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Dark City (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi  |  27 February 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 147,399 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 615 user | 221 critic | 23 from

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.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Karl Harris
Frank Gallacher ...
Hotel Manager / Vendor
Justin Monjo ...
Taxi Driver
Mr. Rain


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


Darkness Falls Soon See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

27 February 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dark City  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,576,953 (USA) (27 February 1998)


£848,615 (UK) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Has one of the shortest Average shot lengths (ASL) of any modern narrative production at 1.8 seconds. This means there is a cut almost every 2 seconds. See more »


(at around 1h 5 mins) When the glass partition is broken, a second sheet of glass is used to protect Jennifer Connelly. At slow speeds, John's hand is clearly visible reflected in this safety glass. See more »


[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 »


References Momo (1986) See more »


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

A perfect nighttime movie
10 June 2006 | by (E-tuna, Sweden) – See all my reviews

I'm not saying the acting was perfect, i'm not trying to say the story was told in the most professional way or all by rules of film-making. It wasn't at all an up-tempo film Hollywood style with lots of explosions and rapid smart dialogs.

But, somehow, unlike most films with few exceptions, it had the capability of putting you in a certain mood. A mood of inconvenience, because you become one with the character John Murdoch, mostly thanks to Sewell's acting. Maybe it's because when I've seen this movie, it's always way past midnight, but I guess it's part of the ultimate experience from it.

The thing is I've only felt this way about a movie once before, and unfortunately, I can't remember the title of that movie, only that it ended with a picture of an ocean, and an alone man on the beach, leaving us never knowing if he would ever meet his girl again or not. I love when a picture put that enormous hill of emotions in your heart, and just as many questions in your head. That feeling, that mood.

Most of the actors has received bad reviews for this movie, not least on this forum. But in my opinion, Rufus Sewell is doing his part very well. First so uncertain, then slowly growing into his role. Keither Sutherland, in a pretty uncomfortable role as a scared, weak doctor does it surprisingly good. William Hurt is hard and scarred, but soft on the inside. I guess the actors are telling more about their parts than the script itself.

Generally, all the actors seem to have captured this feeling, this sense, that colors all throughout the picture, making the picture. You are not watching it. You are in it. You are John Murdoch.

I'd like to end with a quote

John Murdoch: "When was the last time you remember doing something during the day?"

It sort of reveals the touch of it. If you haven't seen it, see it, in the middle of the night! If you've seen it daytime, see it again at nighttime. Not because you're tired, but because it's dark.

74 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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