City by the Sea

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Released 2002

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Movie Summary

Director:
Michael Caton-Jones
Released:
2002
Rating:
R

City by the Sea is a 2002 suspense drama about a New York homicide detective who is forced to conquer his past demons after returning to his old neighborhood to investigate a homicide. The detective, Vincent LaMarca (Robert De Niro), is a dedicated lawman who has made it a point to distance himself from the less than stellar reputation associated with his last name. Four decades earlier, Vincent's father Angelo (Michael Dellafemina) ruthlessly killed a young child, and Vincent has carried the emotional scars from the incident with him since. One day, Vincent and his partner (George Dzundza) are assigned to investigate a murder of young man who was left in a dumpster in his old Long Island neighborhood. During the investigation, he discovers that one of the prime suspects in the case is his own estranged son Joey (James Franco), whom he abandoned in Long Island along with his wife years earlier. Now seeing Joey as a junkie and murder suspect, Vince reflects on his own failures as a father and the impact it has had on his son.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Robert Koehler

    De Niro's reunion with helmer Michael Caton-Jones doesn't stoke the same fire as their previous pere-fils drama, "This Boy's Life," partly because De Niro's latest portrayal of a t...

  • 50

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Stumbles from restrained, fine-edged realism into blunt and muddy melodrama.

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Has trouble seeming real. Its back story, involving the sins of Detective LaMarca's own father, feels contrived and the eventual resolution is simultaneously shaky and too pat.

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    Categories

    Drama, Suspense

    Themes

    Crime