2013 has been a banner year for the science-fiction genre, reaping fertile ideas, a heaping of imagination and an exhilarating sense of wonder out of films such as "Oblivion," "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Gravity." In a lesser year, perhaps "Ender's Game" would make a more lasting impression. Based on the 1985 novel by Orson Scott Card and adapted for the screen by writer-director Gavin Hood (2009's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), it is an acute, surprisingly timely coming-of-age adventure, but one that only truly gets going and takes a turn into deeper, more perceptive thematic territory in the final stretch. As conceived, it is clear that this is intended to be the first in a new franchise; the picture does not reach a finite conclusion so much as paves the way for what one can only assume will be bigger and better things to come. For this reason, it is more than worth it to see "Ender's Game"—just don't expect it to match the visionary likes of Joseph Kosinski, J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón.
See dustinputman.com for full review