Netflix Sci-Fi Comedy Adventure Throws Teenagers Into An Alien Invasion

By Douglas Helm | Updated

If you’re nostalgic for 1980s coming-of-age films mixed with alien sci-fi, then you might want to give the 2019 film Rim of the World a try. As with all of those great 80s films, it features a cast of up-and-coming talent going up against odds that kids probably shouldn’t be going up against. If you want to give this film a try, you can head over to Netflix to stream it.

The Cast

Rim of the World takes place in the familiar setting of summer camp, where aliens invade Earth without warning. Four teens at camp suddenly find themselves in possession of a key that is crucial for stopping the alien invasion. They must work together without the help of any adults or electronics to find a way to save the world.

Rim of the World is directed by McG, who is best known for his work on films like Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation, and The Babysitter. The script was penned by Zack Stentz, who is known for his superhero work in films like Thor and X-Men: First Class. The cast includes Jack Gore, Miya Cech, Benjamin Flores Jr, and Alessio Scalzotto.

Not Quite The ’80s Movies You Remember

rim of the world

From the description alone, you can tell McG and Stentz are going for a modern coming-of-age 80s sci-fi film with Rim of the World, and the familiar tropes and trappings of that genre are all present.

With that being said, it doesn’t quite capture the originality and magic of those films, feeling more like a formulaic effort rather than a successful homage to the Spielbergian adventures it’s clearly inspired by. If you’re hoping for another classic like ET The Extra-Terrestrial or The Goonies, then you might be better off watching those films instead. 

Panned By Critics

Rim of the World certainly found an audience when it was first released, with it becoming the most-watched streaming content in the UK the week it came out, beating out popular shows like Dead to Me and Riverdale.

But, that audience had very mixed reactions to the film, as it has a pretty terrible 29 percent from critics on Rotten Tomatoes and a more passable 47 percent from general audiences. In other words, your results may vary with this movie.

It’s No Stranger Things

There are plenty of 80s’ sci-fi coming-of-age homages out there, with Netflix’s own Stranger Things coming to mind, that do a better job. While Stranger Things feels like a fresh and original take on its inspiration, Rim of the World was criticized for its messy storytelling, tonal whiplash, low-brow humor, and too-safe formulaic approach.

With that being said, if you’re extremely nostalgic for those adventure films of yore, then Rim of the World might be entertaining enough for a weekend watch with the family.

Stream It Now

rim of the world

Rim of the World also had a fairly small budget and managed to pull together some pretty impressive visual effects, so it also has that going for it. And sometimes it’s nice to just watch a middle-of-the-road movie that people aren’t lauding as the “best of all time” or some other lofty accolade. If you like a good ol’ fashioned adventure movie that does what it says on the tin (and not much else), then it’s worth checking Rim of the World out on Netflix.