Dark City

Starring: William Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly

Directed by: Alex Proyas

Produced by: New Line Cinema, Mystery Clock

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Genre: science fiction

Xibo's grade:


Average grade:



A- A- A-
Review by Xibo Date seen: March 1, 1998
Viewing Location: East Village, NYC Grade: A-
Summary: A fascinating tale in film noir.
This dark and gothic sci-fi fantasy delivers a city where it is always night, and at Midnight everyone falls asleep, strange alien creatures walk throughout the city, changing the landscape and replacing people's memories. As a result, no one can really remember what the city used to be like. One man, however, fails to fall asleep like everyone else, and he slowly learns about the secret aliens, and their grotesque motives. In film noir fashion, there are many scenes that are just tributes to the old days of cinema, such as the beautiful woman singing in a nightclub, or the seasoned detective in a trench coat. There's a lot going on in the film, but it's purely a fantasy, so don't expect realism. Expect surrealism instead. 

Review by Orion Date seen: March 1, 1998
Viewing Location: East Village, NYC Grade: A
Summary: Watch it, but not three times in two weeks
This movie had a lot going for it, especially if you find gothic imagery tied to film noir mystery with some sci-fi aliens thrown into the mix for good measure. I saw it and thought it was absolutely brilliant, and immediately thought 'on the second see, this will be awesome' ... well, it was merely good the second time, and then I foolishly watched it again. Bleah... just goes to show that mystery can be the most important aspect. But enough of that, the story, acting, direction, special effects, and twists and turns were all wonderful. I'm sure it will end up on my 'classics' shelf, next to Blade Runner and Alien. 

A+ A+ A+
Review by smeehrrr Date seen: February 2, 2000
Viewing Location: The Evil Empire Grade: A+
Summary: Thoughful science fiction
Take a Philip K. Dick story, cross it with a good Twilight Zone episode, throw in Blade Runner caliber production design, and cap it off with outstanding acting, and you've got Dark City. This under-appreciated film is, I think, destined to become one of the acknowledged classics of film SF. Buy the DVD, Roger Ebert's running commentary adds depths to the film that you might not pick up without an extensive background in film history. 

Review by hughjtoad Date seen: February 5, 2000
Viewing Location: rented it Grade: A
Summary: Matrix-Dark City double feature D))DZ!
It's interested to compare this film to the Matrix. They have a lot of similarities in the overall plot, but the Matrix (which I loved) is a much more traditional Hollywood take on it. Dark City has a great, oppressive atmosphere, and the deaths are very strong points in the film (not just random good looking people dying). It also has a wonderfully clever "solution" at the end. I wished Kiefer Sutherland had toned it down a little though.  

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