The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Image
Metascore
33

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 35 Critics What's this?

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6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 297 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Clary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager, discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary joins forces with a group ofClary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager, discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from demons. After the disappearance of her mother, Clary joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters who introduce her to a dangerous alternate New York City called Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, werewolves and other deadly creatures. [Sony Pictures] Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 35
  2. Negative: 16 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Aug 21, 2013
    67
    Make no mistake, there will be a sequel. Clary may not wind up having the same pop-culture impact as Bella and Katniss, but like it or not, this won't be the last time you hear from her.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Aug 20, 2013
    50
    There are elements worth celebrating. The movie is thankfully less self-serious than the mopey “Twilight” films. The Mortal Instruments revels in its own camp. But there is plenty of room for improvement. The action flick is overly long, complicated and, even by teen romance standards, cringe-worthy in its cheesiness.
  3. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Aug 21, 2013
    50
    The movie blasts by for a while as an odd and busy slice of highly watchable garbage.
  4. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 20, 2013
    40
    There’s so much bouncing around in tone and story that this film never really finds its footing. It flounders around trying to figure out what it should be, and never really settles on anything.
  5. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Aug 28, 2013
    30
    Not only have we seen this all before, but we were probably hoping to not see it again.
  6. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Aug 23, 2013
    25
    These kids have to contrive magical pretexts just to lay hands on each other, and boy, are their excuses rotten.
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Patches
    Aug 20, 2013
    20
    If only the fantasy surrounding her made a lick of sense. Here, the Muggle types are known as the “Mundane.” An apt label for a wanna-be franchise with plenty of sheen and nothing to say.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 83
  2. Negative: 30 out of 83
  1. Dec 10, 2013
    10
    I haven't read the series, but I just finished watching 'The Mortal Instruments': 'City of Bones' and Loved it. I wish there were moreI haven't read the series, but I just finished watching 'The Mortal Instruments': 'City of Bones' and Loved it. I wish there were more supernatural movies. Its unfortunate that book lovers slam some movies that are based on the Novels they have read. When it comes to novels being produce into movies it's hard to make readers happy. Maybe that's why I'm not so much into reading as much as I am into watching a great movie or two, or three, (Trilogies Rock) I like to believe I have a pretty great taste in movies and this one should definitely be on everyone's watch list. Looking forward to watching this trilogy and will pray and hope it does not get cancelled! GO TEAM GO! I have faith you will get more followers! Expand
  2. Aug 27, 2013
    10
    I don't know about the critics but this is a franchise based movie, with the majority of it's audience already being avid fans of the books.I don't know about the critics but this is a franchise based movie, with the majority of it's audience already being avid fans of the books. While it doesn't make much sense to the mundanes, let me assure you it makes total and perfect sense if you cared enough to know the back stories.

    They did the best they could in the brief amount of screen time they were allowed and from a fans point of view they not only succeeded in quoting from the book and creating the perfect atmosphere for our Shadowhunters. They were able to include every little nook and cranny that caused so many of us to fall in love with the books in the first place.
    Expand
  3. Aug 21, 2013
    10
    A great book-to-movie adaptation of an already much-loved book series. The cast is amazing and so is the plot which has no more than a fewA great book-to-movie adaptation of an already much-loved book series. The cast is amazing and so is the plot which has no more than a few changes to it compared to the book. Expand
  4. Sep 19, 2014
    7
    One of those fun and underrated movies that never got much hype. This was actually a good movie. Takes you into an underground wouldOne of those fun and underrated movies that never got much hype. This was actually a good movie. Takes you into an underground would adventure full of odd characters nobody else can see. I never read the book, but that did not stop me from enjoying it. This is much more interesting than the first Hunger Games. Expand
  5. Apr 20, 2016
    4
    This is actually why I'm so happy why The Mortal Instruments just couldn't keep on track against both Twilight and The Hunger Games and justThis is actually why I'm so happy why The Mortal Instruments just couldn't keep on track against both Twilight and The Hunger Games and just like Divergent, it's one failed YA franchise potential after another. City of Bones (which I watched it on Freeform the other day) were kinda familiar because though the casting of Lily Collins and Lena Hedey are decent, but I haven't even read the entire books so yeah I don't even know what the movie is about. It wasn't exactly as bad, but I felt that the filmmakers tried so much pressure that they can't go on with a sequel now that's officially kicked to the curb and just made a TV show called Shadowhunters (which is also a 'Meh').

    In short, there's nothing to say anything good about City of Bones. Confusing acting abilities with zero character development, a poorly-rendered script, blatant use of crappy CGI effects, and a scant stòry that doesn't need to tell in the first place.

    So congrats, Mortal Instruments. You're the Twilight's "Yin" into Eragon's "Yang." I might prefer a rental, but I give up.
    Expand
  6. Aug 5, 2015
    2
    A lot of "borrowing" from other authors (*cough*JK Rowling/Joss Whedon*cough*) makes for an unoriginal, predictable product. Not surprising,A lot of "borrowing" from other authors (*cough*JK Rowling/Joss Whedon*cough*) makes for an unoriginal, predictable product. Not surprising, really, considering a known plagiarist wrote it. Expand
  7. Jan 22, 2014
    0
    I have read all the books; and I am an older woman - not a teenager. I waited with such anticipation to see the movie (especially after theI have read all the books; and I am an older woman - not a teenager. I waited with such anticipation to see the movie (especially after the Hunger Games movies). What a disappointment and waste of my money. The two main characters lacked in chemistry and what's with putting vampire bites on Simon's neck? Valentine, who is the reason for all this drama taking place is barely covered. Maybe if I had not read the books (which are amazing) I would not feel this way.

    It's a shame when producers and directors take a great story with great characters and change things. The reason the book is a best seller is because of how it is written and the development of the storyline.

    I like what Kevin Kosner said on the night show about his movie Dances With Wolves and its length. He said, if I am going to make a movie I want to make sure the integrity of the story is not compromised and the movie will be as long as necessary to tell the story!!!

    Authors who sell the movie rights to their books (especially if they have such a strong fan base) should make sure the contract does not allow for such drastic changes - or better yet - save money from the sale of your books and produce it yourself or at least co-produce.

    No since making any sequels for me - I won't wast my time.
    Expand

See all 83 User Reviews

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