A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this alien invasion movie has a lot in common with movies like War of the Worlds, Cloverfield, and Independence Day (though it's a lot duller). There are plenty of scary/violent scenes as giant spaceships capture hordes of humans, sucking them up through the sky, and, later, as monstrous aliens eat them. There are also lots of gross special effects, as well as some fighting, military-style action, and guns. Language includes several uses of "s--t," and there are some sexual situations (including implied oral sex) and some drinking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and Elaine (Scottie Thompson) fly to Los Angeles to visit Jarrod's old friend, Terry (Donald Faison), who works as a special effects man in the movie business. They throw a wild birthday party for Terry, who cheats on his girlfriend (Brittany Daniel) with his assistant (Crystal Reed). That night, huge alien spaceships attack the city and begin abducting humans by literally sucking them up into the sky. Smaller alien probes then begin scouring the city, using special lights to hypnotize victims. Can the five heroes survive by hiding out in Terry's apartment, or should they try to make a run for it? Better still, can they discover the reason for the attack?
Is it any good?
Directed by brothers Colin and Greg Strause, SKYLINE has an immediate low-budget feel, since the story takes place in a big city and has a tiny cast of only vaguely recognizable actors. When the movie focuses on its human "stars," it feels like there's very little at stake. None of them feel like real people, and none of them share any onscreen chemistry.
Things should get more interesting when the aliens attack, but the cheap-looking CG effects -- and creatures cobbled together fromthose in a dozen other movies -- make even the boring humans look interesting. The movie tries not to put all of its cards on the table right away, but in hiding certain information, things only become more illogical. (The aliens' behavior doesn't always make sense.) Still, the combination of giant, cheesy monster attacks and half-baked characters may ultimately earn the movie a cult/camp following.
Talk to your kids about ...
What do the aliens want? How do they go about getting it? Is there any way that their behavior resembles that of humans?
Could Jarrod be considered the hero of this story? What makes him heroic? What are his non-heroic traits?
- In theaters: November 12, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: March 22, 2011
- Cast: Donald Faison, Eric Balfour, Scottie Thompson
- Directors: Colin Strause, Greg Strause
- Studios: Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Run time: 92 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, some language, and brief sexual content
For kids who love sci-fi
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.