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After Earth

June 7, 2013

If Tom Cruise in Oblivion did not already sate your need for post-apocalyptic science-fiction films in which actors known for their relentless need for control are finally just given the entire world to themselves, here's Will Smith doing something very similar in After Earth. In this instance, Will Smith and his proto-Will Smith, Jaden, stretch to play a father and son who are intently focused on each other as the only people in the world—quite literally, as their spaceship crash-lands on a desolate planet ruled by its deadly flora and fauna. After several scenes of Jaden being hunted by and also briefly flying with (thanks to his not-at-all-silly winged spacesuit) the planet's various wild animals, Will Smith ends the trailer with a shocking revelation: It was Earth all along.

Yes, Will. We know. And that obvious twist is the only indication that the film was directed by M. Night Shyamalan, who remains completely hidden from the credits (for reasons that are probably obvious). But again, we know. We also know that Will Smith's character is named "Cypher Raige."  These are other things we already know.