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60 Second Verdict: Luis and the Aliens

60 Second Verdict: Luis and the Aliens

60 Second Verdict: Luis and the Aliens

1 September 2018

Luis and the Aliens is a simple story about a lonely boy who tries to return a group of lost aliens to their ship.

By Ben McEachen

Luis (voice of Callum Maloney) is a nice but lonely boy whose dad (Dermot Magennis) is too busy waiting for alien invaders to spend time with his son. When three roly poly aliens land across the street, Luis helps them get what they came for. As the aliens change shape to try to avoid trouble, their ability to disguise themselves also comes in handy for some of the school and home issues which Luis faces.


Like its lead character, Luis and the Aliens is nice and polite. The simple story about a boy in need of friends and family who care, and the aliens he gets chummy with, trucks along with light laughs, drama and consequence. Although the set-up of Luis trying to get the alien trio back to their ship might be too involved for junior viewers, the pratfalls of the amusing ETs should hold their interest for a while. The message about parents prioritising their kids comes through with gentle force.


Without the budget or creative departments of Pixar or DreamWorks, this little CGI cartoon about a boy being helped by aliens shouldn’t be expected to compete on the same level with the sort of animated movies which audiences expect at cinemas. However, most viewers heading to cinemas to see Luis and the Aliens should be underwhelmed by its modest look and ambitions. In most departments – script, voices, humour, action and finale – this is an uninspired effort. You know you should consider alternative options when the best that can be said about a movie is that its pleasantly forgettable.


Luis’s dad Armin is a nutty professor who doesn’t make time for his son – even on Luis’s birthday. Convinced that alien life could show up at any time, Armin fixates upon looking at the skies, at the cost of looking after his son. Doesn’t take a genius to recognise this as questionable parenting (and that’s being kind). One of the strongest aspects of Luis’s character is the respect and honour he still shows to his dad, despite Armin not living up to it. Yonks ago, God instructed his people to honour and obey parents, as part of a healthy and flourishing society (see Exodus 20:12). But implicit within that family guideline was the understanding that parents would think, act and love in ways which are worthy of their children’s honour. Armin seems not to subscribe to such a reciprocal relationship, a choice difficult to respect while watching Luis and the Aliens.

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