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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

PG-13 | | Action, Fantasy, Horror | 21 August 2013 (USA)
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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)
1,054 ( 49)
6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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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


Worlds will collide August 21 See more »

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 »



USA | Germany | Canada | UK



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:

$1,800,000 (United Kingdom), 21 August 2013

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,336,957, 25 August 2013, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In the book, Jace has gold eyes. In the movie, he doesn't. 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 »


Jace Wayland: Next time, it might be a nice idea to mention that you already have a man in your bed, so we can avoid such uncomfortable situations.
Simon Lewis: You invited him to bed?
Jace Wayland: I know, it's ridiculous, isn't it? We would never have all fit.
Clary Fray: I didn't invite him into bed. We were just kissing.
Jace Wayland: How swiftly you dismiss our love.
See more »


Referenced in Cinematic Excrement: Hillary's America (2017) See more »


17 Crimes
Music by Jade Puget, Lyrics by Davey Havok
Performed by AFI
Courtesy of Republic Records
Under license from 'Universal Music Enterprises'
See more »

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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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