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on 15 July 2011
Starts off so promising then drags on and on about how great the US marine corp is.
Pretty terrible. It does feel as though it is sponsored by the US marines....
They will never give up blah blah blah. The 'invaders' looked pretty good and the effects are nice but the macho dialogue is sickening..... Sunday afternoon film not a blockbuster Friday night..... PAH! "Retreat?" Oh shut up.
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on 14 March 2011
If you want pure popcorn action sci-fi then this film is a real winner, after the initial set up it is gun fights and explosions all the way. In this film we see Alien infantry vs Marines going at it in fairly even terms which, although being massively unlikely, is quite entertaining.

Characters are fairly likable and standard - could be a squad of soldiers from any recent American film and the acting was fine. Not quite as many cheesy salutes as Independence Day though so this won't be as good for drinking games.

As well as liking popcorn Sci-Fi I like the proper stuff more and if I were to put on my geek hat and start picking at the plot of this film we could be here all day, the expert theory on why the aliens were invading was laughable and I do not believe that a race as stupid as the aliens in this film would have been able to discover their alien equivalent of the Isle of White let alone cross the galaxy to invade another planet.... but I decided to watch this film when I was tired and just wanted something entertaining and brainless and it hit the mark.
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VINE VOICEon 15 March 2011
I never do this - write a review for a film that I've seen at the cinema long before it comes out on DVD - but I felt everyone, some of whom might be put off by the sniffy negative reviews in the press, should know - when deciding on purchasing - this simple fact: Battle: Los Angeles is great!

It's Independence Day meets Saving Private Ryan - aliens v grunts in a joggly-camera, whirling ordnance, big explosion, LA-set Nirvana of shooting mayhem. The aliens are curiously limited - all that space travel and no decent AWACs or infra-red detection systems or ray guns - but that makes it a (reasonably) fair fight and allows Staff Sergeant Aaron Eckhart, Hoyt out of 'True Blood' and some other less familiar faces to actually trade fire to some effect with these extra-terrestrial scavengers.

Once the 'introduce the characters' bit is over, the film becomes a series of military cliff-hangers leavened by the odd 'come on guys' speech. A bus chase (like in Speed) gets chucked in too. There are also 'borrowings' from 'Aliens,' but it feels more like homage than plagiarism.

Crucially, it's played straight. There is no 'I know this is ridiculous' winking at the camera asides - just action. I think it's far more honest as a result. Some critics called it boorish and lacking in irony, but I think it does exactly what it says on the tin: massive shoot 'em up; Marines v Aliens; ludicrously exciting.

What's not to like?

If you know what films you like, you'll probably already know whether you want to see/own this film. It's not going to disappoint unlike some other 'actioners' I could name.

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on 13 March 2011
I saw the trailer for this some weeks and thought to myself "at last, a decent alien invasion flick".
How wrong I was.

On the plus side the CGI aliens were quite good.

Now for the minuses:

We have a squad of marines consisting of a commanding officer who falls apart in combat, a sergeant who puts in for retirement but is reinstated when the aliens turn up, a corporal on the verge of getting married and a female Peurto Rican communications expert who quickly becomes expert at killing the alien menace.

For some reason the aliens attack population centres before military strongholds. Why are they invading? We learn they intend to steal our water which they apparently use as fuel (water...that'll be hydrogen and oxygen - those particularly rare chemical elements).
We even learn via news broadcast from an "expert" that the aliens are attacking Earth as it is the only planet in the known universe that has liquid water on its surface. Really? He knows that for sure does he?

The alien invasion strategy is also a little bizarre. Sending in infantry before deploying a remarkably efficient air force. Very odd - but not as odd as placing their command & control centre in the middle of enemy territory without any real defences. What could possibly go wrong?

This was not an all-action movie either. There were several over long dialogue sequences with more cliches than I would've thought possible! I, along with a few other members of the cinema audience, found portions of the dialogue unintentionally hilarious.

Frankly you can get a fairly good "feel" of the film from the trailer - it certainly contains many of the key scenes!

It makes me sad that, yet again, Hollywood has produced a film with decent special effects but a terrible plot. Unforgivable considering the amount of good SF literature that is out there (authors such as Peter F. Hamilton, Ian M. Banks & Stephen Baxter - to name but a few).

Do yourself a favour and watch "District 9" instead.
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on 22 May 2011
I was expecting a good action movie with great special effects from this .I knew I was watching a turkey from the start when female jet fighters get scambled to face a giant flying saucer, the boredom crept in immidiately. Think of the worst movie you have ever watched! double it! and thats only halfway to describing this flick, this movie is about as exciting as a ride on a milk float.
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on 19 May 2011
The perfect hybrid/rip-off of both Independence Day and Black Hawk Down Battle L.A is one terribly boring film with 0 thrills and no chills. Starring a good bunch of B-Listers for this B-movie who try their best with a limited script full of incomprehensible U.S army mumbo-jumbo this is guarenteed to bore the socks off you. Thie movie follows the trials and tribulations of a platoon of soliders sent in to find missing colleges before something something oh yeah the airforce bombs the area. Ending is pure Independence Day just too bad the build up is not the same.
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on 12 July 2011
Have the aliens not watched Independence Day? Oh dear.
Hoorah! for the US Marines. Plenty of cheesey speeches and dialog to go all around. If anybody can see any similarities between this movie and A Black Hawk Down - one must wonder just how far their imagination has been stretched by watching utter trash. You would have to be a die-hard geekoid UFO spotter with no friends but a goldfish called bubbles to get any joy from a film like this. Aaron Eckhart will one day look back on this movie and bow his head in shame. All the other cast will hope nobody holds this film against their careers. One dimensional acting - even if you watch it in 3D. A plot so flimsy it could be summised in little more than two words. Aliens aplenty, a mentally tortured staff sargeant and a platoon of kick-ass marines, armed to the teeth. If you don't mind losing a couple hours of your life then watch it - but I'm sure there are far more interesting things you could be doing like erm ... learning to knit.
Good work marines. Outstanding. Hoorah.
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on 19 April 2011
This has to be one of the worst films I have seen in my life! Terrible Terrible Terrible!
The acting was dire, the script full of cliches and it was cheesy cheesy! I am sorry but I don't know how any of you think this is any good at all
I actually walked out of the cinema because the stupid explosions and shaky hand held camera was giving me a headache. I was so annoyed with my friend for dragging me along to see this utter load of rubbish!
I am a huge fan of sci fi and I love alien invasion films like Independence Day, District 9 being one of the best and most original alien films in the last 10 years!
I even thought the remake of War of the Worlds was not too bad
This was terrible - Don't waste your money Believe me it is total crap!
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on 12 July 2011
the claims made by actors, directors etc (in 'Special Features') shows that their knowledge of the 'War' and 'Sci-Fi' genres is limited.
There is nothing really unique in the movie, sorry.
The 'drama-doc' type filming was done (much better) in Saving Private Ryan. The aliens here are a mix of several previous fims (including the exo-skeleton from Independence Day), as are their craft (Independence Day again).

Yes, it's a 100mph all-action US 'ain't we great' offering, and I suspect the target audience is US Redneck - too much 'Hoo-hah', 'Go Marines', 'Retreat Hell no'. As a result the plot is weak.

I'm a sci-fi fan (although I prefer books), and the 'sci' is worse than non-existent. Worse because we hear statements from 'a scientist' like : 'It's the composition of our water that's unique' - a statement that would have any 12 year-old here laughing, and : '... no other locations in our know universe have liquid H2O (that's the science bit) anywhere near their surface ...' - a statement that would have anyone with even a basic knowledge of the Universe weeping in despair. Our own Milky Way is just a miniscule part of the Universe, and there are tens of thousands of Earth-like planets in it (see The Drake Equation for more info)
Perhaps that's just too much for the average US citizen (or even our own) to comprehend.

But for all that Hollywood dumbness, it's worth watching - for a laugh. If you're being pursued by better armed, better equipped, more technically advanced killing machines, it's best to stay quiet. Not this lot. They spend all their time shouting, screaming, yelling, and banging into things. All actions guaranteed to attract the pursuers. Back in the 1970's, the US Marines we (Royal or 'Real' Marines) played 'war games' with could never work out how we knew they were coming, and how they could never find us until we ambushed them. Simple - we heard them coming from miles away - and we kept quiet. Stealth, not 'Shock'n Awe' always wins the day in the real world.

I'll close with the film's most ridiculous statement. While ripping one of the aliens apart (again - it's been done before - with identical 'goo'), one of our heroes states ; 'It's unlike anything I've seen before !'. Well... yes. It's an alien.
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VINE VOICEon 13 February 2012
OK, so let's get the bad out of the way first. Like most alien invasion movies (or TV series like Falling Skies, which this movie most resembles), Battle: Los Angeles makes the most fundamental of errors; namely ignoring the fact that any alien race advanced enough to send an armada over interplanetary (or interstellar) distances, would be technologically as far advanced over us as the US military would be over Amazonian tribes in dug-out canoes armed with bows and arrows. But no! The film makers equipped these aliens with small-arms, armoured support and aircraft broadly comparable to the human equivalent. That's just plain stupid. The pitched battles and house-to-house fighting is pretty evenly matched and if the enemy didn't have long spindly limbs, bulbous heads and weapons that make a VUUUUUUUP! sound instead of BRRRRRRRR cak-cak-cak! you might as well be watching any urban warfare scenario. The aliens are also annoyingly inconsistently difficult to kill - in one scene it takes several seconds of automatic fire at point-blank range to kill one, whereas in the next, they are being picked off at range with single shots.

But I suppose any sci-fi demands that the viewer suspend their disbelief, so I'll nit-pick no more and get on to the good stuff. In terms of eye-candy, Battle: Los Angeles is superb. The CGI is well above-average and the alien hardware pretty damn awesome (most notably the final assault on the alien command centre). The shaky-cam effect is used to good effect (and thankfully not over-used) and the action rarely lets up. 5.1 sound is exceptional - if you have a decent home cinema system, you're in for a treat. There's tension aplenty and some decent enough acting - the kid 'Hector' was remarkably credible. Although a few American war move clichés will be spotted by the astute, it's also a tad less gung-ho and irritating than Independence Day.

All in all, if you get a few beers in and leave your brain at home, Battle: Los Angeles provides reasonable entertainment and will give your HD home cinema system a decent work-out. Worth a look if you don't expect too much and don't analyse your sci-fi too deeply!
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