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The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

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A remake of the 1951 classic science fiction film about an alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who visit Earth.


Scott Derrickson


David Scarpa (screenplay), Edmund H. North
3,058 ( 776)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Keanu Reeves ... Klaatu
Jennifer Connelly ... Helen Benson
Kathy Bates ... Regina Jackson
Jaden Smith ... Jacob Benson
John Cleese ... Professor Barnhardt
Jon Hamm ... Michael Granier
Kyle Chandler ... John Driscoll
Robert Knepper ... Colonel
James Hong ... Mr. Wu
John Rothman ... Dr. Myron
Sunita Prasad ... Rouhani
Juan Riedinger ... William Kwan
Sam Gilroy ... Tom
Tanya Champoux ... Isabel
Rukiya Bernard ... Student


Dr. Helen Benson is summoned to a military facility with several other scientists when an alien spacecraft of sorts arrives in New York City. Aboard is a human-like alien and a giant robot of immense size and power. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the Earth. The US military and political authorities see him as a threat however and decide to use so-called intensive interrogation techniques on him but Dr. Benson decides to facilitate his escape. When she learns exactly what he means when he says he is there to save the Earth, she tries to convince him to change his intentions. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


12.12.08 is the Day the Earth Stood Still See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



USA | Canada


English | Mandarin

Release Date:

12 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le jour où la Terre s'arrêta See more »


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,000,000, 12 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS | Sonics-DDP (IMAX version)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


According to Keanu Reeves, in the original, Klaatu was an alien WITH a human body, while in this film, Klaatu is an alien IN a human body. See more »


When Helen follows Klaatu into the forest, she leaves Jacob in the car, telling him to lock the door. As instructed, Jacob locks the door. Problem is, the car has 3 other doors which he does not lock. However most modern (post-1980s) cars have a feature called "central locking". At a minimum, all the doors are locked/unlocked if the driver's side lock is operated. See more »


Helen Benson: Why did you come here?
Klaatu: I came to save the world.
Helen Benson: From what?
See more »


Referenced in Heroes: Chapter Nine 'It's Coming' (2008) See more »


The Goldberg Variations: Aria Da Capo and Variation No. 1
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Ryan Franks
Courtesy of Crucial Music
[Played at Professor Barnhardt's home]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Day the Film Jammed
21 June 2009 | by robert-temple-1See all my reviews

This film is lost, lost, lost, and going nowhere. It has been misconceived, has no point, is overdone like a burnt steak, and just think of all the money they wasted on producing this rambling, directionless, self-indulgent failure. Strangely enough, I rather liked the central performance by Keanu Reeves as the visiting alien. Some people might say it was wooden and inexpressive. But it was chillingly convincing, and more or less the way an alien of that sort would act (I know several, they come from a rival planet, and would never be allowed on mine). I actually admired the sturdy determination of Reeves to maintain continuity of mood throughout this mayhem, where crazy things were happening all around him and he had to put up with Jennifer Connelly and her obnoxious, thoroughly revolting brat. Why on earth (even if it were standing still) did anyone choose Jennifer Connelly for the role of the woman? (One cannot call her the 'love interest' because Keanu Reeves, as an alien with no expression, is above such things, or below them, or whatever.) Even when they are trapped in a car on long dangerous drives, looking at each other meaningfully, the meaning has nothing to do with males and females but more to do with dogs and cats. Connelly looks haunted, but for the wrong reasons. She seems not to have slept in ten years. She really should take a holiday and freshen up. Why are her eyes so sunken and tired? She does not add any zip to the action, she makes us want to go have a nap or we will look like her. Reeves has never looked better, even when he was a young buck with doe eyes (is that a contradiction?) The DVD of this film offers us the original film starring Michael Rennie as an extra. 'Oldies but goodies!' Bring back the days when they knew how to make a science fiction film properly for only a tiny budget and impress the hell out of us! The worst thing about the film is the appalling son of Jennifer Connelly. I don't want to mention the unfortunate boy actor's name, I just want to point out that the whole thing stinks. What is this obsession they have in Hollywood with putting disgusting children in every film who then have to be worshipped by cringeing, apologetic, neurotic parents? Is it because all parents are now cringeing and neurotic? Or all children have now become that offensive, sneering, sulky, and arrogant? And has anyone noticed that Connelly is as white as parchment while her 'son' is, well, what shall I say? I don't want to commit a 'hate crime' by pointing out that he differs rather extremely in hue. As we all know, we aren't permitted anymore to mention any skin colour other than white without getting arrested. But isn't this carrying black tokenism in films to insane extremes? What a mess. Further comment about this meandering, unfocused, pointless exercise in cinematic vanity would be an offense to those electrons who sacrifice their lives to appear on our computer screens. Or should I now say those liquid crystals who offer themselves for annihilation on the altar of a potassium carbonate plastic glass, so that we may all read and write in cyberspace? This is a sci fi review, after all. (And as for the plague of metal locusts in the film, come on! Let's get unreal!)

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