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Movie Review

Skyline

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
November 12, 2010 (wide—2,600+ theaters)
DVD: March 22, 2011
Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios
Morality

Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

sin in the Bible and the fall of man


FEAR, Anxiety and Worry… What does the Bible say? Answer

Aliens (extraterrestrials)

What does the Bible say about intelligent life on other planets? Answer

Are we alone in the universe? Answer

Does Scripture refer to life in space? Answer

Questions and Answers about The Origin of Life

Featuring: Eric Balfour (Jarrod), Scottie Thompson (Elaine), Brittany Daniel (Candice), Crystal Reed (Denise), Neil Hopkins (Ray), more »
Director: Colin Strause, Greg Strause—visual effects designers on “Avatar,” “2012,” “X-Men,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Fast & Furious”
Producer: Black Monday Film Services, Hydraulx, Rat Entertainment, Relativity Media, more »
Distributor: Rogue Pictures, Universal Studios

“Don’t look up.”

A few hours before sunrise, several blue beams of light descend all throughout Los Angeles. In one penthouse, several recovering partygoers slowly awaken either to the ground rumbling or to the blinding light. Opening the blinds, one man suddenly becomes entranced by the beautiful blue glow. Despite one female’s pleads and screams, the mesmerized man continues to walk towards the beacon and suddenly vanishes.

The film then rewinds to the preceding fifteen hours to introduce Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson). Both are heading out to L.A. to visit Terry, Jarrod’s friend, who has found success. Though Elaine and Jarrod are in awe of Terry’s lavish lifestyle, they all soon find themselves sharing the same fate, as the aliens quickly take over the city. In horror, they see the blue beams abducting defenseless humans by the hundreds. The friends must now figure out how to withstand the aliens’ alluring light and survive the catastrophic invasion.

Made on a low $10 million budget, “Skyline” has impressive CGI special effects. The aliens resemble the dominating Matrix machines, due to the likeness of their tentacles and bright lights. The disclosure for why the aliens invaded serves as a rather interesting twist. Unfortunately, the twist is only revealed within the last 15 minutes of the film. With the best part saved for last, the film’s demise is that the rest of it is filled with poorly written characters and low plot substance.

The characters of “Skyline” are flat, shallow archetypes. Some are immature, stubborn, and remain so throughout the film’s short run. The majority of the plot takes place in the penthouse, where the survivors spend most of their time either arguing over whether to escape by boat or by continuously looking through a telescope. Through the telescope, we see several scenes of the aliens’ continual human roundup or just how futile all kinds of explosions are against them. These repetitive cycles create a tedious showing.

Objectionable content

Overall, there are over 20 uses of profanity, including 11 sh*t and 2 GD. God and Jesus’ name is profaned at least 10 times.

The violence consists primarily of explosions and alien chases. Several characters suffer from convulsions when exposed to the extraterrestrial light. Decapitations are shown and the extracting of brains. While this is creepily disturbing, it remains rather bloodless.

Several women are shown in bikinis, and one is shown walking around in her panties. Elaine and Jarrod are not married, but she later finds she’s pregnant. There is also drinking and partying within the film. Worth mentioning is how the partying and pregnancy are shown in a negative light. Upon finding out about Elaine’s pregnancy, Jarrod is not thrilled since he had never given Elaine the commitment only a marriage possesses.

One of the elderly neighbors comments that the alien invasion is like a “GD rapture.” This is a completely contradictory, untruthful statement. The Rapture (the second coming of Christ) will definitely not be a damned event for Christians. Instead, it will be a glorious new beginning. When Jesus does return, he will descend from heaven with a loud trumpet call. The deceased believers in Christ will rise first, followed by the living followers of Christ. In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Paul writes:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command… and with the trumpet call of God, the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”

The movie portrays the frailty of life. Once the phone lines go dead, Elaine becomes upset in not being able to tell her mother of her pregnancy. Though the Lord wishes all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9), His Son will return again to judge the world. Not knowing when Jesus returns (Matt. 24:36), one must be always be vigilant and live as zealous followers of Christ. We must never become like the five foolish bridesmaids in the parable of Matthew 25:1-13.

Unlike other films that go over the top, “Skyline” has a gritty realism to it. The characters try to survive and simply wait around, not entirely sure what to do. This would have worked more in the film’s favor, if there had been better character development and more plot substance. The ending left the possibility of a sequel wide open. Will I see it? Not sure. But I can say this first film had me a bit bored and unengaged. Due to the objectionable content and low-film quality, I do not recommend “Skyline.”

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy (sex repeatedly strongly suggested, but not shown, including male/male oral)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive

none

Neutral

none

Negative
Negative—I get a call from a Christian friend, and he has two tickets to see “Skyline.” So I look it up—PG-13 rating, mild language, not doing anything and decide to go. Get there at 11pm, and there seems to be 500 college freshman in the audience. The movie is “Spring Beak” meets “Independence Day” meets “Star Trek” Borg meets “Predator” meets “War of the Worlds.” Language worse than advertised, acting comically bad, script bad, filming-two college freshmen with a camera. Save your money on this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Steve Swendler, age 60 (USA)
Negative—The movie was very offensive to me as a Christian. One line in the movie made a comment that “it was like the GD rapture”—which I found to be very offensive. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. On a positive note, the movie started off pretty good, with some awesome scenes of the city from a high rise apartment building. The suspense was actually impressive in the first 45 minutes of the movie, as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Judy Partin, age 52 (USA)
Negative—I love a good science fiction story. This, however, is not a good story. In fact, there is hardly any storyline at all. Boy and girl meets alien. Run, run, run. Oops got ya! I was not impressed.

I really feel like I wasted my time on this one. Only thing that was good was the CG effects. Also, the film presented characters with hedonistic lifestyles. There was very little character development anyway. The twist at the end was interesting, but not worth my $10.25 ticket. The swearing was somewhat offensive. I also didn’t like the comment on the rapture; it was offensive. I did, however, like the power of love between the 2 main characters, although it was not always presented clearly. I would not recommend this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Debbie, age 50 (Canada)
Negative—Horrible movie! I have seen some pretty bad movies but this one, by far, is the worst. Even if you dismiss the moral issues or rapture comments, this movie is just bad. Don’t waste you time, I’m sorry I did.
My Ratings: Moral rating: none / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Jeremy, age 34 (USA)
Negative—I wanted to add my 2 cents—morality aside, which, of course, was BAD—this was just plain BAD movie making-you don’t care about the characters, there is no comedic relief-it’s a sorry attempt at alien horror, but you’re not scared-you just want it to end. ***SPOILER**** Imagine two characters being sucked up to mother ship at the end, but they are kissing as they go… beyond cheesy. And the end is no twist, they just end mid sentence… his brain is sucked out, he’s now an alien (but, of course, he’s “too strong” to be controlled), and wanting to protect his girlfriend’s pregnancy, he starts in on a rampage in mother ship, and boom it stops… ***END SPOILER*** must have run out of money in the budget or thought they would leave a “cliff hanger” for #2, problem is there will be no one to invest in that one. Save your money on this one, don’t even bother renting.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Deborah, age 40 (USA)
Negative—The comments in the negative category here which relate directly to the movie are very well expressed. What I believe is more important, however, is the diabolical onslaught that Hollywood producers, directors and screenwriters are purposely bringing to us that is more horrible than aliens eating you. It is the wholesale abandonment to the themes of malcontentment, utter lack of character, hedonism, moral relativism and utter contempt for the Creator and all the gifts he lavishes on us moment by moment.

Jesus paid for these gifts of common grace and in the name of creativity and the need to go ever farther over the edge, they invent characters with no character to spice up the mix because we love to see other people’s drama (translation: moral mess). These themes are so pervasive I am beginning to think of giving up on movies altogether. Even G movies for kids/families are so full of attitude and disrespect for anyone daring to hold out Jesus' call to seek to be kind as he was, I dare say the movie experience is now nothing more than a moral minefield. And to boot, we pay $10 to be served this in the name of entertainment.

I expect young viewers to lack the life experience to be able to judge what is really going on in movies but it seems more adults are being led away just as horribly as the humans captured in this movie are held mesmerized then captured by the mysterious force.

I often think of how Francis Schaffer warned that this decline would get worse in the post-modern world. He also counseled us in how to avoid it, by giving our desires over to God as described in that wonderful opus of His, the Bible and thus find true contentment instead of imbibing the cheap imitations we invent down here.

I was once told why Hollywood produces questionable content in the face of milder movies that gross large sums. It’s because the main business of hollywood is done through schmoozing at parties and such. The director or producer who can say they have grossed a lot with a moral movie like “October Sky” or “Secretariat” don’t really impress like the ones who boast about going over the next line in taboo. May be some truth to it, dunno.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Bob MacLean, age 61 (USA)
Negative—While “Independence Day” was inspiring, this one is depressing, obviously some inspiration must have come from the video game “Quake 4”… Moral values in this film—clean on the outside but inside, thankfully not on screen, has everything adultery, jealousy, Ménage à trois, and in one scene when his girlfriend says that she is pregnant, the face of the “hero” has more terror than meeting the alien ships (which shocks the girlfriend, too). It’s not only a waste of money, but a waste of time and worse, you’ll leave with an depressing emptiness…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Cyril Thomas, age 28 (UK)
Negative—Another movie I can’t believe I didn’t review on this site before I watched it. I trusted a friend who saw it that liked it, and man what a dumb movie. Sure, it kept you wondering what was going to happen, but it just felt evil; trying to invoke fear and does not improve your life as a believer, at all, or even teach you anything. What a waste of time. I would have rather cleaned my garage then watched that stupid movie. DON’T waste your precious time, you will regret it! It’s not even worth the time to watch it for “entertainment.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Samantha, age 36 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was great. There was cool stuff. I like some of the characters, however there is stuff that I didn’t like—the swearing. Oh how many people said “oh my God.” Overall, it was a good thriller, and the romance between two character main characters was cute.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality:
—Joy, age 15 (USA)
Movie Critics
…Imagine a Kmart mash-up of “Transformers” and “Independence Day” and you’re appropriately primed for “Skyline,” an underwhelming and derivative sci-fi thriller that’s only marginally more impressive than a run-of-the-mill SyFy Channel telepic. …
—Joe Leydon, Variety
…The only reason to see this alien suspense thriller is the nightmarish creature design…
—Tim Robey, The Telegraph (UK)
…This year’s answer to “Independence Day” is a special-effects experiment in search of a movie… “Skyline” plays like an effects guru’s resume reel, not a movie.
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…A laughably bad sci-fi mash-up with some above-average special effects. …
—Megan Lehmann, The Hollywood Reporter
…“Skyline” is an alien invasion from the $.99 store… laughable acting…
—Luke Y. Thompson, E!