starring Taylor Kitsch
directed by Peter Berg
There is a plot, of sorts: highly advanced aliens invade in response to a naïve signal humans sent out to a distant planet with earth-like attributes. Don't get too wrapped up in that: it's so full of holes that spongiform tissue, by comparison, is a paradigm of structural integrity. The plot, along with the various subplots — and every character in this movie, however thinly drawn, is dealing with issues — are merely the skeleton on which to hang the main attraction: we movie-goers get to witness expertly-done special effects that provide entertainment from the beginning of the movie to the end.
There is acting, of a sort, in the movie. The hero is played as two-dimensionally as a 3D movie character can be; others do more with less, and Liam Neeson, the only accomplished actor in the film, gets the best line (delivered by telephone to a bureaucrat in D.C.) in the film. The acting, like the plot, is insignificant. The makers of this toy-based movie have not forgotten that this film's only purpose is to entertain enough to make a huge profit.
In the end, boy wins girl (and, more importantly, wins over her father), paraplegic finds his lost will to overcome, nerd finds courage, hot chick shows she can drive too, and the (carrier-based) Cavalry comes to the rescue. It's a feel-good movie all around, unless your people are reptilian, and oh, isn't it reassuring to know that our 21st-Century naval forces — American, Canadian, Japanese, British, and fifteen other unnamed nationalities (but mostly us Americans, with a single Japanese naval officer) — supplemented by one World-War-II-era battleship (staffed in part by a handful of World-War-II-era sailors, is adequate to utterly defeat such wildly advanced invasion forces! You betcha by golly it is.