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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

James Franco appeared with Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. Maguire had a small role in This Boy's Life (1993), which starred Robert De Niro. See more »

Goofs

When Joey and his Father are in the building surrounded by cops, and Joey fires the gun into the floor, the cop outside in the police car nearest the camera makes his hands into a gun shape instead of pointing a real gun. See more »

Quotes

Vincent LaMarca: How'd we get this way son? I remember the day you were born.
Joey: Yeah? Well, I remember the day you left. So we're even.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) 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

 
Fatherhood
26 October 2008 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

Homicide detective Robert De Niro (as Vincent LaMarca) has a skeleton in his closet. Mr. De Niro's father was executed as a baby killer. However, De Niro "turned his life around" and, with help from a law-abiding father figure, became a respectable police officer. Unfortunately, he left his wife and young son on the wrong side of the tracks. Fourteen years later, De Niro's handsome son James Franco (as Joey LaMarca) has become a gaunt Long Beach junkie, with a neglected son of his own. While scoring some junk, Mr. Franco knifes a dealer, in self-defense (this is the film's opening). Then, father De Niro is assigned the task of bringing in his estranged son as a murderer...

If you give "City by the Sea" a chance, it should make a good impression, thanks to the skillfully focused cast and crew. De Niro is particularly good at elevating the story; he keeps everything real. The story is, otherwise, not structurally sound. To give an example (without giving anything away) note that Franco's opening "killing" is hardly a crime. Wouldn't the film's theme have worked better if this was a real, however warranted, passionate murder? This would strengthen the sense of loss/salvation expressed by De Niro and Franco in the final act. There are other puzzling story developments, right up until the final "beach" visit. Director Michael Caton-Jones' near-ending "auto body shop" segment is exciting, though.

******* City by the Sea (2002) Michael Caton-Jones ~ Robert De Niro, James Franco, Frances McDormand


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