Dark City 1998

Dark City

Critics Consensus

Stylishly gloomy, Dark City offers a polarizing whirl of arresting visuals and noirish action.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 85

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 153,492

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Movie Info

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he is wanted for a series of brutal murders. The problem is that he can't remember whether he committed the murders or not. For one brief moment, he is convinced that he has gone completely mad. Murdoch seeks to unravel the twisted riddle of his identity. As he edges closer to solving the mystery, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of ominous beings collectively known as the Strangers.

Cast & Crew

Rufus Sewell
John Murdoch
Kiefer Sutherland
Dr. Daniel Schreber
Jennifer Connelly
Emma Murdoch, Anna
William Hurt
Inspector Frank Bumstead
Alex Proyas
Writer (Story)
Alex Proyas
Writer (Screenplay)
Lem Dobbs
Writer (Screenplay)
David S. Goyer
Writer (Screenplay)
Michael De Luca
Executive Producer
Barbara Gibbs
Line Producer
Brian Witten
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for Dark City

Critic Reviews for Dark City

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (65) | Rotten (20)

Audience Reviews for Dark City

  • Dec 10, 2017
    It's so obvious that this heavily inspired The Matrix that appeared the following year, even using the same sets. With that aside, as it is, this has more depth than The Matrix but lacks the slick CG and overall style that would skyrocket The Matrix franchise into orbit. This is exceedingly enjoyable either way and even glimpses Inception in places.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 20, 2017
    There's no doubting the imagination of Alex Proyas. Though most of Dark City is difficult to follow and is more style than substance, once the kick of the film finally happens, you realize how inventive and inspirational this film is to the science fiction genre. When push comes to shove, Dark City ranks among the weirdest and most unique sci-fi features to date. Knowing close to nothing going in was a wise choice, but I did find myself saying "what in the world is going on?" several times. The story follows a man named John Murdoch who finds himself alone in a bathtub with no memory of who he is or where he's been. Murdoch is being hunted by both law enforcement and a mysterious group of people, known as 'The Strangers' with unknown powers and abilities. In some ways, Dark City makes for a good compilation of films like The Matrix, Minority Report, Blade Runner, and even Metropolis. For much of the film Murdoch is the audience. We have no idea where we are, who's good, who's bad, and where this all ends up. But once Murdoch starts to understand 'The Strangers' agendas, the film starts to take off. The supporting cast includes William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly, and Kiefer Sutherland. Similar to how I feel about the movie overall, I didn't really care for any of the characters in particular until you understand the context of how the film is being played out. Sutherland has the most to do, but his performance is diluted to a quick breathing nerdy doctor. I think as a whole Dark City will play better on repeated viewings. Especially because it will become more and more apparent just how many films have taken from Dark City. Proyas has made a few interesting directing choices since this one, but none quite capture the scope or uniqueness of Dark City. In the long-running genre of science fiction, Proyas' breakout film is definitely among the better ones. +Noir elements +Mystery plays out nicely +Gets better as it goes along -Could have opened up with more context 8.7/10
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 28, 2015
    Dark City is fascinating for those who can enjoy a good nature documentary or travelogue. The sets, shooting, and effects are all well-done and it is refreshing to see something from the pre-CG era. Dark City is not particularly dark or scary but has a rather curious (a la Alice in Wonderland) and, at times, campy vibe. The style is noir, the city looks European, Jennifer Connelly is stunning, William Hurt lends a bit of gravitas -- all this makes for a very odd mix that is very interesting and dream-like. The ending is quite silly and the film does have many of the flaws other reviewers point out, but these are all outweighed by the things Dark City does right.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2015
    The gloomily arresting visuals coupled with a kinetic pace is well founded, but the unique style cannot smooth over the bumpy plot.
    Kase V Super Reviewer

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