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

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