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I Am Number Four
Reviewer: Richard Tara
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand

The tales of aliens masquerading as humans are as old as the Bible.  After all, the Angels were extraterrestrials, weren't they? There have been so many movies and books about the subject that it is impossible to list them all here. The aliens are sometimes friendly “ET” and at other times, such as in “War of the Worlds” extremely hostile. In I am Number Four; we have a combination of both!

Alex Pettyfer plays John Smith (also known as Daniel Jones).  John is “Number Four”, one of the last surviving aliens who were sent to earth to escape Mogadorians who had invaded their planet and were exterminating the inhabitants. A guardian/warrior (Timothy Olyphant) who acts as his father and a wimpy looking stray dog protect John.

The movie starts with the murder of number 3 at the hand of Mogadorians and the flight of John and Henri along with the little dog that is following them around.  John and Henri settle in Paradise in Ohio, which despite its name is a dismal place with a huge abandoned steel factory.

In the new town, John enrolls in high school and befriends Sarah (Dianna Agron.)  Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Mark (Jake Abel) is a bully and tries to intimidate John but is hurt badly when John uses his special powers.  John also meets Sam (Callan McAuliffe) who thinks his father has been abducted by aliens

The Mogadorians eventually find them.  They kill Henri the guardian and unleash the flesh-eating monster that they had brought with them to finish john off.  John, and his dog –who is actually a shape shifting protector beast- are joined by Number 6 (Teresa Palmer) in the final battle with the Mogadorians. 

There are some similarities between the character of John and the Spiderman.  Both are vulnerable teenagers which special powers that are called upon to fight evil.

The casting for this movie was handled expertly.  Alex is vulnerable and yet smart and sensitive.  His love interest Sarah is underplayed by Dianna Agron in a way that makes her character plausible.

The movie is based on a book of the same title and even though it is the same old alien story, it is freshly directed by D.J. Caruso. 

Even though the main characters are teenagers, the movie should appeal to most audiences from younger kids to older folks.  There are few violent scenes in the movie, but they involve aliens and the good guys, so the fright factor for kids is negligible.  We give this movie three stars and recommend it for the entire family.