Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

A few strong suspense scenes can't save uneven action movie.

Movie PG-13 2018 103 minutes
Skyscraper Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 13+
age 16+

Proverbial action film from Dwayne Johnson and Surprising Neve Campbell Means a Lot of Action with Violence

This is a typical action film from Dwayne Johnson but with atypical actress Neve Campbell, who has not been a major player in a theater film in quite some time. This time the film is a cross between Die Hard and Inferno, as a high rise apartment building that Johnson is consulting too is set on fire by a nefarious group of bandits who want to get the owner of the building who has dirt on their bosses, so he needs to be eliminated. Call in Johnson's Will Sawyer is a security consultant who lost his leg as a solider. His family lives in the higher floors (floor 110 I believe) and they are caught in the high rise skyscraper when the criminals start the fire, It is up to Johnson to save them, and let the guns, bullets, and fire start flying. Director Rawson Marshall Thurber isn’t terribly interested in steadily building tension. “Skyscraper” kicks into gear pretty quickly and remains relentless. A team of villains, led by the menacing Kores Botha (Roland Moller), has broken in with highly flammable chemicals in order to steal the most McGuffiny of McGuffins. (They shouldn’t even have bothered explaining it, the item in question is so disproportionately insignificant compared to the mayhem it causes.) But when they torch the joint, they don’t realize that Will’s wife and kids are still inside one of the residential units. And as the flames rise higher and higher from what began as a thin, orange line on the 96th floor, the danger and the insanity climb with them. Neve Campbell is the pleasant surprise in this film and in interviews she stated the script is what drew her too it. For the first time Campbell is an assistant hero to Johnoson as her character, Sarah is never a damsel in distress, but rather a combat-trained surgeon capable of kicking her own allotment of butt while also caring for her kids. (She also speaks several Asian languages, which comes in handy throughout the film.) If your only reason is to see her return to a major role, this is worth your time. She fights fairly effectively (she did all her stunts herself) and contributes to the outcome of this film in quite substantial ways. Now imagine if she were the one tasked with saving the day, and her family, and the entire building. Now that would truly be thrilling.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10):
Kids say (46):

This action movie has about four gripping sequences of heart-pounding suspense, but they're surrounded by too much ridiculous, ineffective stuff; stressful scenes of kids in peril tip the balance. A cross between The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, Skyscraper is at least a manageable 102 minutes long, but at the same time, it's slow to get going. It spends too much time setting up the plot mechanics -- the origin of Will's artificial leg, the gimmick of rebooting a phone, Henry's asthma, etc. -- and not enough in letting us get to know the characters.

Johnson is a likable enough star, but he's basically superhuman here -- far from Bruce Willis' "ordinary guy" in Die Hard -- and it doesn't feel like much is at stake. Skyscraper goes a little too far in putting Will's kids in jeopardy, but we never really question whether everything is going to be fine. The bad guys, including a couple of predictable good-guy turncoats, are bottom-drawer, the kind who simply try to out-cool one another by saying their lines in low rumbles and adding lots of pauses. And it must be noted that the movie has more than a hint of "white savior" syndrome. Viewers willing to slog through the bad stuff to get to the good stuff will likely enjoy the suspenseful moments, but there are far better examples of this kind of movie.

Movie Details

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