Critics Consensus

Skyscraper Is Too Short on Story to Stand Out

Plus, Hotel Transylvania 3 is the best of the series, and Sorry to Bother You and Eighth Grade are Certified Fresh.

by | July 12, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got Dwayne Johnson in a big building (Skyscraper, co-starring Neve Campbell), Dracula on a boat (Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Selena Gomez), and writer-director Boots Riley in the midst of a critical breakout (Sorry to Bother You, starring LaKeith Stanfield and Armie Hammer). What are the critics saying?


Skyscraper (2018) 46%

It’s been 30 years since Die Hard rewrote the action thriller rulebook, and while we’ve long since moved beyond the wave of increasingly ridiculous imitators that arrived in its wake, its influence continues to loom large — as evidenced by this weekend’s Skyscraper, in which Dwayne Johnson plays an FBI and combat vet who must race against time to save his family (and clear his name) after the state-of-the-art high rise he’s been hired to assess is invaded by a gaggle of terrorists who frame him for the crime. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to argue that Johnson does this kind of thing better than any other actor working today, and critics say his presence is precisely why this highly derivative outing works as well as it does; while it certainly suffers in comparison to the classics that clearly inspired it, it benefits from its charismatic leading man, as well as writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s ability to keep things moving along at a briskly compelling clip. It’s no Die Hard, in other words, but if you’re in the mood for an action movie that’s roughly as entertaining as it is implausible and includes a number of bad guys getting their just desserts, Skyscraper stands just about tall enough.


Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018) 58%

Adam Sandler has been making people laugh with his arsenal of funny voices for decades, so it only stands to reason that he’d be a natural for animated work. Still, when the SNL vet signed up to play Dracula in 2012’s Hotel Transylvania, few could have foreseen just how successful it’d be at the box office — or that it’d end up starting a franchise that adds its third installment with this weekend’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. This time out, Dracula is dragged on a cruise by his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg), where he falls for a passenger (Kathryn Hahn) who ends up being the granddaughter of his sworn enemy Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan). Hijinks (and wedgies) inevitably ensue, and while the end result is unlikely to be looked back upon as classic animated entertainment, it’s a surprising high mark for the Hotel Transylvania saga, delivering more than enough colorful silliness for critics to recommend it as a family-friendly summer diversion. Plan your next trip to the theater with your kids accordingly — and pencil in summer 2021 for the inevitable Hotel Transylvania 4.


Sorry to Bother You (2018) 93%

Long familiar to fans of socially aware and politically conscious hip-hop through his work with the Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club, rapper and producer Boots Riley has now made the leap into filmmaking with Sorry to Bother You, and to say he stuck the landing would be an understatement — this sci-fi-tinged dark comedy is rolling into its wide release after wowing a succession of critics and earning a spot among the best-reviewed movies of the year. Starring Atlanta vet Lakeith Stanfield opposite Tessa Thompson (Thor: Ragnarok, Creed), Riley’s debut feature imagines an alternate reality in which making a living in America often means indentured servitude — and the tension between material success and hanging onto one’s principles is more pronounced than ever. It’s a loaded premise, to say the least, and critics say Riley and his cast take full advantage, delivering a wildly ambitious film that deftly juggles sharp wit, pointed commentary, and hard-hitting subtext even as it flat-out entertains. What it may lack in the costumed vigilantes and CGI-assisted pyrotechnics we expect during blockbuster season, Sorry to Bother You more than makes up for in narrative substance; if the reviews are anything to go by, this is one 2018 summer movie we’ll still be talking and thinking about months from now.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

psycho Polls and Games Paramount Network TCA 2017 BBC America Adult Swim 2017 Disney Awards History anime cats Universal Marvel crime drama science fiction First Look television festivals TCA See It Skip It ABC what to watch Toys Superheroe technology Starz supernatural E! MSNBC Country Tumblr DC streaming service BBC YA discovery golden globes Ovation dceu Spring TV Shudder Rock Teen Biopics travel Character Guide TLC Pop talk show HBO Reality Marathons GLAAD Opinion USA Network Musicals Crackle Hulu President 21st Century Fox historical drama vampires Netflix Food Network X-Men Summer Awards Tour Britbox politics boxoffice Star Trek TNT CMT Best and Worst Cartoon Network singing competition unscripted Thanksgiving cooking National Geographic Drama CNN ITV NYCC Lifetime FOX The Arrangement ABC Family New York Comic Con Christmas sitcom WGN Podcast Creative Arts Emmys SDCC APB GoT Apple Emmys Pixar Epix Box Office spy thriller Masterpiece Disney Channel sports E3 based on movie Reality Competition composers A&E DC Universe CBS All Access Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV Land Comedy Nat Geo Spike Star Wars robots Esquire Extras Comics on TV Nickelodeon Acorn TV Tomatazos Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ESPN police drama Comic Book 20th Century Fox Premiere Dates Mary Tyler Moore Mindy Kaling comic Lucasfilm PBS Music dramedy romance crime thriller Animation FX GIFs DirecTV binge Ghostbusters Rom-Com Comedy Central MTV Superheroes Interview SXSW zombie BET comiccon Countdown Shondaland Cosplay cinemax social media diversity period drama Election Calendar IFC Films blaxploitation 007 doctor who Infographic Fox News Video Games TV Year in Review Sci-Fi Horror FXX adventure Walt Disney Pictures Quiz Nominations Pirates ratings cults Martial Arts Lionsgate transformers 24 frames medical drama jamie lee curtis biography American Society of Cinematographers thriller Grammys Trophy Talk El Rey war finale San Diego Comic-Con Warner Bros. Action Sundance Photos 2015 Certified Fresh Rocky justice league Amazon Logo Winners aliens SundanceTV TruTV IFC PaleyFest OWN CBS DC Comics political drama YouTube Red Schedule Showtime LGBTQ VICE Trailer TIFF Fantasy NBC RT History Kids & Family Holidays serial killer Mystery TCM USA hist Fall TV 45 Set visit crossover Paramount YouTube Premium zombies Red Carpet Freeform CW Seed Valentine's Day streaming harry potter Winter TV Columbia Pictures TBS The CW 2016 Song of Ice and Fire AMC Writers Guild of America Musical Sundance Now cops Oscars Bravo Super Bowl Trivia crime mutant Western Syfy docudrama Dark Horse Comics dc Watching Series VH1 Sneak Peek Sony Pictures Ellie Kemper