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City of Angels
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Reviews & Ratings for
City of Angels More at IMDbPro »

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Need more life

Author: SnoopyStyle
20 September 2013

Based on the German film "Wings of Desire" (1987), Seth (Nicolas Cage) is an angel. They can't feel, taste, be touched, or seen. Their job is to bring the dead to the afterlife. Dr. Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) is a sharp young heart surgeon who feels there's something more going on after the death of her last patient. One day, Maggie sees Seth. At first she thinks he's simply a patient at the hospital. But soon she realizes that he is much more mysterious than that, and she quickly falls for him. Nathaniel Messinger (Dennis Franz) is Maggie's patient, and surprisingly a former angel. He tells Seth his choice to fall to Earth.

This is a very slow movie. Nicolas Cage is doing his empty look, and his tired speaking voice. Meg Ryan does her best to inject chemistry into this film. It's a very slow romance and it works on that level. When he finally falls to Earth, he does a complete 180. Subtlety has never been Cage's strong point. It's too jarring, and too late.

The problem is the lack of humor. I think a few well placed jokes early can enliven the whole film. For a movie about life and death, they need more life in it.

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Director and Script's Games

Author: Morfeo from Colombia
2 August 1999

Now a days, a new strategy has been created for movie making: Playing with feelings. Lots of movies are made each day, with no base, theme or topic. How then can they earn some money? Its simple, by some type of stupid story, they just try to make their characters SO CUTE, the spectator looses all track of the film, and just centers on the character feelings.

When the film is over, they'll just say "The Film is Beautiful". You'll ask why, and the answer will surely be "The Angel was So cute! I think I fell in love with him..."

Understand what I mean? City of Angels is the prefect example of the Mind Game played on a terrible film to make it look great

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Cage does hopelessly in love or something

Author: Morrigan from Dublin, Ireland
4 November 1998

City of Angels is one of those movies which get made because girls like to cry profusely when the hero or heroine dies and will pay good money to do so. Nicholas Cage spends the film with a sort of soulful pain etched on his face and Meg Ryan is, well she's Meg Ryan isn't she, not much change there then. I came out of the film feeling manipulated, I'm not adverse to sobbing over a hero or for that matter a heroine, but not when that's what the film set out to do.

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Decent, watchable movie

Author: anonymous from McHenry, IL
1 October 1998

I liked the premise of the movie and at first it was heart-warming, tear jerker. However, I really didn't get the buy-in for the characters and closer to the end I was wishing the movie would simply end.

The acting was okay, but wasn't convincing. I think there were too many holes in the "angel" theory and that detracted me as well. The story was also a bit too far-fetched. However, it did have its moments.

Overall, however, it is worthy of being rented as it is mildly entertaining.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Romantic movie for the religious

Author: ArthurDental from United States
22 November 2015

I had a feeling this movie wasn't as good as some people made it out to be. You really have to be religious to enjoy this movie from beginning to end. It's very simple, predictable, even vacuous, if you're a bit skeptical.

The brilliant female surgeon, who spots an angel, was made to renounce all her scientific beliefs, even training. She was reduced to asking what her roles or actions meant if people died on God's schedule.

The answer may have been glossed over a little, but the movie did not offer any alternative. The answer was most emphatically not much.

That's the kind of attitude that you need to enjoy this movie. Otherwise, stop after the first half an hour.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Hated the ending

Author: utgard14 from USA
9 February 2014

Loose remake of Wings of Desire that goes less for the artsy approach and more for the romantic drama. Nic Cage plays an angel who falls in love with pretty surgeon Meg Ryan. Cage, as always, is an acquired taste. His usual half-ham approach to acting is on display here. If you are familiar with him and don't like his style, then you will hate this so don't bother. Ryan is adorable and pretty and can cry on cue. So she's perfect for this kind of schmaltz. Dennis Franz appears in a reworking of Peter Falk's wonderful role in the original film. Falk was the best part of Wings of Desire for me. Franz is OK here but not particularly memorable.

Despite its flaws, I was actually enjoying it for the most part. Not loving it, but enjoying it. It was pleasant enough. But the downbeat ending killed the whole thing for me. Look, you don't want to make a pretentious art film like Wings of Desire -- OK, cool, I'm with you there. But if you're going to make a mainstream love story, then stick with that and don't give me some depressing ending. It made me feel like I wasted my time with the whole thing. It had nothing profound to say and certainly didn't have the nice visuals of Wings of Desire, so it really needed to make the love story work. Instead it makes an attempt at the last minute to become something more than it is and it fails. Nice soundtrack though.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: anca maria ciubotariu from Romania
30 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, I just saw the movie now in 2014. My opinion? Was really bad. Maybe I would have felt different if I saw it in 1998. Who knows? First of all why all the angels are a bunch of 40 years old man dressed in black? Seems so wrong. The general idea about angels: androgynous looking characters and young. I understand that they wanted a new idea from the general notion of angels but still...Cage with a huge amount of chest hair is not a credible angel. Sorry. Also I don' t want to see some funny looking people like Ryan and Cage making love on screen. Too gross! The angels were supposed to be much more specialized on different areas. What kind of angel was he, the guardian angel, the angel that helped people who just died? Why all the angels were loitering in the library, what logic is in that?

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

City of Somnambulance...

Author: Howlin Wolf from Oldham, Gtr Manchester, England.
31 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I want to make it clear that I'm not against representing the concept of angels in movies... It's just laughable the way it's done in this instance - Cage walking around, perma-brooding, dressed all in black, acting stoned to convey his 'otherworldliness' and constantly speaking in hushed tones... and then, to contrast, you cast Dennis Franz as the 'happy' angel who's crossed over into human existence (See? He must be happy because of his ruddy complexion and physique... so we'll make sure that he's eating when the viewer sees him, just so we can hammer home the point... )

The crisis that provokes the climax of the movie is utterly ridiculous, in the way that it's shown. I mean, what do you expect when you're riding the bike with your eyes closed, and a "Look ma, no hands!" expression?! ... and why would you do this? Joy is not an excuse for stupidity.

When you've seen movies such as "The Seventh Seal", which contemplates the realities of human existence, then movies like "City of Angels" just seem manipulative, you know? I have yet to see it, but I have no doubt that "Wings of Desire" (of which this is apparently a pandering remake) will bear this out, too.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Terrible, terrible movie *contains minor spoilers*

Author: thejeenius
19 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Oh, look! It's one of those typical Hollywood remakes that no one actually cares about! Who would've thought? To sum it up: your time will be better spent doing something else. This movie reeks of tear-jerking, prototypical love scenes and particularly cheesy effects. Even when Nicholas (that stupid angel) takes off his shoes at the beach you can tell something's not right. You really have to wonder if anyone's supposed to take this seriously with all the flaws that it has. Also, if you're not in on the whole "angel" thing this movie won't do for you. There's really nothing else to say here. It's the epitome of blandness.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A small comment from an unconditional fan of meg Ryan.

Author: noritaka01 from Vietnam
31 May 2011

The movie is not the best however through my subjective eyes, I got to say that meg Ryan is wonderful as always... :-) However, the movie miss a bit of dynamism and the discover of feelings and of the new world for cage should have been a bit more complex as I guess it would be really complex to got all of that after years without feeling anything! The storyline is not really interesting and should have been more deep, dealing with more the concept of death and life. But it is still a love story fresh and simple.

To summarize I love meg Ryan. but beside the whole love story I rather see a deeper perspective on life and death and I think that we can still find this kind of thought even though it is a love story.

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