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) 47%

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) 61%

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

AMC cinemax science fiction Podcast crime streaming Sundance festivals crime drama psycho Interview cults MTV 2018 Acorn TV Paramount Columbia Pictures true crime what to watch CNN Calendar The Witch Comics on TV New York Comic Con Trophy Talk Reality golden globes Netflix Comedy Central Syfy TCA 2017 El Rey Red Carpet richard e. Grant CBS E! MSNBC Martial Arts Epix 2019 teaser Spike Walt Disney Pictures mockumentary Tarantino comiccon Superheroes Mystery TCA WGN YouTube Red award winner Teen travel USA Mudbound DGA ABC Family Star Trek National Geographic VICE DirecTV Anna Paquin Freeform LGBTQ Apple Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt toy story OWN LGBT Music Super Bowl SXSW romance Tumblr Nat Geo Dark Horse Comics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sequel Amazon cops IFC Crackle spinoff space Writers Guild of America YA Rom-Com Bravo Fantasy Shondaland Amazon Prime crossover Extras SDCC Logo Musicals aliens TruTV transformers TV Land war Sundance Now Spring TV hist Trailer anime DC streaming service 007 BBC Fall TV Black Mirror Sneak Peek Rock 24 frames TLC APB supernatural Oscars DC Universe comic ratings serial killer Western Horror harry potter Character Guide police drama RT History Premiere Dates TNT natural history Best and Worst Pixar talk show PBS binge discovery Nickelodeon Elton John Set visit Esquire Opinion ESPN Brie Larson Polls and Games mutant biography SundanceTV Drama Country CBS All Access Showtime Universal Infographic PaleyFest Comic Book sports animated Food Network thriller Summer Star Wars CMT Certified Fresh miniseries zero dark thirty Toys CW Seed See It Skip It green book X-Men GLAAD unscripted HBO Paramount Network American Society of Cinematographers politics period drama Tomatazos Captain marvel Marathons elevated horror cats Comedy dramedy Musical First Look docudrama Trivia Starz vampires anthology Nominations 45 zombie Christmas Stephen King Masterpiece NYCC casting GoT Valentine's Day theme song Film Festival IFC Films Photos E3 TCM Disney Channel Mary Tyler Moore Action sitcom facebook ABC A&E RT21 NBC psychological thriller spider-man Ghostbusters strong female leads dragons History TBS Fox News Cosplay FX Year in Review Disney Chernobyl Lionsgate composers technology Marvel dceu Ellie Kemper Cannes 2015 Grammys Election Superheroe Winter TV Pop cooking Mindy Kaling BET television Sci-Fi Heroines Box Office Kids & Family Quiz dc singing competition Cartoon Network crime thriller robots Lucasfilm justice league historical drama Awards 2017 Adult Swim nature Creative Arts Emmys Thanksgiving adventure Vudu Awards Tour Pirates adaptation zombies Schedule boxoffice MCU jamie lee curtis Hulu USA Network VH1 GIFs medical drama FXX YouTube Premium Women's History Month Winners TIFF Pet Sematary FOX doctor who San Diego Comic-Con Lifetime game show finale Countdown Shudder Spectrum Originals 20th Century Fox Rocky Emmys President Holidays ITV 2016 based on movie 21st Century Fox Song of Ice and Fire spy thriller Watching Series The Arrangement BBC America Biopics social media Animation witnail DC Comics The CW Mary Poppins Returns political drama Rocketman Pride Month Ovation diversity TV Reality Competition blaxploitation Mary poppins Warner Bros. Sony Pictures Britbox Video Games disaster