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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

PANTS PANTS PANTS

After 8 weeks of changing wet and poopy nappies and feeding my newborn son, my partner talked me into going to the cinema to see "Skyline". After much consideration, we got a babysitter and looked forward to at least two hours of good entertainment baby free. Were we sadly mistaken! All I can say is this film was pants! Very large Bridget Jones Pants! The biggest hint that we should have taken was the fact that we were the only ones in the cinema to watch it. We did consider walking out hal... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by yummymummyshell at 12:09, 02 December 2010 | Report This Post


Awful

Strauss Brother 1 : " Hey bro how are we gonna finish this movie ?" , Strauss Brother 2 : " Who cares , after watching 90 minutes of this crap the audience will be so braindead they wont give a damn, just stop it right THERE, and roll the credits...." ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by happiboy at 10:14, 01 December 2010 | Report This Post


No spoilers....

It was going okaaaay until the last 20 minutes! Completely bonkers ending!!! Reminded me of Japanese Manga (the way their stories don't always make sense and have plot twists without explanation) Me and my mate couldn't stop laughing :-D ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bubba76 at 22:05, 26 November 2010 | Report This Post


Unoriginal

Coming across like a hybrid version of Independence Day/Cloverfield/War of the Worlds (but failing to be as good as any of those films) this is strictly B movie territory but with big budget style effects. It's the effects that really stand out in this movie as the story is pretty pants, the script is a bit dodgy and the ending...well I'll not mention that! I'd say wait for the DVD/BD but I wouldn't bother as you're not going to appreciate the effects on a small screen and there's not much else ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trueborndjross at 08:56, 24 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Skyline

L: luckypunk If aliens attacked the cast of the OC it still would not be half as risible as this. 3 stars Kim? Fuck me I'm staying well clear of your dungeon. p; Kimmo Newman strikes again! Kimmo! Kimmo! LOL! So this bruvsta reckons Skyline is better the The Book of Eli. Cheers Empire reader reviewers that I ain't wasted my loot on watchin this crap! Brothers Strause better off with new career as Hollywood Boulevard rent boys, and they should watch... More

Posted by BatSpider at 11:34, 21 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Skyline

If aliens attacked the cast of the OC it still would not be half as risible as this. 3 stars Kim? Fuck me I'm staying well clear of your dungeon. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by luckypunk at 10:26, 21 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Skyline

Directors: trause, Greg Strause Screenwriters: Cordes, Liam O’Donnell Starring: lfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson Synopsis When strange lights descend upon the city of Los Angeles, a small group of people hide from an extraterrestrial force which threatens to swallow the entire human population from the face of the Earth. Review For many years, sci-fi cinema is a genre you have to spend so much money on, in order to create the spectacle. For Hollywood studios, t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 19:13, 20 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Sorry Guys but I Really liked it!

With awful reviews and the subject of a lawsuit from Sony ne is pretty poor, though maybe not quite as all that.  Obviously made quite cheaply,  with most of the spectacular stuff witnessed by characters looking out of a window, it boasts some impressive special effects and has some interestingly designed spaceships and creatures.  Unfortunately, it’s sunk by horrible writing doesn’t really tells us anything about the aliens nor give us characters to actually likeble acting and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Dr Lenera at 17:57, 19 November 2010 | Report This Post


Sorry Guys but I Really liked it!

Went yesterday after my Nans funeral to escape reality. I knew about the bizarre ending beforehand but I did'nt let it deter me. Save the ending which is either total Genius or the maddest thing ever (Is a sequel in the works?) I throughly enjoyed it. I can't understand all the hate as I have seen much much worse. I considered it well made and it never bored me. I thought the effects for the most part were spot on and the designs very interesting. It was perfect 50's B movie fodder about Brain ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by BADBOYBROM at 12:46, 19 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Utter rubbish save your money

L: paulyboy it's just shit.o it's not, that god-awful speech by the U.S president was. The alien is untouchable due to its advanced technology until it attempts to get out of the hatch and then *kapow!*. Firstly the irony that he had to get close to it to hurt it. Secondly the "Welcome to Earth" line, i.e. welcome to our world where you can get hurt. I don't think it beats the BBC's "/b] where Patrick Moore manages to punch an alien! ""EITHER I'M CONCUSSED, OR I'M ... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 11:28, 19 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Utter rubbish save your money

L: Emyr Thy King "esn't venture beyond its own confines, it's a marquee blockbuster film with no other pretensions than simple entertainment which it delivers. ey I love Independence Day! Not liking that sequence with Smith and the Alien has nothing to do with it being out of place in the films overall tone (I appreciate it's dsilly), it's just shit. It was a crap comparison to make granted, mainly because ID4 is aiming for the funny bone in that scene and Skyline isn't, I just ... More

Posted by paulyboy at 10:43, 19 November 2010 | Report This Post


Drivel from start to finish!.

Thumbs up on the production values a huge thumbs down on everything else (with the exception of Zayas' and Faison's performances). I was really hoping for a decent twist in the tale. But all I got was a derivative slice of rubbish that was only worth the time for some decent eye candy. Sucky sucky only price of cinema ticket. Me bore you long time. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mr.Screen at 21:28, 18 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Utter rubbish save your money

L: paulyboy a sequence one hundred times sillier than that god awful scene in Independence Day when Will Smith plants one on E.T h come on! He wasn't exactly going to offer it his last cigar and a front-row seat to enjoy the fireworks ( "/b]'t venture beyond its own confines, it's a marquee blockbuster film with no other pretensions than simple entertainment which it delivers. It seems with "inehey took the ideas they liked from various alien/monster invasion films and stuck in some shoddy... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 19:01, 18 November 2010 | Report This Post


Skyline or Skip

How on earth this piece of garbage got made is beyond me, this is the worst film of the year so far. effects looked average, acting was on par with Hollyoaks, story was ridiculous even for a sci fi movie, the ending just makes my head hurt. I'd rather watch an old woman try to park a nissan skyline for an hour and a half than sit through this again. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Duane Benzie at 15:56, 18 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Utter rubbish save your money

**Spoilers!** I enjoy a healthy dose of Sci-Fi bollocks, and up until the last 10 minutes this was delivering just that. Yes the acting needs work and yes the script takes frequent nose dives into hilarity, but the premise, special effects and execution are decent enough for the most part to hold your attention. Then the finale kicks in and from the moment Jared uses an alien as a punchbag (a sequence one hundred times sillier than that god awful scene in Independence Day when Will Sm... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by paulyboy at 12:37, 18 November 2010 | Report This Post


Utter rubbish save your money

This had and looked as though it had such promise in the adverts. It's funny how they lock you in with the best bits of the film, strangely like the blue lights featured in the film as well. Only you couldn't avoid those where as you can avoid going to see this. The film starts with everyone asleep and blue lights decending from the LA Skies.. Our *coughs loudly hero Jarrod is woken up by his other half asking whether it is morning. We then go to another room where party guests are sleeping a h... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Neilb73 at 22:54, 17 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

L: lukeyboy L: Edward Nygma I've seen some bad films this year. I mean, for the love of god I saw Furry Vengeance! But this was BAD. Oh my days...where do I start? I think saying Skyline is derivative is understating things quite a bit: Skyline has nothing new or interesting to offer. Sure there are special effects but they're hardly impressive and it just looks like someone played Crysis on their PC and pasted some alien ships from the game in an otherwise derelict ... More

Posted by Edward Nygma at 21:10, 17 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

L: Edward Nygma Oh, and the aliens look like vaginas. I kid you not: vaginas.t reminds me of the Predator aliens, they were quite the potty mouth lot too! All right, I'll get my coat.. Before I do, given I mentioned the aerial dogfight in the film, check out this one: tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khG8pVEmzO4]YouTube I don't think 'manic' begins to describe it. ... More

Posted by Emyr Thy King at 13:52, 17 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

L: Edward Nygma I've seen some bad films this year. I mean, for the love of god I saw Furry Vengeance! But this was BAD. Oh my days...where do I start? I think saying Skyline is derivative is understating things quite a bit: Skyline has nothing new or interesting to offer. Sure there are special effects but they're hardly impressive and it just looks like someone played Crysis on their PC and pasted some alien ships from the game in an otherwise derelict straight-to-video sci-fi t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lukeyboy at 10:20, 17 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

What a load. I'll give the Strause Brothers credit for managing to create the effects they did on a tiny budget but as they're FX artists by trade that's a given really. Everything else though had a case of deja vu or was just boring; I think these guys have proved now that they're pretty poor directors, this was their chance to show that AVPR was a blip by producing something outside of the studios that was "theirs". However as with AVPR what they've shown is a knack for effects and ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Marwood at 09:43, 17 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

thanks for the warning! I was going to go and spend my hard earned yesterday seeing this in an expensive cinema in London but I'll think I'll wait until it hits the home rental market (won't be long?).. cheers! ... More

Posted by hampstead bandit at 21:37, 16 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

This could have been a good film, if it had been given a proper director, script and a more capable cast. As it is, the first 15-20 mins plays out like a deeply unpleasant version of Entourage, and it goes downhill from there. Little happens, and not in a good way since the directors manage to leech nearly all tension out of promising scenes. The whole thing is a bland incoherent mess with aliens that just fail to project any menace and a cast that fails abjectly to arouse any sympathy.  ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by superdan at 12:55, 16 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

[b][size=3][/size][/b]  [size=3][b]Skyline[/b] (possible spoileze/ze=3]The dence Day[/b] had some good bits (the first half an hour) and [b]Bill Pullman[/bne has noths Strause[/b], the same pair who made the embarrassing [b]Alien vs. Predator: Re]   [size=3] [link[/size] [size=3]So, this awful cast are as follows: [b]Jarrod (Eric Balfour[/b])/b] Faison[ives the life of luxury in LA in t(Scottie Thompson[/b]), she has come along for this weekend to celebrate Terry's ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by dj vivace at 10:26, 16 November 2010 | Report This Post


RE: skyline

I've seen some bad films this year. I mean, for the love of god I saw Furry Vengeance! But this was BAD. Oh my days...where do I start?   I think saying Skyline is derivative is understating things quite a bit: Skyline has nothing new or interesting to offer. Sure there are special effects but they're hardly impressive and it just looks like someone played Crysis on their PC and pasted some alien ships from the game in an otherwise derelict straight-to-video sci-fi turke... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward Nygma at 20:42, 15 November 2010 | Report This Post


skyline

**SPOILER** if you can get past the wierdest ending to any film i can remember then what your left with is prob worth a couple hrs of your life if for no other reason than to watch the part where the airforce attacks the mother ship.. But still wierd.. Enjoy..... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by HERMES_67 at 19:06, 15 November 2010 | Report This Post


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