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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 208
Fresh: 149 | Rotten: 59

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is slim on plot and characterization, but the visuals more than make up for it.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 42
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 14

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is slim on plot and characterization, but the visuals more than make up for it.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 118,424

My Rating

Movie Info

Famous scientists around the world have mysteriously disappeared and "Chronicle" reporters Polly Perkins, and ace aviator Sky Captain, are both on the investigation. Risking their lives as they travel to exotic places around the world, can the fearless duo stop Dr. Totenkopf, the evil mastermind behind a plot to destroy the earth? Aided by Franky Cook, commander of an all-female amphibious squadron, and technical genius Dex, Polly and Sky Captain may be our planet's only hope.

Jan 25, 2005


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All Critics (208) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (149) | Rotten (59) | DVD (40)

This debut feature by Kerry Conran is a triumph not only for its technical mastery but for its good taste.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The clincher is how the actors are reduced to puppets and ciphers; Paltrow straight-jacketed in her Hildy Johnson-style two-piece and the evidently bored Law reduced throughout half the movie to giving the gimlet eye through flying goggles.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Such an interestingly silly movie that I found myself idly wondering what particular audience was being targeted with its peculiar conceits and infinitude of special effects.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

His nostalgia enabled by technology, Conran takes the ghosts in his machine seriously, and the results appear at once meltingly lovely and intriguingly inhuman.

September 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Generally speaking, I'm not a big fan of style-over- substance movies, but this one is so gorgeous that it's possible to become literally lost in the richness of the images.

September 19, 2004 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately seems more like a fancy mechanical toy than a work of art we can warm up to.

September 18, 2004 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The script suffers from sloppy dialogue ("alert the amphibious squadron!") and plotting (a very vague Macguffin, risible exposition, two suspenseless countdown finales). But flimsy characterisation is the biggest problem ...

June 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Lots for both kids and adults to enjoy.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

he visuals are phenomenal, rendered with so much love and passion that each frame is a marvel just to behold.

September 3, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

It's innocent, wholesome fun with a lot of brains to it that kids and adults will love...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

"Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow" is a war movie without subtext. Its deliberate lack of moral coding and pandering effort to please audiences with a vintage cotton candy pulp that never was is more than a little insulting. At least it has Angelina

April 18, 2009 Full Review Source:

What made anyone believe this was a movie worth making or that there would be an audience for it?

April 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinefantastique | Comments (5)

Filled with style with a capital S, Sky Captain is a joyous combo of rollicking adventure, film noir and all the gee-whizzery of high-tech innovation.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Pure escapism saturates every frame of this exhilarating throwback to 1930s matinee serials.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

If there's any sensibility within the film other than a voracious geeky adoration of cliffhangers, I wasn't able to locate it.

October 31, 2007 Full Review Source:

It's obvious even from the character names that Mr. Conran has a good grasp on his source material. The problem is, he doesn't do anything with it.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

It's the story that gets in the wayof this magic show, coasting along a much more awkward path that finally hardly seems to matter.

March 31, 2007 Full Review
Long Island Press

Director Kerry Conran hasn't just mimicked his favorite serials and comic books. He's written a love letter to the full scope of 1930s and '40s films by basically making one.

October 11, 2006
Christianity Today

For its writer-director, Sky Captain was a labour of love. For almost everyone else -- including the wooden cast -- it's just a labour.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It should feel like Star Wars, yet it fails to feel like a movie at all. Conran has done his work almost too well. It's as if you're sitting in front of an outsize comic book with a speed reader as page-turner.

January 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Occasionally threatens to collapse under the weight of its own production, but all in all it's an exhilarating experience, and raises the bar for the use of digital technology in film.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

...takes the audience to the Shangra La of Lost Horizons, the undersea world of... 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and straight to King Kong's Skull Island.

July 25, 2005 Full Review Source:

delightfully anachronistic piece of digital mastery

June 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

The epitome of CGI's best and worst attributes.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Audience Reviews for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

After a second viewing, I lowered my rating significantly. This whole movie is exposition, with a ridiculously wooden plot. I appreciate the audacity of the style, but that's about it. Part of that early 2000s rash of terrible attempts to resurrect the 1940s style: lump this in with The Good German and Leatherheads, among other complete misfires.
March 28, 2014

Super Reviewer

A technical wonder of a tribute to the action/adventure films of 30's Hollywood ... lacking the most important element other than chills and thrills: character development, the human element, the ghost in the machine, the stuff that seduces an audience into caring about the schlubs jumping through hoops. The Indiana Jones series carry the same DNA and knew enough to break the action long enough so you got the impression of knowing the cliches always in harms way. This one regrettably misses that key ingredient. Still its a marvel of execution.
February 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

In an alternate version of wartime New York, a dashing mercenary tries to prevent the evil plot of a megalomaniacal German scientist and his army of giant robots. One of the first films to abandon sets and locations in favour of green screen CGI, Sky Captain still looks surprisingly good. As such, it can be blamed for everything from the sins of Lucas and Cameron to Sin City but although the CGI looks dated, the fact that it beautifully renders the retro look of the 1940s means that it never looks cheap and nasty. Add some gorgeous art deco production design and a very attractive cast and this film is still rather special to look at. The plot, although rather episodic and convoluted and often just an excuse to cue up another visual spectacle, does successfully capture the cheerful corniness of the Saturday morning serials it sets out to reproduce and although I did tune out from time to time when the actors' lips were moving, it never gets overly dull. An entertainingly cheesy homage to Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers that does exactly what it says on the tin.
July 13, 2011
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Nothing in this movie is real but the actors. Taking a similar approach like "Sin City", this one isn't a dark detective thriller but an extremely entertaining homage to B-adventure and -sci-fi-movies of the 1930s. Even the camera work and editing is mirroring that attempt, which might be a bit odd in the beginning for modern viewers, but has its very own charm. So the film takes all the elements of said movies: giant robots, mad scientists, valleys hiding forgotten kingdoms, secret islands with dinosaurs and rocket launch bases, and creates the funnest adventure Indiana Jones never had. Sure, none of the big names of the cast (Law! Paltrow! Jolie!) has to live up to their acting potential here, and some of the dialogs pretty much follow the standards of action movies. But the movie doesn't take itself too serious, the effects are great and gorgeous to look at and there is pretty much non-stop action. It's just a fun ride. Sadly, the big audience missed out on this highlight of the genre. The best movies are still the ones where a log is the bridge across a chasm.
June 15, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Polly Perkins: You mean you knew this the whole time and you let me think we were going to crash? I thought we were gonna die! You should have said something!
    2. Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan: Look, Polly, it was your idea to tag along, not mine. If you can't take it, that's not my fault.
    – Submitted by Victoria A (13 months ago)
    1. Polly Perkins: A man came to see me today, a scientist. He was terrified. Said someone was coming for him. I asked him who he was so afraid of and he repeated one name: Totenkopf. He nearly went white when he said it.
    2. Dex Dearborn: Totenkopf. Who is he?
    3. Polly Perkins: He's the invisible man. I've been through every library record twice, looking for anything. I've called every contact I have from Paris to Bangkok. This is the only thing I could dig up. He ran some kind of secret science unit outside of Berlin before the start of World War I. Something called Unit 11. It's been more than 30 years since anyone has spoken his name. Until today.
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Polly Perkins: I took a picture of the ground!
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Dr. Totenkopf: Who dares come before me? Who dares enter this place? What has begun cannot be stopped. The time for this world is over.
    2. Polly Perkins: Totenkopf.
    3. Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan: Hello, doctor. Why are you doing this
    4. Dr. Totenkopf: I have been witness to a world consumed by hatred and bent on self-destruction, watched as we have taken what was to be a paradise and failed in our responsibilites as its steward. I know now that the course of human race has set for itself cannot be changed. I am the last desperate chance for a doomed planet. Now, leave this place or die!
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Polly Perkins: Joe, I wanna ask you something and I want you to tell me the truth. I don't care one way or the other, I swear. I just need to know. The girl in Nanjing was Franky, wasn't it?
    2. Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan: Polly...
    3. Polly Perkins: How long were you seeing her?
    4. Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan: Look me in the eyes. I never fooled around on you. Never.
    5. Polly Perkins: I sabotaged your plane.
    6. Joe "Sky Captain" Sullivan: Three months.
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
    1. Polly Perkins: Wait a minute. I can see something now coming into sight above the Palisades. They're crossing Sixth Avenue... Fifth Avenue... they're a hundred yards away...
    2. Morris Paley: Polly. Polly!
    3. Polly Perkins: Oh, my God.
    – Submitted by Adam O (13 months ago)
View all quotes (12)

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