City of Hope Reviews

  • Aug 07, 2015

    Between a 7/10 and 8/10, Sayles' strategy is unique and sneaky without being self-serving... An epic-scale examination of how the bad guy never knows he's the bad guy.

    Between a 7/10 and 8/10, Sayles' strategy is unique and sneaky without being self-serving... An epic-scale examination of how the bad guy never knows he's the bad guy.

  • Mar 05, 2015

    Well made story of intermingled people in a big city in the 90's. Corruption and greed, racial tension and crooked cops. The director John Sayles plays one of the main roles.

    Well made story of intermingled people in a big city in the 90's. Corruption and greed, racial tension and crooked cops. The director John Sayles plays one of the main roles.

  • Brian R Super Reviewer
    Feb 18, 2012

    This is a good movie. A film that tackles racial problems, politics, corruption, protests, and urban life. "City Of Hope" is the American microcosm where all these diffrent stories and where most of the characters bump into one another. Sort of like taking all these ingridents and adding it into the stirring pot. Filmmaker John Sayles has taken this interconnected story that would remind one of the works of Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson or Paul Haggis. Cinematographer Robert Richardson photographs with his trademark of using a bright key light shinning vividly on the cast and uses reds, yellows and other sources of lights to enhance the story. It's funny to also see Richardson in a small cameo scene as one of the convicts sitting silently at a police precinct. John Sayles also plays a part in the picture as Carl. A corrupted mechanic who wants piece of the action. Sayles's performace is chillingly frieghtning and brilliant adding another layer in the city of hope. A city pulses with racial problems, political corruption, and small-time crime in this ambitious microcosm of urban life, written and directed by John Sayles. Nick Rinaldi (Vincent Spano), a lost soul usually high on drink and drugs, has spent his life in one New Jersey city, getting free rides from his connected father (Tony LoBianco) and hearing the locals talk of his brother's death in Vietnam. Searching for more control, Nick quits the cushy contractor's job provided by his Dad, feeling that major events are about to happen to him. That feeling proves accurate -- by film's end his life will change, as will the lives of many others. Nick is only the center of the movie's sprawling collection of people and plotlines; Sayles takes full advantage of this expansive landscape, as he often begins shooting one conversation, only to pull back and eavesdrop on another, in one smooth, intriguing shot. By listening in, we slowly learn about the citizens and their dilemmas, as the city's woes bubble to a narrative climax. Many of Sayles' regular players are on-screen (the movie features 52 roles), including Joe Morton as a frustrated councilman and David Strathairn as a disturbed street person.

    This is a good movie. A film that tackles racial problems, politics, corruption, protests, and urban life. "City Of Hope" is the American microcosm where all these diffrent stories and where most of the characters bump into one another. Sort of like taking all these ingridents and adding it into the stirring pot. Filmmaker John Sayles has taken this interconnected story that would remind one of the works of Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson or Paul Haggis. Cinematographer Robert Richardson photographs with his trademark of using a bright key light shinning vividly on the cast and uses reds, yellows and other sources of lights to enhance the story. It's funny to also see Richardson in a small cameo scene as one of the convicts sitting silently at a police precinct. John Sayles also plays a part in the picture as Carl. A corrupted mechanic who wants piece of the action. Sayles's performace is chillingly frieghtning and brilliant adding another layer in the city of hope. A city pulses with racial problems, political corruption, and small-time crime in this ambitious microcosm of urban life, written and directed by John Sayles. Nick Rinaldi (Vincent Spano), a lost soul usually high on drink and drugs, has spent his life in one New Jersey city, getting free rides from his connected father (Tony LoBianco) and hearing the locals talk of his brother's death in Vietnam. Searching for more control, Nick quits the cushy contractor's job provided by his Dad, feeling that major events are about to happen to him. That feeling proves accurate -- by film's end his life will change, as will the lives of many others. Nick is only the center of the movie's sprawling collection of people and plotlines; Sayles takes full advantage of this expansive landscape, as he often begins shooting one conversation, only to pull back and eavesdrop on another, in one smooth, intriguing shot. By listening in, we slowly learn about the citizens and their dilemmas, as the city's woes bubble to a narrative climax. Many of Sayles' regular players are on-screen (the movie features 52 roles), including Joe Morton as a frustrated councilman and David Strathairn as a disturbed street person.

  • Oct 04, 2010

    A+ John Sayles is a master filmmaker.

    A+ John Sayles is a master filmmaker.

  • May 25, 2010

    A+ John Sayles is a master filmmaker.

    A+ John Sayles is a master filmmaker.

  • Sep 10, 2009

    **** (out of four) John Sayles sprawling and emotional look at a decaying city. It isn't pleasant, but it is memorable. Great performances from an amazing cast include Vincent Spano, Angela Bassett, David Strathairn, and Joe Morton.

    **** (out of four) John Sayles sprawling and emotional look at a decaying city. It isn't pleasant, but it is memorable. Great performances from an amazing cast include Vincent Spano, Angela Bassett, David Strathairn, and Joe Morton.

  • Feb 16, 2009

    John Sayles' brilliant film abou interpresonal relations in the age of social deterioration.

    John Sayles' brilliant film abou interpresonal relations in the age of social deterioration.

  • Jun 23, 2008

    My favorite John Sayles movie.

    My favorite John Sayles movie.

  • Anthony V Super Reviewer
    Jun 17, 2008

    Another great Sayles ensemble cast piece.

    Another great Sayles ensemble cast piece.

  • May 03, 2008

    1—Sayles’ most ambitious film, shot in Cincinnati for $5 million, using 40 locations and 38 characters 2—socially conscious in the vein of Hollywood’s message films 3—cinematographer Robert Richardson’s alert camera never stands still to capture constantly-on-the-move characters, drifting among individuals crossing paths while long master shots demonstrate the interconnectedness of urban forces 4—What is (American Independent) Cinema? a sociological portrait of urban life at the end of the century (when old political system and old ethnic formations lost validity)

    1—Sayles’ most ambitious film, shot in Cincinnati for $5 million, using 40 locations and 38 characters 2—socially conscious in the vein of Hollywood’s message films 3—cinematographer Robert Richardson’s alert camera never stands still to capture constantly-on-the-move characters, drifting among individuals crossing paths while long master shots demonstrate the interconnectedness of urban forces 4—What is (American Independent) Cinema? a sociological portrait of urban life at the end of the century (when old political system and old ethnic formations lost validity)