March 18, 2011


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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Watch it at home.


The deadliest weapon unleashed in BATTLE LOS ANGELES is its barrage of war-movie cliches. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but there’s this rag-tag group of Marines, led by a hard-bitten veteran, that has to go into enemy territory to rescue some civilians before friendly forces bomb the whole area out of existence… What’s supposed to make all of this different, of course, is that the foes here are aliens, and not the politically controversial kind–they seem to be machine/organic entities that formed themselves after watching a Terminator and RoboCop film festival, and they lack any character at all, the better to be mown down without emotion. Director Jonathan Liebesman comes out of low-budget horror (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, Darkness Falls), and he knows how to stretch the maximum amount of CG effects and spectacular explosions out of a relatively moderate budget–the result is like District 9 For Dummies. The game human cast includes Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynihan; the aliens are lucky not to have any dialogue.

–Mitch Salem


(BATTLE LOS ANGELES – Sony – 116 min. – Director: Jonathan Liebesman – Script: Christopher Bertolini – Cast: Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynihan, Ne Yo, Michael Pena – Wide Release)

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."