Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 19
  2. Negative: 4 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Feb 27, 2013
    67
    More chilling than terrifying, this movie’s predatory aliens are creatures that mostly mess with people’s heads prior to abducting them.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    Feb 22, 2013
    38
    Dark Skies is a bore that even the most forgiving genre buffs will find difficult to defend or endure.
  3. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Feb 22, 2013
    67
    While there are some scares along the way, Stewart foolishly gives away the whole kit and caboodle plot-wise with an opening quotation from Arthur C. Clarke.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 26, 2013
    83
    Dark Skies is about the fragility of family, a muted meditation on how precious it is...it does affirm that genre filmmakers who work with their eyes, their hearts and their brains still walk among us.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Feb 22, 2013
    40
    Really the biggest problem with Dark Skies is that Stewart can never quite decide just what story he is telling — a slow-burn horror parable or paranoid invasion flick — or whether to focus on this character or that, instead struggling to string together scares regardless of how they fit together overall.
  6. 50
    It’s a passably chilling bit of nonsense that builds on the past, the tropes of the genre, and relies on them for the odd jolt and the occasional ironic laugh.
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Feb 22, 2013
    40
    The pacing is so tedious and the action so unexciting that it's a real thrill when J.K. Simmons shows up as a wry alien expert — and a huge disappointment when he disappears a few minutes later.
  8. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Feb 22, 2013
    63
    Mostly, though, it all ends up feeling like a lost, minor episode of “The X-Files:” A little scary, a little silly and catnip for those who want to believe.
  9. Reviewed by: Peter Sobczynski
    Sep 9, 2014
    38
    In extending itself to reach a conventional feature length, however, it becomes a below-average programmer in which brief moments of interest are interrupted by long stretches of boredom.
  10. Feb 22, 2013
    38
    Scott Stewart's Dark Skies is the definitive horror film for the Tea Party era.
  11. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Feb 22, 2013
    58
    Good horror films are imprinted by the fears and anxieties of the day, converting real-life atrocities into abstracted scares; mediocre ones are imprinted, too, but with trends and commercial formulas. If Dark Skies resurfaced on TV or brain implant 20 or 30 years from now, horror fans would be able to carbon-date the film almost to the month.
  12. Reviewed by: Adam Nayman
    Feb 21, 2013
    38
    The characters are reluctant to believe in the face of overwhelming evidence, mostly because writer-director Scott Stewart doesn’t want to play his hand too early. By the time the movie is over, it’s easy to see why he kept his cards close to his chest. He’s not really holding anything.
  13. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Feb 26, 2013
    50
    Approaching the first half of the film fairly conventionally, Stewart then misses the opportunity to capitalize on shifting to more full-on genre mode.
  14. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Feb 23, 2013
    60
    Dark Skies certainly parades textbook genre trappings...But those elements are employed with consummate dexterity.
  15. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Feb 22, 2013
    50
    Alien abductions are a truly terrifying idea, and building an alien abduction movie on the template of "Poltergeist" is a great idea. But "Poltergeist" had one thing Dark Skies is sorely in need of: follow-through.
  16. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Feb 26, 2013
    60
    The real mystery of Dark Skies isn’t who’s pulling the paranormal pranks — it’s lanky visitors from above, not vengeful spirits from beyond — but why Dimension is treating this reasonably effective potboiler like something that should be hidden away at Area 51.
  17. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Mar 25, 2013
    60
    As a shocker, Scott Stewart’s (Priest) film is solid, but it’s the thoroughly depressing backdrop that you’ll take away.
  18. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Feb 23, 2013
    60
    In the end, a pretty good buildup to OK payoff without any real surprises en route makes Dark Skies feel just enough above average to make one wish it had one memorable spark of conceptual inspiration up its sleeve.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Feb 22, 2013
    50
    The movie builds a moderate, if less than monumental, level of spookiness, regardless of your ignorance. It’s a workmanlike piece of suspense.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 116 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 33
  2. Negative: 6 out of 33
  1. Feb 23, 2013
    8
    A pretty entertaining movie with a nice twist at the end. The only negative thing I have to say is that the husband (Josh Hamilton) is a terrible actor. Other than that worth the price of admission... Full Review »
  2. Mar 3, 2013
    0
    not good at all!!!!!!ZERO it was not good it was small potatoes it was cheap it was junk would not tell you to go see it very low rate no qualitynot not not not not not not not good at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! should be consider donation money to the actors just not likeable at all. Full Review »
  3. Feb 24, 2013
    1
    Wait for the DVD, this movie sucked on so many levels! Of course the social media and pr managers of this "movie" will say otherwise (as indicated by the overly enthusiastic reviews by some here and on Facebook, which leads one to wonder, "who's paying these people to give such glowing reviews for such an awful movie?" If you value your hard earned cash just watch "Close Encounters", "Poltergeist", "Paranormal Activity", and "Signs"...all those movies were much better executed AND had better actors. On the plus side, there were some extraordinarily funny scenes, they were unintentional, yet funny all the same. Full Review »