103 user 145 critic

City Island (2009)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 30 April 2010 (USA)
2:32 | Trailer

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The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought ... See full summary »


Raymond De Felitta
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Andy Garcia ... Vince Rizzo
Julianna Margulies ... Joyce Rizzo
Steven Strait ... Tony
Emily Mortimer ... Molly
Ezra Miller ... Vince Jr.
Dominik García-Lorido ... Vivian Rizzo
Carrie Baker Reynolds ... Denise
Hope Glendon-Ross Hope Glendon-Ross ... Cheryl
Alan Arkin ... Michael Malakov
Louis Mustillo ... Bruno
Jee Young Han ... Casting Assistant
Sarah Saltzberg Sarah Saltzberg ... Casting Director
Curtiss Cook ... Matt Cruniff
Sharon Angela ... Tanya
Marianne Ebert Marianne Ebert ... Ezmalia (as Marianni Ebert)


The Rizzos, a family who doesn't share their habits, aspirations, and careers with one another, find their delicate web of lies disturbed by the arrival of a young ex-con (Strait) brought home by Vince (Garcia), the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private. Written by IMDb Editors

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Truth is stranger than family


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, smoking and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

30 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asuntos de familia See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,001, 21 March 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,670,712, 29 August 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Andy Garcia's character can be heard yelling the name "Manny" when addressing the stunt coordinator on the set of the film within a film; in the real film (City Island), Manny Siverio is the Stunt Coordinator. See more »


The 'D' on the front of the Ford is missing before the accident; then is there after the accident; then it is missing again. See more »


Joyce Rizzo: [lighting cigarette] My husband thinks I quit.
Tony: One good thing about the joint, they don't let you smoke anymore so... I quit inside.
Joyce Rizzo: Being in prison and not being able to smoke? That's like being in jail. Join me.
Tony: All right.
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Flipped (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Proud Assimilation
15 June 2010 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

City Island is indeed an island—a superior small film standing proudly alone this season in its American excellence about a fishing village in the Bronx where Rizzo family shenanigans happen just short of magical realism. They're eccentric in the Royal Tenenbaums/Moonstruck tradition with a touch of American Beauty hard edge.

Andy Garcia's Vince, a corrections officer (Please don't call him a "prison guard") keeps from his domineering wife, Joyce (Joanna Marguilles), the fact that he's taking acting lessons; he is aided by friendly fellow actor Molly (Emily Mortimer). Meanwhile ex-con son, Tony (Steven Strait), returns to the family (unknown as son to anyone else but Vince); like a Flannery O'Connor outsider, he changes things.

City Island could be subtitled "Secrets and Lies" because everyone in the family is withholding information and thereby causing mayhem. Through it all, they retain a dignity that surfaces when all is exposed and life begins again. So good-hearted is Vince, so loving is Joyce, so honest is ex-con Tony, and so lost is Molly that you are drawn into the family and watch one of their passionate dinners as if you were attending as a close friend. Believe me, I know Italian eating habits, and the combat of words at the table is one of the best Italian family scenes ever.

Granted, everyone manages to anger someone, but the loving care surfaces just when you thought there was no hope. Although their little family island has been breached by Tony, they are better for the disclosures. Alan Arkin's effective turn as a drama coach is a metaphor for the family's need to disclose.

City Island is NYC, Roosevelt Island, and all American cities, small and large, where Americans assimilate newcomers and their own eccentricities with a charm and good humor of which to be proud.

This is lovely film, presided over by a caring Garcia, whose understanding of reality in film is first-rate.

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