6.1/10
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162 user 106 critic

City by the Sea (2002)

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Vincent Lamarca, whose father was executed for a 1950s kidnapping of a child, grew up to become a police officer, only to see his own son become a murder suspect.

Writers:

Mike McAlary (article) (as Michael McAlary), Ken Hixon (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Vincent LaMarca
Frances McDormand ... Michelle
James Franco ... Joey
Eliza Dushku ... Gina
William Forsythe ... Spyder
Patti LuPone ... Maggie (as Patti Lupone)
Anson Mount ... Dave Simon
John Doman ... Henderson
Brian Tarantina ... Snake
Drena De Niro ... Vanessa Hansen
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Herb
Nestor Serrano ... Rossi
Matthew Cowles ... Arnie
Linda Emond ... Margery
Cyrus Farmer ... Carl
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Storyline

New York City homicide detective Vincent LaMarca has forged a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, making a name for himself as a man intensely committed to his work. But on his latest case, the stakes are higher for Vincent--the suspect he's investigating is his own son. He and Joey have been painfully estranged ever since Vincent divorced his wife and left the decaying boardwalks of Long Beach, Long Island for the anonymity of Manhattan and a successful career with the NYPD. He lives his life in solitude, keeping his girlfriend at arm's length; the closest relationship he maintains is with his partner, Reg--and Vincent makes sure that stops at the precinct door. As long as Vincent lives in the protection of the present, he doesn't have to deal with the pain of his past--or his sorrow over his broken relationship with Joey. But this murder investigation is drawing Vincent home to Long Beach, the self-proclaimed City by the Sea, where the past has been waiting for him to ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When you're searching for a killer... the last suspect you want to see is your son.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mark of a Murderer See more »

Filming Locations:

Asbury Park, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,935,426, 8 September 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,433,915, 10 November 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In June 2001, Michael Caton-Jones and his assistant Mitchel Stanley were ordered to move to Los Angeles to finish the film, thus missing the 9/11 terrorist attacks that could have also hit the editing facility in Tribeca. See more »

Goofs

When Joey and his Father are in the building surrounded by cops, Joey looks through a glass window pane which then disappears, reappears and is then broken out by Joey in consecutive shots. See more »

Quotes

Vincent LaMarca: It's Him. Joey. He's my son.
Dave Simon: Jesus Christ! I'm sorry.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This motion picture was not actually filmed in Long Beach, New York. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shameless: Episode #1.1 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Curious Mind (Um Um Um Um Um Um)
Written by Curtis Mayfield
Performed by Major Lance
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Polished drama
1 June 2004 | by Danny_G13See all my reviews

I'm really not a fan of cop/crime dramas.

I watched this on a recommendation without any clue about its content, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it.

De Niro is Vincent laMarca, a detective of many years on the force. His wife is estranged and he hasn't seen his son Joey in 15 years but finds himself pursuing the boy when Joey is wanted in connection with the murder of a drug dealer. Joey is in a bad way, being a drug addict himself and father of a son he can't support, so perenially finds himself in conflict with his mother who reluctantly tolerates his junkie nature and internally with himself.

Frances McDormand plays Michelle, Vincent's current relationship, though the depth of the relationship seems rather superficial given the 2 live in the same apartment block but seperate appartments. She wants to know more about Vincent when she decides she doesn't know him at all, but his past is murky with a complex and dark family history.

Add to this, his son, Joey's own son with Gina who essentially loses faith in both Joey and her own ability to be a mother, and you have a rather subtle and dark drama with a lot of complexities.

It is worth noting that all the performances are as excellent as you would expect, particularly the breath-taking de Niro, in one of his best roles for years. This is the type of character he was born to play and he's so convincing as Vincent.

As a crime story and cop drama it's one for fans especially, but if you know good cinema you will appreciate it too.


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