I have been excited for Ender's Game since I saw the first trailer some months ago. I did read Orson Scott Card's original novel, but that was about 12 years ago when I was in middle school. With that said, I didn't remember a whole lot from the book so I considered myself a viewer that was going into this movie fairly fresh on the material. I must say that I really enjoyed it.
I thought the story was pretty spot on from what I did remember. I liked the concept and the execution. As I was leaving the theater there were those who were criticizing it in comparison to the book, but in a way I am happy that I didn't remember much. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much otherwise.
As far as casting goes I think Asa Butterfield was a great choice for Ender. I first saw him in Hugo and thought he was great then. He has a way of conveying emotion that is very visible and believable. Ender's guilt over the Formics fate was very well played out. Other cast members I thought shined were Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis. They all worked very well together.
One thing that I thought shined in this movie beyond the casting was the visual effects and the sound effects. They were very spot on and quite well done. I would have loved to see a bit of clean up on the Formics because they looked a little cartoonish for me, but even with that they weren't horrible on the eyes. The sound effects of the alien bugs were great.
My only real criticism is I thought the movie went a little too fast. It is just under 2 hours long and I feel they could have exceeded 120min and given us a little bit more of the actual battle and Ender's final training into the simulations. A majority of the film focused on his cadet training, the struggles with bullying, and the zero gravity games. It was all fine and I wouldn't have cut any of it out, but once that was over they just kind of threw Ender as a Commander in our face and breezed through the simulations and ended the movie. I would have given at least an extra 15-20min. Not to mention the kid they cast as Bonzo was borderline comical due to his physical stature, but that isn't a big deal.
Overall I did really enjoy Ender's Game. I honestly wouldn't mind seeing it again if I get the opportunity. Definitely a recommendation.
And don't pay attention to all that boycott crap people are trying to pull on Orson Scott Card. He isn't profiting from the movie because he sold the rights and the movie has nothing to do with his statements on marriage. Suck it up and enjoy a good movie for once, people.