5.6/10
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The Skulls (2000)

PG-13 | | Action, Crime, Drama | 31 March 2000 (USA)
A senior at an ivy league college, who depends on scholarships and working on the side, gets accepted into the secret society The Skulls. He hopes it betters chances at Harvard but The Skulls is not what he thought and comes at a price.

Director:

Rob Cohen

Writer:

John Pogue
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Jackson ... Luke McNamara
Paul Walker ... Caleb Mandrake
Hill Harper ... Will Beckford
Leslie Bibb ... Chloe
Christopher McDonald ... Martin Lombard
Steve Harris ... Detective Sparrow
William Petersen ... Ames Levritt
Craig T. Nelson ... Litten Mandrake
David Asman David Asman ... Jason Pitcairn
Scott Gibson ... Travis Wheeler
Nigel Bennett ... Dr. Whitney
Andrew Kraulis ... McBride
Derek Aasland Derek Aasland ... Sullivan
Jennifer Melino Jennifer Melino ... J.J.
Noah Dalton Danby ... Hugh Mauberson (as Noah Danby)
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Storyline

Luke McNamara, a college senior from a working class background joins a secret elitist college fraternity organization called "The Skulls", in hope of gaining acceptance into Harvard Law School. At first seduced by the club's trapping of power and wealth, a series of disturbing incidents, such as his best friends suicide, leads Luke to investigate the true nature of the organization and the truth behind his friends supposed suicide. He starts realizing that his future and possibly his life is in danger. Written by Kyle <Kyleshivers@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If a secret society can give you everything you desire, imagine what they can take away. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lobanje See more »

Filming Locations:

Belfountain, Ontario, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,034,885, 2 April 2000

Gross USA:

$35,046,120

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,802,120
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Van Der Beek was considered for the role of Luke McNamara. See more »

Goofs

The Skulls are famous for tapping fifteen students a year. However the night after Luke is tapped Will asks him when Caleb Mandrake and his seven new friends walk in if he will introduce them. The seven men plus Caleb and Luke equals Nine. Six short of fifteen. See more »

Quotes

Monk: Get up and shut up, Mandrake!
Caleb Mandrake: I'm sorry, Mr. Monk.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD version includes deleted scenes showing: Luke working as a singing flower delivery boy; a longer bar scene; after the bar scene they stop off at the news office; what happens after they fall off the roof; judge Mandrake blackmailing Luke; judge Mandrake convincing Caleb to "confess". See more »

Connections

References Dirty Harry (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Dandy Life
Written by Ross Childress
Performed by Collective Soul
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting premise, poor presentation
30 October 2000 | by FlickJunkie-2See all my reviews

Though it poses a good moral dilemma, `Skulls' is presented in such an implausible way as to render it crippled at birth. Luke McNamara is a small town boy of modest means attending an Ivy League institution that is never really named but is obviously Yale. He is hoping to be called for membership into the Skulls, a secret society of great status and power. Members of this society have the doors of power, wealth and influence thrown wide to them. This is a dream come true for Luke, who spends much of his time fretting over the hundreds of thousands in student loans he is incurring. When he discovers that one of the members has committed a felony, he is torn between his desire for wealth, his loyalty to a friend, and his conscience.

Writer John Pogue (`U.S. Marshals') has conjured up a good moralistic tale, but it is so full of ridiculous premises that it becomes laughable. This is supposed to be a secret society where other than the members themselves, no one knows who the members are. Yet, Pogue and director Rob Cohen present it in such a way that they may as well be advertising their identities on TV. The building where the secret meetings take place is prominently marked with a Skull, and only members have keys to the building. So, Duh, anyone seen entering the building must be a Skull. New members get brand new $50,000 automobiles and $100,000 in cash, as if no one will notice this sudden burst of good fortune. The new members are branded on their wrist and we are supposed to believe that they will never be seen by anyone without their wristwatch on. The list of inconceivability goes on ad nauseam.

The acting is generally quite good. Joshua Jackson (`Cruel Intentions', `Urban Legend') is excellent as Luke. He plays the part with just the right combination of idealistic zeal and moral grounding. He gets great support from Paul Walker (`She's All That', `Varsity Blues') as Caleb Mandrake, the spoiled rich kid trying to step out of his father's shadow. Craig T. Nelson gives a wonderfully nefarious performance as the chairman of the Skulls and Caleb's father.

Maybe secret societies exist, and maybe they don't. The fact that no one is sure indicates that if they are more than mere myths, they are a lot more secret than depicted here. I rated this film a 6/10. It is an interesting idea that loses credibility in the telling.


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