyone else phoned in their performances, so I have to give him some credit there. Everything else is terrible, and I'll categorize every bad quality neatly.


Minus the performance of Barry Pepper as human resistance leader Jonnie Goodboy Tyler, everyone else put NO effort into their roles. I felt like John Travolta as Terl knew that this movie would be the rightful whipping boy of movie critics and audiences alike and gave out one of the most laughable performances in a big budget movie. He's supposed to be the head of security on Earth and supposed to be really smart and evil, he's neither. He makes the stock villains in the 60's Batman TV show look like Dr. Weir in Event Horizon in comparison. If Terl is supposed to be really smart, how is he so stupid as to allow a handful of "man animals" learn to use Psychlo technology (which would screw him and his race over) and doesn't even know what humans eat? He even finds this out by putting a few "man animals" in a little hunt to find and eat rats for crying out loud!! Forest Whitaker is a good actor, but his role at Ker was forgettable at best.


Oh man, there's numerous plot holes bigger than the Grand Canyon throughout this cinematic mess. For one, Terl explains to Jonnie that the Psychlos defeated all of the armies on Earth in nine minutes circa 2000 but towards the end of the movie, a handful of cavemen with horribly outdated weaponry defeat the invading Psychlos and destroy their home planet. You mean to tell me that the most advanced fighting forces from powerful nations like America, Russia, China, and the UK got their butts handed to them by the Psychlos but a few cavemen were able to destroy practically the entire Psychlo race with really inferior weapons? Also, note that 1000 years prior to the movie's setting that the Psychlos almost certainly had weapons and vehicles that were technologically inferior to the ones in the current setting so that makes it even more implausible that Jonnie and his comrades were able to beat the Psychlos. Also, the destroyed cities are in really good condition despite laying there abandoned for 1000 years. Books in the library are merely dusty and isn't it really convenient how the Harrier jets, machine guns, and bombs are in perfect working condition at Fort Hood and waiting for Jonnie and his men to be used? There's even electricity in Ft. Hood!! Wouldn't you think that after 1000 years the light bulbs and computers that were still left on after it was abandoned would burn out after about a week? My favorite part has to be where Jonnie devises a plan to steal a bunch of gold bars from Fort Knox and I can't get over how the gold is just waiting there for Jonnie and his crew to be taken. Wouldn't you think people would have looted Ft. Knox after it was abandoned and way before the movie's setting? The only thing more nonsensical than this is Elfen Lied.


Practically every shot in this movie is at an angle. Didn't Roger Christian complete film class 101? Angled shots in movies are effective only when used in moderation. I swear, I saw probably one, maybe two shots in this movie that weren't angled.


I'm not really that picky when it comes to how costumes look in movies, but the Psychlo costumes are absolutely atrocious!! The platform boots are so obvious that it kills any suspension of disbelief that you might have that the Psychlos look relatively legitimate in a fictional world. Besides the stupid platform boots, they look like pathetic humanoid Wookies.


Some people have called this a camp-classic, I can't disagree with them more. "Camp" status only applies to low budget works like Plan 9 from Outer Space because of obvious production shortcomings and the whole "so bad it's good" vibe prevailing throughout the whole thing. Battlefield Earth is just "so bad it's bad" because this wasn't low budget, this had a multimillion dollar budget and it was a BOMB!!

Best to never see this joke of a movie, kids.

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October 24, 2011
This is one of those movies that I wished I never sat down and saw. To think they had a decent budget too and so I agree with your closing remarks....nice review!
More Battlefield Earth reviews
review by . March 27, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
This is the worst science fiction movie that I have ever seen, which is saying a lot. Shortly after it first came out, I read the book, Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard, and enjoyed it. It was written in the style of science fiction in the early years of the twentieth century and had an engaging plot, although the ending was absurd.    This movie only loosely follows the book and the plot is a joke. The ending is even worse than that of the book, which was pretty bad. Giant aliens invade …
review by . February 16, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
BATTLEFIELD EARTH isn't one of the worst movies of all time. Nor is it that good of a movie either. What makes the movie seem worse than it really is, is the film's high production cost and great actors stuck in a movie that's really nothing more than glorified camp. A lot of the special effects would seem spectacular in a more unified picture. However, here they become objects to laugh and they lower the image of the film.The cast in BATTLEFIELD EARTH has a tremendous depth of talent and skill. …
About the reviewer
David Kozak ()
Ranked #21
I'm a morbid cynic who thinks very, very differently from most other people. Chances are, if the majority says X is the greatest in its category, I'll disagree with that notion, because I tend … more
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About this movie


WhenBattlefield Earthwas released in May 2000, this inept sci-fi epic qualified as an instant camp classic, promptingDaily Varietyto call it "theShowgirlsof sci-fi shoot-'em-ups." Other reviews were united in their derision, and toy stores were left with truckloads ofBattlefield Earthaction figures that nobody wanted. As the film's star and coproducer, John Travolta must have felt an urge to enlist in the witness protection program.

Recklessly adapted from the novel by sci-fi author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and set in the year 3000, the film is no worse than many cheesy sci-fi flicks, but the sight of Travolta as a burly, dreadlocked alien from the planet Psychlo provokes unintentional laughter from first frame to final credits. As Terl, the Psychlo security chief who conquers Earth and hatches a secret scheme to steal all the gold from Fort Knox (which sits conveniently in wide-open vaults), Travolta hams it up as if he knows he's in a camp-fest. (In a cameo as a long-tongued Psychlo seductress, Travolta's wife, Kelly Preston, only adds to the absurdity.) Barry Pepper (the praying sharpshooter from Saving Private Ryan) tries his best to convey charisma as Jonnie, the human slave who leads an uprising against Terl's tyranny, but he's adrift in a foolish plot that makes even smart humans look stupid.

The decrepit look of a dreary future is convincingly established (the ruins of Washington D.C. recall Logan's Run on a grander scale), but in the wake of its ...

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Director: Roger Christian
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy
Runtime: 118 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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