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City of Angels (1998)

tomatometer

65

Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

83

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 344,695

My Rating

Movie Info

An angel must decide if love is more important than eternal peace in this Americanized adaptation of Wim Wenders' modern classic Wings of Desire. Seth (Nicholas Cage) is an angel who hovers over the city of Los Angeles, listening to people's thoughts, observing their lives, and guiding them to the next world when they die. While Seth and his fellow angels try to offer comfort to people as they can, they are discouraged from direct contact with humans and are usually invisible to them. While at a

PG-13,

Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Dana Stevens

Sep 29, 1998

Warner Home Video

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Cast

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All Critics (63) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (25) | DVD (9)

Strains to achieve the enchantingly sublime, but ends up sinking to the depressingly ridiculous.

April 27, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As a remake it's not as poetic as Wenders' masterpiece Wings of Desire, but it's supremely mounted (by ace lenser John Seale) and contains touching performances from Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan deviating from their respective screen images.

June 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funnier than Wenders' version, and it also succeeds in visualising LA as a magical city while dealing intelligently with the themes of mortality, sacrifice, free will, and the mixed blessings of the human condition.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comment (1)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

My face had been locked in that goofy, awestruck expression you experience only in Spielberg movies. City of Angels demonstrates the best kind of emotionally manipulative filmmaking.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A lovely oddity.

April 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It manages to leave a pleasant afterglow for those in the mood for its kind of loving.

February 14, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Glossy romance as an angel falls for a surgeon.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The movie's eerie, slightly menacing vision of black-clad angels lurking in the shadowy corners of unsuspecting lives is genuinely haunting.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A good deal better than it has any right to be.

September 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

An emotionally uninvolving flick that attempts to play on the heart strings of the viewer and fails in its effort.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews | Comment (1)
Reeling Reviews

City of Angels is the sort of compromised movie that could have been almost good, but decided to be a great big hit instead.

January 2, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

City of Angels raises theological questions, albeit in a somewhat pedestrian manner, and makes them an integral part of its otherwise formulaic plot.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

Superb imagery can't compensate for deficiencies of Dana Steven's script and can't hide the formulaic nature of this film.

June 2, 2004 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

This useless remake lacks the sheer ethereal beauty of the original Wings of Desire.

October 6, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Why would anyone remake Wim Wenders' masterpiece, Wings of Desire? Certainly not for artistic reasons.

August 11, 2003
AboutFilm.com

A thinking person's film for those who can't think.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

A beautiful film in many ways.

February 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Quips Online
Film Quips Online

Marries romance and faith in a love story as charming as a handmade valentine. It is so lovely to look at and so sincere in intent that its flaws don't matter much.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Walking out of the theater, I felt different. The film made me realize how wonderful life could be, how a thing as simple as wind on your face or the taste of a pear had value.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Uma pequena pérola que faz jus ao filme no qual foi inspirada.

May 31, 2002 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

I know a movie is good when I totally cease taking notes and then can find no adjectives to jot down. I was enthralled and yet not stupefied.

October 24, 2001 Full Review

Audience Reviews for City of Angels

She didn't believe in angels until she fell in love with one.

Saw it again! Excellent Movie! One of the best tragic romantic story I have ever seen. Great acting!

Angels are among us and when we feel an invisible presence, you better believe they are watching you. For a Los Angeles heart surgeon named Maggie, that is too much of a stretch. She believes that it is her job to save the lifes of her patients and when she meets Seth after visiting hours are over, he tells her it's simply just their time to go. She becomes intrigued by his presence and opinion. Seth is not just normal, he is an Angel. He meets Messinger while visiting patients. Messinger can see him because he was once a Angel but gave his power up to become human. This makes Seth want to become human so he can feel, smell, and love Maggie.
August 25, 2011
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

A soaring soundtrack and sweeping visuals embellish this tale, like the classic Death Takes A Holiday, of an immortal falling in love with a mortal. The script could use some prayer though.
June 25, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

    1. Maggie: No dying now, Mr. Messenger. Not until you give me Seth's phone number.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (4 months ago)
    1. Messinger: Some things are true whether you believe 'em or not.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Seth: I would rather have had one breath of her hair, one kiss of her mouth, one touch of her hand, than eternity without it. One.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Seth: To touch you, and to feel you. To be able to hold your hand right now. Do you know what that means to me? Do you? Do you know how much I love you?
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Seth: I always asked the dying what they liked best about living. Wrote it down in my book. This is it. This is what I like best.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Seth: I came to take Mr. Balford, and I saw you. I couldn't take my eyes off you. How you fought for him. And you looked right at me, like I was a man.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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Latest News on City of Angels

September 15, 2005:
Critical Consensus: Critics Thank "Heaven," But Don't Praise The "Lord"
This week at the movies brings us a supernatural romance ("Just Like Heaven"), a jaded...
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