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City Hall (1996)


Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 13
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 8
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 11,325



Movie Info

Three A-list screenwriters -- (Nicholas Pileggi, Bo Goldman, and Paul Schrader) -- contributed to the script of this idealistic political drama. John Pappas (Al Pacino) is the popular, ethical Mayor of New York; Kevin Calhoun (John Cusack) is his even more idealistic and principled deputy. When a detective and mobster kill each other and an innocent six-year-old black child in a shootout, questions arise about what the cop was doing meeting with the gangster in the first place. The Mayor and his … More

R (adult situations/language, violence)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Ken Lipper , Paul Schrader , Nicholas Pileggi , Bo Goldman
In Theaters:
Jul 27, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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Critic Reviews for City Hall

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (11) | DVD (3)

Its chief pleasure is the acting of the big cast, notably Pacino. At 55, he has a haggard, life-wrestling beauty and a street eloquence that has more innocence than De Niro and more sincerity than Nicholson.

Full Review… | January 18, 2013
Top Critic

An ambitious but unsatisfying meditation on the morality of power.

Full Review… | May 5, 2007

Has all the ingredients for a solid drama but instead comes out a half-baked disappointment.

Full Review… | December 22, 2004

Convincing drama about the moral ambiguity of contemporary politics.

Full Review… | August 21, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for City Hall


A political thriller done good. It's all about the performances and it's all about New York, in all its seedy glory. All of the performances are good but you'd expect nothing less from such a talented cast. Pacino does however steal the show. The ending lets it down somewhat but it's easy to watch and it will be having you do the accent for hours later.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

More like Shitty Hall.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer


The acting is fairly good all around in this solid suspense film, but the script is a little too uninvolving to rise above a level of mediocrity. Pacino is superb, of course, performing with a range of emotions most actors can only dream of.

Mike T.

Super Reviewer


I have to say, I do like my political thrillers like the next person, but human interest and direct emotional connection must always be the primary concern of a movie, i my opinion. This one is just a mess and a confused and entangled heap of intrigue and chess, with no room for the characters to breath and spread the human energy. A stale and dry offering which never clicks, despite the good cast.

Henrik Schunk

Super Reviewer

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