Adam Markovitz
November 12, 2010 AT 05:00 AM EST

Basically a nifty VFX reel in search of a plot, Skyline follows a group of hard-bodied thirtysomethings (including Eric Balfour and Donald Faison, both of whom deserve better) trying to survive an alien invasion in L.A. They scream and bicker vacantly, but nobody’s buying a ticket to this movie to stare at a bunch of humans. The real stars are the descending swarm of tentacled brain-eaters that look like they were spawned at a cyborg seafood farm alongside the Cloverfield monster and District 9‘s prawns. Independently produced and helmed by the FX-wizard brothers Colin and Greg Strause, Skyline confirms what D9 first proposed: Sci-fi spectacles are no longer the sole domain of the megabudget director. With just a modicum of money (reportedly around $10 million), the Strauses used their tech savvy to make a marvel of logistics that looks every bit as slick as a studio tentpole. It’s just a shame they haven’t figured out a way to CG a decent story. Yet. C+

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