506 user 219 critic

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

1:38 | Trailer
When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called the Shadow World.


Harald Zwart


Jessica Postigo (screenplay by) (as Jessica Postigo Paquette), Cassandra Clare (based on the novel by)
1,213 ( 128)
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Collins ... Clary
Jamie Campbell Bower ... Jace
Kevin Zegers ... Alec
Jemima West ... Isabelle
Robert Sheehan ... Simon
Robert Maillet ... Blackwell
Kevin Durand ... Pangborn
Godfrey Gao ... Magnus Bane
Lena Headey ... Jocelyn
Harry Van Gorkum ... Alaric / Werewolf
CCH Pounder ... Dorothea
Jared Harris ... Hodge
Jonathan Rhys Meyers ... Valentine
Aidan Turner ... Luke
Stephen R. Hart ... Brother Jeremiah (as Stephen Hart)


Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray, discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary must join forces with a group of Shadow Hunters, who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York called the Shadow World, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Kirby Bliss Blanton auditioned for the role of Isabelle Lightwood. See more »


In scenes of Clary's childhood, you see Jocelyn's runes while washing her hands but they're kept hidden by longer sleeved shirts. When she's in the self induced coma, you see most of her arms but no runes. See more »


[from trailer]
Clary Fray: What now?
Alec Lightwood: [Opening up a case of weapons] Just have to pick up a few things.
See more »


Referenced in Honest Trailers: Leprechaun (2015) See more »


Into the Lair
Written by Zedd (as Anton Zaslavski)
Performed by Zedd
Courtesy of Interscope Records
See more »

User Reviews

Slightly worse than the book
29 August 2013 | by isabelle-fraterSee all my reviews

I went to this movie after reading mixed reviews about it. Though there were mixed reviews about the books as well, and those I liked. Okay, the first three. I haven't read on, as I felt it should have ended there. Moving on... When I watch a movie that is based on a book, I don't try to compare it to the book too much. They are two different mediums, and something that may work in a book, doesn't work in a movie. What is important is for the movie to give back the main story line of the book, the feel of the book, and to stand on its own, so that people who don't read the books understand it as well.

The story line I had a problem with. Partly, because I read the book over a year ago, and I don't remember much of it. I'm pretty sure the end was different, but that I understand because of the time. They did commit a major sin though. They revealed a very important plot point, in fact, I think more than one, that doesn't get revealed until the next book. They did stick to it mostly, but still... The feel was great. Seriously, I came out of the theater pumped up, and that is always a good thing. I saw the world as if I was still in the movie. That may not be that good. It can stand on its own for the most part. There were some things that I knew from the book, that was a bit problematic in the movie. For example, the people living at the Institute. Who they were wasn't explained well. I would have liked them to be properly introduced. Maybe it was a time issue, or a flow issue, but really, how long would it take to say "Hi, I'm Isabelle, this is Alec, my brother." or something to that effect. We basically don't know anything about anyone, just Carly. All the back stories that they may have is missing. It's implied, but I only caught snippets. That was a negative. The rest of the plot is explained well, can be understood without the book.

The look of the movie was great. The Institute I loved, the demons looked properly hideous, the fight scenes were reasonably exciting. The soundtrack was also really good. I generally don't pay much attention to the music, but that was a huge plus in this one. I especially liked one fight scene music, so I'm definitely getting the soundtrack.

Now on to the cast. I must say, pretty good. Lily Collins I first noticed in Mirror, Mirror, where I thought how better she was at being Snow White than Kristen Stewart. She was a very believable Carly too. I look forward to seeing her in more movies, I think she'll be great. Jamie Campbell Bower was properly hot and dark as Jace. I didn't have a clear picture of Jace in my head, but it would have been something like him. I was very glad when he was cast, I always thought he was wasted as the young Grindelwald. Kevin Zegers as Alec was a bit of a let-down. I just imagined Alec as a lot more imposing figure somehow. A bit like a darker, more muscular Jace. It was especially a let-down, because I always liked Alec. Some people say Godfrey Gao didn't fit the bill of Magnus. I actually imagined him to be uglier somehow. It was a bit of a pleasant surprise, because I found Godfrey very cute. Therefore, although he didn't fit my Magnus either, I'd rather have him. Aidan Turner I didn't recognize at first, although I watched Being Human. I knew I had seen him somewhere, but because of all the hair, he was playing Luke, it was hard. He didn't have a major role in the movie, I hope he'll get more story next time. I always thought Luke was a good character. Casting Jared Harris as Hodge is a bit of a give-away. I won't say more. Spoilers.

Overall, it was a good movie. Watchable. I may even re-watch it in a few months on a bored Sunday. People can take their boyfriends or girlfriends to it as well, and they will probably have a good time too. I do wish it was less show, more story, but the fight scenes were pretty cool. If someone likes the story, they should read the book though. If someone read the book, try to leave your outrage over the little things behind, and just immerse yourself in the sights. That is why this gets 5 stars. Slightly worse than the book.

Cross-posted at http://unapologetic-reviews.blogspot.com

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Release Date:

21 August 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,336,957, 25 August 2013

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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