Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
The New York Times
But Mr. Costa-Gavras, a galvanizing filmmaker working with a splendid cast, is able to tell this story in style.
It has, at times, a loopy, edgy humor and moments of genuinely affecting pathos. But somehow the combination doesn't add up to anything.
Mad City might have been more fun if it had added that extra spin--if it had attacked the audience as well as the perpetrators. As it is, it's too predictable.
The absence of originality and inspiration isn't Mad City's only problem -- it also suffers from a shocking lack of subtlety.
Not for a minute is Mad City anything less than entertaining. Yet it becomes frustrating nonetheless. Its ideas gradually seem to be at cross-purposes -- not complex, not tantalizingly ambiguous, but tangled and undefined.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
And veteran director Costa-Gavras, whose early work ("Z", "State Of Siege", "Missing") proves that he's no stranger to sociopolitical complexities, might well have been the man to make it. But not from this script -- it starts off as puerile and then regresses.
Washington Post
It's a movie of great dynamism and energy, but very little discipline. It probes issues but it never really thinks about them. It seems smart, but it's dumb.
As delivered by the politically inclined international filmmaker Costa-Gavras ("Z," "The Music Box"), Mad City's oversimplification of the ethical issues is bound to annoy those with any first-hand knowledge of the news dissemination process and disappoint others who've come for the promise of a city whipped into a "mad as hell" frenzy.
My question is, why has director Costa-Gavras taken it upon himself to dissect American cultural foibles when he has so clearly proven himself unequipped for the job?
Mad City is for those who haven't seen enough movies about hostage situations. It's also for those who haven't seen enough ponderous movies about media exploitation, or Dustin Hoffman's ongoing reliance on muttery method acting.

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