City of Angels

Released 1998


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Movie Summary

Brad Silberling
City of Angels is a romantic drama film directed by Brad Silberling based on Wim Wenders's Wings of Desire that centers on an angel who gives up his responsibilities and immortality to find love as a fallen angel and as a mortal man. Seth (Nicolas Cage) was an Angel, a watcher, who along with his fellow Angels works to guide humans from one life to the next as they die, whether it is from old age, disease, or accident. Though they are there at one of the most important moments of a human's life, Seth finds himself at odds with what it truly means to be human. When he awaits his most recent escort at the hospital, Seth watches the passion and anguish of a cardiothoracic surgeon, Maggie Rice (Meg Ryan), as she refuses to give up hope on a dying patient. Maggie becomes his obsession, often appearing to her in a bid to strike up a friendship despite her uneasiness with his odd tendencies. When he meets her patient Nathaniel Messinger (Dennis Franz), Seth learns that Nathaniel had once been like him ' an Angel, watching and waiting for eternity ' until he decided to fall and become fully human, living life a little too much with a lot of food, love, and laughter. As Seth struggles with his newfound feelings, he learns of the bittersweet that comes with humanity.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    The endlessly resourceful Nicolas Cage, as a celestial angel, and a terrifically engaging Meg Ryan, as a pragmatic surgeon, create such blissful chemistry that they elevate the dra...

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    A fascinating hybrid. A Hollywood fantasy at its most fantastic, the film is equal parts true innocence and shameless calculation. Deciding whether the glass is half empty or half ...

  • 40

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    The movie aspires toward a solemnity that Dana Stevens's prosaic psychobabbling screenplay cannot support. The movie is so busy being seriously romantic that it forgets the poetry,...

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Religion & Spirituality, Medical, Love & Romance