City Lights Reviews

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Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
April 18, 2014
No filmmaker has ever been as successful as Chaplin in tugging at our heartstrings while simultaneously leaving us helpless in laughter, and this gem finds him operating at the peak of his abilities, even throwing his usual social critique into the mix.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Scott Tobias
The Dissolve
November 19, 2013
There's dignity and folly to The Tramp in City Lights, and everything in between.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Alexander Bakshy
The Nation
January 18, 2013
Chaplin's growing seriousness, his desire to be more than a mere comedian have deceived him into holding sentiment more precious than fun.
Blake Howard
2UE That Movie Show
April 28, 2012
City Lights gets to the heart of the Tramp. It is a beautiful romance about loving someone for who they are and not their social or economic status - and it features one of the most tear inducing and iconic endings in Hollywood history.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
A screen gem. Youngsters and up.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Dan Jardine
Slant Magazine
August 6, 2010
This is one of those rare creatures, the work of a master craftsman in full control of his craft.
Full Review | Original Score: 93/100

Film4
April 27, 2009
An enduring masterpiece.
Top Critic
Mark Bourne
Film.com
March 4, 2008
That final scene. Last week, CNN asked -- in "The Screening Room's Top 10 Romantic Moments" -- whether this was the most touching film moment of all time. Could be. Either way, if it doesn't move you, you're beyond human reach.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 4, 2008
With its themes of selflessness and grace, as well as its graceful intertwining of comedy and pathos, this is a fine time for a revisit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 19, 2007
Is this film still funny after 76 years? I think and hope it is.
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
December 2, 2007
Perfect.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Sid Silverman
Variety
June 27, 2007
The British comic is still the consummate pantomimist, unquestionably one of the greatest the stage or screen has ever known.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
June 27, 2007
A beautiful example of Chaplin's ability to turn narrative fragments into emotional wholes. The two halves of the film are sentiment and slapstick. They are not blended but woven into a pattern as eccentric as it is sublime.
Jay Antani
Cinema Writer
August 20, 2006
City Lights is a great gift to all of us by a filmmaker at a latter-day peak of his genius
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 22, 2006
Incredibly powerful and heartbreaking ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic

Time Out
June 24, 2006
Plenty of great moments, and the occasional comic use of sound.
Steve Crum
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers
June 16, 2006
Absolutely delightful, hilarious, heart breaking Chaplin classic.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Mordaunt Hall
New York Times
January 28, 2006
A film worked out with admirable artistry.
| Original Score: 5/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
September 21, 2004
The greatest and most touching finale of any film. Chaplin's masterpiece mixes comedy and sentiment. it makes you laugh, then brings a tear to your eye.
| Original Score: 5/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
August 25, 2004
Four years after the sound era began, Charlie Chaplin made a meticulously mimed tragi-comedy that found him at his most sentimental, but no less a genius.
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