Pixels review

Check out our review of Pixels - aliens attack Earth using gigantic versions of 80s arcade game characters

Pixels Poster


Certificate: 12A

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage

Release date: 2015

2 out of 5


When aliens attack Earth using gigantic versions of eighties arcade game characters – PAC-Man, Donkey Kong etc – a group of middle aged guys who played the games as kids are brought in to help save the world in this comedy sci fi flick.

It must have sounded great on paper -a Ghostbusters-y adventure with comic actors Sandler (tedious as a former arcade comp runner up who now installs TVs), James (as his best friend, who has grown up to become President of the US), and Gad (the archetypal computer geek) teaming with Game Of Thrones’ Dinklage (who crushed Sandler’s gaming dreams as a kid and now seems to be living the life of a low rent Hugh Hefner) to fight super sized pixelated characters. And when they are fighting Pac-Man or Centipede it’s a treat – partly because the rest of the movie is such a let- down.

There are multiple problems, from the casting – Kevin James as POTUS? Really? – to the script that can’t decide who it’s aimed at. The numerous 80s references will mean nothing to kids while adults will pick holes in the weak plot (reviewer quibble: why hasn’t the President given his best pal Sandler a job at the White House? Secretary of State perhaps?). And no audience member of any age will think Sandler’s attempts to hit on a woman sobbing in her closet is cool, that’s for sure.

Occasionally amusing rather than funny, this only has a few minutes of Dinklage and arcade special effects to recommend it. Game over…

Is Pixels suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

None. Though very young viewers may be upset when a smurf gets blasted. Or not.

If you like this, why not try: Ghostbusters, Gremlins, WarGames, Men In Black, Jumanji,