Credit: Warner Bros.

Edge of Tomorrow (3D) Review: What Worked, What Didn’t

My ratings: (5) Seek it out Now, (4) Great Film Worth the Ticket, (3) OK to Wait for DVD, (2) Fine if You’re Bored, (1) Avoid It

Edge of Tomorrow: 3.5

I wasn’t very impressed with the trailer to Edge of Tomorrow. I was concerned the plot – a soldier is forced to die repeatedly and relive the same day over and over again in an effort to overcome an alien army – would be too gimmicky. I was however impressed with many of the early reviews, and since I like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt (not to mention a sci-fi summer popcorn flick) I decided to give it a try. Here’s what I think worked and what didn’t.

[spoilers are included in this review]

What Worked


Cage, the main character of Edge of Tomorrow, starts out as a weak coward. Tom Cruise did a fabulous job portraying Cage as a weak coward but also made him likable and not comical – hard to do I think. Say what you will about his personal life Tom Cruise can still carry a movie in my opinion. He elevates the material he is given and is just fun and interesting to watch.


I loved Emily Blunt in this film. She played Rita, the most famous soldier in the war, and was very believable in all of the action scenes. She can express a lot just with her facial expressions which is very handy in battle scenes. Even more than Tom Cruise’s character Rita is someone the audience can easily cheer for. All she wants is to win the war against the aliens. If she has to sacrifice her own life or shoot Tom Cruise three dozen times to do it – that is what’s going to happen.


I was very concerned a film that has someone repeating the same day over and over again would have a really hard time not being boring and well, repetitive. Doug Limon did a wonderful job with these scenes in the film. Yes we were seeing the same thing over and over again but not literally. Limon was able to keep things fresh by changing camera angles, the portions of the dialogue we were hearing, the characters we would focus on, and of course Tom Cruise was able to mix up his interactions with the same scenes every time.

I also was pleasantly surprised the repeating of every day was an accident caused by the aliens and not something planned.

What Didn’t Work


I usually love Bill Paxton but I didn’t in this film. His Master Sargent came off as cartoonish to me and annoyed me more than entertained me. The role seemed like a big waste of his talents and could have been played by practically anyone.


I know Cage starts the film as a coward who tries to blackmail his higher up to get out of his assignment at the front lines. But it just seemed too extreme to have Cage bumped down to private and put into a situation he had literally no chance of surviving at the beginning of the film. It worked for the plot but I found that move distracting to me as a viewer.

And the ending to me was a bit of a cheat. After Cruise gets the blood transfusion we see his eyes go black for a bit. Maybe that is telling us he has NOT in fact lost his time traveling powers, but why does he wake up somewhere else after he dies? Let me know if I missed something here or if the makes of the film were just insistent on a happy ending.

Too Close to Call


I thought the effects in the film were very well done but the aliens themselves were a bit of a bore. I would have liked to know more about them and their specific motivations. I did really like the alphas – it’s fun to have several different kinds of aliens in a battle. But overall there was nothing very memorable about the aliens in Edge of Tomorrow.


I am not impressed with most 3-D films. Avatar and Life of Pi are the grand exceptions. The 3-D was handled very well in Edge of Tomorrow but would I recommend seeing it that way? Not really. I can see why they made it in 3-D, unlike World War Z where I thought it was a odd choice, but it’s not a “must see in 3-D” pick for me.

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Tags: Edge Of Tomorrow Emily Blunt Review Tom Cruise

  • Johnny Smith

    Well, if you want to know read the original japanese novel. The movie is just a westernized american version that gathers bad critics because of the changes. It makes a lot more sense, hence, better with the original novel. To give a bit of an insight:

    In the movie it just says Cage loops a day with no specifics. In the novel/manga it’s 30 hours before his first death.
    In the movie the “Full Metal Bitch” (FMB) is weak who relies on Cage. In the novel/manga she’s a war hero and very capable. She’s the hero’s hero but the movie was adjusted to meet western sexism. Whatever Cage goes through she already did and without time-reset she survived countless battle since. She doesn’t get killed in the novel/manga (until later when they fight together). Instead, he mostly gets killed before her! But that’s too unmanly for the western viewers.
    In the movie the MINICS are weak. In the novel/manga the MIMICS are more scientific & technical. They are a lot tougher, all MIMICS can and are shooting, and the battles are more cruel. The MIMICS in the novel/manga change things to their end each iteration just like the hero does (they get more and more successful). In the movie they don’t and fail if they do. In the novel/manga they only fail against the hero in the end.
    And of course the weapons in the novel/manga are more powerful and realistic to the MIMICS threat.
    Some details like the MIMICS having antennas have been left out of the movie but are essential in the novel/manga story & schemes.
    In the novel/manga the reason for the time-loop is not the blood but a contamination of or simply tachyon radiation poisoning. The novel/manga also addressed the health issue which is absent from the movie.
    In the movie she loses her power. In the novel/manga she breaks out of the loop by winning her battle.
    In the novel/manga FMB gets medical investigations after she breaks out of her loop. In the movie she gets dissected when informing her superiors (during the loop).
    In the movie she got some weird scientist to ally with her. In the novel/manga it’s a genius glasses woman.
    The movie has a good ending while the novel/manga always (plural!) end bad (heroes don’t get a perfect ending as they would have liked).
    In the novel/manga he realized soon he can’t do it alone and mostly does try to get cooperation.
    There’s no omega device in the novel/manga…the war doesn’t end just like that …
    The novel/manga do give a reason or at least a hint for the MIMICS invasion, although, it is still just a theory within the story.

    The 30 hours time-loop is a crappy idea but this is purely a human perspective. If you consider it from the alien perspective it makes lot more sense.
    The MIMICS do not need to train their bodies and minds. They already got a perfect body. They only need to change their plan & deployments in which case 30 hours is good enough.
    Realistically, a human needs at least 6 months to train his body to better form including everything else it could be decades before one is ready. Unless you are a rare Jason Bourne type.
    In the novel the heroes went through about 300 iterations which amounts to 375 days. However, the novel/manga conveniently disregard the fact that you cannot take your “improved” body along in the time-loop. You always end up with your untrained body after all you don’t truly physically time-travel.
    In the novel/manga their time-travel ability is purely based on Tachyons which reasonably caught the hero by accident. The blood transfer is less reasonable in the movie.

    So is it a copy of “Groundhog Day”?
    Not necessarily, time-travel/parallel universe is just a good scientific reasoning for the age old asian idea of reincarnation. Stories of reincarnations are way older than the idea of time-travel/parallel universe.
    Such stories are very common. Other than purely romantic/slice of life stories as good as all other types do have these elements.

    • Amy Richau

      That is all extremely interesting. Thanks for taking the time to write all of that down. I might have to track down the novel. You have a lot of great insights on the film – let me know if you’d like to contribute some posts to Flicksided in the future. We’re always looking for great writers to join our team.