Mad City - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad City Reviews

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November 15, 2015
Great film really moving and fantastic acting all the way round both Hoffman and Travolta are fantastic and you really feel for these characters that they are playing. This film is one of the best at showing media power and corruption and just how far it can push someone to the limits and you really feel sorry for Sam for losing his job because i know for a fact what it like to be unemployed and unable to provide for yourself and your family.
½ August 12, 2015
I was not impressed with mad city one bit it comes under the category good actors bad movie with john Travolta as an out of guard at a museum begging for his job back and dustin Hoffman as newsman looking for ratings
June 18, 2015
When I heard of the story for this film I was very intrigued but it was really hard to find a copy of this but luckily I finally found one and 'Mad City' is a very interesting film. There is quite a lot going on in this story and it is very compelling to watch, the obvious comparison would be to 'Dog Day Afternoon' but we see a lot of the other side of the camera and how the news companies manipulate any and everything to say what they want them to say. It wasn't really anything groundbreaking though like I'm sure the filmmakers were hoping to achieve, perhaps I am looking at it with modern eyes because this is relevant now more than ever but we all know this goes on. What really annoyed me the most was the paparazzi, they're terrible anyway but they go to harass the injured and children the moment they can, can't they back off? At least from the children?

The acting from Hoffman and Travolta is really great. I thought there would be more to Hoffman's character because in the museum he was always talking about how they need to make Sam's image look good but as soon as he goes outside for the first time he says that he is unstable. It did make me laugh that he said he had a wife that took their child with her because of 'Kramer vs. Kramer', they also talk about a TV movie in here but luckily that can't be used as a joke about the film saying that this should have gone to TV because this is good. Although I doubt they'd be talking about something like that right at the end of the film as everything is heated and they must have mentioned Mel Gibson in this because they were filming in 1996 and 'Braveheart' won big at The Oscars that year. However, despite Hoffman typically giving a good performance, at some points it did look like he really did not want to be here. John Travolta in this film though was really great, he perfectly captures the working man in a situation like that, he's nervous, he doesn't check behind the door in the toilet the first time he sees it open, he doesn't have all the answers, he tells Max to leave and then asks how he can trust if Max comes back again, it's all really well done. When Sam did his first interview for the TV, that part in particular was really well handled and I really felt sympathy for Sam, Travolta nailed it. I thought that he should have originally said that his only demands were to have his job back but what he actually says was even better, but like he would blame his friend for him losing his job and he cannot release all the children right at the start or else he wouldn't have any leverage. Everyone else does fine jobs also, but these two are the main focus, but I will say that the children were good.

The film looked and sounded good. The soundtrack was quite varied and the introduction for the film was very smooth, cool, slick and a little deceptive, given what it looks like Max is putting together, I knew it couldn't be a gun considering I knew the premise of the film but still, deceptive. Both the trailer and the film had a line in there about 'pushing the line' but it was different in the film to what was in the trailer but the film did have its funny lines and comedic bits between characters. I doubt it was intentional but the person we see Max trying to interview at the start was involved with money and was called Mr. Burns did make me smile, as well as someone else being called Dolan.

I was expecting there to be some revelation at the end with Hoffman's character but I'm wondering if his motivation changed from pretending to like him just to get a good story to actually being concerned about his wellbeing. We see Max focusing on the gun whenever Sam leaves it unattended throughout the whole film but maybe he was just going to take it away to be safe instead of taking it away because of it being a good news story. I saw this film ending one of two ways and it ended the second way I thought of, the first way, like I have already said is about the revelation, I really feel like this film needed a gut punch ending that really would have gotten the media manipulation point across with sledgehammer force. However, Max ending the film by saying that we did it, as well as all the other examples the film showcases, it got the point across as well, and all without needless swearing, they were around children, I know, but I can't think of anyone saying anything at all. Although, Max would be more injured than he was given what happens at the end and the credits were weird as well, they stopped before they reached the traffics lights. I also think that the film was a little longer than it probably should have been; I wasn't bored but pushing two hours felt a bit much. I am confused by the low rating as well, but then again, it didn't do well in the box office, so it makes sense but is still odd considering the talent involved. Nevertheless, 'Mad City', just to clarify, does indeed get its point across and shines from great performances from the leads.
½ May 10, 2015
Good performances by the leads but the script's last play was too much of a good thing.
March 22, 2015
3/22/3015: an ok movie. It was a little dull, but that cast was good.
March 20, 2015
So called mad critics send all their frustration caused by a powerful movie through a very low rating. What a disparity ! This movie sure deserves much much more than this rating.
½ February 6, 2015
Directed by Costa-Gavras, (Z (1969)), Missing (1982) and Betrayed (1988)), this hostage drama looks compelling on the surface, but in actual fact, it's a mash-up of Ace in the Hole (1951) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975), but with non of the compelling bite. It's supposed to be a dark look at the obsessive nature of the media and how rolling news grips people when not much happens. But it isn't as good as it should be. Fading news reporter Max Brackett (Dustin Hoffman) is struggling to get his stories on the air, and there's a feeling that he's on the way out. While covering a story about financial difficulties a local museum is facing, things take a turn when recently sacked security guard Sam Baily (John Travolta) turns up and takes everyone inside, including manager Mrs. Banks (Blythe Danner) and a group of schoolchildren. Brackett is hiding in the mens room, and is able to cover the story from there. By the time Baily finds Brackett, the story has already gathered much attention and the media swarm on the museum, and Brackett grooms Baily into handling the situation. It should have been a dark, biting satire on the corruption of news media, but the tone is all over the place and it doesn't know what it wants to be. Which is a sad shame as the story had potential, and when you've got a film which has the nerve to waste Alan Alda's cameo, you know something is very wrong indeed.
½ December 14, 2014
Not bad, but both actors can do better.
November 22, 2014
(18%)
A very typical, tame Hollywood stab at a hostage situation drama with focus on the news media manipulation of real life and death situations. Quite honestly this is a poor movie. Dustin Hoffman is borderline terrible as he lazily mutters his way through the entire movie acting almost as bored as the poor unfortunate audience, as if I had paid money to see this then I'd feel more than a little cheated. While Travolta is far from on form, but at least he's as entertaining to watch as he usually is. The script is lame brained Hollywood trash that has an interesting and important concept of a man going above and beyond to try and get his job back, but it is so poorly developed that Travolta's character comes across more as an idiot than someone worthy of any sympathy. Couple that with the kidnapped kids having no real problem with armed men keeping them hostage away from their homes and family for days on end, and the final reel that has a terrible sense of pointlessness about it. My advice, give this 90's flop a miss.
½ July 26, 2014
(First and only viewing - 5/1/2010)
½ June 27, 2014
Well this movie surprised be by being really good. There a definitely some things taken from earlier films (ace in the hole big time) and many hostage movies around this time. I have to give this film credit though it bring up lots of issues and says a lot of things about our culture and the media and human ambition. I also think hoffman and travolta give great performances and work well together. Alan Alda Again does a turn on his usually likable self and is somewhat of the villain, even though everyone had a bad side in the movie. This time i go against the reviews, this is a very well done movie.
February 15, 2014
An odd story indeed. This one just barely passes for me. John travolta's performance was kind of hoaky. The plot didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. Also, max bracket's assistant is one if the most irritating characters in a movie that I've ever seen!
½ February 8, 2014
I've never been so bored in my entire life.
August 6, 2013
If there was a perfect film that will illustrate the corruption of media, this is it!
June 8, 2013
When an ordinary guy blows his top and accidentally fires a shotgun, a reporter makes it a bigger news seizing his opportunity at a big story. Pretty flawed at heart and certainly not as impressive, controversial and meaningful as other far better Costa-Gavras works.
½ March 21, 2013
Mad City is one of the few movies that I walked out of the theater
½ January 4, 2013
After all these years I remember it... that has to count for something!
August 21, 2012
...want..to..see...hoffman...can't stand...travolta's...stupid...neck...nooooooooooo...

what kind gross crossing of film circles is this.
August 18, 2012
the film struck a chord with me when I was 10 seeing it in theaters but seeing it on the small screen as an adult, I felt unimpressed
March 7, 2012
Great film showing how powerful and misleading (and mad) the media are. Brilliant, thought-triggering, and awareness-raising.
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