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Dark City (1998)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 131,706 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 603 user | 217 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.

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(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Walenski
...
Karl Harris
...
Husselbeck
...
May
Frank Gallacher ...
Stromboli
...
Hotel Manager / Vendor
Justin Monjo ...
Taxi Driver
...
Mr. Rain
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

Plot Keywords:

memory | murder | hotel | soul | night | See more »

Taglines:

Forget the Sun. Forget Time. Forget Your Memories. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Sci-Fi

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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£309,525 (UK) (29 May 1998)

Gross:

£848,615 (UK) (19 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of Kiefer Sutherland's character, Daniel Schreber, is the same as that of a man who wrote a book titled "Memoirs of My Nervous Illness" during the heights of a period in which he was institutionalized for schizophrenia. The book has become a standard reading for many psychiatrists and psychologists, and many of the theories of both Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung were based on it (Freud never actually met Schreber, though). "Dark City" borrows heavily from the concept of "fleetingly-improvised men" which are found within Schreber's "Memoirs". See more »

Goofs

After John Murdoch opens the door and almost falls from the building, as he hangs by his hands the door is on his left, except when shown from above, when it is on his right. 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

References Naked Lunch (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Le Chale Bleu
Written by François Perchat (as Francois Perchat)
Sung by Anita Kelsey
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Matrix this is not...it much much better.
2 May 2003 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

I will be part of the rabid throngs of people lining up to catch a spectacle as huge as Reloaded and Revolution. Despite(and maybe because of) Matrix sky high hype right now, my thoughts drift back to this overlooked classic...but a little on Neo and gang first below...

The Matrix just happened.

With an uncanny midas touch, The Warchowski bros launched this(then unknown film) at the the right place, in the right time. With an execution commercial enough to bring in the box office moola and a philosophical subtext accessible enough for the general public to latch on to, the rest, as they say...is history.

The philosophical under pinnings though, (of blue pills, red pills, the subreality of consciousness and all that mambo jambo etc), so successfully popularised by The Matrix, was infact neither originated by The Matrix nor as fully realised than in other more accomplished works.

Which leads me to....drumroll.....

As such, IMHO, the best execution on the concept of reality and perception was already explored in a much more unbelievably visual opus, one year earlier, the grossly overlooked, criminally under-rated,

"Dark City". (One of My Top 10 All time Favourite Films)

This scifi/ film noir hybrid was impactful both cinematically and ideologically. Most importantly, it rewarded my wildly abandoned reach for human imagination and thirst for ideas, by fulfilling as much promise a motion picture can ever hope to give.

On top of that, my background as a "trekkie" scifi nerd meant I instinctively respond to films which challenge me both intellectually and spiritually. Dark City was thus a near religious, life cleansing experience for me.

And any which way I look at it, this film soars to heights unseen since 2001: A Space Odyssey...

But due to its messed up(or near-absent) marketing campaign(positioning the film to resemble a horror film for the teenage crowd), the film did not find its intended audience and flopped unceremoniously. Of course it found its audience but by then its was too late...

That said, the thirst for something better than our run of the mill pop corn fare is still there, waiting to be quenched.

And The Matrix filled that void.

Too bad it wasn't this film. But in a ideal world, it would. Sad.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Which version? LivingDeath
Rufus Sewell's acting.. MrJJay
Dark City of NO dark people perpetualsoloist
The extremely fast cuts, the lazy eyes and Philip K. Dick Moucherot
One of the worstly aged movie in the history of cinema? poisonborz
Suggest similar Movies stormerstime
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