City Island


City Island

Critics Consensus

Raymond De Felitta combines warmth, humanity, and a natural sense of humor, and is abetted by Andy Garcia and an excellent ensemble cast.



Total Count: 101


Audience Score

User Ratings: 29,928
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Movie Info

When prison guard and New York family man, Vince Rizzo, sees a familiar name among the new convicts list, he realizes it belongs to a boy who he fathered 20 years earlier but abandoned. Now married with a new family, Vince takes his long-lost son, Tony Nardella, home with him -- not telling his family who Tony really is. This isn't that unusual, as the Rizzo family is filled with secrets from each other. By bringing his long-lost son into the family, and by exploring a platonic extra-marital affair with a fellow acting student, Vince comes to realize that the only way to grow and truly understand love and intimacy is to face the lies he's told about his past and bring his family and loved ones into his future.

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Andy Garcia
as Vince Rizzo
Julianna Margulies
as Joyce Rizzo
Steven Strait
as Tony Nardella
Ezra Miller
as Vinnie Rizzo
Alan Arkin
as Michael Malakov
Emily Mortimer
as Molly Charlesworth
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Critic Reviews for City Island

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (36)

Audience Reviews for City Island

  • Jul 03, 2012
    really quirky and funny film. Andy Garcia is a criminally underrated actor and this is proof of the talent he has. He is well supported and the film doesn't subject its characters to cheap laughs. this is a well made and interesting film that is worthy of your time.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2011
    city island, test string
    Anatoliy D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2011
    Perhaps meant as a look inside an area of NYC, similar to Brooklyn Lobster, City Island shows us a very dysfunctional family while giving us a narrative tour of the feel of the title area. The script is reasonable enough and holds enough humorous moments, especially in the closing confrontation where mistaken assumptions collide, but I felt that, especially in the case of lead character Andy Garcia, it laid on the goomba a bit too thickly. Garcia plays a corrections officer who is secretly taking acting lessons in an attempt to fulfill his childhood dream. He was going to go to college and perhaps pursue that dream, but then life kind of got in the way - so now he's taking classes on the sly, telling his wife that he's going to play poker on the nights he's taking classes. While at a class the teacher (nice cameo by the always wonderful Alan Arkin), asks the class to pair up and then tell your partner your deepest secret. Garcia pair up with Emily Mortimer (who is perfectly cast), who slowly tells not only her own secret, but gets Garcia to open up about his own dark secret and then to act on it. She also coerces him to attend a casting call where, in a bit of unbelievability, he lands a call back for a feature film. But reading between the lines, there is a tale of life and a certain brand of love that comes from life experiences. Julianna Margulies plays the "hurricane" of frustrated wife to a tee - knowing her man and loving him, yet frustrated by some of his failings. She and Garcia don't really communicate anymore and keep secrets from each other - from silly things like their continued smoking to much deeper things concerning feelings and desires. In the middle of this there is the all too bright teenage son who has a secret passion for large women. I've heard of this and some of its variations, like feederism - but this is the first film where I've seen it openly presented as a mainstream, almost natural, obsession. Kudos to the scriptwriter for bringing this to light without making a huge joke out of it. While not a work of high art, this film held my interest in spite of a bit of heavy handedness, combining enough of the underlying heaviness of keeping secrets and not following through on life, with a strong bit of natural humor.
    paul s Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2011
    A good role for garcia, and overall a interesting story about him and his family, his son coming into his life for the first time, and his passion coming through for acting which he has been keeping from his wife whom he feels just wouldent understand, it all comes together very interestingly. yes its sentimental at times but also some good natured humour pulling it along and little observations here and there.
    scott g Super Reviewer

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