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‘Earth To Echo’ Review Roundup: Is It This Generation’s ‘E.T.’?

Thu, July 3, 2014 1:41pm EDT by Lauren Cox 2 Comments

Are you ready to meet your brand-new alien friend? His name is Echo, and he stars in ‘Earth to Echo’ — the latest sci-fi adventure from Disney. So, is it worth bringing your kids to the theater this weekend? Let’s review!

Earth to Echo, directed by Dave Green, tells the story of three young friends — Tuck, Munch, and Alex — who receive a set of bizarre encrypted messages on their cell phones. When they realize that it’s a map leading them to something mysterious, they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever. The reviews are in for Earth to Echo, which hit theaters on July 2, and you can check them out inside.

‘Earth To Echo’ Reviews & Trailer — Should You See The Film?

Alright, so let’s get straight to it. Is Earth to Echo worth seeing over the 4th of July holiday weekend?

Surely enough, you’ve been hearing tons of buzz about this brand-new sci-fi flick that mixes beautiful 3D animation in a film that was made to look like “found footage.” has put together a roundup of reviews from notable different entertainment outlets, and although the reviews themselves are quite mixed, we still think it’s safe to say that Disney and Relativity have a hit on their hands!


“Ultimately, “Echo” is even less edgy than “E.T.,” though it remains firmly indebted to the Steven Spielberg classic above all other influences. [..] While the three young leads are appealing and natural, with precious few traces of cloying kid thesping, their roles remain underdeveloped and one-note throughout. That makes any attempts at emotional resonance through the tropes of boyhood friendships or Alex’s lost-boy connection with Echo perfunctory at best.”


“But by putting these kids in a uniquely vulnerable situation — they’re about to lose their homes and their friends, and adults don’t seem to give a crap — the film does gain a kind of urgency. And the found-footage style, which creates the illusion of these adolescents controlling their own narrative, enhances that immediacy. But are they in control? I’m not sure. The alien brings these boys very little joy, or even accomplishment. Even so, Earth to Echo captures the darkness and uncertainty of that transition between childhood and the teenage years, when you’ve transcended one world and are on the cusp of another. We’ve all been there: It’s a breathtaking and terrible place to be, exploding with possibility and wonder, emotional treachery and helplessness. The film can’t quite reflect that complexity, but it evokes it. Earth to Echo resonates, despite itself.”

The Los Angeles Times:

“It’s no ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.’ (What is?) But on its own modest terms, the alien adventure ‘Earth to Echo’ is a lively and likable knockoff that should divert, if not exactly enthrall, tweens and young teens. […] Still, first-time feature director Dave Green keeps things moving so swiftly — at times too swiftly — it helps patch over some of the film’s narrative chasms as well as the fuzziness of its found-footage conceit.”


“There’s pleasure in Earth to Echo’s simplicity. Kids will go gaga for Echo’s bubbly antics, “ooo” and “aah” over zippy special effects (about 100,000 times less dense than the sensory overload of a Transformers movie), and see themselves in the companionship of the main trio, which grows into a quartet when one of the puzzle pieces takes them into the home of object-of-Alex’s-affection, Emma (Ella Wahlestedt). [Dave] Green replicates the goofball broship of Joe Dante’s Explorers, casting kids who can hold their own in spats of action and comedy.”

New York Daily News:

“Green and Gayden have good intentions in wanting to make a low-budget, high-impact option for middle-schoolers. Parents could certainly use an alternative to “Transformers,” and this one’ll do when it’s time for an air-conditioned break. The actors are fine, and the action distracting enough. But poor production values and an uninspired script ultimately keep Green’s tween adventure grounded.”

Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do you think, will you be seeing Earth to Echo in theaters? Do you think your kids will enjoy it? Let us know your thoughts below!

— Lauren Cox

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