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Pixels (2015)

7355 votes, average 5.7 out of 10

Pixels (2015) Movie Review: A Nostalgic Trip Through Arcade History


Directed by Chris Columbus, “Pixels” (2015) is a sci-fi comedy that brings video game nostalgia to the big screen. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, and Josh Gad, the film tells the story of a group of former arcade champions who must save the world from an alien invasion using their gaming skills. The premise, rooted in 1980s video game culture, offers a unique blend of humor, action, and retro charm.

Plot Summary

The film begins with a flashback to 1982, where young friends Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie Plant (Peter Dinklage) compete in an arcade championship. Their gaming prowess is recorded and sent into space as part of a time capsule.

Fast forward to the present day, and the Earth is under attack by aliens who have misinterpreted these video games as a declaration of war. The aliens use pixelated versions of classic arcade characters like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders to attack. President Will Cooper enlists his childhood friend, Sam Brenner, now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school gamers to combat the alien threat.

As they fight to save the planet, the team faces numerous challenges, both in the form of the invading video game characters and their own personal dynamics. Alongside Lieutenant Colonel Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), they must use their knowledge of classic arcade games to outwit the aliens and save humanity.

Performance and Direction

Adam Sandler delivers a familiar performance as Sam Brenner, playing the everyman hero with his signature blend of laid-back charm and occasional bursts of enthusiasm. Kevin James, as the unlikely President, provides comedic relief, though his role leans heavily on slapstick humor. Peter Dinklage stands out as the eccentric Eddie Plant, bringing a unique and energetic flair to his character. Josh Gad’s portrayal of the conspiracy-theorist gamer Ludlow adds to the film’s comedic ensemble.

Chris Columbus, known for his work on family-friendly hits like “Home Alone” and “Harry Potter,” directs “Pixels” with a focus on nostalgia and visual spectacle. The film’s pacing is brisk, with action sequences that are both visually engaging and humorous. Columbus successfully taps into the retro appeal of 1980s arcade games, though the film’s comedic elements often rely on familiar tropes and gags.

Visuals and Special Effects

The visual effects in “Pixels” are a highlight, bringing beloved video game characters to life in a creative and visually appealing manner. The pixelated invaders are rendered with impressive detail, and the action sequences effectively blend live-action with CGI. The destruction caused by the pixelated characters provides a unique visual experience, adding to the film’s nostalgic charm.

Themes and Relevance

“Pixels” explores themes of friendship, redemption, and the enduring appeal of nostalgia. The film celebrates the camaraderie and shared passion of the gaming community, while also poking fun at the quirks and obsessions of gamers. The concept of using gaming skills to save the world offers a humorous twist on the traditional hero narrative.

While “Pixels” is primarily a lighthearted comedy, it also touches on the idea of embracing one’s past and finding value in seemingly trivial skills. The film’s nostalgic elements resonate with audiences who grew up playing arcade games, though its humor and plot may not appeal to everyone.

Streaming and Availability

For viewers in the United States, “Pixels” is available for streaming on various platforms. You can watch it on Amazon Prime Video. The film is also available for rent or purchase on digital platforms such as Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu, and YouTube Movies.


“Pixels” is a nostalgic sci-fi comedy that offers a fun and visually engaging trip down memory lane for fans of classic arcade games. While the film’s humor and plot may be hit-or-miss, its unique premise and impressive visual effects make it an entertaining watch. Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and the supporting cast deliver performances that, while familiar, are enjoyable within the film’s comedic context. Fans of retro video games and lighthearted action comedies will find “Pixels” to be a charming and amusing addition to the genre.

Posted on:
Tagline:Game On.
Duration: 105 Min
Country:, , ,
Budget:$ 88.000.000,00
Revenue:$ 244.900.000,00

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