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Dark Skies Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Kitchen nightmares Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    Dark Skies is a bore that even the most forgiving genre buffs will find difficult to defend or endure.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Approaching the first half of the film fairly conventionally, Stewart then misses the opportunity to capitalize on shifting to more full-on genre mode.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Clark Collis

    While there are some scares along the way, Stewart foolishly gives away the whole kit and caboodle plot-wise with an opening quotation from Arthur C. Clarke.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 14 & under

Subtle but dull alien invasion movie has scares, edgy stuff.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dark Skies is an alien invasion movie that, while not great, is at least subtler and more character-oriented than many in the genre; the focus is on solving problems rather than killing monsters. But it still has plenty of scary scenes, including a few jump-shock moments and some nightmare-like imagery (including blood, guns, and death). Most of the movie's content issues surround a secondary character, an older teen who hangs around with the 13-year-old main character: He introduces bad language ("s--t," "p---y," etc.), porn (a very tame but still inappropriate videotape), and drugs (it's suggested that teens have smoked pot). Overall, the movie feels like a throwback to moody 1970s and 1980s-era films, but it doesn't have much substance.

  • Families can talk about Dark Skies' violence. How much is actually shown? How much is threatened, but not shown? Which is scarier, and why? What's the difference between the simple jump-shocks and the more nightmarish imagery?
  • What's the relationship among the four family members like? What mistakes do they make? What do they do right?
  • What makes alien invasion movies so popular? How does this one compare to others you've seen?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Overall the movie has a rather hopeless message, but it does show a family working well to love and support one another, despite a few arguments and pitfalls.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The characters are realistically flawed and not particularly heroic or extraordinary, and none of them really learns any lessons, but the four family members do show love and support for one another.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Frequent scary scenes range from simple jump-shocks to more elaborate, creepy nightmare imagery (a child with no eyes and bloody sockets, etc.). One of the most shocking has a boy entering a kitchen to see his father holding a rifle, his mother dead, and the walls spattered with blood (it's a hallucination). In one sequence, hundreds of birds slam up against a window and a house, leaving little spots of blood. A grown man starts a fight with a teen boy; the boy's father intervenes, punching the man in the face. A woman bangs her head repeatedly against a glass door. A man's nose bleeds. Guns are fired. Scary creatures are briefly shown. Some arguing and yelling.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Young teens watch a so-called "adult video," wherein a man calls a woman a "bad girl," kisses her, and fondles her breast through her clothing (no nudity shown). A boy tries to repeat what he saw in the video, fondling a teen girl's breast. She yells at him but then gives him a little kiss anyway. A married couple kisses and is intimate with each other (no nudity shown).

  • language false3

    Language: Most of the strong language is said by an older teen, a "bad influence" secondary character who hangs around with the main character. His language includes "s--t," "bitch," "jock," "t-tties," "ass," and "p---y." The main 13-year-old character says "don't be a d--k." The father says "hell" in front of his youngest son. In another scene, he whispers "what the f--k" under his breath (it's not audible). Other words include "damn" and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Apple iPhones are used and shown throughout the movie.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A "bad influence" teen invites the 13-year-old main character and two girls to smoke pot. He slams the paraphernalia on a table and says, "light 'em up." In the next shot, the teens are acting high, but viewers never actually see them smoking. A main adult character is seen smoking a cigarette, and other adults are shown drinking wine with dinner.