City Hall (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

City Hall1996

City Hall (1996)



Critic Consensus: City Hall explores political corruption with commendable intelligence, but this web of scandal struggles to coalesce into satisfying drama.

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Movie Info

This tragic drama explores the rotten core of Big Apple city politics. The city's naïve, idealistic deputy mayor and his more flamboyant boss attempt to unravel a complicated tangle of lies, corruption and bureaucracy after a confrontation between a drug dealer and an off-duty narcotics cop goes horribly awry leaving three people dead, one of them a six-year old African-American child. The city residents are outraged and vehemently protest the police actions while the city fathers scramble to protect their political careers.

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Al Pacino
as Mayor John Pappas
Anthony Franciosa
as Paul Zapatti
John Cusack
as Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun
Bridget Fonda
as Marybeth Cogan
Danny Aiello
as Frank Anselmo
Martin Landau
as Judge Walter Stern
David Paymer
as Abe Goodman
Lindsay Duncan
as Sydney Pappas
Luna Lauren Vélez
as Elaine Santos
Richard Schiff
as Larry Schwartz
Richard Gant
as Deputy Commissioner Samuels
John Finn
as Commissioner Coonan
Mel Winkler
as Det. Holly
Angel David
as Vinnie Zapatti
John Slattery
as Det. George, Intel
Ian Quinlan
as Randy Santos
Roberta Peters
as Nettie Anselmo
Larry Romano
as Tino Zapatti
Rob LaBelle
as Wakeley
Ray Aranha
as James Bone
Jaliyl Lynn
as James Bone Jr.
John C. Vennema
as Peter Ragan
Steve Aronson
as Murray Safire
Jerome X. O'Donovan
as Seymour Harris
Mark Lonow
as Lenny Lasker
Murphy Guyer
as Captain Florian
Tamara Tunie
as Leslie Christos
Brian Murray
as Corporation Council
Benny Nieves
as Intel Detective Jaime
Miguel Sierra
as Israel Torres
Ernest F. Hollings
as Sen. Marquand
Jordan Baker
as Mrs. Marquand
Tony Capone
as Billy, 'Carousel'
Jennifer Prescott
as Julie, 'Carousel'
Joseph Kelly S.J.
as Hospital Priest
Harry Bugin
as Morty the Waiter
Ron L. Cox
as Prosecutor
Kaity Tong
as Field Reporter
Amy Atkins
as Field Reporter
Brenda Pressley
as Field Reporter
Michael O'Looney
as Field Reporter
Carl White
as Field Reporter
Justin Ashforth
as Field Reporter
Charles Gemmill
as Field Reporter
Gina Rice
as Field Reporter
Roma Torre
as Newscaster
Jack Cafferty
as Newscaster
Lewis Dodley
as Newscaster
Ed Koch
as Newscaster
Stanley Anderson
as Train Conductor
Sally Mayes
as Floyd Diner Waitress
Lucia Mendoza
as Elaine Santos' Sister
Geoffrey Wade
as Gracie Mansion Butler
Gloria K. Smith
as Female Vocalist
James F. Gainer
as Male Vocalist
Tony Lo Bianco
as Paul Zapatti
Nestor Serrano
as Det. Eddie Santos
Joseph Kelly
as Hospital Priest
Edward I. Koch
as Newscaster
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Critic Reviews for City Hall

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

Director Harold Becker captures the political rhythms of the big city and keeps the rather complicated plot comprehensible. But audiences need to pay attention; this is not a by-the-numbers urban thriller.

August 7, 2019 | Full Review…

Its chief pleasure is the acting of the big cast, notably Pacino. At 55, he has a haggard, life-wrestling beauty and a street eloquence that has more innocence than De Niro and more sincerity than Nicholson.

January 18, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Many of the parts of City Hall are so good that the whole should add up to more, but it doesn't.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A watchable but never pulsating portrait of mayoral wheeling-dealing.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2.5/4
Top Critic

An ambitious but unsatisfying meditation on the morality of power.

May 5, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Has all the ingredients for a solid drama but instead comes out a half-baked disappointment.

December 22, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for City Hall


Not terrible...just not that good. I enjoy the portrait of New York City that City Hall creates, but this film really just drags towards its second half. It also has a lot of pointless scenes, and a telegraphed plot twist that makes no sense.

Stephen Skudlarek
Stephen Skudlarek

Super Reviewer


I have to say, I do like my political thrillers like the next person, but human interest and direct emotional connection must always be the primary concern of a movie, i my opinion. This one is just a mess and a confused and entangled heap of intrigue and chess, with no room for the characters to breath and spread the human energy. A stale and dry offering which never clicks, despite the good cast.

Henrik Schunk
Henrik Schunk

Super Reviewer


The acting is fairly good all around in this solid suspense film, but the script is a little too uninvolving to rise above a level of mediocrity. Pacino is superb, of course, performing with a range of emotions most actors can only dream of.

Mike T.
Mike T.

Super Reviewer

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