Dark City
Dark City

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Certificate: 15 | Released: 1998 | Duration: 1 hr 36 mins | Director: Alex Proyas | Studio: Entertainment In Video | Genres: Thriller - Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Upon awakening with a start in an icy bathtub in a strange room--with a woman's dead body inconveniently nearby--John Murdoch can't remember how he got there. With a police detective hot on his trail and a psychiatrist skulking around, Murdoch discovers that the key to his mystery is the presence of strange extraterrestrial creatures, the Strangers, who are experimenting with the memories of the humans in his city--from which there may be no escape. Ambitious sci-fi noir, with rich production design and a dense, Kafkaesque ... (Full plot summary below)

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Full Plot Details

Upon awakening with a start in an icy bathtub in a strange room--with a woman's dead body inconveniently nearby--John Murdoch can't remember how he got there. With a police detective hot on his trail and a psychiatrist skulking around, Murdoch discovers that the key to his mystery is the presence of strange extraterrestrial creatures, the Strangers, who are experimenting with the memories of the humans in his city--from which there may be no escape. Ambitious sci-fi noir, with rich production design and a dense, Kafkaesque concept.

What if you woke one morning to realize that every memory, every emotion, every fact you believed true about your life had been manufactured by someone else and placed in your mind?In this fascinating and provocative science fiction tale, John Murdoch--wanted for a series of brutal murders--realizes that everything he believes about himself is a lie. Murdoch's bittersweet childhood, his love for his estranged wife and the hideous series of murders are the creation of a group of shadowy creatures known only as "The Strangers."Alone, with his newfound awareness, Murdoch begins to fight back against "The Strangers" who manipulate minds for their own ends.

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes in an unfamiliar hotel room to find himself wanted by police for a series of murders. John goes on the run, aided by Doctor Schreber (Kiefer Sutherland).

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Movie Reviews

ReelViews - 8.8/10 by James Berardinelli Dark City has as stunning a visual texture as that of any movie that I've seen...Visually, this film isn't just impressive, it's a tour de force.
New Times (L.A.) - 9.0/10 by Andy Klein Full of provocative concepts, but, like most films that attack such metaphysical concerns head-on, things have become a tad too jumbled by the end to be altogether satisfying. It's a problem built into the subject matter...This all said, Dark City is immensely entertaining, as well as visually dazzling.
Chicago Sun-Times - 10.0/10 by Roger Ebert A great visionary achievement, a film so original and exciting, it stirred my imagination like "Metropolis" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Washington Post - 9.0/10 by Rita Kempley Obliged to go from lost soul to demigod, Sewell's performance is as fascinating as Proyas's mystical vision.
The New York Times - 7.0/10 by Stephen Holden So relentlessly trippy in a fun-house sort of way that it could very easily inspire a daredevil cult of moviegoers who go back again and again to experience its mind-bending twists and turns. Although its story doesn't add up when you analyze it afterward, the movie does take you on a visually arresting ride that offers many unsettling surprises right up to a sentimental sunburst of an ending that has a paranoid undertone.
USA Today - 7.5/10 by Marshall Fine Fascinating, visionary filmmaking. With its amber-tinged palette and its distinctively dystopian view of life, it may be the most unique-looking film we've seen in ages...[but] defies logic and makes frightening and unexpected leaps.
Time - 10.0/10 by Richard Corliss It is as cool and distant as the planet the Strangers come from. But, Lord, is Dark City a wonder to see. [2 March 1998]
San Francisco Examiner - 6.3/10 by Walter Addiego It's full of visual flash, and can be enjoyed as a giddy ride, but you would waste your time trying to puzzle out the nuances of the story.

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