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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of darkness
Cult films don't come much more groundbreaking than "Dark City" -- it was bending reality before the Matrix ever did.

At first glance, Alex Proyas' movie seems like a basic sci-fi little-man-against-evil-aliens flick. But it isn't. Instead, it's a dark grimy nightmare where nothing is what it seems, and everything we think is real is just an elaborate illusion...
Published on Feb. 22 2007 by E. A Solinas

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars make it a full year's worth--the 365th review
You can read opinions elsewhere as there are 364 of them as I write this. Saw this for the first time in whole in 2010 after Inception came out. I have to say there is stuff in Dark City I thought Inception lifted and did far better especially the creation of these new worlds where buildings arise and fall at night (in Inception case it's in dreams).

What...
Published on Sept. 4 2010 by Brian Maitland


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of darkness, Feb. 22 2007
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Dark City (DVD)
Cult films don't come much more groundbreaking than "Dark City" -- it was bending reality before the Matrix ever did.

At first glance, Alex Proyas' movie seems like a basic sci-fi little-man-against-evil-aliens flick. But it isn't. Instead, it's a dark grimy nightmare where nothing is what it seems, and everything we think is real is just an elaborate illusion. This is one of the rare films that is creepy from start to finish.

The Strangers are pasty-faced, bald, leather-coat-wearing aliens (think Darth Vader, post-mask), whose survival depends on somehow imitating human souls and dreams. So they created the Dark City, to observe and manipulate the unwitting humans.

Our hero John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up naked in a tub, with no memory of who he is, and the police hunting him for brutal murders that he is sure he didn't commit. And worse, hes being pursued by the Strangers, without even knowing who they are or why they're after him.

And then he starts seeing past the Strangers' illusions. Buildings are reshaped, people's memories change, and the sun never appears. As John searches for hints to his past, he finds that the places he knew never existed -- and it's connected to the Strangers. Now John and a suspicious cop will unravel the truth of the City -- and of why the Strangers want John.

It's not surprising that "The Matrix" and "Dark City" are often compared. They deal with an illusionary "real" world, malevolent manipulation, and one man who might be able to stop the bad guys. But "Dark City" is very much unique -- it's dark, angular, and haunted, like if Fritz Lang made a sci-fi noir.

The Dark City is a pretty creepy place, like a... well, like a city at night, with some surreal skyscrapers, big cogs and giant clocks. Proyas gives all these scenes a creepy feeling, which is only increased by the fact that there are so few people in the streets and houses. Even everyday things like eating soup and going to work become unreal.

But it's also paired with a very suspenseful script, which is equal parts surrealism and gnostic philosophy. All the dialogue is well written ("You know something, I don't think the sun even... exists... in this place"), and very spare. But Proyas makes all the dialogue weirdly disconnected, as if the characters are never really communicating fully. It adds to the dreamlike feeling.

Sewell is well-suited to the role of John Murdoch, moving seamlessly from confusion to skepticism to a pretty wild action scene where he clashes with all the Strangers. Connelly has a good if underused role as his nightclub-singer wife. Kiefer Sutherland is a bit annoying, but he does a good Peter Lorre impersonation with all those nervous gasps.

Like Kafka on acid, "Dark City" is a unique and compelling sci-fi movie, with outstanding direction and an amazing plot. Definitely a must-see.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A few things you should know about 'Dark City', March 12 2010
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) (DVD)
The Amazon editorial review implies this film is all style no substance, but that is untrue. Although a lot of effort went into the style (partly in homage to Fritz Lang's 'Metropolis') the darkness here is no mere plot device, it is a metaphor.

The 'dark city' is an elaborate device created by a soulless race of aliens (who all look like John Gielgud, perhaps because they "use our dead as vessels") as part of a giant experiment to find out what makes humans IRREDUCIBLE (i.e. the part of us that can't be measured or quantified - our souls). 'Dark City' is clearly influenced by Gnostic spirituality, with its concept of a demiurge who has trapped us in a materialistic 'circle of circles'.

The film is tightly scripted and packed together, with extremely fast camera shots (like British show 'The Prisoner', with which it has much in common), and more than one viewing may be necessary to understand the plot in its entirety.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sci-Fi!, Sept. 23 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) (DVD)
I saw this movie in theaters in 1998 & it still looks good today; good mystery & climax...Combination of neo-noir thriller & science-fiction...At this price=worth it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Most interesting topic, May 31 2013
By 
tornitons - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dark City [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I liked very much the idea of the experimental world and how and why the extra terrestrials manipulate the humans. It's so utopic, but still logical in its own way. The actors and the characters are OK, the tempo of the movie is appropriate as of the secrets you learn when you follow the poor guy that doesn't know who he is, what is his past and how he can use his new powers. He must figure out everything with so little help. Very captivating and if you let the idea in your mind, you begin to understand how desperate those people are and there is obviously no solution to their trouble. One thing is sure is that they are humans, still hoping for something (what?) and are certainly unwilling to be told what to do or even think by those that captured them and make experiments on them. I really like that kind of pure fiction. Well done. p.s. what exactly is the idea behind the little bad boy dressed like an adult that follows the killers all the time: he is completely meaningless... Still give it a five stars anyway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie made even greater, Jan. 1 2013
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) (DVD)
Dark City is a 1998 film which I never saw in the theatres but grew to love on television. Next to Blade Runner, Dark City is my favourite science fiction flim. It looks like it is part Blade Runner, part Metropolis and part Nosferatu all rolled into one. From an artistic point of view, the sets are simply incredible to look at. The limited lighting in this film is as important as the use of shadows to create a noir atmosphere which is perfectly suited to this story of a man who awakens not knowing who he is and finds his life constantly in peril. The acting is also first rate from every member of the cast. This Director's Cut contains an extra 15 minutes of footage not seen in the original DVD version and it makes the film even better. Almost all of the extra footage is extensions to present scenes and they all help the story. The special features could have been better with segments on the artwork and design and commentary from all of the actors in the film instead of just two. I found myself getting bored listening to the director, screenplay writer and Roger Ebert rambling on forever and sometimes it felt like they were trying to come up with things to say for the feature. If you haven't seen this movie I would definitely recommend it and if you already have the older version on DVD, like myself, it will not be a waste of money to buy this Director's Cut.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an improvement, Sept. 27 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Canada (was London, UK)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
'Dark City' has always been an interesting but flawed movie, and this Director's Cut fixes a lot of those flaws with the removal of a few changes forced on the director by the studio (e.g. excessive narration) and adding a few minutes of extra footage which helps to fill out some of the holes in the theatrical release.

As you'd expect, it looks great on Blu-Ray, and comes with some interesting extras. If you like the movie and have only seen the theatrical cut, I'd certainly pick up this version to see it closer to the way it was intended to be seen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark City was really good, the Director's Cut is great., Sept. 8 2009
By 
Bill F. Armitage (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) (DVD)
Dark City was really good, the Director's Cut is great. One of the few times (like Alien 3) where the Directors cut makes a huge improvement to the film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Director's Cut, June 11 2009
By 
Cheryl - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Though I liked the original version, I'm a super-fan of the Director's Cut. The story is more coherent and overall the film is just so much better. On blu-ray Dark City looks fantastic, and there's too many extras to mention (multiple commentaries, making of's, fact track etc.), but also included is the original theatrical version. It's definitely worth it for any fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It is over before it begins, July 9 2006
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Dark City (DVD)
In a city where the sun never shines and everyone knows the way to Shell Beach but you can never get there, John Murdock (Rufus Sewell) thinks he knows a truth, with his half remember past he now seeks to find out the cities secret.

It appears to be around the 40's and John is thinking of his wife Emma Murdoch (Jennifer Connelly), that now may or may not be someone else.

We are carried along with the story and just might find the secret out before John. Can we handle the truth?

What happens if john finds out how unique he is and whom he may be threatening?

"Dark City" (1998) seems like a short story (both story and screenplay by Alex Proyas "The Crow") with a simple prime that was fleshed out to movie length. The visuals gothic in feel and style will hold you long enough to allow you to enjoy the slow unfolding of the story. Jennifer Connelly seems like she should have been born in the thirty's/ forties as she looks and acts her part so well that you forget you are watching a movie; At times you forget that it is a sci-fi movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the last great films during the 20th century!, July 19 2004
By 
Philip B. Yochim (Louisville, KY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dark City (DVD)
"Dark City" will be remembered as the film that bridged the film noir genre at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.
Alex Proyas directs a suspenseful story on the meaning of reality in a dark, foreboding dream world. As people go about their lives, almost no one notices something is seriously wrong with their world. Until one man wakes up alone, one fateful night.
John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) awakes in a hotel room to find he's lost most of his memories. Even worse, he may have committed a string of brutal murders against local prostitutes. Fleeing the crime scene, he finds himself pursued by not only the police, but also a mysterious cabal of cloaked men.
Assisted by a cowed doctor and a supportive woman who claims to be his wife, Murdoch learns the truth of the city, and its secret Masters, the Strangers.
The feature actors all give strong performances, as a confused Murdoch and a supportive Jennifer Connelly as Emma. Keifer Sutherland is impressive, especially when you contrast the cowardly Dr. Scheber vs. his characters from "The Lost Boys" or "24."
The sets are as compelling as the actors, and credit is due for the deliberate "retro" look of the city. Making of movie of this style look creative guts, and it paid off.
I just beg of the producers of the story one request: don't make a sequel, this story will always stand as a one and only!
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Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
Dark City (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] by Alex Proyas (Blu-ray - 2008)
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