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Overall Rating
2.42

Awesome: 11.11%
Worth A Look: 9.88%
Average: 13.58%
Pretty Bad40.74%
Total Crap: 24.69%

5 reviews, 51 user ratings


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Skulls, The
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by Erik Childress

"Opportunity to Skewer Fraternities Wasted with Absurd Murder Plot"
2 stars

The Skulls (**) (Out of 4) – The Skulls starts out with a promising premise. There’s a secret society on a college campus more elite than any fraternity. The C.I.A. was founded inside its walls during World War II and, at least, three former U.S. Presidents were members. But instead of dealing with where the power comes from, how each member’s bank account is extraordinarily increased and given a 100 grand check upon “graduation”, we are witness to nothing more than a generic murder plot further trivialized by the fact that we know who the killers are and the society takes less and less pride about being secret trying to cover up just one.

Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson) belongs to an Ivy League school. After pulling off an unbelievable victory in a rowing competition, he is invited to become a member of the secret society identified by a skull in a circle. Thus, gone are the days of Luke and his roommate making fun of the institution and begin the contrived dialogue about Luke being interested in being a member once given the chance. “Friendship has no middle ground”, says the roommate, which is ridiculous since true friendship is the one place that should have a middle ground. Luke and the roommate reporter also have a Girl Friday in the form of Leslie Bibb from TV’s Popular. Luke’s relationship with her is misguided as he fears that she’ll have nothing to do with him due to her family’s wealth and his past from the wrong side of the tracks. Yet, there’s not a moment in the film when she’s anything but completely friendly with him, so much so that they always look like a couple, thus being no need for him to tell her “how he really feels about her.” Everything is simplified later in a, literally, steamy makeout session. Luke quickly makes a friend with another Skulls applicant (Paul Walker), who happens to be the son of the Skulls leader (Craig T. Nelson). As all rags-to-riches stories go, there’s the climb before the descent. Here the climb consists of beautiful young girls, hot cars, and naturally, money. The climb always carries some form of interest or envy to an audience wishing they could be so lucky. But when the descent involves your “best friend” committing suicide (or not), all you can think of is – Is this the best the writer could come up with? I always wondered why so many stories condemn success as evil, especially if you come from a blue collar or white trash background and actually made something out of yourself. Here, his old friends ridicule his college status (even before he becomes a skull), but have one hell of an apartment complete with a video system (with at least six TVs), that no one I know could afford or even need. If I wanted to hear violins I’d go see that Meryl Streep movie. Some things are fun to see in a modern-day movie, but how believable is it for secret societies of the rich and elite to have shotgun duels amidst dozen of witnesses?

How much of its history is fictionalized is uncertain, but a society called The Skulls does exist on many college grounds – one of them for certain here in Illinois. The screenwriter was reportedly a member of one of these secret societies during his college days and he misses a golden opportunity to skewer the system of fraternities. After some initial hazing and tests by the cloaked party members of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, we see that it’s not too shabby to be a Skull. And if some people would just keep their noses out of other people’s business, well, we might have a better movie. William Petersen, who plays a Kennedy-like Senator, has a final line that suggests we have been witness to nothing more than a morality tale. Just once, I’d like the hero to end up with the money.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1980&reviewer=198
originally posted: 03/31/00 10:47:39
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User Comments

8/07/14 Albert Valentin It was okay. Followed by two unnecessary sequels. 3 stars
9/03/08 Shaun Wallner This ones ok. 3 stars
10/11/06 Baldeadly Got it today for 4euro in HMV! GREAT! old skool but Good! 4 stars
6/28/05 Seamless Randy Edelman's opening score was good. The film itself was badly done & forgettable..Yuk! 1 stars
5/27/05 buddy horrible, josh and paul probably put it in each other. 1 stars
10/15/04 Vince Entertaining 4 stars
8/20/04 Hannah Joshua and Paul-very nice,I like it! 5 stars
7/29/04 DM Made by numbskulls 1 stars
1/15/04 Samuel i think this movie is very underrated i thought it was pretty decent 4 stars
1/08/04 A F It was very something or other! 2 stars
8/20/03 Monster W. Kung If you like this movie, you should be shot in the skull. 1 stars
5/21/03 Chewy This movie ROCKED! Paul Walker is so fucking hot! 5 stars
4/25/03 Jack Sommersby Initially involves but soon turns too darn silly. 2 stars
1/05/03 Sully well, movie was okay....nothing more than that.... 3 stars
11/12/02 Fonq35 The Skulls, the Snake and Skellingtons, the tosh and nonsense... 2 stars
6/28/02 Film Dude If anybody asks you to watch this, you break their nose. I'm serious. Fucking do it. 1 stars
6/13/02 Cat Great film, slightly lacking originality but still pretty enjoyable recommendable 4 stars
5/25/02 Film Guy Surprisingly good 4 stars
3/16/02 sarah z i loved it 4 stars
1/23/02 Andrew Carden I Guess It Depends If You're In The Mood For A Tasteless, But Suspenseful Movie. 3 stars
1/16/02 David A. It gets kind of preachy on the anti-elite schtick 3 stars
10/02/01 Phoenix Absolutly horrid. I couldn't believe what I was watching. 1 stars
9/04/01 Jagr Fricking Jones Awesome movie, see it now, do not wait. WE ARE WATCHING. 5 stars
8/19/01 Monster W. Kung Painfully stupid. The love scene, the rope and duel ones must be witnessed to be believed. 1 stars
6/25/01 Dean Ridiculous and lame-brained; the plot twists are some of the stupidest I've ever seen. 1 stars
6/03/01 Thrillhouse Bash my Lexus and I will punch you! 1 stars
5/11/01 nrh24 this was a very good movie 5 stars
5/03/01 JesseL This could have been a great movie but instead it.... 1 stars
5/01/01 Pete Zahut Who designed Skull Headquarters, Lex Luthor? What a waste of time 1 stars
4/25/01 MOVIE fuck but i´m fucker from SKULLS clan 4 stars
4/03/01 Boy In The Designer Bubble Break my car window and I'lll kill you too!!! 1 stars
3/23/01 TNT-6 Muahahahaha... People coming off the building with ropes... gimme a break. 2 stars
3/06/01 duke it was awesome 5 stars
2/05/01 Kate cute cast but nothing ever went below a superficial surface & the ending lacked any closure 2 stars
11/10/00 Andrei Raiu I liked the movie .......... maybe i'm just dumb. or maybe it's you??? :) 5 stars
11/09/00 Nicole I don't know who you "critics" think you are but I don't see any of you on the Big Screen. 5 stars
11/07/00 Matthew Bartley really really bad like a Scooby Doo movie gone wrong 1 stars
10/18/00 Monday Morning Not interesting, not intriguing, not frightening, not funny...NOT MUCH. 2 stars
7/09/00 Purple Monster A film for numbskulls !!! 2 stars
5/13/00 Kyle Broflovski I agree with Obi Wan & EMagGaRoni...to obvious to be sinister & too overhyped to deliver... 3 stars
4/29/00 caroline i loved it 5 stars
4/25/00 Obi Wan How secret can a society be...when it's mentioned every 3 minutes in the movie????? 3 stars
4/14/00 Des ahhh...entertaining... 3 stars
4/11/00 Nolan Wrage If the Skulls were a hush hush society, every one and their fucking brother knew about it 1 stars
4/09/00 EMagGaRony kind of pathetic... not scary at all... didn't live up to the hype.. 3 stars
4/07/00 Belac Drakeman Breezy entertainment; perfect way to spend a listless Wednesday afternoon, & Jackson rules 5 stars
4/06/00 "Persnickety" a good movie gone horribly wrong, nice way to screw it up! 3 stars
4/04/00 Mr. Kramitall what' with those Dawson's Creek and Party of Five casts? 2 stars
4/02/00 fb not a bad flick at all 4 stars
4/01/00 TimmyToday I couldn't stand to watch my club being slandered in such a stupid movie. 2 stars
3/31/00 Andi C. I thought it was good enough to see again 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  31-Mar-2000 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  06-Jul-2000 (M)




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