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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Eric Balfour
Scotty Thompson
Brittany Daniel.
Directors
Colin Strause
Greg Strause.
Screenwriters
Joshua Cordes
Liam O'Donnell.
Running Time
90 minutes

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Skyline
B List vs The Flying Saucers


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Plot
Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scotty Thompson) visit Los Angeles to stay with his successful best friend Terry (Donald Faison) in a luxurious high-rise apartment. Beams of light strike down on the city, vast alien machines and creatures appear, and Jarrod – who has just learned that Elaine is pregnant – decides that his family will survive.


Review
Skyline
The brain-eaters from outer space are back, en masse, in Skyline – which has the sort of extensive special effects you’d expect from a big budget studio film wedded to the sort of production which toplines Eric Balfour and Scotty Thompson.

Colin and Greg Strause have a background in visual effects on major pictures like Iron Man 2, Avatar and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but their sole previous directorial effort was the hardly earth-shaking AVPR: Aliens vs Predator Requiem. Here, they’ve put their pocket money together and made something which is astonishingly derivative but isn’t attached to any big franchise – nevertheless, you can check off elements from both film versions of War of the Worlds (tentacles probing the building, futile high-tech US air force assaults on the aliens), Cloverfield (especially in the character-establishing party as set-up for city-smashing crisis), Night of the Living Deads (the hot question: to flee the building or cling to fragile safety of the apartment), The Mist (is this a religious armageddon), The Puppet Masters, the Alien films, Independence Day (they loom out of clouds) and a dozen Japanese giant monster pictures. Compared with Monsters – which, inevitably, this will be – this isn’t especially ambitious dramatically, but it does deliver the alien monster attack action mostly withheld in the more cerebral genre movie.

Balfour, who has been around TV as slacker nerd archetypes on Six Feet Under and 24 and previously had his highest profile movie role as a victim in the Texas Chainsaw remake, gets the most drama to chew. Jarrod has to cope with a sudden job offer, a much more successful best friend, his girlfriend’s suddenly-announced pregnancy, a creeping alien infection that periodically bestows super-strength and – in the finale – a whole other set of problems. Once it gets going, the film doesn’t slow down enough to let any of the supporting characters really get in the way – the other most recognisable face is David Zayas, of Dexter and The Expendables, as the angry building supervisor – until their death scenes. Even the Jessica Biel-alike leading lady Thompson doesn’t do much but have morning sickness and argue before she’s called on to be the symbol of everything worth fighting for during an apparent end of the world.


Verdict
Technically ambitious, dramatically basic. Still, it’s a major step up from an AvP sequel and delivers all the Saturday night whizz-bang and Sunday morning brain-ripping you could want.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Skyline
Empire Star Rating

3 stars?!

this has to be the worst film since Michael bays transformers if not more appalling it was just toilet poop waiting to be flushed ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jordan thomas at 22:19, 13 January 2012 | Report This Post


Enjoyable tosh

Actors are bland, story is predictable but the effects and action are decent and entertaining. It feels like a made for TV movie, just a very good one. It's exactly what you expect it to be. I'd feel bad if I'd spent any money on it but if it's on TV I wouldn't turn it off. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by NunianVonFuch at 15:20, 05 August 2011 | Report This Post


awful

no, really, its awful. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by IanGraham at 21:57, 09 July 2011 | Report This Post


Enjoyable Saturday night film

Watched with the children aged 10 to 15. Great film, only a couple of swear words and minor sexual references. The film delivers in special effects and shocks. True the acting is a bit wooden and the plot is very thin but I enjoyed it nonetheless. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by watty1964 at 23:09, 02 July 2011 | Report This Post


RE: My 3 year old could write a better script **SPOILER**

The best way to watch this film is to just remove your brain for an hour and a half & enjoy the ride. Wait a sec....does that mean I've become a Skyline character watching this? ... More

Posted by pauljthomas at 16:38, 21 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: My 3 year old could write a better script **SPOILER**

L: DONOVAN KURTWOOD No its great! Minority rules! Don't listen to him! It's a trap!!! ... More

Posted by Gazz at 16:26, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: My 3 year old could write a better script **SPOILER**

No its great! Minority rules! ... More

Posted by DONOVAN KURTWOOD at 13:24, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: My 3 year old could write a better script **SPOILER**

So it's not good, then, Gazz? ... More

Posted by MonsterCat at 13:02, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: My 3 year old could write a better script **SPOILER**

My review of Skyline: It's like Independence Day and Cloverfield had a child …and then they beat that child within an inch of its life …and then forced the quivering pulp to chew steaming dogshit as it helplessly struggled for breath …and just as it’s oxygen starved brain shut down, welcoming the darkness of death like an old friend, two gormless strangers attempted to nurse it back to health without medicinal aid or any previous knowledge of modern medicine ...and thou... More

Posted by Gazz at 12:49, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: BETTER THAN BATTLE L A!

Awesome movie! Ive seen this a few times since i picked up the blu ray. Shame so few dont seem to get it or get into it. Loved the ending! Very brave! ... More

Posted by DONOVAN KURTWOOD at 10:51, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: BETTER THAN BATTLE L A!

Not quite sure hwat to say about this. Vaguelly entertaining, average at bets then the final 10 minutes kicks in, starting with a puchbag Alien sequence whihc beggars belief, to that ending, which nearly me fall off the sofa (I thought I'd fell asleep and woke up during a different film) I can't really recommend or critisise this film. Battlefield LA was far better (if the comparison is fair, which it seems to be) but this just needs to be seen to be believed, that's all I'll say. ... More

Posted by jonson at 08:18, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post


BETTER THAN BATTLE L A!

NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS OTHER REVIEWS HAVE SUGGESTED...OK, IT'S SIMPLE PLOT-WISE, BUT THE EFFECTS ARE GOOD, THE RUNNING TIME IS PERFECT (IE 90 MINS) AND THERE IS GENUINE SUSPENSE/SURPRISE ON SHOW... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 11:43, 10 April 2011 | Report This Post


BETTER THAN BATTLE L A!

NOWHERE NEAR AS BAD AS OTHER REVIEWS HAVE SUGGESTED...OK, IT'S SIMPLE PLOT-WISE, BUT THE EFFECTS ARE GOOD, THE RUNNING TIME IS PERFECT (IE 90 MINS) AND THERE IS GENUINE SUSPENSE/SURPRISE ON SHOW... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 11:43, 10 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: GOOD WATCH.

I thought this was ok. The special effects would have been even better if the designs weren't such a mess. Throwaway plot with throaway characters, lowest common denominator that aims to make everything look 'cool' and not much else. The Brothers Strausse certainly improved on the laughably shit AvP:R, and I couldn't help but think on more than one occasion that they'd be an ideal candidates to direct a Transformers movie (great effects, fuck all plot) when Bay finally moves on The Island... More

Posted by UTB at 21:32, 03 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Possibly the worst film I've ever seen!

Got the blu ray yesterday, really like this movie and the FX are incredible. Cannot understand why so many hate this and say it's so bad. ... More

Posted by DONOVAN KURTWOOD at 10:13, 24 March 2011 | Report This Post


Possibly the worst film I've ever seen!

This film should really have went straight to DVD, it was ridiculously bad and I really feel sorry for anyone who wasted money watching it in the cinema. It doesn't even deserve a star. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Joelrobinson at 12:55, 20 March 2011 | Report This Post


Skyshit

Baad movie. Too bad to laugh. One of the most stupid endings I've ever seen. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 04:02, 27 January 2011 | Report This Post


Made this account to put all you fans of this film right!

How can people even give this film a star rating? I went to see this film excited as the trailor looked tasty, Big monsters, Big ships, Big bangs was what caught my eye and indeed the film had that but the overall result was pile of bad acting, bad directing and tbh bad effects. Every idea in this film was already done by Speilberg and other genius directors. What these Brothers did was take evey alien film and stick it into one cheap poxy movie. As viewers we were made out to be stupid, f... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by AntGC at 12:26, 02 January 2011 | Report This Post


Whilst I was entertained, I didn't like any of the main characters ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by james riley at 12:55, 20 December 2010 | Report This Post


Jarrod and Elaine take a trip to visit Jarrod's old yet very successful friend in LA. The night they arrive he holds a big party in his luxury condo to celebrate his birthday. Whilst asleep Elaine is awoken by a bright light beaming through the window. The story unfolds to find this bright light is the work of Aliens, drawing the human race into there trap to transport them onto their ship to eat their brains to create life of their own. The group of survivors try to fight for their lives only ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by zedphelan at 15:22, 13 December 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Skyline

s bruvsta reckons Skyline is better the The Book of Eli.  t can't be duller shirley? ... More

Posted by Deviation at 10:09, 12 December 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Awesome Sauce

Ha! Yes, it is a cheese fest. I enjoyed it immensely. Seriously can not understand the intense hate being posted. It's a good film about Brain Stealing Aliens. If that phrase grabs you, you will enjoy it. If it makes you roll your eyes, avoid. I look forward to the sequel with the survivors roaming the post-alien world! ... More

Posted by Invader_Ace at 23:51, 11 December 2010 | Report This Post


Fair. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 15:06, 08 December 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Skyline

I just watched it, yes it was absolutely rediculous, with some of the shittiest acting I've seen in a cinema release for a long time. But y'know what? As a whole it entertained me more, with its pure stupidity and OTT action scenes, than Monsters ever did. had to sit down in a couple of weeks and rewatch one of the two, it would be Skyline everytime. And that ending? Pure fucking cheesy brilliance. ... More

Posted by captainrentboy at 14:51, 08 December 2010 | Report This Post


Great Indie-SyFy entertainment!

This film does struggle with the character development and the plotting is kind of like Dawn of the Dead meets Independence Day. But if you can get over that there actually quite a good SyFy suspense end-of-world action B-movie here, even though it is made by the same directors who made Aliens Vs Preditors. It does suspense well and the action is actually excellently done! The special effects are superb and given that it only took 10-20million to make its' looks lavish beyond its means. I hate t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tothemax100 at 00:19, 03 December 2010 | Report This Post


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