Skyline (2010)

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Eric Balfour, Donald Faison, Scottie Thompson, Brittany Daniel
Jarrod and his pregnant girlfriend Elaine travel to Los Angeles to meet his old friend and successful entrepreneur Terry...
A middling sci-fi entry, Skyline offers proof that solid special effects alone cannot overcome a flat storyline filled with uninspired dialogue.
  • Rogue Pictures/Universal Studios Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 12 Nov 2010 Released:
  • 22 Mar 2011 DVD Release:
  • $12.0M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Great Effects, Godawful Script3/10
First, let's work on some maths: "Skyline" is an alien invasion flick that has a touted US$10 million budget! This amount is a shoestring for an alien attack film - it is not even enough to pay the salary of an A-list star! So now you can do the maths and understand why there are no big stars here.

If you had seen the trailer you might have been impressed by the CGI effects of the tentacled UFOs. This is probably where all the money have gone. Everything else, from its lame script and B-grade TV stars to its sets, are all hotch-potch and downright rudimentary. It is an exploitation film that seems destined for DVD.

Synopsis: After a night of heavy partying at a posh condo in Los Angeles, a bunch of friends are awakened in the early hours by mysterious beams of light from the skyline. Those who gaze on the light get entranced - like moths to a flame and get 'burnt up'. Yup, the alien ships have landed and the survivors at the condo unit, Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his fiancee (Scottie Thompson, pictured below with Balfour), and their friends Terry (Donald Faison of TV's "Scrubs") and Candice (Brittany Daniel) must find a way to escape the aliens' grasp. But where can they run? There are so many things wrong with the movie that I don't know where to begin. The film, directed by the Brothers Strause who did the effects for "The X-FIles", centres the action inside the condo unit so much that we get the impression that LA is deserted and the only folks left are those in the half-empty building. No attempt is made to show the scope of the 'body snatching' and its effects on the millions of other city-dwellers.

Next, the main characters are being portrayed as such selfish and unsavoury people that we root for the aliens to take them away. This may be because the writers have not bothered to flesh out their backgrounds, except for a few predictable turns. The only one who comes on as real is David Sayas (of TV's "Dexter" fame) who plays the building supervisor. Also, the dialogue is lame and cliched. The writers must have had the notion that audience interest can be sustained if they have the characters yell at one another.

There's no doubt that Strause brothers provide exhilarating special effects - but they need to work on getting a good story to go with their CGI magic. Otherwise it is just a damn waste.
Not that bad7/10
I see many posters claims Skyline is the 'worst movie ever' - that isn't even close to true. This $10 million movie was way better than the $100 million Van Helsing. And also way better than Johnny Mnemonic which is the gold standard by which I judge all bad movies. I actually liked Skyline. It was by no means a great movie but props to the film makers for skipping all of the alien invasion cliches and going with something original. One poster compared it to a zombie movie and I did notice the similarity when I was watching it. The plot does have far more in common with a typical zombie movie than you usual alien invasion movie. Also, way more realistic than any alien invasion movie I've ever seen. Independence Day was fun to watch but it was just cotton candy not serious science fiction.
An intelligent Scifi that doesn't cater to the crowd10/10
After reading so many negative reviews I was actually considering not going to watch it....

I was expecting the worst I even took my android phone in case it was really bad and I could of played a couple of games.

This film doesn't follow the Hollywood method it doesn't have a normal ending, characters are not printed on politically correct paper.

I found the reactions of the people involved to be realistic, normal people with small minds and grasping to small problems in a situation they have no control over..

A humankind shown to be 99.999% normal petty and none heroic.

We watch so many films that follow a formula that show man out to be this amazing being who always survives always wins we are so use to being saved and its not really true is it ? We don't have a ace pilot or elitist hacker we don't have a superhero to fix it all, we be in trouble if something more advanced than us comes to play.

To me this makes it an awesome film and strangely I found the rest of the people in the cinema of the same mind as soon as the film finished people I didn't know started discussing it as a bit of fresh air.

If you like your films like independence day or Armageddon or any film where humankind are groomed and praised where a prayer to the gods or a speech by the president saves the day then you probably won't like this movie.

I look forward to seeing skyline 2
Strangely interesting and stylish apocalyptic science fiction8/10
I'm surprised this move is not higher rated. I think its one of the best science fiction/monster movies to come out in some time.

Awesome special effects in this one, with nice designs for the monsters and the alien ships and tech. The movie is creatively shot and I like how focused the plot was on the few main characters. A wonderful sense of doom pervades the whole film, with no cheap typical Hollywood miraculous escapes or happy endings. It was refreshing to see a movie focus on a grim and frightening reality of an unstoppable alien invasion without the typical cheesy silliness of movies like say, "Independence Day".

Maybe people don't like it because of its pessimistic and unrelenting dismal tone, but I appreciate a director who steadfastly focuses on this aspect of hopelessness in the face of a vastly superior advanced alien force and it makes sense and feels real because of this decision.

Another thing I enjoyed was how the movie at first seemed like it was going to be a shallow, typical Hollywood movie focused on young attractive people who like to party but then the movie shifted gears abruptly to a deadly serious tone which it then kept until the end, which I very much liked, how it faked me out in this way.

Would love to see a sequel and I think the movie hints strongly that the story is not done.
Not awful, certainly not expected...7/10
They drop from the sky with no warning. They do seemingly inexplicable things. They are capable of things that defy human experience. And we see it from the perspective of people we have no real connection to.

My first thoughts were something like, "How are K-Fed and Bobby Brown gonna save the planet?" Turns out, I need not have wondered.

What I thought the movie did very well was tell the story from the point of view of a handful of people that have no extraordinary attributes whatsoever. Disaster movies tend to have characters able to overcome improbable odds to somehow accomplish some measure of victory for Earth and/or humanity. Not so in Skyline. We have an apparently successful recording artist living the high life in L.A. and his friend, who possesses some measure of marketing talent. Rounded out with girlfriends, other assorted attractive female hangers-on, and what appears to be one of the security guards of the condominium complex in which the recording artist resides.

As far from "everyday normal" as this group might seem to be, they could very easily be real people, particularly in La-La Land. And the best part is that they reacted to events in a very normal, everyday human way. Weird stuff happens, and so they try to make sense of it, try to get a look at what's going on. And what they see makes no sense. There are no moments of inspired intuition, no really extraordinary feats of heroism or even ordinary ones.

Every plan of action the characters come up with fails, their safe-zones continually diminish, and characters are inexorably picked off. This is mirrored by the larger reaction of the military and their attempts to resist the alien menace. While slightly more successful in causing some injury to the aliens, their ultimate futility is seen when what looks to be an incredibly agile stealth bomber dances and dodges its way through aerial combat to release the Hail-Mary tactical nuke missile even as it is finally shot down. We follow the missile as it tracks toward the largest of alien craft and BOOM! Lots of bright light and big noise, and we see the alien vessel crashing to the ground as a smoldering wreck. Yay! But wait, holy crap, and oh noes! The aliens have regenerative/repair abilities congruent with their clearly organic-machine nature. The actors best moments come when they convey the despair and frustration of seeing every soap-bubble of hope unavoidably popped.

Earth is a rich and rare cache of resources presumably not found in many places in the vast, cold reaches of space. The aliens are here to secure their own continued survival with our delicious goodies. Our own species does this exact same thing to plants and animals across the globe. So what more motivation do the aliens need? And how could we realistically resist? None, and we can't, any more than the Amazon or marine life could. I don't know how much more "real" the story could get.

The movie doesn't satisfy the audience with a heroic victory for mankind. Or any victory, for that matter. And in this, it bucks the seemingly inescapable trend for reassuring us with some message about how adhering to noble virtues will allow us to win out in the end. To me, the film demonstrated exactly how fragile and small we and our planet are in the grander scheme of the universe. It's an ugly, cold truth, and we might prefer to be deluded that we can overcome if we just (add inspiring platitude here). But if our real-life local and global disasters are any indication, those sorts of wins only come at the very end and from the efforts of survivors after the fact. In the scenario this movie presents, we won't get that chance. Were aliens ever to come knocking, humanity as it is now is simply boned. And that's it.

Lots of people will not like or want to hear that message from a work of fiction. But I think the makers of this film deserve credit for their much more likely message of futility. It's not something we get a lot of from movies. Every now and again, it's a nice change from the improbable happy ending.