Critic Reviews



Based on 23 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Christian Science Monitor
Influenced by Billy Wilder's classic "Ace in the Hole," this dark comedy-drama rambles on too long and strains credibility at times.
Entertainment Weekly
Director Costa-Gavras packs a whole lotta hectoring into this high-strung morality play about the broadcast media's culpability in the escalation of human drama into camera-ready Greek tragedy.
New York Daily News
Unfortunately, Mad City merely pumps up the volume on material that has already been picked clean. [07Nov1997 Pg 74]
Yet in trying to be honest and non-conformist, Mad City does the most dishonest thing imaginable: it conforms to Hollywood routine.
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.
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.
USA Today
A blanket indictment like this has to be either satirically trenchant or a roundhouse punch to the gut. Tom Matthews' script takes a mushy middle ground, and the result seems less mad than just a bit addled or hacked off. [07Nov1997 Pg08.D]
The absence of originality and inspiration isn't Mad City's only problem -- it also suffers from a shocking lack of subtlety.
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.
Clearly, there's the germ of a good -- potentially even great -- movie here, but it's thoroughly smothered by a pair of lazy, self-congratulatory star turns by Hoffman and Travolta.
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?

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