Koch

2012, Documentary/Biography, 1h 38m

42 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Koch allows its subject's sheer force of personality to dominate the picture -- but when that personality is this delightful, that's easy to forgive. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The life of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

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Critic Reviews for Koch

Audience Reviews for Koch

  • Aug 31, 2015
    "Koch" is an informative documentary about Edward I. Koch(1924-2013), the mayor of New York City from 1977 to 1989. He started by saving the city from bankruptcy while starting a troublesome trend of making the city more welcome to tourists and suburbanites than its own people. Throughout, his outsized personality proved perfect for the city's tabloids, as his politics became more conservative than those when he was a congressman representing just Greenwich Village.(By contrast, Kirsten Gillibrand's politics are much more liberal now that she is representing New York State as a Senator.) But his working both ends against the middle would eventually politically doom him.(If you want to see what New York City looked like in 1989, watch "Do the Right Thing.) The biggest failure of his time in office was not doing enough during the AIDS crisis, with the Gay Men's Health Crisis picking up the slack in handling services that the city should have provided. As far as Koch's sexuality(or lack of) goes, I agree in an absolute sense of privacy but since Koch was publicly and proudly Jewish, shouldn't his sexuality be on the same level? Overall, "Koch" does a good job of chronicling his life and times, with many then current conversations with the man himself, as the Queensboro Bridge is renamed in his honor. At the same time, the filmmakers could have cast a wider net in interview subjects, not just talking to his allies. For example, it would have helped if they at least also talked to Jimmy Breslin and Al Sharpton. And I know it's just a curious footnote, but I would also have liked to have seen more on his acting appearances that went beyond his hosting Saturday Night Live.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 22, 2013
    Barsky may have been a little too nice to Ed Koch with this film, but I appreciate the desire to openly examine his administration in all of it's little and big contradictions.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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