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City of Angels More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This movie touches my heart - favorite of all time

Author: jax_lady2002 from United States
4 February 2012

I love this movie so much. It's a favorite and I rarely watch a movie more than once, because you know what will happen. This movie I've seen several times. It touches my soul. This is Nicholas Casge's best movie in my opinion. He and Meg Ryan are such a perfect match in this movie. I also love how the angels listen to people think.

The connection these two characters have is so amazing. I want to find a love like that in my lifetime. It exemplifies how a love can touch your soul and no matter how much or how little time you have together it's worth it.

When you see the comparison of how empty the Dr's eye are (Meg's boyfriend) in comparison to the way Seth look at her, you can see the love there. I think this movie was so under-appreciated and I felt compelled to write a review. I've never written one before, but this is well worth a great review.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Cry now. They want you to cry now.

Author: JessPumpkQueen from United States
25 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is one of the most manipulative movies I've ever sat through. All it needed was a flashing red sign below the screen telling me when to cry. It's fine to evoke emotions, but they were trying way too hard. Granted, the movie opened it a scene of a child dying, so it was clearly indicated from the beginning that this movie was going to be a barrel of laughs. I suppose I knew what I was getting into from the fist scene.

Sure, not every movie has to be upbeat, but this movie was so unnecessarily depressing that when the lights came up in the theater, half the audience had committed suicide. Okay, I'm lying. I saw it on Netflix. I was going to see it in the theater, but they outlawed it in my area because of all the suicides. Every other scene had something horribly tragic happen. Being needlessly depressing is not the same as being deep. This movie had nothing interesting to say at all. It was hard to feel very strongly about the end, because by the time that happened, I had become desensitized. In 2 hours. Because it was City of Angels. Of course something depressing is going to happen; it happens every time you turn around.

Moreover, the characters were difficult to like. Seth (Nicolas Cage) came across as incredibly creepy. The man used his powers of invisibility to hover over people to read their minds so he could try to understand human emotion. That's not sympathetic. That's downright invasive. I mean, he sat in the bathroom watching Maggie character bath and I'm supposed to like him because he's depressive, even though it clearly explained in the movie that angels don't feel negative emotions? And, not to be mean, but the movie goes through great lengths to present Nicolas Cage as a sex symbol, which seems off. He is an average looking guy with no personality whatsoever. What is it about him that is so damn appealing?

Maggie (Meg Ryan) is a big question mark. For one thing, I like to think that my doctor would feel distress if I died during a procedure, so that seemed realistic. However, it later becomes clear that this was the ONLY patient that has ever died on her operating table... So, to recap, she's an ICU surgeon who had never had a patient die before that. THAT'S realistic. She also comes across as very cold in some scenes. It was half way through the movie that I realized that the doctor she is sleeping with is her boyfriend, and not just a sex buddy. So, essentially, she is cheating on him with Nicolas Cage's character, and doesn't seem to see anything wrong with it. Even when he proposes to her, she seems more disturbed by the fact that he proposed than any of her own wrongdoing.

On the positive side, it's a very aesthetically pleasing film. They especially had some wonderful shots of the mountains in the Lake Tahoe scenes. Also, if you are a particularly sentimental person, than the over-the-top tragic nature of this movie might not annoy you as much as it did me.

As for me, I just found this movie to be to be over-the-top tragic to the point where it seemed unnatural and manipulative. I feel that a plot should unfold and if tragedy comes, it should come naturally; this film seemed to use story as a segue into the cry scenes, and it shows. The dialog is bad, the story is full of holes, and the characters are unlikable. Ultimately, it is for that reason that I give it 2 stars.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

My first movie EVER!

Author: Faraz Farahi ( from Iran
4 February 2008

previously the movie "Cast Away" used to be my best movie, but now that I've watched this movie long time after releasing, it has become the most favorite movie of mine, EVER! I felt so light and emotional after watching this movie...Thanks to Nicolas Cage & Meg Ryan...

Seth (Nicolas Cage) is an angel that appears only to those who are about to die, or those who are in the process of death. However, he is visible to other angels, has conversations with them, and spends his time with one in particular, making it obvious that angels, like humans, think, speak and have opinions. Seth, and apparently angels in general, always ask the humans what their favorite part of life was. (In the beginning of the film, a young girl looks at Seth and answers, "Pajamas.") Seth watches a heart surgeon, Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan) try vigorously to save a man's life even though the man is already dead. (He is in fact standing with Seth watching Maggie try to save him.) Seth soon becomes enthralled with Maggie and finds that he is able to make himself visible to her. Soon their relationship turns from a mild curiosity in each other into a friendship, and eventually progresses into a quasi-love type of relationship, neither being especially forthcoming.

Later in the film, Seth meets a man (Dennis Franz) in a hospital room who can remarkably tell when angels are present, much to the amazement of Seth. The man, now calling himself Nathaniel Messenger (as angels are God's messengers) eventually tells Seth that he was in fact an angel, just like Seth, but decided to become human. Seth is amazed and begins to think about undergoing this transformation for himself so that he can be with Maggie (who cannot be with him because he is an angel and who is eventually asked to marry a co-worker who she has been in a mildly serious relationship with for some time). However, once Seth makes this transformation (in which he falls to Earth, which might not have anything to do with the transformation, but is symbolic nonetheless), he finds Maggie has traveled to a mountain cabin to "get away".

Seth makes the journey to see Maggie and appears cold and soaked from rain at her door step. In the cold air, she sees his breath coming from his mouth, illuminating her to the transformation he has made.

The next morning, as Seth is in the shower, Maggie makes a rather extended trip to a small store by way of bicycle. On her way back, she lifts her hands off the handle bars, looks up at the sky, and enjoys the gentle ride down the hill. However, she does not realize the logging truck pulling out of a road ahead.

The next scene shows Seth running toward the scene of the accident (apparently, Seth has also acquired humanity's intuition - an unexplainable ability to know when loved ones are in danger or trouble), the truck driver running for help, and Maggie lying on the road, waiting.

Seth arrives at her side, and both know that this will be their last time seeing each other alive, though Seth refuses to speak of it. Maggie however, sees an angel by her side while a mortal Seth sees nothing. Seth does know that they are there, telling Maggie, "Don't look at them." Maggie tells Seth that when they ask her what her favorite part was, she will say it was Seth. Maggie then dies and Seth is left with the incredible sadness that follows the loss of someone one truly loves, an emotion that angels do not know. In a mere day, Seth had become a human, experienced physical pain and pleasure, the joy of true love, and the devastating loss of death. Seth is next seen sitting in a living room, and all of a sudden, his former co-angel and good friend Cassiel (Andre Braugher) appears. Seth is told that this is life, he is human, and that one day he will die as well. Cassiel then asks Seth that if he knew this was going to happen, would he still do it? Seth responds by telling him that he would rather have one instant with her, than an eternity without. The final scene illustrates Seth at the beach,with all the Angels including Cassiel watching, and after looking out at the ocean, he runs and jumps in, enjoying the water and realizing that his life will go on as well, and that he'll see Maggie one day again. And Cassiel is seen laughing, showing that the Angels are happy for him.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I only watched this movie for a reference for a short story

Author: arthera09 from United States
28 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a very bad movie and just about everything about it was not good. As long as it looks as if some care went into making the movie it turns out at least half way decent, but this entire movie seemed forced. They took an interesting idea and totally messed it up. It was not a good idea, but an interesting idea. They focused on the wrong character, which totally made the ending pointless and ineffective. They should have focused on Seth's character the entire time, but they switched focus which was not good. The ending with Meg Ryan's character dying felt forced and they could have done that much better, but it totally missed. The acting was not that good and only at moments was I slightly convinced that they could act, but I know both of them can act, but it seemed as if they were not invested in the material. The script may have been better and then possibly the director tried to change it, but something did not work in the transition (or maybe the script was just that bad). I watched this because I was interested in seeing how the movie would deal with the fact that these angels were more or less grim reapers and how they would deal with death and finality. I felt as if this had some potential, but it did not work because they barely even mentioned it. I am not going to lie, but I like a lot of songs on the soundtrack and "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan is a very moving song, but knowing what the song is about made it use a cheap forced move to get the viewer to feel emotional. I guess I could go on and on about how bad this movie is, but the continuity of the angel's behavior was one of the most agonizing parts of the movie. The one thing I liked, was the use of words that they used, but they totally did not use it enough. The scene when meg ryan's character describes the pear was fun and they needed more of that, but oh well. Don't watch this movie.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:


Author: hot_breen from norwich, britain
29 March 2004

A deeply dissapointing and schmultzy remake of one of the truly great films of modern times. Wenders' original navigates treacherous ground movingly, reflecting on the nature of existence, time, cities and nationhood as well as romantic love, with a backdrop that although grounded in Christian dogma resists evangelism. The remake debases the original, offering an overtly Christian (limiting the piece philosophically) and nauseating romance. Sugar-sweet performances from the cast leave the audience dissinterested and patronised, as the typically 'Hollywood' craving for closure is frustrating. This is another example of an industry that all to often thinks far too little of its consumer. We deserve better.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Way too formulaic to stand out as anything special

Author: duce122 from United States
28 March 2003

City of Angels (1998) D: Brad Silberling. Nicholas Cage, Meg Ryan, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz, Colm Feore, Robin Bartlett, Joanna Merlin. Director Silberling hammers out every angel movie cliché imaginable in this tale of an angel (Cage) who falls in love with an unhappy doctor (Ryan) and has to decide whether or not to become human to be with her. You can guess what happens next. The performances are good, but the film is way too formulaic to stand out as anything special. RATING: 5 out of 10. Rated PG-13 for nudity, profanity, and sexual situations.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not one of my favorites

Author: adamj76 from Korea
28 July 2002

This movie TO ME does not serve an entertaining purpose. The storyline is a great storyline, however the conclusion needs serious improvement! There are many movies with this type of general storyline, but I just do not see a point in movies like this at all. Two thumbs down, way down, HORRIBLY way down!!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Goo Goo Dolls Video made this movie seem better than it was

Author: nicole3699 from Carmel, NY
24 April 2002

I had seen the Goo Goo Dolls' video for "Iris" with clips from this movie, and it made the movie look pretty good.

When I did finally saw this movie on TV, I was majorly disappointed. What a bore!!!! About halfway through, I was in a somewhat trance state, because it could not keep my attention. Dennis Franz plays a completely obnoxious and repulsive character. His scenes made me cringe.

The song "Iris" finally came on towards the end, all 20 seconds of it or so.

By the end I really didn't care about what happend. This movie is lame. I'm just glad I didn't waste 9 bucks to see it in the movies, or rent it from blockbuster, but saw it free on TNT.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

So terrible that it´s like being in hell!

Author: jarius from Gothenburg, Sweden
16 April 2002

I am a pretty tolerant guy. I can watch almost everything and still find it worth my time. Call me pretentious but I actually like drama and can even enjoy romantic nonsense (Jennifer Aniston anyone?). Therefore you could figure that the best of both worlds would be to take your girlfriend to a film that you hope combines them both.

Well, I would just like to say that this horrible, sentimental garbage is more likely to be used as torture by some Third World dictator than being the film that saves or makes your love life. Watching this made me feel like a victim of a nuclear disaster.

Nicholas Cage, an all time favorite, must still feel the shame of being connected to this drivel. It´s been a few years, but I still want my money back!!!

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Someone took a dump in the movie theater and named it City of Angels

Author: Luckystar007 from Florida, USA
29 March 2002

Its been four years since my ill-fated trip to the movie theater to watch "City of Angels." I've had some time to think about it. There are just some movies that you watch one time, like "Pay it Forward" and "Get Over It." At first they're not so bad. Once you give yourself time to stew over it, your outlook changes and you realize that the movie really sucked. This is how I felt about "City of Angels." If you find yourself crying during this movie, its probably because you can't believe you've wasted good money on it. In most cases, I would feel that the plot should be discussed, but here that would be wasting my time. Lets face it, this movie makes you want to soil it, literally.

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