7.7/10
168,382
640 user 227 critic

Dark City (1998)

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
1,908 ( 148)

Watch Now

From $6.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Gattaca (1997)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law
Equilibrium (2002)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In an oppressive future where all forms of feeling are illegal, a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system and state.

Director: Kurt Wimmer
Stars: Christian Bale, Sean Bean, Emily Watson
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A computer scientist running a virtual reality simulation of 1937 becomes the primary suspect when his colleague and mentor is murdered.

Director: Josef Rusnak
Stars: Craig Bierko, Gretchen Mol, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Moon (2009)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones
Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott
Contact (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dr. Ellie Arroway, after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt
Sunshine (2007)
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A team of international astronauts are sent on a dangerous mission to reignite the dying Sun with a nuclear fission bomb in 2057.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Stars: Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Chiwetel Ejiofor
The Abyss (1989)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
Event Horizon (1997)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Karl Harris
...
...
May
Frank Gallacher ...
Stromboli
...
Hotel Manager / Vendor
Justin Monjo ...
...
Edit

Storyline

John Murdoch awakens alone in a strange hotel to find that he has lost his memory and is wanted for a series of brutal and bizarre murders. While trying to piece together his past, he stumbles upon a fiendish underworld controlled by a group of beings known as The Strangers who possess the ability to put people to sleep and alter the city and its inhabitants. Now Murdoch must find a way to stop them before they take control of his mind and destroy him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A world where the night never ends. Where man has no past. And humanity has no future. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dark City  »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,576,953, 1 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,378,331

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,821,985
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Alex Proyas wrote the original screenplay, very little of the plot was retained (besides the fact that the lead is wanted for murders) . Lem Dobbs wrote the final draft and reformed the plot as it appears in the film with the exception of the special effects sequences. Although the powers of the Strangers were alluded to they would never actually be depicted . David Goyer was hired to write the shooting script when they had secured a bigger budget. He added all the action scenes that appear in the film and which show explicitly the operating background of the Dark City. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 4 mins) During the jail interview, Emma is alternately holding the phone by its top/bottom between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. Schreber: [voiceover] First there was darkness. Then came the strangers. They were a race as old as time itself. They had mastered the ultimate technology. The ability to alter physical reality by will alone. They called this ability "Tuning". But they were dying. Their civilization was in decline, and so they abandoned their world seeking a cure for their own mortality. Their endless journey brought them to a small, blue world in the farthest corner of the galaxy. Our world. Here they ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in X-Men (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Sway
Written by Norman Gimbel and Pablo Beltrán Ruiz (as Pablo Beltran Ruiz)
Sung by Anita Kelsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A fantastic science-fiction masterpiece!
6 February 1999 | by See all my reviews

An absolutely brilliant and nightmarish production! DARK CITY is an enriching and surreal experience, full of beautiful images and powerful symbolism.

John Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) wakes up one night, resting inside a bathtub. He look around, realizing that he is inside a hotel room. In a state of shock, he finds a bloody corpse lying near his bed. Then...reality sinks in. He discovers an appalling revelation which he cannot accept. He is wanted for murder on six separate accounts. How does all of this fit in when he thought of himself as a completely sane person? He does not believe he was responsible for these murders, but the cops think otherwise as they chase him down... Next, a swarm of humanoid creatures known only as the "Strangers" have summon him. For unknown reasons, Murdoch happens to fit into their intricate schemes for conquest...

This is just scratching the surface of the premise for Alex Proyas' moody and engaging film, DARK CITY. DARK CITY is a very vivid film with an original concept. As the story expands and the main character must go into the heart of the matter, he learns that there's a conspiracy going on "mixing and matching" different identities together into one whole. The Strangers are the masters...the inhabitants are their puppets...and the city is their playground...

DARK CITY essentially has gorgeous photography, capturing aspects of the entire city where imagination paints the picture and provides the details. This film relies a lot on imagery and the fantastic production values are laced with a perplexing storyline that keeps the viewer's eyes glued to the screen. The eye-catching, stylish future noir designs a visionary world, evinced in the setting of the Big Apple itself, New York City during the time period of the 1940s. Dark City's visual backgrounds enliven a difficult and incomprehensible plot to comprehend and the special effects create an astounding experience, traveling into a vortex of mankind's phantasm.

DARK CITY, in addition to the superb background settings, allows for character development as well. The audiences grows greatly in a moment of eagerness as they want to determine what will happen next to the characters in this film. As always, the cast is wonderful. Rufus Sewell is excellent as John Murdoch, convincing as an ordinary man on the run from both the law and the strangers. Jennifer Connelly is sensuous and appealing as Murdoch's loving and concerned wife. William Hurt plays his cards right as a straitlaced NYPD inspector, Frank Bumstead, who keeps pursuing John Murdoch. As an eccentric psychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Paul Schreber, Kiefer Sutherland conveys a confused doctor who shares a frightening connection to these Strangers.

DARK CITY is splendid viewing injected with a theme about the loss of identity and the destruction of individualism in order to create an ideal society. DARK CITY is an unforgettable, breathtaking visual experience! This film is enriched with layers of characterization, a plot where there is more than meets the eye, and venturous special effects. DARK CITY is recommended viewing with the lights out! A thoroughly cogent flick which keeps you guessing what is going on. DARK CITY is a fine treat for the eyes and mind. This is one journey where you reach the point of no return!

RATING: *** out of ****.


130 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 640 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page