Enter to win every day in CTNOW's 21 Days of Summer Giveaways. Click here to see today's prize.
CT Now

Movie review: 'Battle: Los Angeles'

*** (out of four)

Rough timing: Less than one day after Staff Sergeant Nantz (Aaron Eckhart) receives clearance to retire from the Marines, a worldwide extraterrestrial invasion (centralized in L.A. since aliens are, like, so Hollywood) requires him to jump to action. Soldiers with the usual backstories (one about to get married, one expecting a child, etc.) help Nantz battle the creatures, which purr like velociraptors and look like what resulted when Robocop got it on with the part-human, part-animal being from “Splice.”

The buzz: Directed by the guy behind “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” “Battle: Los Angeles” looks like a bigger budget version of last year’s flop “Skyline.” It features “District 9”-esque spaceships and a strong whiff of “Transformers” meets “Independence Day.” For what it’s worth, “Battle: LA” is, ahem, based on a true story of a perceived attack on the city in 1942, which some speculate was the work of non-human visitors.

The verdict: A full metal racket, “Battle: Los Angeles” is like a Michael Bay movie without the meatheaded, over-the-top indifference that usually implies. Yes, this inter-species clash features 5 zillion bullets and a few corny pep talks, and eventually the awesomeness of the relentless, frighteningly depicted destruction subsides. Yet Eckhart’s a perfectly imperfect hero, and director Jonathan Liebesman keeps things low to the ground as if he’s making a war movie, not an action movie. Amidst the chaos and limited visibility, these Marines are terrified and in awe of what they see, and who can blame them? The explosive “Battle: Los Angeles” has more than enough urgent, “Whoa”-inducing moments to turn most viewers into Keanu Reeves.

Did you know? Nantz firmly states that there are “no promises in combat.” He does not, however, say anything one way or the other about pinky swears.

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U


Copyright © 2015, CT Now
Related Content
  • Aaron Eckhart battles for Los Angeles

    Aaron Eckhart battles for Los Angeles

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. Aaron Eckhart fulfills a longtime dream in his latest film, "Battle: Los Angeles." He's always wanted to wear a uniform and fire an M-16.

  • Aliens are coming! TV & film under attack

    Aliens are coming! TV & film under attack

    They're everywhere. In theaters and on TV, aliens are among us, or attacking us, and sometimes (rarely) befriending us. "Battle: Los Angeles" and "Mars Needs Moms" open in theaters Friday, following the teen-aliens-in-peril flick "I Am Number Four" from a few weeks ago. On Saturday, Syfy jumps...

  • Good movies to rent now

    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Best new movies

    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 'Ant-Man,' 'Amy,' 'Magic Mike XXL,' 'The Overnight,' 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,' 'Results,' 'Love & Mercy,' 'Spy,' 'Mad Max: Fury Road,' 'Welcome to Me,' 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' 'While We're Young,' 'Woman in Gold,' 'Insurgent,' 'It Follows,' 'The Hunting...

  • Worst new movies

    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'Vacation,' 'Pixels,' 'The Gallows,' 'Terminator Genisys,' 'Entourage,' 'Aloft,' 'Aloha,' 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Hot Pursuit,' 'The D Train,' 'The Squeeze,' 'The Longest Ride,' 'Get Hard,' 'Serena,' 'Cinderella,' 'Run All Night,' 'The Lazarus Effect,' 'Hot Tub...

  • Shrug-worthy new movies

    Shrug-worthy new movies

    'Southpaw,' 'Paper Towns,' 'Unexpected,' 'Irrational Man,' 'Trainwreck,' 'Self/less,' 'The Tribe,' 'Ted 2,' 'Infinitely Polar Bear,' 'Eden,' 'Inside Out,' 'Dope,' 'The Wolfpack,' 'Heaven Knows What,' 'Jurassic World,' 'Testament of Youth,' 'Live From New York,' 'San Andreas,' 'Tomorrowland,' 'Lambert...

  • Hot Hollywood interviews

    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Cobie Smulders, Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn/Dave Attell, Jada Pinkett Smith, Adam Scott, Thomas Mann/Olivia Cooke/RJ Cyler, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Paul Feig, John Cusack/Brian Wilson, Ethan Hawke, Aubrey Peeples,...

  • Mark Twain House Ice Cream Social

    Mark Twain House Ice Cream Social