Movie Review – Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Movie Review - Battle: Los Angeles (2011)Starring:

Aaron Eckhart Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz
Michelle Rodriguez as Techincal Sergeant Elena Santos
Will Rothhaar as Corporal Lee Imlay
Shaffer “Ne-Yo” Smith as Corporal Kevin Harris
Michael Penya as Joe Rincon
Ramon Rodriguez as 2nd Lieutenant William Martinez

Story: A Marine platoon faces off against an alien invasion in Los Angeles.

After seeing District 9, I was very excited about the Science Fiction genre once again. After watching Skyline, I was not excited in any way. It seemed like a movie that missed the point of what is was trying to be. Going into Battle: Los Angeles, I had no preconceived notions of what to expect, nor was I really looking for a blockbuster. I just wanted to be entertained, and was I ever. I found it to be a very well crafted film with the right mix of action, suspense, characters and action. I know that I said action twice. That is because it deserves it.

I had a few “wow” moments while watching Battle: Los Angeles. As I said, it was very well done. I can see how people would be turned off from the movie, but for me, it was just what I was looking for. If you are going into the movie expecting a blockbuster, you will probably come out feel dissatisfied. Go into it with a want for being entertained and you will appreciate it much more.

Battle: Los Angeles comes from director Jonathan Liebesman, who was behind the helm horror films as Darkness Falls and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. Most people would call those films failures, but I found them both to be quite interesting. Battle: Los Angeles is somewhat much more large-scaled than any of his previous work and I feel like it was a huge leap for a director with such little experience in this genre. While the film was not extraordinary if you are looking for tricky camera work and camera angles, the direction was still done well enough to not detract from the film in any way.

The acting was above average for the most part with Aaron Eckhart as Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz being on par with any top acting job in the last few years. He played an extraordinary role. The rest of the characters did a fine job as well. There was no one that stood out amongst the cast as not belonging. The characters were somewhat memorable, which is not something that I can say about too many films these days.

The one complaint that I would have to put out there is that the script was a little lazy. While the characters were all distinct and interesting, we really never knew too much about them. Staff Sergeant Michael Nantz’s ordeal where he lost his team could have been a nice little subplot that was dug into, but it was pretty much just sort of mentioned a few times, but never delved into.

Aside from that little bit of nitpicking, I am on board with the film. Do not go into it expecting a Lord of the Rings type blockbuster though, because while the action is good, we are not talking about epic battles here – just action done pretty well on the big screen.

What are your thoughts on Battle: Los Angeles?


  • I can see how people would not be into it. For me, it was brainless fun. Shame you could not enjoy it.

  • This was a huge disappointment for me. Even as a fan of the found-footage sub-genre, I found the shaky-cam technique used here annoying and aggravating. It worked in some of the battle scenes; but, at the beginning when establishing the characters, it was awful. I didn’t like the characters (nor the acting – sorry, Aaron) at all and the dialog was atrocious. “Let me help, I’m a veterinarian.” Seriously? It was overly long and the third act was a big fail. It could have been saved by the many action scenes if I could have seen what the hell was going on. I would have liked more sci-fi in my sci-fi movie as well. I can enjoy war films, but this isn’t a good war film either – it’s an xbox war game on screen. Meh.