City of Angels (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

City of Angels (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

City of Angels Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

An angel must decide if love is more important than eternal peace in this Americanized adaptation of Wim Wenders' modern classic Wings of Desire. Seth (Nicholas Cage) is an angel who hovers over the city of Los Angeles, listening to people's thoughts, observing their lives, and guiding them to the next world when they die. While Seth and his fellow angels try to offer comfort to people as they can, they are discouraged from direct contact with humans and are usually invisible to them. While at a hospital, Seth sees Maggie (Meg Ryan), a dedicated heart surgeon who attempts to save the life of a patient Seth was to call upon. Maggie is distraught after the patient passes, and her agony touches something inside the reserved Seth; he finds himself falling in love with her, and he decides to make himself visible so he can communicate with her. As Maggie gets to know the strange visitor in black who has suddenly appeared in her life, she finds herself torn between her new feelings for Seth and her attachment to her fiancÚ Jordan (Colm Feore), a fellow doctor. Seth, on the other hand, has a serious choice to make -- between immortality and giving it up in order to know both the pleasures and pains of being a human being. City of Angels also stars Dennis Franz as Messinger, a patient at the hospital who has some important advice for Seth. The film's soundtrack featured two Top Ten hits, "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls and "Uninvited" by Alanis Morissette.more
Rating: PG-13 (For sexuality including language, and some nudity)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Dana Stevens
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 29, 1998
Warner Home Video


Meg Ryan
as Maggie
Dennis Franz
as Messinger
Colm Feore
as Jordan
Rhonda Dotson
as Susan's Mother
John Putch
as Man in Car
Lauri Johnson
as Woman in Car
Christian Aubert
as Foreign Visitor in C...
Jay Patterson
as Air Traffic Controll...
Shishir Kurup
as Anesthesiologist
Brian Markinson
as Surgical Fellow
Hector Velasquez
as Scrub Nurse
Marlene Kanter
as Circulating Nurse
Bernard White
as Circulating Nurse
Dan Desmond
as Mr. Balford
Deirdre O'Connell
as Mrs. Balford
Kim Murphy
as Balford's Daughter
Chad Lindberg
as Balfords' Son
Alexander Folk
as Convenience Store Cl...
Rainbow Borden
as Hold-Up Man
Harper Roisman
as Old Man in Library
Sid Hillman
as Librarian
Wanda Lee Evans
as Nurse in Messinger's...
Wanda Christine
as Station Nurse
E.J. Callahan
as Waiter at Johnnie's
Tudi Roche
as Messinger's Daughter
David Moreland
as Husband Frank
Stan Davis
as Construction Foreman
Mik Scriba
as Construction Worker
Nick Offerman
as Construction Worker
Kieu Chinh
as Asian Woman
Geoffrey A. Thorne
as Big Orderly
Peter Spellos
as Mac Truck Driver
Jim Kline
as Store Clerk
Cherene Snow
as Woman Sewing
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for City of Angels

Critic Reviews for City of Angels

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (17)

Strains to achieve the enchantingly sublime, but ends up sinking to the depressingly ridiculous.

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

As a remake it's not as poetic as Wenders' masterpiece Wings of Desire, but it's supremely mounted (by ace lenser John Seale) and contains touching performances from Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan deviating from their respective screen images.

Full Review… | June 1, 2006
Top Critic

Funnier than Wenders' version, and it also succeeds in visualising LA as a magical city while dealing intelligently with the themes of mortality, sacrifice, free will, and the mixed blessings of the human condition.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

My face had been locked in that goofy, awestruck expression you experience only in Spielberg movies. City of Angels demonstrates the best kind of emotionally manipulative filmmaking.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

A lovely oddity.

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

It manages to leave a pleasant afterglow for those in the mood for its kind of loving.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for City of Angels

A reinterpretation of the German film 'Wings of Desire', plot of the movie revolves around romance and spirituality. More than often movies of similar genre run the risk of side-stepping in to the lame zone of overwrought melodrama. But director(Brad Siberling) does a pretty decent job here without over-polishing the sentiments or pushing too hard for tears. Although its climax will tug hard at your heart strings, when tragedy strikes it's unexpected and makes it very effective.

Credit also should be given to the performance of the lead pair. Nicole Cage, with that soulful eyes and soft-spoken gestures, gives one of his most sublime performances. And Meg Ryan, shedding her customary perky girl image, proves that she is so much more than just a pretty face.

Sajin P A

Super Reviewer


She didn't believe in angels until she fell in love with one.

Saw it again! Excellent Movie! One of the best tragic romantic story I have ever seen. Great acting!

Angels are among us and when we feel an invisible presence, you better believe they are watching you. For a Los Angeles heart surgeon named Maggie, that is too much of a stretch. She believes that it is her job to save the lifes of her patients and when she meets Seth after visiting hours are over, he tells her it's simply just their time to go. She becomes intrigued by his presence and opinion. Seth is not just normal, he is an Angel. He meets Messinger while visiting patients. Messinger can see him because he was once a Angel but gave his power up to become human. This makes Seth want to become human so he can feel, smell, and love Maggie.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

A soaring soundtrack and sweeping visuals embellish this tale, like the classic Death Takes A Holiday, of an immortal falling in love with a mortal. The script could use some prayer though.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

City of Angels Quotes

– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Lea L (4 years ago)

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