E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (20th Anniversary)

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +4

Content: -1/2

Twenty years ago, Universal Pictures released the original version of Steven Spielbergs E.T., which became one of the most popular and beloved films of American cinema. For its twentieth anniversary, it is being re-released in a new, updated format including a new digitally-remixed sound track, some additional scenes and, thanks to technological advances, even some revised images. But the story is the same and will tug at a new generations heartstrings just like it did when first shown. Henry Thomas plays Elliot, a 10-year-old boy who lives in California with his older brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), younger sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and his single mother, Mary (Dee Wallace-Stone). One starry night, a small, strange-looking, but lovable alien from outer space is accidentally left behind by a spaceship and hides in a shed behind Elliots house. Elliot discovers him and, after an initial shock for both of them, they become close friends. But the authorities are searching for the alien, now known as E.T. for Extra-Terrestrial, so Elliot must keep him hidden, although he lets his brother and sister in on his secret. Most of all, ET wants to return to his home planet, so Elliot helps him build a communications device to "phone home." How E.T. adapts to his new surroundings and his attempts to return home make for a very lively, humorous and heartwarming adventure. The love and companionship that E.T. shares with Elliot and his siblings will deeply touch viewers, both young and old alike.

Most people in the film who see E.T. are initially scared of him, but Elliot looks beyond E.T.s appearance and the fear of the unknown to become his friend. And E.T.s gentle manner and kindness, including healing Elliots cut finger, endear him to Elliot, his siblings and, eventually, a few close friends of Elliot. The government and scientific authorities trying to capture E.T. are unfairly portrayed as villains, although some of them look on E.T. favorably. Elliots mother is portrayed as a harried, single mother who loves her children but is often distracted. And although the children obviously love her, they dont always obey her and keep E.T. a secret to protect him. E.T. definitely has unusual powers, such as healing, levitating objects and transferring his feelings to others. He even enables Elliot and his friends to fly on their bicycles in an emergency. Since E.T. is from another planet and an advanced technological society, it could be assumed that these powers are not supernatural, but some type of advanced technical capability. Many Christian viewers have also noted comparisons to E.T.s story and the Gospels. The most unfortunate incident in the movie is when Elliot insults his brother with an anatomical term used as an offensive slang. Rather than shocked, Mary thinks his attempt at obscenity is amusing. Elliots brother also speaks another obscenity and a few mild crudities. Some of the scenes where E.T. is chased and later examined by medical personnel could be frightening for very young children. Only the unfortunate obscenities prevent a wholehearted recommendation of this fascinating film.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91606

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 2, moderate 2

Obscene Language: Few (2) times - S-word, anatomical term used as attempted obscenity

Profanity: Few (3) times - Exclamatory (OMG)

Violence: Several times - Mild, some moderate (Chasing threats, kids trash neighborhood on Halloween, men dragged in net behind truck and roll on pavement - no injuries, medical personnel use severe emergency treatment on E.T.)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: E.T. innocently drinks much beer, gets drunk

Other: Loving family portrayed, children love and protect gentle alien, alien has unusual capabilities such as healing/ levitation and ability to fly

Running Time: 115 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 6 and older

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