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City of Ghosts (2003)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 14

Atmospheric, but that's about it.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 3,336

My Rating

Movie Info

Jimmy Cremmins has been working as a front man for a bogus insurance company set up by his longtime mentor, Marvin. In the aftermath of a disastrous hurricane, claims against their fabricated coverage come pouring in. With Marvin living as an expatriate in Southeast Asia, Jimmy is forced to face the subsequent chaos and investigation on his own. He decides instead to flee and re-group with Marvin in Asia, against Marvin's wishes. After a short stay in Bangkok, Jimmy goes to Cambodia in search of


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Matt Dillon, Barry Gifford, Michael J Jones

Oct 28, 2003


MGM Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (74) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (35) | DVD (23)

There is so much to admire in Matt Dillon's City of Ghosts that the feeling left over after watching it is an unsettling sense of disappointment and unfairness.

June 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While it won't be remembered as great cinema, it is actually a tight piece of film noir.

June 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the film is not short on ideas or implications, none of them is fully developed, leaving us little but atmosphere and warm whiskey to drink in.

June 5, 2003 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
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A long, winding, but decently layered modern film noir.

May 29, 2003
Arizona Republic
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Trades more effectively in states of alienated atmospheric delirium than it does the specific mechanics of plot.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dillon doesn't quite pull it off, but you've got to admire the guy's chutzpah.

May 9, 2003
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

can be criticised of many things, but wasting locations and local talent is not one of them

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

The surprise is not necessarily that Dillon has a unique voice, but rather that the voice is so bizarrely dark and uninhibitedly exotic.

December 27, 2004 Full Review Source:

Shows some promise in that it wants to say something, but there are plenty of forgettable moments to go along with it.

August 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

There's nothing interesting about this half-baked noir plot...

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

The movie fairly oozes with atmosphere, and its cast contains enough colorful characters to make Casablanca blush.

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Matt Dillon is a hero worried about his karma

October 16, 2003 Full Review Source:

Longtime actor, first-time director Matt Dillon relates an urgency and passion behind the camera, intent on telling us one story while showing us another.

July 31, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Dillon is so eager to show the duality of Cambodia, the grace and the grime, that he sacrifices major story elements to do so.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Though 'City of Ghosts' can't match its models, it takes us close enough to Greeneland to be a worthy homage and an impressive, though flawed, debut...well worth a look.

June 18, 2003 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

A bit of exotic neo-noir, clunky in parts and long, but often engaging and artfully atmospheric as well.

June 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian

In the end, it becomes clear that the missing ingredient in City of Ghosts is nothing more than some additional directing experience on the part of Dillon.

May 30, 2003 Full Review Source:

City of Ghosts dons a facade of independent filmmaking, but the core screams Hollywood rehash.

May 20, 2003
Palo Alto Weekly

It's the only film in which James Caan attempts karaoke in Cambodian. You'll want to plan your bathroom break for that scene.

May 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

City of Ghosts doesn't quite work, but it has its moments, and some of them just may be worth the price of admission.

May 17, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Though he has evolved beyond his star peak, [Dillon] remains a strong actor and is a gifted director.

May 16, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Union-Tribune
San Diego Union-Tribune

Fortunately, Dillon was smart enough to hire one of our best living crime authors Barry Gifford to co-write the screenplay.

May 11, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for City of Ghosts

There were some good elements to this film ? yet it didn?t quite work for me. Enjoyed Matt Dillan (and of course he Directed this film also), loved the not so typical choice of using Cambodia as the backdrop to the story and really enjoyed the music too. Pretty natural performances all around. For me the downfall lay not in the actual plot, but in the actual story of corruption ? I felt it was weak, confusing and slow moving at times, it was more of a working progress.
August 28, 2009

Super Reviewer

Matt Dillion starred in and directed this atmospheric and interesting noir piece. It has many good moments, seemingly promising more than it ultimately delivers. The biggest drawback is it's meandering nature, never quite hitting the notes it wants to. A multitude to plots are served up, but never satisfactorily seen through. Still, I really enjoyed the film's sense of place, captured through some great cinematography.
July 20, 2011
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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