Skip to main content


Based on 34 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 1 )
  • 30
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    The true story of the LaMarcas, well told by the late Mike McAlary in Esquire, has been pounded into TV-crime mush by screenwriter Ken Hixon and director Michael Caton-Jones. Shockingly, the acting doesn't help. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    It's so bleak that it would play like a contrived neo-noir if it weren't so consistent, committed and obviously sincere. show more

  • 63
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    It's a run-of-the-mill cop thriller but also a gripping family drama. It is in the moments spent untangling the threads of troubled relationships that the movie is at its best. show more

  • 60
    Wall Street Journal

    Notwithstanding a thin script and a color-by-numbers ending, the movie is redeemed by its solid performances. show more

  • 63
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    As a character study, City by the Sea is engaging. As a police thriller, it's not all there. show more

  • 50
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    The changes are meant to make it easier for audiences to accept Vincent's loyalty to Angelo and Joey, but they blunt the genetic mystery that made McAlary's story so compelling in the first place. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Not an extraordinary movie. In its workmanship it aspires not to be remarkable but to be well made, dependable, moving us because of the hurt in the hero's eyes. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Against the backdrop represented by stark images of abandoned buildings and lost dreams, the tale that is City by the Sea emerges, with the power of the visual cues giving this film its forcefulness. show more

  • 63
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    Takes a fascinating true story and turns it into a conventional cop thriller, hoking up the provocative three-generation saga of the LaMarca family. show more

  • 63
    Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald

    Suffers from dialogue that often sounds like convenient exposition as well as from a climax that feels too pat and prosaic. But the film is peppered with small, explosive scenes that have a refreshing complexity. show more

  • November 23, 2009 robbie61987
    Report This User

    so called true to life story based on a lousy screenplay, shallow acting, and a all too predictable ending.

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts


You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.

    Update settings