City of Hope (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

City of Hope (1991)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

City of Hope Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Set in the fictional New Jersey metropolis of Hudson, three intricately interwoven tales involving real estate, robbery, and racial tension comprise a complex study of crime, corruption, and political machinery.more
Rating: R
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Sayles
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 20, 1992
Samuel Goldwyn Company


Gloria Foster
as Jeanette
Kevin Tighe
as O'Brien
Josh Mostel
as Mad Anthony
S.J. Lang
as Bauer
Bob North
as District Attorney
Louis Zorich
as Mayor Baci
Miriam Colon
as Mrs. Ramirez
Daryl Edwards
as Franklin
Blair Shannon
as Security Guard
Jon De Vries
as Dean Milford
Ginny Yang
as Suzanne
Maeve Kinkead
as Christine
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for City of Hope

Critic Reviews for City of Hope

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (7)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 11, 1991
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for City of Hope


Sayles best work by far. Simply an amazing film, a must for fans of the Wire. The fact this isn't available on DVD is proof of a cruel uncaring god.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


This is a good movie. A film that tackles racial problems, politics, corruption, protests, and urban life. "City Of Hope" is the American microcosm where all these diffrent stories and where most of the characters bump into one another. Sort of like taking all these ingridents and adding it into the stirring pot. Filmmaker John Sayles has taken this interconnected story that would remind one of the works of Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson or Paul Haggis.

Cinematographer Robert Richardson photographs with his trademark of using a bright key light shinning vividly on the cast and uses reds, yellows and other sources of lights to enhance the story. It's funny to also see Richardson in a small cameo scene as one of the convicts sitting silently at a police precinct. John Sayles also plays a part in the picture as Carl. A corrupted mechanic who wants piece of the action. Sayles's performace is chillingly frieghtning and brilliant adding another layer in the city of hope.

A city pulses with racial problems, political corruption, and small-time crime in this ambitious microcosm of urban life, written and directed by John Sayles. Nick Rinaldi (Vincent Spano), a lost soul usually high on drink and drugs, has spent his life in one New Jersey city, getting free rides from his connected father (Tony LoBianco) and hearing the locals talk of his brother's death in Vietnam.

Searching for more control, Nick quits the cushy contractor's job provided by his Dad, feeling that major events are about to happen to him. That feeling proves accurate -- by film's end his life will change, as will the lives of many others. Nick is only the center of the movie's sprawling collection of people and plotlines; Sayles takes full advantage of this expansive landscape, as he often begins shooting one conversation, only to pull back and eavesdrop on another, in one smooth, intriguing shot.

By listening in, we slowly learn about the citizens and their dilemmas, as the city's woes bubble to a narrative climax. Many of Sayles' regular players are on-screen (the movie features 52 roles), including Joe Morton as a frustrated councilman and David Strathairn as a disturbed street person.

Critique Threatt
Brian R

Super Reviewer

Another great Sayles ensemble cast piece.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

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