Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Plot synopsis: A troop of nondescript Marines rush to save civilians from an alien invasion before Santa Monica is obliterated.
Ideal console(s): Xbox 360, Playstation 3
Game on: For about ten minutes, Battle: Los Angeles pretends to have an actual plot with legitimate characters. The truth quickly rears its ugly head, however, once the aliens start blowing shit up and awful dialogue spews from the mouths of soldiers no one in the audience could possibly care about. And that’s when it becomes clear that this middling sci-fi action spectacle is good at nothing other than elaborate, effects-heavy scenes of destruction and gunfire.

Enduring the endless barrage of hollow battle sequences while seated in a movie theater is a numbing experience that grows less tolerable as the film’s bloated two-hour running time progresses. Applied only to small screens, though, and requiring joysticks, the search-and-destroy conceit of Battle: Los Angeles would’ve made for a classic first-person shooter—think Halo grounded on planet Earth. The movie’s rancid dialogue would be excusable if spoken by inhuman avatars adhering to your every remote-controlled command, especially the overlong and increasingly idiotic monologues uttered by Aaron Eckhart.

And the best part? We’d be spared the sight of R&B softie Ne-Yo playing “military man” dress-up and trying to look tough. Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to cast your boy in a hard-nosed science fiction adventure, anyway?