...well not excellent, but not quite as bad as some critics would have you believe. If you ignore the fact that this is a remake of a classic film (perhaps the classic '50s sci-fi), The Day the Earth Stood Still is a modestly engaging end-of-the-world film with one giant problem. Webster. While the original also had a kid in it, the little peckerwood in the update couldn't be more annoying. What is it about cute little black children that directors keep shoving them in movies and TV shows? The pint-sized spawn of Will Smith spends most of the movie acting like a complete pain in the ass. If it was me, I'd have asked Klaatu to take him first... a sacrifice to show we were serious about changing as a race. I couldn't think of a better place to start. This little jackoff makes Gary Coleman and Steve Erkel seem positively adorable.
There have been enough jokes about Jamboree Reeves being perfectly cast as an alien with no emotions and he does an excellent job reigning in his expressive acting range to play Klaatu. All in all he's actually pretty good. Jennifer Connelly looks great as always. Gort is big, mean and indestructible, just like he's supposed to be. The effects are pretty good. The climax is a little dull. The story could have gone in some interesting directions. It doesn't. Connelly isn't naked once. Gort doesn't have a giant robot penis. John Cleese plays the world's smartest man without a hint of irony.
A solid 6 had Gort made the little fuckwit kid explode in the opening scene, reduced to a 3.5 because he doesn't. I searched the DVD settings to see if a children-free cut existed. It doesn't. Ditto for a deleted Gort/Connelly sex scene (a la Requiem for a Dream). I reduced my final score to 2.5 as a result.
OK, I guess it is as bad as the critics said.