City by the Sea

City by the Sea

Michael Caton-Jones (2002)

15 Certificate


Our Score
The director and star of This Boy's Life - Michael Caton-Jones and Robert De Niro, respectively - reunited for this performance-driven action drama. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mike McAlary's 1997 article for Esquire magazine, the movie is a poignant and powerful reflection on human weakness and the potential agonies of emotional attachment. De Niro plays Vincent LaMarca, a respected New York City homicide detective who is torn between familial and professional notions of duty when a drug dealer's murder is attributed to his estranged son, Joey (James Franco). Swapping his characteristic swagger for a shuffling, tortured vulnerability, De Niro delivers a fine, heart-rending performance. As his screen offspring's life disintegrates, so does he, becoming as weather-beaten and gloomy as the film's bleak locations. Though it is unquestionably De Niro's show, he benefits from some weighty support. Franco plays the resentful time bomb of a son to perfection, while Frances McDormand, as Vincent's intimacy-hungry girlfriend, adds a welcome feminine slant to the proceedings.


A respected New York homicide detective is torn between family ties and official duty when the murder of a drug dealer is blamed on his estranged son. Struggling to come to terms with his offspring's troubled circumstances, he also faces another battle to prevent his grandson following in his father's footsteps and choosing a life of crime. Drama, with Robert De Niro, Frances McDormand, James Franco and Eliza Dushku.

Cast & Crew

Lt Vincent LaMarca Robert De Niro
Michelle Frances McDormand
Joey LaMarca James Franco
Gina Eliza Dushku
Spyder William Forsythe
Reg Duffy George Dzundza
Maggie Patti LuPone
Dave Simon Anson Mount
Director Michael Caton-Jones
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: Contains violence, swearing, sex scenes and drug abuse.Available on: video and DVDReleased on: 10 Jan 2003