I originally thought that the film The Day the Earth Stood Still was something like War of the Worlds, where the aliens would simply obliterate the earth early on the movie.
I was wrong: Planetary destruction doesn't happen until the final third of the movie.
What the film focuses on though is the journey of an alien ambassador named Klaatu (Keanu Reeves) and his evaluation of how humans have been treating the planet earth. I think the Keanu Reeves fits the role of an alien still learning how to feel and be "human"-- he doesn't need to flex his meager acting muscles for the role. :P
But the movie starts of strong, with a great tone-setting start. I thought it was able to establish a mystery with the landing of the spheres. The cast was heavy-hitting, with Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Bates, John Hamm, and John Cleese, but had far less screen-time to show their wares.
The movie tries to be deep but the story is average in my opinion. The special effects are entertaining and will be the highlight of the movie.
Technorati: The Day the Earth Stood Still