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SKYLINE (2010 Film)

A 2010 alien invasion film directed by Greg Strause.

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Skyline - The Light...It's So Pretty....

  • Apr 19, 2011
Pros: One or two alien ideas; the movie's trailer.

Cons: Pretty much everything else

The Bottom Line: Let's face it - the trailer for this movie was better than the movie itself. Hey, at least it's only an hour and thirty minutes.

I do give away just a few things, so if you want to go into this movie blind, read someone else's review.

So I just finished watching Skyline.  My reaction?  I just laughed.

I knew going into this movie that it turned out to be a big disappointment.  Now I know why.  There are actually plenty of reasons that this movie was a letdown.  It has varying degrees of stupidity and unexplained nonsense.  However, as a reader and writer of SF, I at least give the writers props for using some of our military tech and showing that yes, our boys tried their damnedest to take out the alien threat.

This has a very Cloverfield-like feel to it in many ways.  A couple goes to an upscale party, wakes up the next day, and voila, there's a bunch of big, bad aliens roaming around.  But it's worse than Cloverfield - because there are huge motherships sucking up anyone who looks at the pretty blue lights, which draw people in like moths to a flame.

That part, the whole drawn-in-by-lights and sucked-up-into-mothership moment were actually rather cool, and a bit disturbing.  I mean, let's face it, seeing thousands of people being drawn up into a big spaceship, all of them screaming in horror is a bit unnerving.  The few aliens we see are nifty in their own ways, from the big beasty creature to the flying squid-like creature that has its moments of snaking around War of the Worlds style.  For movies that occasionally take forever to let you see the bad guys, this movie pretty much drops them in your laps as soon as possible.  Nice of them, and appreciated.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the UAVs and other unmanned goodies our military hurled toward the alien spaceships at one point.  The simple fact that an alien movie has our guys launching in like they probably would in the real world is nice to see.  Hey, I just like to see our military portrayed in a solid ass-kicking way instead of as the bad guys.  That crap gets old.  That's also something Battlefield L.A. did well (and also one of the many reasons why it did truckloads better than this movie).

However, aside from those tidbits, everything else is essentially all downhill.  You're stuck with a bunch of people you don't really like or even really connect with from the start, and then there's the inevitable arguing about what to do and accusations about this and that and of course someone gets all ticked off that so-and-so is cheating on them, blah blah blah.  Mostly because it's just the same crap everyone's already seen.  Even if that is possibly what would happen in such a situation, it's just boring now because we've seen it so much.

One of the other major issues is the aliens themselves.  I'm willing to accept a great deal of technology, but there are just a few things that they did that I'm just not going to buy.  From a self-repairing ship to brains, just...no.  Sorry.  And boy they sure did adapt to our atmosphere no problemo.  And what the heck was with the brains?  I don't get it.  If that's how their kind live, well, it's not a very efficient system.  At all.  Let's just say that there are a LOT of holes in this.  Swiss cheese style.

Props to killing so many people, including a fair amount of surprising deaths.  And the acting wasn't as poor as one might have thought it would be in a movie like this, and most people will be pleased with the lead Eric Balfour the most.   But thumbs down to the ending.  It has just a tiny bit of promise, but not much.  Though I admit, I liked Jarrod's (Balfour) character enough that I'm going to suspend disbelief and allow myself to think that he could do that.  In which case, yeah, there could be a sequel, but honestly, I don't know how he's going to get himself out of that particular pickle.

Once it hit the end, as I said, I laughed.  In a "Oh geez, lame" kind of way, and also because at the end it was like they'd run out of money and wanted to show you a few more scenes and had to do it with the model miniatures they had of their aliens and so forth.  Kind of a, "Haha, what is that?" moment.

So it was an entertaining hour and thirty minutes, but it's not something I'm going to make an effort to watch again, and I'm definitely not going to drop money to buy it (thank you, Redbox!).  I've definitely seen worse, but I've also seen much, much better.

Actual rating: 2.5 stars, rounded up.



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July 08, 2011
This movie was....I dunno. I was extremely disappointed with the final act. Thanks for the level-headed review!
July 08, 2011
Yeah. I giggled. A lot.
More Skyline (2010 movie) reviews
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Prepare To be Harvested...Resistance Is Stupid.
Alien invasion movies; gosh, these films are a dime-a-dozen. When I saw the trailer for Strause Brothers’ latest alien invasion flick “SKYLINE“, I admit, I was intrigued. I thought perhaps we are finally going to get a flick that can “go there” when it came to the darkness of such a premise. Well, I wasn’t that impressed with “Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem” but hey, I respected it; the Strause brothers displayed their talent in making a low-budget monster …
review by . January 17, 2011
Nowhere to run!
      Look at the light and it controls you. The city is under attack by aliens. And it is GROSS! You’ve a replay of the ALIEN except that they now “reside” in the city and swallow up any human in their paths! Slimy king kongs, that’s what they are.        It’s a movie that shows human misplaced trust in the unknown until they are proved otherwise. When under attack, the occupants in an L.A. apartment have only one choice, …
review by . June 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Half a star out of ****     "Skyline" is what a casual movie-going audience would want to see out of an alien invasion flick, although it falls just a little bit short of the average film (of the like). However, with that being said, this means that it's hard to imagine that even the mindless monkeys who munch on this crap daily will be particularly impressed, and that's saying something. However, if you're a real movie-goer who doesn't want explosions and CGI in the place of …
review by . January 03, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
   Being one of those conspiracy guys who likes to look up at the night sky and wonder when the hell we're going to have an alien invasion, or at least be paid a visit, (we've been around for quite a while now, where's the planet warming present?) so this type of film would usually be right up my street. Naturally, the concept of a film crossing Independence Day with Cloverfield would be a good one, as we frequently get alien invasion films set on a larger scale, so the impact …
review by . June 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
visually stimulating otherwise a total flop
Its very rare for me to write a negative review usually i only feel its worth my time to review if i liked it and think others will enjoy it to, this however is an exception. After being told by several reliable sources that i would like this movie i watched it, it left me wondering where i go to file a petition to get the wasted time back. This movie stars off confusing and rushed from the start when are leading happy couple make a trip to LA to celebrate the birthday of a friend who has made it …
review by . March 14, 2011
   There is something about films that just suck the life right out of you.  No I do not mean that because I went to an 11pm screening, I mean it literally sucked the life out of me.  The monster child of Colin and Greg Strause takes all that was great about Independence Day, Cloverfield, and District 9 and gives you a crack baby called Skyline.  I'm sure they will make their money many times over since this film was shot on the "measly" budget of $1m, but …
review by . November 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
You no longer need a screenplay to make an alien invasion movie. All you need is a special effects studio, a lot of computers, and creature designers that go for all the reliable hallmarks, like flailing tentacles. You also need plenty of death and destruction, and it must all be contained within the borders of a major city - say Los Angeles or New York, because God knows an alien species prefers them to cities like Pittsburg or Chicago or Seattle or Cleveland. Scenes like that serve as a nice counterpoint …
review by . December 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
      There is no way on earth, a movie could fail in presentation like Skyline does. Originality is not even worth talking about since Independence Day or War of the Worlds are one of the many films this movie tried to copy. What the director did not understood is that you cannot steal ideas, concepts and give orders within the total chaos you have just created. This so-called "science-fiction" movie has no character development, matter of fact, it has no characters …
Quick Tip by . November 04, 2010
This movie appear to promise to be what the dumb film "Independence Day" should/could have been. The trailer promises earth-shattering battles and Greg Strause does know how to shoot battle scenes. It is his lack of stroytelling skills that worries me...I'll have to check this out to judge for myself.      Added: I managed to see it and posted this review. Better as a rental.
About the reviewer
Nicole ()
Ranked #165
Age: 27 Currently: Freelancing my butt off and querying my other novel, Blood for Wolves. Who likes seriously factured fairy tales? =D      Like books? Then take it from a real, live … more
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About this movie


  • Opens November 12, 2010
  • PG-13
    For sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language and brief sexual content
  • Strange lights over Los Angeles herald the arrival of a malevolent alien force that threatens to swallow up all of humanity.
  • Cast: Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, David Zayas, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel
  • Director: Greg Strause
  • Genres: Alien FilmScience Fiction
  • A series of blindingly bright lights appear all over Los Angeles, mesmerizing the citizens of the city while luring them to an uncertain fate in this sci-fi thriller from sibling filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause. As speculation regarding the origin of the mysterious lights runs rampant, a Los Angeles entrepreneur (Donald Faison), his best friend, Jarrod (Eric Balfour), and Jarrod's frightened girlfriend (Scottie Thompson) struggle to resist temptation as they seek out the source of the luminous threat. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
  • Poster art for "Skyline"
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    Director: Greg Strause
    Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi
    Release Date: November 12, 2010
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Runtime: 92 minutes
    Studio: Universal Studios
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