Veteran director D.J. Caruso (Salton Sea, Taking Lives, Disturbia) guides this mildly compelling sci-fi thriller about a high school student (Alex Pettyfer) with secret, still burgeoning supernatural skills and the big, ugly alien enemies who'll do anything to exterminate him.
Caruso has been adept at crafting entertaining, if flawed, thrillers out of B-level material in the past, and he does his best here, employing the film's many special effects with largely seamless precision. But, while the story injects a few interesting twists on how technology has impacted modern life, its central concern is nothing new: a coming-of-age tale in which our hero discovers his true love (played by Glee's Dianna Agron) and his own, distinct identity. Pettyfer and Agron make for a suitably swoony couple, but I Am Number Four's various baddies are about as subtle as the film's overblown final act, which leaves little doubt about the possibility of another go-around. Grade: C-plus
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