City of Lies

critic Reviews

, 51% Rotten Tomatometer Score
  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    David EhrlichindieWire
    Furman's movie lacks the craft or the confidence to address the unresolved questions of institutional cancer.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Matthew MonagleAustin Chronicle
    City of Lies is more James Ellroy than docudrama, resulting in a tired police thriller that hitched its wagon to an untenable star.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Adam GrahamDetroit News
    As a thriller, it never quite reaches its boiling point, which may be one reason it's been sitting on the shelf since 2018. But as the portrait of a man obsessed and the forces stacked up against him, it earns its stripes.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Tim CogshellFilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)
    It's interesting from a forensic standpoint... It ties whole things [about the case] together.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Richard RoeperChicago Sun-Times
    Depp and Forest Whitaker go for authenticity in the gritty drama reminiscent of '70s procedurals.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Thelma AdamsAARP Movies for Grownups
    The Depp-Whitaker acting duet glues this messy movie together, along with hard-boiled true-crime elements, gritty L.A. backdrops, cherry cars and a propulsive soundtrack that includes Tupac Shakur, N.W.A. and Biggie.
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  • , Rotten Tomatometer Score
    Robert DenersteinDenerstein Unleashed
    Overall, City of Lies seems more intent on wallowing in LA grit than in finding a powerful through-line for its two stars and the large cast that surrounds them.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Linda and Al LernerMovies and Shakers
    It's not a great movie, but watching Depp and Whitaker play off each other is interesting, as long as you have the volume up. The story itself is compelling, especially since it has never been solved
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Jason FraleyWTOP (Washington, D.C.)
    While the third act lacks oomph, the film lands its message of a corrupt police force where political self-preservation sadly overshadows the actual lives lost.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Aaron NeuwirthWe Live Entertainment
    Moving back and forth in time, we see how a man got broken down for trying to do his job. It's good work for a near-disavowed film.
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