I liked the movie mostly for its mood, the impact of its remarkable cgi sequences (in spite of the absurd idea of a subway train off the track continuing to go 100 miles per hour and somehow gutting a station). I also always like the El Greco quality Nick brings to noir roles. It was a great movie to watch.
Unfortunately the plot that drove the action was a meaningless invention-- something which, to my estimation, would not or should not have happened within the frame of the story as finally revealed. In a choice between imagining whether the advanced aliens were idiots, or it was the screenwriter-- I guess I have to go with the screenwriter. Or perhaps some key element of exposition was cut? But I can think of no reason that would justify the set-up sequence. I have not researched the story yet-- maybe it eviscerated a decent novel?
It is sad the movie lacks merit in logic because, really, the general plot idea had the opportunity to be "The Day the Earth Stood Still" for our new century. And sad too that the characters could not overcome their paranoia and xenophobia to understand the plot that everyone watching knew from the beginning.
My suggestion is that when it comes out on DVD, see it with the sound turned off while listening to something apocalyptic like Mahler. The personal plot line is totally eclipsed anyway by the sheer terror of the solar event. We're talking species level here-- and all species. Or, perhaps it is best just to put on your favorite music while you watch the end of everything?
It was a movie I had to see, even "knowing" it would fall short.