Silver City Reviews

Derek Adams
Time Out New York
Top Critic
August 16, 2007


Time Out
Top Critic
July 21, 2005

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
November 19, 2004

Sayles must have felt the need to weigh in on the last election. But if he was going to do it, a little more planning, writing -- and especially casting -- would have helped.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
October 6, 2004

The plot of Silver City is movieish in the extreme, with filthy abandoned mines subbing for the bars and alleys of urban noir, but it's no more than mild cheese.

Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
September 30, 2004

Though there's nothing wrong with moral outrage, it doesn't always aid the telling of a complex story. More subtlety might have worked better.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
September 23, 2004

Sayles has assembled a large, eclectic, talented cast.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
September 22, 2004

Sayles' prolix narrative, weighed down with subplots and characters and canvassing many social ills, dilutes the impact of a work that should nevertheless still make an impact on thoughtful viewers.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
September 22, 2004

Long, windy, diffuse in its message and blunt in its satire.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic
September 20, 2004

The latest collection of op-ed pieces from writer/director John Sayles, whose movies are usually easier to respect than enjoy.

Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
September 19, 2004

Using Dickie Pilager as a stand-in for George W. Bush seems too coy a tactic for these scabrous times. For better or worse, we want the real -- or at least, the 'real' -- deal.

Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

An uninvolving muddle.

David Edelstein
Slate
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

The movie takes off into the comic stratosphere in its first sequence and then slowly sinks to Earth, made logy by its noble means and Sayles' increasing inability to shoot anything but fat clots of undramatic talk in the most boring manner imaginable.

Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

The movie's so crowded, the story becomes strangled, and the political message Sayles is clearly aiming for loses its bite. But it's worth seeing, if only for Cooper's performance.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Wildly uneven.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Silver City is complex and literate, but if you're looking for a political satire this season, bring your own sense of humor.

Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Silver City does seem more like the work of a nuanced novelist than of a dynamic visual and dramatic talent.

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

A film that should involve us more than it does.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Silver City has a detective plot, important themes, clever lines and a passel of intriguing characters, but they're not put together in a way that holds your interest.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Booth
Denver Post
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

A terrible disappointment.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

If there's one thing Sayles has proved he's not gifted at over his long, respected career, it's comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Sayles' unabashedly partisan film moseys along in an unhurried fashion, encompassing myriad story lines yet taking the trouble to fully develop each of its many characters.

| Original Score: 3/4
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

It clearly hasn't occurred to anyone to try to say something new about these issues; instead we're reassured that we're in known territory.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

[Sayles] shows how lives can be unexpectedly connected, how hidden agendas can slip in under the radar, how information can travel and wound or kill.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Heard a good movie lately? John Sayles' Silver City is one you might try.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Would have been better served with a more dynamic hero and a leaner, darker plot.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
September 17, 2004

Its implications are so ploddingly obvious, you'll swear you wandered into a dank lecture room where today's topic is The Way the System Works.

A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

Every time Mr. Sayles faces a choice between high-minded didacticism and persuasive drama, you can almost hear him tapping the lectern for your full attention.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

If Silver City isn't in the same class as [Sayles'] Texas-shot Lone Star, it's still worth a look.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

This is an if-the-shoe-fits, non-partisan attack on the whole crummy, self-perpetuating System. And as such, it's a whole lot more disquieting.

| Original Score: 3/4
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

Compared to City of Hope, the director's fine state-of-the- American-city drama, this seems overpopulated and scattershot.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

The storytelling is slack and lackluster, the cliches rampant.

| Original Score: 1.5/4
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

It's an informed if skeptical look at the shady maneuvering, backslapping and arm-twisting that goes on behind the scenes in political campaigns, though in this case the story is fictional.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

Sayles wants to win our minds, and maybe our hearts. but once again, he ignores the seduction process.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

With more than 20 major speaking roles, this is an ambitious project by Sayles' indie standards. He handles that dimension of the project deftly. Where he bites off more than he can chew is in trying to make two movies into one.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

A thought-provoking and searing portrait of a country foundering in greed and cynicism, no longer a land of dreams but a nightmare of lapsed ethics and stinking moral rot.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

May be the mustiest political-conspiracy tale ever filmed; it's like Chinatown rewritten by Ralph Nader.

Full Review | Original Score: D
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
September 16, 2004

Instead of tracing character paths, Sayles sacrifices solid storytelling in favor of forwarding a political (and environmental) ideology.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jon Strickland
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
September 15, 2004

Fails to allow the talented ensemble ... time to develop Sunshine State's fine, Altmanesque ensemble feel, again and again missing the human and leaving cartoons that satisfy only as agitprop.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
September 14, 2004

It doesn't pretend that politics and business are decoupled, that the little guy can pull off the upset, or that the bottom line is anything other than money. It's refreshing, albeit grim, to see a movie that's not afraid of telling these truths.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
Top Critic
September 14, 2004

Sayles, it seems, doesn't think much of his audience, and the tone of his discourse is only nominally less pandering than a politician's.

David Rooney
Variety
Top Critic
September 13, 2004

While it's overlong and unhurried, the film is consistently absorbing, intelligent and often bitterly funny in its own subdued way.

Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
September 10, 2004

Sayles, one of the brightest and most literate voices among American independents, has made one of his best and most important movies.

Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic
September 10, 2004

At times, Silver City feels like a collection of scenes in which characters do little more than discuss the plot.

| Original Score: C
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
September 9, 2004

... one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
September 3, 2004

Cooper has a ball with the role.

| Original Score: 3/4