top of page

Quick Review - Universal's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

He is afraid. He is alone. He is three million lightyears from home.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 science fiction drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Matthison, produced by Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film stars Henry Thomas and Dee Wallace. It was nominated for and won Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound, and Best Visual Effects, while also being nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing. In 1994, the film was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant.

"E.T., phone home." - E.T.


When a kind and gentle alien is stranded on Earth, he is discovered by a young boy named Elliott in his backyard. As Elliott and the alien form a beautiful bond, government agents and a deadly disease threaten to tear them apart.

My Favorite Part of E.T.

E.T. is the pinnacle of Amblin Entertainment. For those of you who don't know, Amblin is Steven Spielberg's company that produced a bunch of these classic 80s films like The Goonies and Gremlins. The 80s Amblin films have this special feel to them. They have a sense of child-like wonder that you cannot find in any other movie, and E.T. is the best example of that. It's a heartfelt story about a boy bonding with an alien, but there's a fantastic sense of fantasy and innocence at the core that just elevates it to that next level. I absolutely love the feel of the Amblin movies, and E.T. exemplifies that the most.

My Least Favorite Part of E.T.

I think some of the story beats here don't work quite as well as they should. The big, major plot point involves E.T. falling ill, but they don't really set that up enough. Apart from one line of dialogue, there's never any implication that E.T. is getting sick and could be in danger. It escalates really quickly. One minute, he's fine, and the next, he's dangerously sick. To me, that didn't work. There are a few other things like that, but it doesn't really take away from the movie all that much.

Why E.T. Is Great

This film is a milestone in Spielberg's career. The 80s Amblin feel combined with the heart and charm of this engaging story make for a truly special film that has resonated with audiences for decades. The shot of the bike in front of the moon gives me chills. That shows how well this movie still works. It's fun, exciting, and heartfelt, which is everything you need from a sci-fi adventure like this.

Final Thoughts and Score

E.T. exemplifies Steven Spielberg's masterfulness behind the camera, as he shows that he can deliver a heart-warming, beautiful story about a boy and his alien that has stuck with Hollywood for years.

I will go Sweet here. Age range is 5+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good) Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

Fun Factor: 9/10

Acting: 8.5/10

Story: 9.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Quality: 9/10

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Rated PG for language, disturbing themes and images, thematic elements

Released on June 11, 1982

1 hour and 54 minutes

Henry Thomas as Elliott Taylor

Dee Wallace as Mary Taylor

Pat Welsh as E.T.

Steven Spielberg as E.T.

Kayden Green as E.T.

Robert MacNaughton as Michael Taylor

Drew Barrymore as Gertie Taylor

Peter Coyote as Keys

bottom of page