I'll start by confessing to blasphemy by saying I've never read the book. I know it's supposed to be excellent, I've just never gotten around to it. As for the movie...it's full of training and training and training and I'm waiting for the goddamned action (and for Ender to have more than a token setback. He wins every damn thing.) That probably works better in a book than a movie. And the ending is powerful and thought-provoking. But I was distracted by two things, one my fault and one not.
My fault: when Ben Kingsley makes his appearance late in the movie, I was chuckling that the HUGO co-stars were reunited.
Not my fault (and pretty spoiler-y, even though it happens early in the movie): So...50-something years ago we beat back an alien invasion using what looks like contemporary fighter planes. Certainly not some extreme futuristic technology. Then 50 years later...we have a fleet of giant interstellar spaceships and have established at least one military base on a planet orbiting a different star. So we go from contemporary times (interstellar travel is theoretically impossible within a single human lifetime) to interstellar travel in a matter of...days at the most?...is commonplace enough that it's not even commented on.
Also, why we're at it, kids are the only ones smart enough to process game-like information quickly enough? Really? I guess that's central to the premise so I have to accept it, but normally I wouldn't buy it.
Oh, and Ender is smarter than everyone because he understands that there's no up or down in space? No other kids are smart enough to see that...or at the very least have seen STAR TREK 2: THE WRATH OF KHAN?
Okay, I should stop thinking about it because I'll probably find other points that don't sit right with me. Ultimately it was a fun movie with great acting, incredible special effects, and a very thoughtful ending.
Running Time: 114 minutes
My Total Minutes: 342,693