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The Skulls (Collector's Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Deep within the hallowed walls of Ivy League's most prominent campus, there exists a secret society where power and influence are bred. Only a few are chosen to join the group where Presidents are groomed, wealthy bloodlines bond, and devious plots are hatched. For Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson), an invitation to join the prestigious secret college organization, The Skulls, is a dream come true. But when a fellow pledge gets caught up in murder, Luke finds himself alone amidst the sinister and well-connected brotherhood and now he must summon the strength to stand up against immeasurable odds.


Think of the Skulls as a collegiate Freemason's society--an ultrasecret organization that opens the doors of power to a few lucky Ivy League students, including school rowing star Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson), a poor kid with a misspent youth. "If it's secret and it's elite, it can't be good," cautions his journalist roommate, but the lure of lavish gifts and cabal-like ceremonies in torch-lit stone chambers is too much to resist--until his roomie is murdered and his own Skull "soulmate" Caleb Mandrake (Paul Walker) is the number one suspect.

There's a campy kick to the initiation ceremonies, ancient rituals in dungeonlike alcoves filled with haze and shadow, performed by enthralled frat boys, but as Jackson flounders at the center of a Skull conspiracy it spins into ludicrous melodrama. See the college president become a thug for the Skull godfather! See street punks become high-tech criminal masterminds! See the conspiracy collapse under its own absurdity!

Jackson is pretty much a dud as the well-meaning hero, but Walker, with flashing eyes under furrowed brow, is mesmerizing as a haunted rich kid torn between a ruthless, overbearing father (Craig T. Nelson) and his conscience. Director Rob Cohen drives the film at a galloping pace and fills it with foreboding images, but his humorless solemnity finally buries The Skulls in a heap of clichés. --Sean Axmaker

Special Features

  • Spotlight on Location
  • Feature Commentary with Director Rob Cohen
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations
  • DVD-ROM Features

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Paul Walker, Joshua Jackson, Hill Harper, Leslie Bibb, Christopher McDonald
    • Directors: Rob Cohen
    • Writers: John Pogue
    • Producers: Neal H. Moritz, John Pogue
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
    • Dubbed: French
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000
    • Run Time: 107 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00004X13T
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Skulls (Collector's Edition)" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    The movie was well-paced, the acting good for the most part and the plot very well-designed.
    Phillip Schoppy
    I think in the end, with movies like this one, they have to be judged on whether the movie was entertaining or not; and this one was...just barely.
    The Skulls is about a secret society that has existed for decades in an Ivy League university.
    Matthew Horner

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Sonia on October 11, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    The Skulls finds us at Yale University, which you'll have to assume on your own like I did since they never actually say Yale. We meet Luke, who is a self-confessed former menace to society, working the cafeteria line and studying hard to make something of himself and hopefully go on to Harvard Law School. The only thing standing in the way of that goal for this young man is the fact that Harvard Law is a teensy weensy bit expensive.
    Luke, along with best friend Will (Hill Harper) and girlfriend Chloe (Leslie Bibb) speculate on his chances to be chosen to join the Skulls, a secret society on campus which is rumored to pay for such things as law school bills.
    It is the secrecy of the society that becomes a rift between Luke and his pals. His buddy Will speculates, "It's secret and it's elite - it can't be good." Insert ominous music here. By the stroke of midnight on that same eve, Luke finds himself in the midst of the Skulls initiation ceremony.
    The rules that govern the Skulls are grounded in loyalty to the other members, a willingness to do anything to protect the other members, and keeping the integrity of the Skulls by not divulging any of the proceedings to those on the outside.
    How can an organization that spawned no less than three U.S. Presidents be bad? Besides, you get a kickin' new watch to cover up the Skull logo they brand into your wrist, you've got money in your bank account, they set you up with a fancy car AND even if you have a girlfriend, they've got a couple more for you. Luke McNamara is thinking all this is too good to be true....and he's right, it is. It is only at the time of a murder cover-up that Luke begins to realize how corrupt the Skulls are and how high their influence and power runs.
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    10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Justin Long on December 20, 2000
    Format: DVD
    I recommend this movie to anyone considering joining a frat and/or is between the ages of 18-27. Rob Cohen does an excellent job in attempting to portray what goes on inside the walls of the "Skulls" secret society. The Skulls - a highly powerful secret society - provide third year college students with expensive cars, girls, and powerful ties...an enormous key to future political power. The lucky members chosen each year at midnight (approx. 15 ?) must go through intense hazing and rituals dating back to the early 1800's. Each prospective member unites with another to become soul mates. Each pair of soul mates tell each other their darkest secrets to become closer and to ensure loyalty in the most defying situation.
    In the movie, Luke (Joshua Jackson) demonstrates how joining the Skulls has placed tension on his friendship with Chloe (Leslie Bibb) and his roommate (Hill Harper). Sworn to keep the happenings of the Skulls a secret, the line between friendship and loyalty to the Skulls becomes very thin. Luke son learns that the Skulls are not only watching his every move, but they monitor his close friend Chloe as well...
    -A must see for college students!
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    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh on October 21, 2001
    Format: DVD
    The Skulls is a well-paced and well-acted thriller. Joshua Jackson is Luke McNamara. An Ivy League college student who isn't doing to well with paying his tuition. To certify his place in completing college and have a successful future, he wants in with the Skulls. An intermediate group of young men who are guaranteed anything they want in life. After getting in, Luke's life begins to fall apart as his best friend is murdered and his girlfriend is on the run. Should Luke trust the secret society and his new friend Caleb, or try to get out of the society alive?
    The Skulls, for some reason, gives me an at-home feeling. I kind of relate to each character in a way, and that shows that each actor gave a pretty good performance. Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, and Leslie Bibb shine as the leads. Craig T. Nelson also gives a nice performance. The plot and pacing of The Skulls is excellent. The scenes meant to be intense are just that, and scenes meant to be heartfelt and fun are just that too.
    The DVD isn't loaded, but it's pretty note worthy to any fan of the movie. A commentary is given by director Bob Cohen. I actually found this quiet entertaining as Cohen explains concepts of the movie and other things. There are a few deleted scenes with commentary by Cohen. It is seen why these were cut. There's also a Making Of featurette that works mostly as a promo spot. To round it up are the theatrical trailer and some very interesting production notes.
    For any fan of the movie or its stars, this DVD is a must have and a must keep.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason VINE VOICE on September 23, 2009
    Format: DVD
    The primary purpose of The Skulls is to give viewers and inside look at the lives of the influential power brokers who rule the world clandestinely through politics, nepotism, college admission grandfather clauses, and most importantly secret societies. Luke McNamara (Joshua Jackson) - roommate to snoopy school reporter Will (Hill Harper) - is one of the lucky few tapped to become a member of The Skulls, a prestigious and exclusive organization at his college. Paired with Caleb Mandrake (Paul Walker), the son of the current chairman, the two go through initiation (the cookie scene is conspicuously absent) and discover the political and power struggles within the organization, and lengths to which some might go to maintain control, are potentially life threatening.

    Secondary to the synopsis, however, The Skulls provides the viewer with four immutable truths.

    One, Joshua Jackson will never outlive his Pacey Witter role on Dawson's Creek. It is difficult to start your career as second fiddle to James Van Der Beek and live it down. It's reminiscent of the old farmer story, where he does wonderful things lifelong, various philanthropic endeavors, and feels he doesn't deserve the nickname he's been given when caught one fateful night in a barn with a farm animal. Some things can't be forgotten.

    Two, it provides the first meaningful and noticeable film time for the beautiful Leslie Bibb's (Ricky Bobby's wife on Talledega Nights). She exudes confidence, sexiness, compassion, and timing that helps a movie that is slow moving at times move along flawlessly.

    Three, societies like the Skull and Bones portrayed in this movie are irritatingly secretive. Told through the lens of a Skulls' benefits (i.e.
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    The Skulls (Collector's Edition)
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