Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    100
    You needn't have colorful Italian relatives, like myself, to enjoy this boisterous and warm-hearted film, which sidesteps cliche while embracing the hope and love in loony dysfunctional families everywhere.
  2. 88
    For me, the movie's high point comes when Tony auditions for a role in a Martin Scorsese movie. Tony learns not to try so hard -- a lesson that Garcia also seems to have absorbed from City Island.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    88
    In this story, everyone, man or woman, is a walled fortress of paranoia, secrecy, unsatisfied yearnings and anger-at-low-tide, all of which will rise and collapse over the course of what is a very funny film, and one that operates at the sea level of humanity. Quaint. Slightly peculiar.
  4. A charming throwback filled with authentic characters.
  5. A funny, heartfelt look at families, relationships and the lies that prop them up as much as tear them down.
  6. 75
    A warmly hilarious movie about family members and their secret hearts.
  7. 75
    But don't get the idea City Island is a laff riot. For this story about these people, it finds about the right tone. They're silly and foolish, as are we all, but deserve what happiness they can negotiate.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    The ensemble cast is strong. At its silliest comic moments it has a sitcom flavor, but the overall effect is gently amusing.
  9. 75
    Not everything in City Island works - some of the secrets are obvious plot devices - but, in terms of feel-good, undemanding entertainment, this is as good as anything I have seen thus far in 2010.
  10. Yes, it’s really complicated, life with the Rizzos. City Island probably has too many moving parts. Still, writer-director Raymond de Felitta (Two Family House) understands that a proper farce, like a good campfire, needs plenty of friction to get started.
  11. There's a certain triteness to the overarching message -- secrets will keep us apart, and the truth will set us free -- but the kind of sweetness and earnestness that's on display in City Island makes such quibbles easy to forgive.
  12. 70
    Pretty damned irresistible. What begins as a winning workout in a highly familiar genre -- the white-ethnic, big-city family comedy -- gradually gains both screwball momentum and emotional power, and delivers an unexpected punch by the time it reaches its climactic pileup of characters and revelations.
  13. An affectionate portrait of a lower-middle-class, outer-borough clan, City Island works best as an actor's showcase, with Margulies's aggrieved, simmering wife the stand-out.
  14. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    70
    De Felitta ("Two Family House") gives all his actors plenty of room to roam. Garcia, afforded the chance to stretch his comic muscles and play a working stiff, comes off best, nailing Vince's good-natured vulnerability.
  15. Softened by some sweet, low-key moments between Vince and a fellow acting student (a very good Emily Mortimer) and by Mr. Garcia’s embodiment of disappointed middle age.
  16. 70
    An amiable family comedy one step above a TV sitcom (and several steps below “Moonstruck.”
  17. 63
    After starring in a string of heavy dramas, Andy Garcia lightens up and goes for the funny in City Island, a breezy comedy that fits the actor like a güayabera.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    A strident, contrived, surprisingly lovable Noo Yawk City family farce.
  19. 63
    City Island is a light “family” romance that goes about as far as its novel location -- an island neighborhood tucked in the middle of New York City -- and a good cast can carry it.
  20. The performances are absurdly broad, and each story line is more outlandish than the last. But De Felitta’s approach is so easygoing, and the waterside setting so irresistibly charming, you’re bound to walk out in a great mood. How many movies can do that for you?
  21. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    An, at-times, marvellous muddle of high farce and low-brow chuckles.
  22. Reviewed by: Kevin B. Lee
    60
    Somehow, writer-director Raymond De Felitta pulls off these proceedings way better than anyone has a right to, thanks to his light touch with potentially lurid plot developments and his generosity in letting actors flesh out their sitcom setups.
  23. Andy Garcia reminds you of what a cunning, likable actor he can be.
  24. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    58
    The movie too often equates drama with volume, and agita with authenticity.
  25. Warm, broad and uneven, City Island almost thrives in the lite entertainment zone where ethnic family dramedy meets mildly raucous farce.
  26. It has a basic goodness of heart that counteracts, if not entirely cancels out, the film's broadness and busyness.
  27. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    50
    Frank De Felitta wrote and directed this feeble but well-stuffed comedy; Alan Arkin and Emily Morton are wasted in cameos as Garcia's drama coach and acting buddy, respectively.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Dec 5, 2012
    8
    It could have very easily been annoying, but thanks to the strength of its cast it becomes a funny, heartfelt, and endearing story of aIt could have very easily been annoying, but thanks to the strength of its cast it becomes a funny, heartfelt, and endearing story of a dysfunctional family. Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2011
    10
    A truly great film with multi-faceted scenes and such a diverse story. Such eccentric dark humour with a complex look at family and all of itsA truly great film with multi-faceted scenes and such a diverse story. Such eccentric dark humour with a complex look at family and all of its problems.
    Highly recommended.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 13, 2011
    6
    A slight premise (a dysfunctional family unable to be honest with each other are brought together by an ex-con who turns out to be...) whichA slight premise (a dysfunctional family unable to be honest with each other are brought together by an ex-con who turns out to be...) which could easily have been wrecked by poor casting is brought to life by excellent, empathetic performances by Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies. There are a few bum notes (a wince-inducing turn by Emily Mortimer as an ever-so-English aspiring actress and a cringeworthy scene where Garcia over-emotes as an amateur actor under-emoting to win a role) but it's all likeable enough, particularly when they all stop shouting and start listening to each other. Full Review »