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.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
What he really was was one of a kind. Whether intentionally or not, "Koch" shows that that's not necessarily a bad thing.
| Original Score: 3/4
An emphasis on Koch the character obscures his administration.
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
The film advances no theories to explain his contradictions, only a thrilling, sometimes affecting account of what he did.
"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.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
"Koch" is a treasure trove of little moments that illuminate a famously cantankerous, sharp-elbowed, showboating personality.
A highlight-to-lowlight chronicle of the man's three terms as mayor, and in the case of any other mayor, such a narrow focus might have seemed reductive.
| Original Score: B+
I wish other questions had been asked, and pushed, and a lot more context provided.
| Original Score: 2/4
Koch presents an uncommonly juicy subject for a documentary, and filmmaker Neil Barsky makes the most of the opportunity.
If the film were even two minutes longer, it might constitute Koch overload. Luckily, Barsky knows when enough is enough, even if his subject doesn't.
It's hard to fault a documentary for being as slanted toward a subject as director Neil Barsky's "Koch" is when the movie chronicles as self-celebratory a figure as former Mayor Ed Koch.
| Original Score: 3/5
New York may be a safer, cleaner and less argumentative place than it was in the 1980s, but he remains as contentious, as mischievous and at times as inflammatory as ever.
Koch doesn't try to do anything radical as a piece of filmmaking, but Barsky -- a former newspaper reporter -- covers Koch's story magnificently as a journalist.
| Original Score: A-
If unlikely to change anyone's mind about its subject, it's an effective primer on a voluble and charismatic mayor who embodied the spirit of the city he loved.
Neither blind idolatry nor a definitive portrait; just a major missed opportunity content to loiter in the middle of the road.
The film is a canny balancing act, making Koch's arrogance so plain that you quickly move past it and concede that he accomplished remarkable things for a city that was broke and in chaos and with much of its housing stock in ruins.