The AV Club
Pixels rests on a terrible implausibility. Not the idea that aliens might intercept broadcasts of early ’80s arcade games and misinterpret them as an act of war, sending large-scale versions of those games to attack Earth in retaliation. That requires minimal summer-movie buy-in (though even the anything-goes Futurama, in its concisely hilarious version of this story, told it as a non-canon what-if episode—and eight years before the short that serves as basis for this feature). No, behind Pixels’ high-concept silliness lurks a conceit that further challenges rational thought: the idea that in this movie, Adam Sandler’s character self-identifies as a nerd.