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Dark City

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Australia, United States · 1998
Rated R · 1h 40m
Director Alex Proyas
Starring Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly
Genre Mystery, Science Fiction

John is wanted for a string of brutal murders — that he doesn’t remember committing. While on the run from the police, he stumbles into a nightmarish underworld controlled by a group of telekinetic beings known as “the Strangers.” But who is John — and who are they?

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


USA Today by

Fascinating, visionary filmmaking. With its amber-tinged palette and its distinctively dystopian view of life, it may be the most unique-looking film we've seen in ages...[but] defies logic and makes frightening and unexpected leaps.


TV Guide Magazine by Maitland McDonagh

It's all about the amazing look, cobbled together from an astonishingly evocative range of sources: "Nosferatu" and "Mad Love," "Brazil" and "Metropolis," a haunted mosaic of bits and pieces of movie memories.


L.A. Weekly by Manohla Dargis

[Proyas] hasn't yet learned how to enliven his characters as fully as his sets. Part of this is structural (somnolence is built into the script), but the greater fault lies with Proyas' direction of his performers, most of whom deliver their lines in a strangulated whisper.


Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington

Proyas' movie lacks a truly rich or compelling story -- although the city secret is certainly a rich and compelling idea. All too often, Dark City seems a great production design in search of a movie, an ultimate modern film noir pastiche, in which the images are so strong they overpower the drama. [27 Feb 1998]


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

A great visionary achievement, a film so original and exciting, it stirred my imagination like "Metropolis" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."


The New York Times by Stephen Holden

So relentlessly trippy in a fun-house sort of way that it could very easily inspire a daredevil cult of moviegoers who go back again and again to experience its mind-bending twists and turns. Although its story doesn't add up when you analyze it afterward, the movie does take you on a visually arresting ride that offers many unsettling surprises right up to a sentimental sunburst of an ending that has a paranoid undertone.

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