Skyfall

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Thu Jul 21 2011

‘Were you expecting an exploding pen? We don’t really go in for that anymore.’ That’s Ben Whishaw’s Q to Daniel Craig’s James Bond in ‘Skyfall’ – a Bond movie that boldly struts forward while looking back over its shoulder to the past. That’s what the 007 films are all about – an evolving mix of tradition and progress – and here we have director Sam Mendes (‘American Beauty’, ‘Revolutionary Road’) bringing to the franchise a stately look, sombre mood and ample room to breathe. Saying that, the fiftieth anniversary of the 007 movie project demands the odd knowing wink, to the likes of the classic Aston Martin DB5 from ‘Goldfinger’ and even the crocodiles that Roger Moore hops across in ‘Live and Let Die’.

The Bond films are savvy magpies, smartly pinching the shiniest, newest jewels of moviemaking for themselves. 2008’s ‘Quantum of Solace’ came a cropper by putting its hand too obviously in the till of the ‘Bourne’ films. But ‘Skyfall’ much more subtly takes its cues not only from the current, moodier breed of superhero movies, but also from the world around us. There are nods to terrorism, data theft, hacking and even attention-grabbing government inquiries – but nothing is specific or exact enough to mean anything significant. This is a Bond movie: atmosphere is all. The appearance of contemporary relevance is enough.

The story sees Bond in an emotional crisis after a failed mission to Istanbul leaves the names of secret agents in the hands of an unknown villain. Trips to Shanghai and Macau follow as 007 pulls himself together and tries to find the culprit for Judi Dench’s M and Ralph Fiennes’s Mallory, her Whitehall superior. There’s trouble at home, too, as a bomb explodes in the MI6 building in London and it becomes clear that M is under threat.

Meanwhile, a delicious foe emerges in Silva (Javier Bardem), a camp, creepy and smooth character who dares to challenge Bond’s masculinity in an arresting scene in which his hands run up 007’s legs. But the film’s many commercial sponsors can rest easy: Craig’s harried, stern Bond is as inscrutable and wordless as ever. He has plenty of welcome one-liners (‘I’m just changing carriages,’ he quips, leaping from the roof of one train car to the next), but delivers them like someone cracking gags at a funeral.

‘Skyfall’ is a highly distinctive Bond movie. It has some stunning visual touches: motorbikes racing along the roof of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar; the neon playing off the precipitous glass of a skyscraper in Shanghai; the Scottish landscapes of its bleak finale. Also, it mostly manages to convince us that there’s something at stake by giving a hint of Bond’s emotional life beyond this story: rooting his crisis in his relationship (or lack of) with his parents, without coming on too heavy-handed or pleading with the psychology.

Mendes knows there’s a risk of coming over po-faced by omitting the traditional pleasures of a Bond movie, and his approach seems calculated to stick to the formula while moving things forward. Still, the role of the Bond girls, played by Naomie Harris as a MI6 colleague and Bérénice Marlohe as a femme fatale, feel token and underwhelming. The tourism element of ‘Skyfall’ – especially the Macau section – is awkward too.

It’s only in the second half of the film, which takes place entirely in the UK, that you get the feeling that Mendes has played the compulsory 007 cards that any Bond director has to. Now he’s properly able to get stuck into a more punchy, more unified mix of action, emotion and story that climaxes in a fittingly isolated and lonely final showdown between Bond and his latest nemesis. 

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Release details

UK release:

Fri Oct 26, 2012

Cinemas showing Skyfall

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Backyard Cinema

Camden Lock Place, London, NW1 8AF Show map/details

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    Backyard Cinema Camden Lock Place
    London
    NW1 8AF

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  • Wed Aug 27:

    • 21:00

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:13
  • 4 star:17
  • 3 star:11
  • 2 star:14
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|85
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Jason

If you haven't grown up with Bond films I can see why you would not like them. Totally unrealistic yes but Bond films are akin to a Bollywood film where male and female watchers revel in a fantasy of style, beauty and opulant imagery without a hint of fear that the heroes will not pevail. Escapism at its finest with Bond showing a seam of sensitivity that only adds to his grandueur

HappyNewYearfromHolland

Having watched all the Bond movies, this is the very first Bond movie which actually touched me. Brilliant acting, strong directing, interesting locations and a good script has resulted in the best Bond film ever for me personally. Almost two million perople in the Netherlands (and we only have about 17 million people here!) have already seen it so far making it one of the most successful movies ever at the Dutch box office and it was still completely sold out during the Christmas holidays: simply amazing and for this Bond movie deservedly so!

Jimmymackey

I wasn’t thinking Bourn franchise as much as I was Mission Impossible, but now that you mention it, I suppose Skyfall is a bit more introspective than Mission Impossible ever was. His “one liners�, although sarcastic, lack the same whit the old Bond possessed, and the exchange for realism in the new incarnation leaves me hoping for a smile, a laugh or a bit of cornball humor. My DISH coworker and I thought Casino Royale was the perfect update for Bond while keeping some of the “classic� elements. We watched with my DISH Blockbuster @Home subscription, which I like because I can return my Blockbuster @Home movie anytime I want without any extra charges, while only having to go to my mailbox which is on the porch. Saving time in my busy life is a priceless commodity these days, unlike when I used Redbox and went out in the snow to return it by 9 PM.

ghidera

Twat, Ludbrook! At least you could have resisted spoiling the film for those who have yet to see it! Idiot! I give it 3 stars, Casino Royal was more entertaining but I'll view this again and see.

Paul

Not a follower of Bond films but thought it might be an interesting night out. Just a load of nonsense, silly plot, poor acting. Do we really want to go out and leave our TVs showing stuff like Homeland, Kiling I, The Bridge to watch car chases and men in rooms with automatic weapons shooting at each other for several minutes and always missing. Judi Dench hopelessly miscast as M and Q had been watching too much Dr Who. As someone else said, ok for anyone under 11. Last few minutes an advert for the next film, why do people want to watch this stuff.

oli

BRILLIANT! Well this film re-invents the bond era, the past couple of bond films have been boring and un-inspiring . not this one, my eyes were fixed on the screen from start to finish. of course some of the scenes were un-realistic and Bond for the majority of the time seems in-vincible but thats classic bond. the plot was excellent and the script was witty and perfectly exucuted. Best bond film for a long time!

oli

BRILLIANT! Well this film re-invents the bond era, the past couple of bond films have been boring and un-inspiring . not this one, my eyes were fixed on the screen from start to finish. of course some of the scenes were un-realistic and Bond for the majority of the time seems in-vincible but thats classic bond. the plot was excellent and the script was witty and perfectly exucuted. Best bond film for a long time!

Nazir

Great to recognise so many London landmarks and great that a black face has been introduced in a central character. First part was great. second part a little long and started to drag. Went to see it twice, and second time round the story came together. Definitely worth seeing a second time for all the things you missed the first time around. Love the Istanbul screens too.

R. HUNTER

a boreing movie in a cold setting, the cinema I mean. Adverts were nearly as long as the Movie and wont go there again to freeze.

justen

i really enjoyed the latest installment of the bond film, it has plenty of action for all the family - but i wouldnt bring my grandmother as she has heart problems at the moment. highly recommend going to see this at the Imax if you can get tickets!

justen

i really enjoyed the latest installment of the bond film, it has plenty of action for all the family - but i wouldnt bring my grandmother as she has heart problems at the moment. highly recommend going to see this at the Imax if you can get tickets!

Justen

I really enjoy this film, the plot was well written - great cast, shows the highlights of london and plenty of explosions.. top marks!!

Justen

I really enjoy this film, the plot was well written - great cast, shows the highlights of london and plenty of explosions.. top marks!!

Paula

awesome movie. really loved it. I finally started liking Daniel Craig.

Paula

awesome movie. really loved it. I finally started liking Daniel Craig.

Paula

awesome movie. really loved it. I finally started liking Daniel Craig.

Paula

awesome movie. really loved it. I finally started liking Daniel Craig.

Meredoc

It should be called Skyfail. I used to think one of the few reliable variables was the expanding universe and Time Out film reviews, however if TimeOut serious gives Skyfail a 4/5 then I will no longer refer to your reviews for guidance. Problems were: not good script, lack of acting ability, no pace or direction to the film. And the formulaic and jingoistic tone is not interesting.

TREGLE2000

I think the film was extremly tense all the way through but after a while during the middle of it, it started drag on and get slightly less humerous and boring but then towards the end the bond feel came back to the film as soon as the gun fight and aston DB5 came back from the grave, it was quite upsetting at the end but i won't spoil it for you. But if you like Bond films i recomend it. i would give it four and a half stars.

ida

Entertaining, gripping.Other Bond films have had faux pas. why gripe at his one.At least it is believable

Peter Ludbrook

I wasn't expecting much and got even less! Other commentators have pointed out the the numerous holes in the plot but the script wasn't very good really. Even the one-liners aren't what they were. Notwithstanding some heroic work by the stunt team, most notably in the opening sequence, it was pretty uninvlving and much too long.. It's an interesting comparison that it's running time is about the same as the first half of 'Lawrence of Arabia' yet that film positively speeds by. Judi Dench was probably the best thing in the film yet even her death was totally unmoving. Bond's tears were about as convincing as the villain's wig!

Pam

It was entertaining and had good action. I would definitely recommend this one.

Pam

It was entertaining and had good action. I would definitely recommend this one.

Leopold

Stragely refreshing bond. Obviously not the best of the best, but still good enough to have a very entertaining evening. Happy to see it again (no doubt will). 4/5

Darby

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!!!! I have never been a bond fan until I went to go see this movie...IN IMAX!!!!!!! I heard Adele's "Skyfall" and fell in love. GO SEE THIS MOVIE...when iti comes out on DVD...I'M GETTING IT!!!!!

Darby

I LOVED THIS MOVIE!!!!!! I have never been a bond fan until I went to go see this movie...IN IMAX!!!!!!! I heard Adele's "Skyfall" and fell in love. GO SEE THIS MOVIE...when iti comes out on DVD...I'M GETTING IT!!!!!

Annie

Wow we LOVED this - went to see it 3 times - want to own the DVD - wonderful action - fast-paced - emotionally engaging - funny - slick and sophisticated - visually stunning - the villain was believable - made my skin crawl - Craig was eatable. The best Bond ever !!!

Annie

Wow we LOVED this - went to see it 3 times - want to own the DVD - wonderful action - fast-paced - emotionally engaging - funny - slick and sophisticated - visually stunning - the villain was believable - made my skin crawl - Craig was eatable. The best Bond ever !!!

Robert

I was eagerly looking forward to this film, but it was a real disappointment. Ok there were one or two good action scenes, but we have seen them before and the script was poor and thin. What let it down most of all was the lack of plot. Daniel Craig was also not up to scratch - the only really telling part of the film was when he was declared to be past his sell by date. Hopefully that will be dealt with in the next Bond film. Skyfall was reasonably enjoyable without being rivetting - but unfortunately you don't have to think hard to think of something better to do with your time.

Lefteris

As an old fan of Bond films, i found this film very disappointing. As other reviewers pointed out already, the cars, the girls, the exotic locations, the gadgets are all missing. But whats missing the most is Bond and a plot. Craigs Bond lacks charisma and charm, self-sarcasm and cosmopolitan feeling, whilst his physique , is more appropriate for an aging night club bouncer than a suit from Savile Row. He struggles to deliver his one -liners and convince. And what can i say about the script: it is just plain stupid. Bond is given a radio transmitter so that his position can be located as if the signal from his mobile phone is not good enough; Bond choses to take M to some deserted castle in Scotland, cause hey, there is no better place to protect her than in the middle of nowhere with shotguns for shooting pheasants; M, the head of M16 is trying to hide in the night with a torch in her hand...and the list is endless. Oh, did i mention that Bond , for the first time in all films, fails his mission in the end? Or that he previously admits a homosexual experience? I bet thats Craig own contribution to the script. I have seen some bad films in my life that were somehow entertaining to watch. This was just painful and boring.

umit yayla

If you are below 11 and your dad is the strongest man in the world, then don't miss it boy!! for the remaining rest, just a waste of time. What a mess ! this film is a manifest of nonsense.

Kevin

I was under the impression that "James Bond" was just a name that everybody who was promoted to 007 was given when the last one got killed in the line of duty. I must be wrong because Albert Finney, playing an old retainer, clearly calls Daniel Craig "James Bond" when he has no idea that he is a British agent and is clearly using it as his real name. Does this mean that every Bond from Connery onwards is actually the same Bond? And I always thought that "00's" had a short life!

critique

Emmmmm hits the nail right on the head in describing this as a "comic book" movie. It is competently styled popcorn nonsense ,nothing more. Charmless, unengaging and, for my eyss, downright tedious.

Gort

The movie is utter garbage. Villain is obviously based on Julian Assange so the whole movie is a propaganda against him. It's sad to see a man who outed video (among other stuff) US soldiers killing innocent children and civilians as this perverse monster while real perpetrators are still not just being unprosecuted but also paying for this movie. The other thing is the total superficial thing going about this movie about rich and muscly guy seducing women from the covers of the magazines. Bah! I felt like someone took a dump on my brain after watching this awful movie.

Numpty

A Derivative reboot of the franchise, that borrows huge chunks from the likes of Bourne, 'Dark Knight Rises', 'Silence of Lambs' etc. etc. etc. The formula is implemented well enough, but for all the run-arround there's not a spark of whit, intelligence, sexual chemistry, or intrigue. After half an hour, I was just plain bored! . Javier Bardem makes a decent baddie, who tastefully blows up MI6's arrogant Thameside headquarters (hurrah!) . There are a couple of decent stunts, in the best tradition. . The new M and Q are unmemorable and characterless. . Whilst still impeccably suited, Craig's rugby player build is too chunky for Bond.. and the addition of his new buzz cut hair-doo and ear-coms.device makes him look more like a night club doorman. . The Scotish manor house at the end is an emotiveless CGI effort, (Ala: Woman in Black). So no suspension of disbelief . Did I mention I was bored..?

Emmmmm

If you like spys and spying Homeland has more relevance and excellent acting and a pretty good relevant script than this in its little finger. God knows what happened to Bond on this movie. They wee actually getting back on track with contemporary issues and spying in the last two films and then suddenly this load of nonsense. I genuinely hate all comic book movies so this was just a horrible mess of a film that has nothing to do with classic British spy movies or fiction. Genuinely horrible movie.

Jay

Bond is Back! I found the direction by Sam Mendes (surprisingly) adroit. After Marc Forster's disatrous attempts at bringing Bond forward, this does heal the wound somewhat. Flawed? Of course - but one heck of a good night out at the cinema. Nice to see that Daniel Craig has fully honed in on the character. Just please if you will bring back the gunbarrel: It is the franchises' iconic trademark - one seems to forget that.

Filmy Bob

I went to this film in Reading last night and most of the audience were grumbling on leaving the cinema. I really did think it was a waste of money and not entertaining. I have seen positive reviews and respect those who make the and are genuine customers. But looking at the dissatisfied cinema customers on this site and others, who felt that Skyfall was not a very good movie, I wonder at either the weighting or the sources of comments which have bumped this film up. The plot, if there could be said to be one, was flimsy and almost incomprehensible. The Bond themes, action, women, cars were all missing. Even the Bond character was missing. This was a dull dull film.

Samuel

Sorry folks, but found this a cliched, badly written mess from the start - no wonder they’ve thrown so much money at marketing it. For starters there are terrible holes in the plot - for a film that’s supposed to be celebrating 50 years of Bond, I’m certain Ian Fleming would be turning in his grave over this muddle. Though Bardem can be a great actor, in this he’s terrible - then again he’s working with a script worse than the last Dan Craig/Bond - Quantum of Solace - which was widely paned. The whole house at Skyfall thing for the last 45 mins is terrible - more holes than a colander. As the head of MI5 would ‘M’ really be walking away from trouble/Bardem-and-the-baddies in the dead of night with a torch in her hand (to clearly indicate where he should head to bump her off)? Painful to watch. A ten-year old could come up with a less holey/lace-like story than this. As someone else here says, possibly worth turning on on Boxing Day in a few years (but only if you’ve had a few to drink and are prepared to snooze through those last 45 mins).

Danuta in Glasgow

well sorry folks but i loved every minute of it !! Absolutley! So much so that when it finished I went back downstairs for another ticket to view it again! It's action packed, the settings are brilliant, plotline was good - Bardem is a fantastic baddie and a good match for Bond. The house Skyfall was a good way to take it all back to Bonds' beginnings as a boy. As were the references to past Bond movies - little ocmments about exploding pens /use of the old car. Also liked the opening credits and song by Adele - it's a very worthy Bond theme! Yes I thoroughly enjoyed it - one point tho - the rooftop chase thru Istanbul on the bikes was the same rooftop featured in the Taken 2 film! Hmmm.

Danuta in Glasgow

well sorry folks but i loved every minute of it !! Absolutley! So much so that when it finished I went back downstairs for another ticket to view it again! It's action packed, the settings are brilliant, plotline was good - Bardem is a fantastic baddie and a good match for Bond. The house Skyfall was a good way to take it all back to Bonds' beginnings as a boy. As were the references to past Bond movies - little ocmments about exploding pens /use of the old car. Also liked the opening credits and song by Adele - it's a very worthy Bond theme! Yes I thoroughly enjoyed it - one point tho - the rooftop chase thru Istanbul on the bikes was the same rooftop featured in the Taken 2 film! Hmmm.

Ray

Yes, rather disappointing after the hype. Brilliant set pieces, but everyone phoned in their lines, even Judi Dench, apart from the excellent villain and one or two others. The script was, frankly, crap.

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