Critics Consensus

Well-cast yet derivative, Skyscraper isn't exactly a towering action thriller feat, but it's solidly constructed enough to stand among the genre's more mildly diverting features.



Total Count: 266


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,105
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Movie Info

Global icon Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary's SKYSCRAPER as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building...above the fire line.

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Dwayne Johnson
as Will Sawyer
Neve Campbell
as Sarah Sawyer
Chin Han
as Zhao Long Ji
Noah Taylor
as Mr. Pierce
Roland Møller
as Kores Botha
Byron Mann
as Inspector Wu
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Critic Reviews for Skyscraper

All Critics (266) | Top Critics (39)

  • With a panache worthy of Oscar Wilde, Johnson delivers lines such as: "This is stupid!"

    Jul 17, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Along with Johnson's rippling physique and heroic fingertips, the film's chief asset is the creatively conceived title object-the very tall building.

    Jul 16, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Oliver Jones

    Top Critic
  • It would be fair to say that Skyscraper does what it sets out to do but the unambitious agenda isn't something I'm especially interested in watching.

    Jul 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The pleasures here come from watching an extraordinary physical specimen go through a lo-tech workout routine thousands of feet above the ground as he tries to rescue his family from a burning superskyscraper.

    Jul 13, 2018 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • As a streaming option on a slow night or a long flight, the movie has its uses. But you've seen almost all of this before, with more wit and a better villain.

    Jul 13, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Skyscraper itself defies gravity - and plain sense, and humour, and self-awareness, and most things even a dumb, hot-buttered blockbuster would have even a little of.

    Jul 13, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Skyscraper

  • May 24, 2019
    Dwayne Johnson stars in the Die Hard rip-off Skyscraper. When his family gets trapped in a newly built skyscraper that's under attack by mercenaries, ex-FBI agent Will Sawyer tries desperately to get into the building and save them. Unfortunately, Johnson is miscast and just doesn't work as an average joe family man. Still, the action scenes are incredibly exciting and dynamic. And the special effects work is really good, creating some amazing disaster sequences. Yet while it's entertaining and fun at times, Skyscraper is a pretty rote, by-the-numbers action film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 22, 2019
    I started to review this movie on my phone's Gmail app since, apparently, stupid me forgot that I've been without WiFi for almost two weeks now and I thought I could continue this review on my laptop when I booted it up. Oh, me, you amuse me. Let's move on shall we. And, since I can't actually copy and paste this in a second, I'm gonna copy from my own draft on Google and write it out on this notepad. We now return to your regularly scheduled programming. Look, I gotta give Dwayne Johnson, The Rocky, Rocky, whatever you wanna call him, a lot of credit for his flexibility and versatility. Oh, you thought that I meant in regards to the roles he plays. No, but you're adorable for thinking that. What I mean is that this guy seems to have chemistry with everybody he works with. And this goes back to his wrestling days. At least verbally, since mic work was a major part of what made The Rock one of the WWF's biggest stars in its history. In the ring it's another matter entirely, because it also depends on the other person that you're facing and, if the person you're facing is Raja Lion, an awful wrestler, (real wrestling geeks that watch Botchamania get that reference), then it's gonna be impossible for anyone to have chemistry with him, as great as they may be. The point is that Rock had the gift of gab and he had chemistry with absolutely everybody he faced off on the mic. And that, much to his credit, has clearly transferred itself to his movie career. I really do think that it would have been less difficult for him to be the major box office attraction that he is (one of the biggest, actually). Though, if I'm being fair, I think major box office attractions have to have that factor. Tom Cruise, love him or hate him, has that. Will Smith has it. Denzel Washington has it. Chris Pratt has it. Sam Rockwell has it, despite not being a major box office draw. But I think Dwayne takes it to a higher level. Not necessarily in terms of the quality of his movies, because that's all subjective. But, in my opinion, for the time being, Dwayne makes movies that I probably would have crucified if he was replaced by anyone else watchable. This wasn't always the case, as the Tooth Fairy and the Game Plan are stil awful movies. But, to my point, I had absolutely no issues with the Baywatch movie that everyone seemed to hate. I wasn't positive on it, mind you, but I was far more positive than most. And I think that's what Dwayne brings to the table and it's something that he has brought consistently for a few years now since, to my mind, I haven't rated a Rock movie lower than 2.5 stars. And this is dating back to reviews that were only posted on RottenTomatoes before I ever created my Letterboxd profile. Again, I should point out that his entire career hasn't been this way, I think it dates back to the first Fast and Furious movie he was in, which would be in 2011. That's a fairly long run, at least out of the films I've seen and reviewed, of not being in something that I thought was an outright stinker. And that streak doesn't end with this film. Dwayne probably makes this more watchable than it would have been otherwise. Though, if I'm being fair, there's nothing inherently terrible about this movie at its core. It's a movie about this man, who was part of a military hostage rescue team (one of their rescues, invariably, went wrong and it ended up with the death of this family he was meant to rescue and the loss of his leg), saving his wife and children from the burning skyscraper after it is taken over by criminals and, naturally, set on fire. The skyscraper is the tallest in the world, something like 220 stories tall or something. Conceptually, the film is fairly straightforward. The group of criminals want to kill the financier of the Pearl, the skyscraper in question, for some 'dirty secrets' Li (the financier) has stored in this drive. The Rock, on one leg and all, clearly HAS to save the fucking day. If it all sounds a little too much like The Towering Inferno had sex with Die Hard and they were both drunk then, really, that's because all this movie is. And, ultimately, in my mind, that's probably the biggest flaw about this movie. It feels too much like other movies that, at least in the case of Die Hard, people adore. You're REALLY not doing yourself any favors inviting comparisons to what is regarded, by a lot of people, to be one of the best action movies ever made. Regarding The Towering Inferno, which a lot of people also love, I don't really get their love and, I'm sure this will be an unpopular opinion, but I liked this much more than The Towering Inferno. TWI isn't a bad movie, it's just way too fucking long and unfocused for its own good. This has a much more concise and focused story, so that helps quite a lot. Admittedly, I do feel that the action sequences were good enough for what this movie was meant to be. This isn't gonna change the world in terms of action, but it provides thrilling scenes for casual audiences to get into. I also think The Rock is good, as he always tends to be, here. That's another thing, I don't think we give enough credit to how good he's actually become as an actor. Not suggesting he's ever gonna win a major acting award, but he's quite a good actor. And no, he's not quite a good actor for a wrestler. He's quite good in general. Like I said, he's a large part (and this man is fucking MASSIVE) of why the film is as watchable as it is to me. However I still do think that the comparisons to more famous movies doesn't really help this movie in the slightest. And, honestly, there's nothing really that spectacular ABOUT this movie anyway. I feel that might have played part in the film's, relatively, disappointing performance at the box office. I say relatively because, worldwide, it still made more than double its budget. With other movies, like Rampage and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, as recent examples, there was more of a hook. Rampage, it was the giant kaiju monsters fighting each other. Welcome to the Jungle was a pleasant, crowd-pleasing surprise that had a great cast. This movie, on the other hand, had the burning skyscraper and The Rock. That, apparently, was not enough to some people. There's just nothing about this that grabs your attention in any meaningful way, even if the movie ends up being quite decent and maybe even solid if I looked at it differently. Maybe I'm crazy, but there was nothing that I found terrible about this movie. I'm trying to think of something and nothing just comes up. It's nothing that you need to go out of your way to see, but there's worse ways to spend a couple of hours. I think there's enough solid action here to make a casual viewer happy, but the movie doesn't really achieve greatness on its own terms. It attempts to achieve greatness (spoiler: it doesn't) on the backs of the Towering Inferno and Die Hard. If the film had managed to find its own identity, which you can do even if you borrow from other movies (Tarantino has made a career of this), I think this would have been a much better movie. As it stands, this is an average movie that I had no problem watching. I wouldn't recommend it, but it's a must if you love The Rock. Because, really, if you love The Rock, you'd watch him eating popcorn and saying absolutely nothing for two hours. You disgust me with your low standards. Get out of here! Go on, git!
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2019
    Die Hard in a (X) is a pretty classic movie formula, it doesn't get as much play now as it did in the 80S and 90S, but we can still reliably expect at least one every couple of years, even now. But when it's Die Hard in a Skyscraper... I mean... That's just Die Hard. Even Die Hard 2 had the sensibility to be Die Hard in an Airport. Except that, no, this isn't just Die Hard, because (and I don't think anyone would be shocked to find this) it's not as good. I mean I love The Rock and all, but come on.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    So, you know Dwayne ï¿ 1/2The Rockï¿ 1/2Â? Johnson, right? Of course you do. Remember his movie from three months ago? "Rampage"? The one about The Rock stopping a giant gorilla from destroying Chicago? Maybe you do and maybe you donï¿ 1/2(TM)t (that could be due either to the fact you didnï¿ 1/2(TM)t see it or because itï¿ 1/2(TM)s pretty forgettable, but I digress). Regardless one of the news stories that broke around the time of that movieï¿ 1/2(TM)s release was the fact Johnson had the screenwriters re-write the climax of the film that had the genetically modified George die. The way this was re-written was that George instead faked his death so as to play a trick on Johnsonï¿ 1/2(TM)s character. Classic, huh? Johnson wanted this done so that the audience wouldnï¿ 1/2(TM)t go home on a dour note as they came to the movies and to that type of movie especially to enjoy light-hearted entertainment and not to see a CGI gorilla die. Well, that same guy who mandated the monkey didnï¿ 1/2(TM)t die in his last movie opens his new movie with a flashback scene that features a suicide bomber blowing himself up and murdering his own wife and kids along with him so, happy movie-going! If you consider this a spoiler, I apologize, but this plot point isnï¿ 1/2(TM)t brought up to spoil, but rather to open up the conversation about how from the word go "Skyscraper" essentially misses the mark it should have been shooting for the whole time. Why did it need to begin in this fashion? How was that decision going to be justified? I kept asking myself these questions as the film continued to march on even though in the first few expository scenes following that opening it became very clear as to why Johnsonï¿ 1/2(TM)s character was witness to and injured in the murder/suicide spurred by a father that included the unnecessary deaths of his wife and two young children-one boy and one girl. The movie quickly jumps forward a decade and establishes that Johnsonï¿ 1/2(TM)s Will Sawyer has since married the surgeon that saved his life that fateful night, Sarah (Neve Campbell), and that theyï¿ 1/2(TM)ve had a set of twins together-one boy and one girl. It is clear Sawyer will once again come face to face with the same predicament he faced in the opening sequence and will have to once again choose his actions very carefully in a scenario that could just as easily swing in one direction as it could another. I get it and I think most movie-goers who see more than three movies a year or have at least seen an action movie in their lifetime will get it, but the foreshadowing isnï¿ 1/2(TM)t the issue as in all actuality the script, from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber ("Dodgeball", "Weï¿ 1/2(TM)re the Millers", "Central Intelligence"), is especially symmetrical and pays off each of its set-ups quite nicely. More, the issue with opening your supposed summer popcorn movie among summer popcorn movies with such a scene is the tone it implies and the precedent it sets for the rest of your movie. Due to this decision, "Skyscraper" never recovers from being this bleak and bloody actioner with an unnecessarily high body count when all it really had to be was Dwayne ï¿ 1/2The Rockï¿ 1/2Â? Johnson stopping a giant fire from destroying his family as well as the worldï¿ 1/2(TM)s newest and tallest building. read the whole review at
    Philip P Super Reviewer

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