This Beautiful City

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 281
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Movie Info

Chatter from a dinner party in Harry and Carol's nouveau riche condo drifts through an open balcony door, as two freebase cokeheads, Pretty and Johnny, have a party on their own in the alley below. As the dinner guests leave, the hostess is nowhere to be found. Until, a wet thud and a sharp scream rise up to the balcony. Pretty stares in horror at Carol's body, splayed on the alley floor, as Harry screams for help from above. The sharp burst of police sirens sends the cokeheads running as Peter, a middle aged police officer, sprints from his cruiser to check Carol's vitals. Rocket forward three months and these five disparate lives begin to cataclysmically intersect through weaving multi-narrative story arcs that release spurts and geysers of long-suppressed sexuality and aggression. Beautiful things can happen when you hit rock bottom.

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Critic Reviews for This Beautiful City

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (5)

  • Gass-Donnelly tricks up this phony baloney with nervous camerawork and editing while also stranding his actors with scads of second-rate dialogue. A bad time is had by all.

    Aug 28, 2009 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The only real notes of authenticity are struck by the actors, and even then, only on the distaff side.

    Aug 27, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Gass-Donnelly's over-calculated, crisis-fueled script links yuppies, crack addicts and a cop, with few signs of its origins as the writer-helmer's stage play Descent.

    Oct 18, 2008

    Robert Koehler

    Top Critic
  • A sense of coherence is not helped by an arty, handheld-camera feeling.

    May 23, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Too much of is bombast and street noise.

    May 23, 2008 | Rating: 2/4
  • A movie that draws you in.

    May 23, 2008 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for This Beautiful City

  • Apr 24, 2012
    Nominated for four Genie Awards...? Yeesh. This was a painful film to watch, and not in a good way. It tries to push some boundaries by finding commonalities between a "normal" couple and a junkie/prostitute couple, hinting at power dynamics in sexual relationships while giving you a window into destructive addiction and rehabilitation from what may or may not have been a suicide attempt. Drama by omission just doesn't work for me, and the main flaw is that the answer is clearly on film, just cut out; it doesn't leave you wondering, it just annoys you. The film's last third gets watchable, finally, when some of the threads start to come together, but it's too little, too late, and for the record, I'm getting really tired of the "Surprise, everyone in this movie knows each other!" ending (still more drama by omission). Yes, I spoiled the ending. With any luck, you'll not bother to watch it.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2010
    This gritty depressing film runs at a weary pace.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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