Mad City (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Television journalist Max is in the right place at the right time when disgruntled security guard Sam holds a group of children hostage. Max tapes the event, all the while manipulating the story and coaching Sam's actions, and within hours it attracts national attention, creating a media circus.

Rating: PG-13 (for depiction of a hostage situation, including violence and brief language)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Tom Matthews
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 6, 2001
Warner Home Video


as Sam Baily

as Max Brackett

as Kevin Hollander

as Lou Potts

as Mrs. Banks

as Lemke

as Miss Rose

as CTN Junior Executive

as Bartholomew
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Mad City

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Critic Reviews for Mad City

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (15)

This simplistic and obvious expose about the manipulative power of the news media (lazily acted by Travoilta and Hoffman) is so familiar that it's not going to upset or provoke anyone.

Full Review… | August 21, 2006
Top Critic

A wanna-be event movie that merely reinvents the wheel.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Mad City is a waste of your time and money.

Full Review… | May 23, 2007
Houston Community Newspapers

...a film of mild pleasures and mild annoyances, alternately tired and clever yet ultimately dismissible.

Full Review… | July 8, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for Mad City

I quite liked this movie, dustin hoffman was brill and so was john travoltas acting.
John travlta is a security guard who gets sacked but he wants it back so it turns into a hostage situation with dustin playing the reporter and in the heeart of it all.
I think this is a brilliantly acted surperb film with a heart wrenching ending and something to relate to as well its has some humour and you feel sorry for travoltas character !
well worth a watch !!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


A thought-provoking thriller that takes embedded journalism to a new level when a TV reporter (Hoffman) finds himself trapped in an accidental hostage situation. John Travolta plays to perfection the role of a simple, irate museum security guard who just wants his job back. Costa-Gavras takes his scathing satire of media influence a bit too far, but as this was intended to be a mainstream movie he had to make the satire obvious. An interesting plot and enjoyable to watch even if it was a bit slow at times.

Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

Ginny  X

Super Reviewer

Mad City Quotes

– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Jesse K (2 years ago)

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