User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 51
  2. Negative: 0 out of 51

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  1. Lyn
    Jan 8, 2011
    8
    An amusing comedy-of-errors flick that blended dysfunctional-family cliches with some truly touching and original moments -- such as the son's unusual fetish that was handled with an apt combination of sincerity and weird wonderment. I also enjoyed seeing Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies together again. (Both were really good in 2001's "The Man From Elysian Fields.")
  2. Sep 19, 2010
    9
    With creative mastery and verve, writer director Raymond De Felitta steps outside the Hollywood formula in the refreshing indie comedy City Island. City Island, a mostly Italian-American fishing village in the Bronx, is marked by the Rizzo family's strong ties and passions writ large. Each Rizzo harbors a secret, and the resulting clash of lies and half-truths keeps conflict sauteing.

    Andy Garcia movingly plays Vince Rizzo, proud native of City Island and prison guard. Vince secretly takes acting classes in Manhattan led by burnout teacher Michael Malakov (Alan Arkin). Joyce Rizzo (Julianna Margulies) is convinced that Vince's weekly poker night is a ruse to cover up an affair. The blue-collar couple sacrificed college plans for family commitments. College is no guarantee of happiness, however, for daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Garcia's real-life daughter). She secretly works as a stripper, looking to earn tuition and reapply after losing her scholarship. Vince Jr. (Ezra Miller) conceals his ongoing internet fetish for feeding obese women.

    Things really heat up when Vince recognizes an inmate one day. Tony (the excellent Steven Strait) is his son from a long-ago affair. Tony is due for release, but has no family member to sponsor him. When Vince brings Tony home on the pretense of having him install an extra bathroom, Joyce goes ballistic. Vince tells no one that Tony is his son.

    Another excellent subplot involves Vince's secret meetings with acting partner Molly (emotive Emily Mortimer). The two must share their biggest secret with each other to prepare for a class monologue. Molly coaches Vince before his audition for a Scorsese movie. The friends share a romance not for each other, but for life and its possibilities.

    City Island's good times become apparent only in retrospect. Resentments smolder and occasionally explode into scream fests. Each major character faces a dilemma: tell the truth, or engage in the acrobatics of deception. While this can be entertaining to watch, it's painfully uncomfortable for the Rizzos. Garcia (Things to Do in Denver When Youâ
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  3. Oct 9, 2010
    9
    Entertaining, ok story line, a little off beat, and makes for a fun movie rental nite. I'll recommend this to my friends and family. Even teenagers would like this film. It was a Redbox rental for us. You can't beat the price.
  4. 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 its problems.
    Highly recommended.
  5. 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...) 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. Expand
  6. 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 a dysfunctional family.
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: 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    60
    An, at-times, marvellous muddle of high farce and low-brow chuckles.
  3. 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.