After Earth is underrated for the very reasons it is panned. The movie was destined to fail/flop due to misdirection and blatant disregard through its trailers for its audience.
The trailers for this movie offered a sci-fi thriller an almost cowboyesque space adventure. The truth is it was neither of the above. It also harkens back to moviemaking from decades past sans exploding bombs and fireworks in the sky. Its story was allowed time to develop without rush.
After Earth should have been promoted per the truth it represents. It is a non-period piece that speaks to personal growth of child into man within his own belief as well as in the eyes of his father. This is a Fathers and Sons Day movie. If promoted as a love story of father and son, bond stretching and strengthening a family, the movie would have had better chance to succeed in the theaters as well as in critics reviews.