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Koch (2013)

tomatometer

82

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 362

My Rating

Movie Info

Former Mayor Ed Koch is the quintessential New Yorker. Still ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, the now 87-year-old Koch ruled New York from 1978 to 1989-a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Aug 26, 2013

$0.3M

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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (4)

He was certainly combative, and confident, and full of love for the city he governed with such gusto. Koch is a New York story for the whole world to appreciate.

April 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What he really was was one of a kind. Whether intentionally or not, "Koch" shows that that's not necessarily a bad thing.

April 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An emphasis on Koch the character obscures his administration.

March 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the film, more than two years in the making, was never intended as such, it plays like the kind of eulogy Koch would have approved - neither fawning nor eviscerating but always compelling.

March 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film advances no theories to explain his contradictions, only a thrilling, sometimes affecting account of what he did.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"How'm I doin'?" Koch famously asked anyone and everyone he passed by, rarely hanging around for the answer. In "Koch," for the most part, he does all right.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Both as a portrait of a changing New York City and the man who was at the epicentre of that evolution for over a decade, Koch is a delight.

August 28, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
The Playlist

An engaging if incomplete portrait of an unconventional politician.

May 17, 2013 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Forget "A Tale of Two Cities:" - the documentary "Koch" is a tale of two mayors. At LEAST two.

May 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The film neither glorifies nor vilifies. Instead, it treats triumphs and controversies with equal balance.

May 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

A fascinating, multi-faceted look at a very complicated man, a quintessential New Yorker who was both an uncommonly skilled politician and, at times, a tremendous jerk.

May 2, 2013 Full Review Source: EntertainmentTell
EntertainmentTell

The gift of Koch is that it embraces the clutter and volume of opinion about the man.

April 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

Captures the man, burnishes the myth and remembers the "mouth."

March 16, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Nation
Movie Nation

First-time filmmaker Neil Barsky does a generally remarkable job shuttling back and forth between clips from archival footage...and an intimate 2010 interview he conducted of Koch.

March 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Dearest
Movie Dearest

Neil Barsky's contentious documentary turns into a celebratory eulogy for the outspoken, opportunistic octogenarian.

March 2, 2013 Full Review Source: SSG Syndicate
SSG Syndicate

Barsky gained Koch's cooperation on the film -- the filmmaker interviewed his subject extensively -- yet his portrait of the man shows both his good and bad sides.

March 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

The former mayor is an alert onscreen presence, but the film surrounding him is not always so lively.

February 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The rise and fall from grace of a good Jewish boy gone bad who ostensibly sold out the Big Apple but never summoned up the courage to come out of the closet.

February 10, 2013 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

Audience Reviews for Koch

Barsky may have been a little too nice to Ed Koch with this film, but I appreciate the desire to openly examine his administration in all of it's little and big contradictions.
September 22, 2013
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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