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Dark City
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Dark City

1998
Sci-fi
Suspense/Thriller
1h 40m
Alex Proyas directs this futuristic thriller about a man (Sewell) waking up to find he is wanted for brutal murders he doesn't remember. Haunted by mysterious beings who stop time and alter reality, he seeks to unravel the riddle of his identity. [New Line]
Your probable score
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Dark City

1998
Sci-fi
Suspense/Thriller
1h 40m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 63.81% from 7407 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(7407)
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Rated 31 Dec 2013
98
99th
Bravo, Mr. Proyas! Though your masterpiece may, on its stunningly beautiful surface, appear to be a somewhat trashy mixture of sci-fi, noir and serial killer thriller, it's so much more than these things. It's film history's best take on the classic myth of The Chosen One. John Murdoch must save his world by confronting aliens who function as malevolent demiurges, in both the Platonic and Gnostic meanings of the word. Lubricated by Jones' epic score, 'Dark City' fucked our minds, late-90s-style.
Rated 30 Mar 2007
81
95th
Tough it has its plot flaws and wrong turns, Dark City is unique in its atmosphere. Gives a new meaning to neo-noir. If the movie had been able to stay away from matter of fact action sequences at the end and have the courage to take the "non-human look at humanity" route it would have been ground breaking. Kiefer, Jennifer, Proyas at their best.
Rated 08 Jun 2007
90
86th
Gets better with repeated viewings. The dark, cerebral sci-fi nature of it all is just so well put together.
Rated 09 Aug 2007
4
70th
A real treat for the eye; this contains some of the most memorable imagery in any movie I've seen. The City itself is an absolutely amazing setting, intimidating, mechanical, gothic. The themes are excellent, a truly interesting examination of what it is to be human, and it's supported by an exceptionally well-done science-fiction plot.
Rated 12 Mar 2011
80
85th
Regretfull for the days I've passed without watching this one. Yes.
Rated 23 Oct 2010
80
88th
How this one got past me in the nineties I do not understand. Proyas has created a small and claustrophobic masterpiece about a man who wakes up with no memory, and then we follow him on his quest to get it back and uncover the mysteries of Dark City, where the sun never seems to rise... To reveal more, would be a shame, instead I recommend this one to everyone who likes a dark mysterious thriller the way that they were made at the end of the millennium. Cause they dont make em like that anymore
Rated 30 Dec 2008
95
98th
I love this little sci-fi mystery the world seriously needs more movies like this. Overshadowed by the Matrix when it came out, but still a cult favorite to this day.
Rated 27 Mar 2007
85
83rd
Amazing sets and style. I especially loved Kiefer Sutherland's performance as the doctor and William Hurt was fantastic, though I wish he had a larger part in the film. A really enjoyable film-noirish sci-fi. Although the fight scenes didn't sit quite right with me the rest of the film more than makes up for it.
Rated 04 Apr 2010
5
97th
I'm definitely impressed. Good idea and script backed up with superb acting. I cannot understand how the same director could have made piece of crap like Knowing and this fine film. Overall it's outstanding sci-fi with marvellous soundtrack.
Rated 25 Apr 2013
95
93rd
One of the most underrated movies of all time. Incredible performances and a fully realized world.
Rated 23 Feb 2013
90
91st
Starts out mysterious, and gets full-on crazy. Impressive visual design. It's a better Matrix film than any of the Matrix films.
Rated 06 Jan 2010
90
94th
Blew my mind when I was ten years old, still really good last time I saw it
Rated 03 Dec 2008
90
93rd
A personal favorite. It's such a mysterious, intriguing film I can't take my eyes off it. Sewell, Hurt, and even Sutherland all do great jobs, and the direction is top-notch. The director's cut is even stronger, too. It's like a film noir/sci-fi blend that keeps you wondering just how it's all going to turn out. And a fantastic conclusion tops it all off.
Rated 17 Dec 2008
6
55th
A lot of style, not much substance. The city is beautiful and the movie really is imaginative. It's a shame the dialog is so awful. Kiefer Sutherland has done a lot of terrible movies but this could be the worst performance of his career. I laughed every time he was on screen.
Rated 12 Jan 2009
90
90th
One of the finest sci-fi films of the last decade or so. A great iconic look, an excellent cast, and a good premise make this one a keeper.
Rated 04 Feb 2009
80
80th
Excellent science fiction movie. It was probably the source of inspiration of a great success: Matrix.
Rated 23 Feb 2009
53
15th
Way overrated, with no sense of humour whatsoever to it. The lines were delivered with such Shakespearean solemnity that the whole thing became cheesy and laughable. And the film had no sense of pacing. Granted, it looked pretty.
Rated 30 Jan 2007
85
84th
A thoroughly bizarre but great work of science fiction. Strange pacing and a meticulously unraveling mystery make for engaging and creative noir.
Rated 22 Feb 2007
70
82nd
Excellent Sci Fi with a few twists and great effects.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
92
95th
Choose the director's cut over the theatrical. A fascinating meditation on what creates personality, though in the end, the conversations you have with the people you watched the movie with may be more important than the movie itself. The film is also beautiful to watch. The ending battle could have been less kitschy, but everything else is near perfect.
Rated 26 Apr 2011
80
77th
Massively divisive. Either you can let the oddities slide, or they can jolt you completely. I found it hugely worthwhile as it teases you with noir tropes, only to realise that those are the world of illusion in the fiction as well. It works on the film aesthetics level, the same way If On A Winter's Night A Traveller does for literature.
Rated 14 Jan 2008
80
71st
Neo-noir of the most masterful sort. Absurd yet with its own sets of logic. Candy for both mind and eyes alike.
Rated 27 Nov 2009
8
79th
Style. That is what this film was for me. The sets and general art direction shine through in this ominous feature. Nice to see where its usually the humans not quite understanding how the aliens/visitors go about life that the roles have been swapped here.
Rated 10 Sep 2008
93
93rd
Tells the same story of all 3 Matrix films, in less than 1/3 of the time! Visually magnificent, DC creates a world that completely envelops its audience and leaves you wanting more. If it weren't for its frenetic editing technique, this film might just be a masterpiece.
Rated 22 May 2013
49
11th
I enjoyed the noir aesthetic of the city scenes and found the concept behind it interesting, however, I could not enjoy the film due to the way in which both the concept and the important plot twist are dealt with so briefly (the concept does not seem to be dealt with at all, really). This, the ridiculous nature of the villains, which made me feel pained whenever they were on the screen, and the dodgy, tacky aesthetic of The Strangers' world sadly made it impossible for me to enjoy this film.
Rated 07 Jan 2007
85
88th
Wonderful dark timeless feel to this movie, and the strangers are creeeeepy. The narration seemed a bit clumsy. Without it we could have had a little more mystery to uncover along with the main character. Otherwise, great film.
Rated 10 Mar 2007
60
41st
so weeeeird!!!! and stupid.
Rated 25 Mar 2007
83
83rd
Very surreal and very creepy. Movie would have benefited from being perhaps twenty minutes longer, but it ain't no thing.
Rated 25 Mar 2007
95
97th
Classic. Very well done noir thriller that really messes with your mind and keeps your jaw open for the entire movie until your mind is turned upside down at the end.
Rated 04 Dec 2011
90
94th
A sci-fi film that actually forces you to ponder once the movie is finished. Philosophical undertones (search for the soul, nature vs nurture etc.) are readily available for those who want to see it.
Rated 03 May 2007
91
92nd
A fascinating idea, and an incredibly well-realized sci-fi short story kind of film. The tall men are perfectly creepy as well.
Rated 09 May 2007
95
97th
a total high score on the scale of one to awesome.
Rated 02 Aug 2009
90
55th
I blind-bought this movie and was extremely satisfied. Alex Proyas always gets me.
Rated 08 Jul 2007
95
98th
Everything about this movie is just so damn perfect. Performances, design, direction. Even the score is fun. This is the film that beat The Matrix to the punch.
Rated 13 Jul 2007
85
41st
Interesting concept, but just not that good.
Rated 24 Jul 2007
44
18th
This movie is kinda silly. There are lots of pointless, goofy aspects to it (aliens that chatter their teeth before doing something menacing, anyone?). The costumes (of the aliens, mostly) and the soundtrack are horrendously bad. The writing and acting are also pretty awkward, and plot holes abound. It is, however, much better than The Crow, at least.
Rated 03 Aug 2007
79
65th
Cool twist on the fake reality film genre that came out at the wrong time. You do have to wonder if this film would have been bigger had the matrix not come out at the same time. Still great to watch, and visually very pretty.
Rated 17 Jul 2009
73
59th
Good noir, good setup, shit ending.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
60
33rd
Some nice cinematography, but a silly and somewhat boring story.
Rated 24 Aug 2014
75
65th
"Ugh reprogrammed as a fart sniffer again!!!!"
Rated 07 Sep 2010
95
86th
love this movie -considering genre DC>Matrix
Rated 21 Sep 2010
80
56th
The action scenes were silly, the rest was pretty good.
Rated 24 Oct 2009
61
62nd
I loved this film when I first saw it. I still can see why. Cinematography is gorgeous. But it uses noir-ishness as some kind of gimmick. I always loved sci-fi. But this films focuses on action and CGI rather than on philosophical side of the story. As most Proyas films it gets worse with age. Teen movie.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
97
97th
A visually stunning and original science fiction movie. When Rufus Sewell wakes up in a dingy hotel room with no memory of how he got there, he finds himself contending with strange beings capable of altering reality and memories of a former life.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
90
86th
A stylish film-noir-meets-scifi classic with an original and compelling story. The art direction is just fantastic.
Rated 08 Apr 2013
92
92nd
a noir sci-fi masterpiece...it's like the conceptual father of the Matrix series and Inception
Rated 11 Mar 2015
95
97th
Oh man, do I love this movie. This stands as the culmination of the dark, super-atmospheric side of sci-fi that I have so much love for. Totally underrated. And I don't care what anybody says, I *love* Kiefer Sutherland in this.
Rated 05 Feb 2012
88
96th
This is a brilliant concept that comes to life with a visual style that comes closest to dreams. Beautiful!
Rated 28 Jan 2010
70
63rd
Sutherland performance or just the way he talked was horrible. The rest of the movie was good. Also Connelly looking beauitful helps to.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
95
93rd
Great movie, cool story.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
30
12th
IN WHAT WAY IS THIS A GOOD MOVIE? The climactic sequence consists of everybody getting superpowers and just standing there looking at each other, using the power of the mind to create awful special effects. The theatrical version spoils the big reveal in the first 60 seconds. The director`s cut is more mysterious, but boring because nothing makes any sense for the first hour or so. Furthermore, this contains some of the worst acting I've ever seen. Admit it, this movie is a train wreck.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
84
87th
It's a nice little escape experience. The concept is great and the movie is odd/creepy when it needs to be.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
81
78th
Great, great stuff. I loved it. Although I've always thought the casting of Sutherland here seemed like an odd choice. But he works well enough.
Rated 18 Aug 2017
80
89th
This is a supreme example of tight editing. The film progresses naturally and at a refreshing pace - great! -- (watched Director's Cut)
Rated 04 Oct 2009
80
75th
I watched the Director's Cut. Visually fantastic, with a really intriguing (and convoluted) plot. Loved Sutherland's bizarre performance.
Rated 08 Aug 2009
86
80th
My favourite sci-fi, and one of my favourite noirs. Such an awesome imaginative world, and the ending is great.
Rated 21 Aug 2007
93
97th
Excellent. One of the most underrated sci-fi films ever made deserving the title of a classic, a man wakes up with no memory of why he is wanted for murder and being hunted by bizarre tele-kynetic beings in a city where the sun never rises.
Rated 06 Sep 2023
80
50th
JP from Grandma's Boy escaped from this movie and attempted to become a game developer.
Rated 17 Dec 2012
25
12th
Take all the cliches of film noir and mix them in with all the cliches of science-fiction... making a genre hybrid is easy. It's a godawful movie but at least it's a sci-fi-noir.
Rated 06 Sep 2010
77
93rd
The direction is excellent, the sets are excellent, the atmosphere is excellent, and the concepts are excellent. I loved the very unique take on an alien/human encounter. One drawback for me, though, was the telekinesis; it isn't explained very well, and it can sometimes be used in a corny manner. Also, I feel like I might find more plot holes on a second viewing.
Rated 16 Sep 2007
85
94th
Often brilliant sci-fi fantasy with a solid cast and some great directing.
Rated 26 Feb 2012
3
32nd
Why is there so much talk of this movie influencing others when it clearly wants to be Blade Runner? Oh, but this has cartoon vampire villains and magical powers! Yeah.
Rated 26 Oct 2007
90
96th
9- excellent, awesome
Rated 18 Jan 2008
89
84th
Years ahead of its time
Rated 15 Sep 2012
91
91st
Worst role ever for Kiefer Sutherland. Rufus Sewell did not satisfy. Jennifer Connelly was gorgeous. William Hurt was excellent. A suitably weird, but sometimes stupid, plot was dark and often interesting. The action and strangeness makes up for the many potholes in the story. Aliens were poorly dressed humans and some bad SFX. Clever to have an entire city be a laboratory experiment in an alien world, but the script was overall a bit cheap and underdeveloped. Mostly good music. Worth watching.
Rated 06 Feb 2011
80
86th
Very stylish but flawed in places. Similar in many ways to The Matrix which came out soon after, with agents replaced by sinister aliens who seem to be based on vampires (dead bodies, death by water/sunlight). Doesn't hold up too well to repeat viewings, but everyone should see it once.
Rated 17 Aug 2010
45
85th
They do something special here with the art and set design. The way the city moves and changes is a thing of beauty, particularly when it becomes the focal point of an intense chase sequence. There is a lot to like in this film.
Rated 10 Feb 2008
90
87th
needs sequel
Rated 26 Feb 2008
70
53rd
The ending was a little corny, and I got tired of Keifer Sutherland's character, but it's still a pretty intriguing mystery with a great style/atmosphere.
Rated 31 Mar 2008
60
58th
An exceptionally pretty edit bonanza with an interesting dreamy story. Keifer's disjointed lines are kinda dumb, and it slows near the end, but my face is glued to the screen.
Rated 17 Apr 2008
70
67th
Top-shelf premise and awesome 'tuning' visuals, but the final film has some huge deficits, most noticeably overenthusiastic editing, aliens with unlimited mind powers starting knife fights, and a highly unsatisfying ending.
Rated 18 Apr 2015
70
38th
An interesting story-driven movie with a clever reason for the lack of character behind the characters, and the sci-fi noir Gothic style throughout is really nifty (though I wish the music score could match it, rather than be generic on-the-run orchestra music) and there's a few visual effects shots that really blew me away, despite this being released a reasonably long time ago. But, damn, there are some silly-as-fuck moments in here to ruin the mood, and the action sucks.
Rated 17 May 2008
85
89th
A crossover sci-fi/noir movie, that has some seriously sweet storyline. One can't say it's not original. A couple of the actors could have done better though.
Rated 05 Sep 2009
86
90th
Would have been truly stunning had it not been for the heavy-handed script. It explicates everything to such a point that it cheapens the beautiful imagery and burdens the viewer with the obvious and the cliched.
Rated 18 Feb 2012
73
74th
You should watch the Director's Cut.
Rated 15 May 2009
85
88th
Surprisingly good, i was expecting a mediocre mystery film and was blown away by both the story and the visuals.
Rated 18 Jul 2008
50
6th
Don't buy the hype. Only the set design, costumes, and cinematography are interesting. Concept-wise it's interesting: borrows from Matrix, Blade and a bit of Truman Show. But the execution is not fleshed out well. Lacks internal consistency and attention to detail. The script is bad ("I can change the whole world if I JUST CONCENTRATE!") The lead male is a B-movie ham. The score is programatic "dramatic strings". And the climax is akin to a videogame cut scene. A melodramatic comic book.
Rated 24 May 2012
80
88th
I used to work a twelve hour shift that started before the sun came up and ended after it went down. It feels as bleak as this movie pretends to be. In reality, I'd say it's near uplifting.
Rated 13 Jan 2011
70
54th
You wanted to know what it was about us that made us human. Well, you're not going to find it.. in here. You went looking in the wrong place.
Rated 12 Sep 2010
90
86th
an incredibly imaginative concept beautifully brought to life with very believable cgi. I wasn't sure that i would like it after reading so many negative comments, but i loved it. it's the kind of sci-fi that can deliver an obscure reality in a believable way.
Rated 11 Aug 2008
65
39th
Great idea that's brought down by some sub-par acting and ugly effects. Nice mood though.
Rated 21 Jun 2009
75
63rd
It's wonderfully stylish and atmospheric, with solid direction and performances somewhat a little doomed by the rushed screenplay.
Rated 17 Jan 2014
45
12th
Not as creative or original as it's legacy suggests, even when you ignore the Matrix comparisons. Its beautiful effects blended with a not-so-beautiful tone results in what looks like the careful craft of 80's Gilliam drenched by the ugly downpour of 90's edginess.
Rated 30 Aug 2020
75
64th
Really cool. Loved the vibe, loved the energy that this movie constantly gave off. It's at one time philosophical and visually endearing to look at. It might go on a few minutes longer than it should and some of its plot is more convoluted than a Blade Runner, for instance, but still a memorable movie of this style.
Rated 23 Sep 2008
92
94th
Brilliant, wonderful movie. Haven't seen for awhile, will review better later!
Rated 30 Dec 2010
95
90th
best alien film I've ever watched.
Rated 17 Oct 2008
95
98th
Just the right story with the right dark elements, a littie bit of sci-fi with 20's - 40's US culture and permanent night.
Rated 27 Oct 2008
90
90th
Extremely good Sci-fi movie that needs to be seen by anyone mildly interested in the genre.
Rated 15 Oct 2018
7
63rd
This movie could have been a masterpiece but fell short of the mark. The unique and creative premise, deep themes and sci-fi noir visual style were by far its biggest strengths. Unfortunately the plot itself felt somewhat half-baked and incomplete, almost as if they had no idea which direction to take it, the acting was uniformly awful especially from Kiefer, and the ending was cheesy as hell and almost ruined the film. It's definitely good enough for a watch, but could have been so much better.
Rated 02 Jan 2009
50
15th
Due to the fact that The Matrix re-used a lot of the sets, this film suffers from a comparison. Similar themes are shared too but this falls flat. And it's full of logic holes, not least of which is "why do aliens with a water phobia have so much of it around?" Weird for weirds sake, but at least it looks good and has a few good actors in it. Not one to avoid, but don't go hunting too hard either... Great concept, badly executed.
Rated 25 Dec 2009
86
71st
A stylish, absorbing thriller with excellent art direction and atmosphere.
Rated 02 Feb 2009
86
89th
Oozing with atmosphere, Dark City is wildly successful in combining noir with a very satisfying sci-fy oddness. The rushed script is unfortunate, at times, but ultimately it works. Constantly compared to a 1999 film that echoes many of the same themes, Dark City stands alone in its attempt to provide a simple trip into the bizarre.
Rated 06 Feb 2009
85
91st
Man, my friends and I played the hell out of the DVD game "Find Shell Beach". Also the movie is fantastic.
Rated 30 Apr 2012
80
82nd
It's a little on the campy side, but the premise is fantastic. It's a pretty unique sci-fi plot.
Rated 28 Dec 2011
90
96th
nearly a classic sci-noir.
Rated 07 May 2009
72
28th
Interesting premise, but you just dont care enough. Visually stunning, plot deficient.
Rated 02 Apr 2016
75
84th
Dark City creates a moody twilight world where aliens of a dying race bend time, space and memory at will to discover what makes us human. It's a noir influenced sci-fi about the nature of personal identity, but its philosophical points are more evocative than probing; they set the stage for a thrilling race against time that's visceral rather than explorative. The action is silly, but the production design is an expressionist's wet dream. It's a smart budget blockbuster that's a hell of a ride.
Rated 15 Dec 2006
90
96th
Do you like Matrix? Watch this and say what is better.
Rated 17 Jun 2007
60
47th
Not bad but not serious or together enough for me to take it too seriously
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
58th
Yes, nice film. Strange, but that's the appeal.

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