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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Alex Pettyfer
Dianna Agron
Timothy Olyphant
Teresa Palmer.
Directors
D J Caruso.
Screenwriters
Miles Millar
Alfred Gough
Marti Noxon.
Running Time
109 minutes

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I Am Number Four
Freaks and Gleeks...


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Plot
On the brink of destruction by an evil force, an alien race sends nine special children to Earth. Three of these children have already been killed. The fourth (Pettyfer) must now fight for his life, while learning to understand his emerging powers and his love for a human girl (Agron).


Review
I Am Number Four
Understandably, I Am Number Four has already drawn comparisons to Twilight – both are based on successful teen novels about a loner girl and a stranger with secret powers; both heavily feature a handsome man’s abs – but the similarities are only in the broad sense. Where Twilight’s focus is all about the desperation of all-consuming romance, I Am Number Four is (eventually) more interested in the secret and the possibilities that might present.

In the gravely delivered opening voiceover we learn that an ancient race of aliens has been all but wiped out, with nine surviving children scattered across Earth in the hope they might evade the other big bad aliens, who want to kill them before they develop special powers and cause all kinds of Armageddon-scuppering mischief. After three are murdered, the fourth (Pettyfer) goes into hiding in a small town school and falls for a socially outcast photographer (Glee’s Agron).

This portion of the film – the affection section – is sweet enough but a touch dreary and generic. She grabs his attention with her winsome pictures and independence; he tries his best to be a normal kid while suppressing his growing super powers and staying on the right side of his warrior guardian (the always likeable Timothy Olyphant in a role so poorly written it seems like something personal). The leads are appealing, particularly Glee’s Agron, and, sure, you want them to be together, but shave off a few of the ‘staring at each other to chart rock’ scenes and we’d still get the message and get to the good part much quicker.

Thankfully, the good part is fantastic. The film takes a fairly dramatic tonal shift, entirely for the better, in its last 40 minutes. The introduction of the sixth of the final seven (Teresa Palmer, a whole lot of snark wrapped in skin-tight leather) tramples right over the swooning and turns everything all action-packed and X-Men and brilliant, as Four and Six run merry hell around a high school, testing the limits of their growing abilities against their intergalactic nemeses. It’s not breaking any ground or reinventing anything, but the story strands it unspools in the finale – as yet undiscovered powers; bigger bad guys; new ‘Numbers’ to find across the world – suggest that, if the inevitable sequel builds on the strengths shown here, this has the potential to grow into a terrific, young sci-fi series. As long as nobody feels the need to take it ‘dark’.


Verdict
If you can make it through the bland schmaltz of the first half you'll be rewarded with a spectacular blast of sustained action and the promise of even better to come. This could be the start of something great.


Reviewed by Olly Richards

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Average user rating for I Am Number Four
Empire Star Rating

I Am Number Four

Perhaps it can work as a guy's alternate to Twilight, but I Am Number Four is too cheesy and campy to be entertaining, nor can the acting and romance be interesting or realistic enough to be suspenseful. And are we really supposed to believe that those actors are 16? ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by norgizfox at 03:21, 08 October 2012 | Report This Post


very interesting for i liked the movie I AM NUMBER FOUR ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dragonrider2015 at 15:49, 28 March 2012 | Report This Post


RE: I Am Number Four: Review

Yeah when it kicks off it's really cool, it does drag a bit while they try to shoe-horn in a love story and he's discovering his powers but when the girl alien arrives the action goes up a level because she's got some nice moves. Apparently it did pretty poorly at the box office so the sequel is unlikely though. ... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 18:15, 02 January 2012 | Report This Post


RE: I Am Number Four: Review

loved it, the action in the last third is fantastic ... More

Posted by DONOVAN KURTWOOD at 17:56, 02 January 2012 | Report This Post


RE: I Am Number Four: Review

This was actually way better than I thought it would be - no where near as lame as the Twilight movies with some super action and cool baddie aliens. For some reason it kind of reminded me of 80s sci fi for some reason? Maybe it was the weapons used or something I can't quite put my finger on it. I wouldn't mind seeing a sequel to this personally to see how the story pans out and what the other members of his crew are like. ... More

Posted by Fluke Skywalker at 17:51, 02 January 2012 | Report This Post


I Am Number Four: Review

I Am Number Four is an alright film. It had cool scenes and the story can be interesting at parts but the film didnt amazed me. some scenes reminded me of Twilight and I hate Twilight so I didnt like that. I would recommend this film to be a rental ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 02:32, 08 August 2011 | Report This Post


Pretty good

The first ten minutes are clunky as hell with tons of lazy voice-over backstory but slowly things improve when John meets blondie. But its the laat act that really turns things around and actually makes you hope for a sequel. A guilty pleasure. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 15:49, 23 June 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Mixture.

It's a shame this didn't do better, aside from some rather schmaltzy dialogue in one or two places it's quite an entertaining little flick. The characters are likeable and it's slickly directed with the last half hour in particular being incredibly fun thanks to some fairly engaging action sequences. Recommended. 3.5/5 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulyboy at 11:46, 13 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Mixture.

Agree with the review but i would give it 2 stars only.  The problem with I Am Number Four is that a large portion of it is a generic love story.  Alex falls for a social outcast; he himself is a social outcast; he befriends a social outcast. Meanwhile Oliver Olyphant? his protector goes around investigating the disappearance of someone. After a promising the large portion of the film drags and is boring.  It only really picks up in the last 40 minutes.  If t... More

Posted by princessa at 18:29, 03 April 2011 | Report This Post


Mixture.

When I saw the description of “Twilight with aliens” it was safe to say all semi-interest from the trailer was quickly crushed with the ideal of more annoying teen fandom, making even more philistines. After much debate and rejection of my Battle: Los Angeles suggestion, we decided to go see this. Walking into one of the smaller screens with the ring of pre-pubescent giggling and the odd terrible joke which quipped from their witty mouths safely affirmed my previous teen - probably m... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ashleyrhys at 23:00, 12 March 2011 | Report This Post


Throughly Entertaining.

I mostly agree with Olly Richards. A little generic, but having read the novel, there could have been an lot more. I for one enjoyed both the book and the film. The only problem being a lack of explanation as to the why. Younger audiences won't mind this, but many older viewers will find this frustrating. Thankfully having read the excellent book on which it is based the questions raised have answers. A superior film to Twilight, but main fear is that not enough people will appreciate the film f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nerd1986 at 15:26, 28 February 2011 | Report This Post


Well I liked it...

I will confess to a blanket ban on twilight in my house and was expecting similar level on the angst-o-meter but was pleasantly surprised by this one and pretty much totally agree with Olly, Alex Pettyfer is okay, Dianna Agron is the most level headed damsel in distress in a tween movie i've seen in ages and six (always the best number) steals the show with the kick-assery at the end. Kevin Durand is at his normal level of head-twitchy ridiculous but i'd take possible sequels for this over the t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BethN21286 at 18:43, 27 February 2011 | Report This Post


What the ?!?

Bland, boring, dull, cliched. Like they had an idea for some awful new sci fi series on the Sci Fi channel and then thought they'd try and make it into a feature film. It's an insult to 10 year old girls, so anyone reckoning this is a good piece of sci fi that should hopefully lead to a quality film series....move right along. If you must see it take your seat 30 minutes from the end when the ridiculous action starts. Please...no more of this !!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The kUrGaN at 07:52, 27 February 2011 | Report This Post


this is absolutely terrible. i watched it at a free preview showing, so at least i didn't pay any money for it. The audience were laughing whenever the bad aliens came on screen and during the romance scenes. This is for 10 year old girls only. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by goslingn at 20:06, 25 February 2011 | Report This Post


It gets better toward the second half

just about scrapes in at three starts its a passable and entertaining film nice cgi monsters and it gets more action packed in the second half but the main alien dudes look shiiite. But seriously I might watch the sequels if there are any. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 21:22, 24 February 2011 | Report This Post


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