Mad City (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad City1997

Mad City (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This film revolves around a hostage situation in the mythical small town of Madeline, California. TV reporter Max Brackett is at the Taylor County Museum of Natural History when fired security guard Sam Baily goes postal. Realizing he's right in the middle of breaking news, Brackett exploits the event.

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John Travolta
as Sam Baily
Dustin Hoffman
as Max Brackett
Alan Alda
as Kevin Hollander
Robert Prosky
as Lou Potts
Blythe Danner
as Mrs. Banks
Tammy Lauren
as Miss Rose
William O'Leary
as CTN Junior Executive
Ebbe Roe Smith
as Bartholomew
Jay Leno
as Himself
Bill Nunn
as Cliff
as Nat Jackson
Chris Byrne
as KXBD Cameraman
Kiersten Nally
as Cliff's Daughter
Sylvia Short
as Mrs. Baily
Kevin Cooney
as Principal
Susan Segal
as Tabloid Reporter
Jenna Byrne
as Reporter KMUR
Jason Cottle
as Hollander's Assistant
Randall Batinkoff
as CTN Junior Executive No. 2
Julian Wall
as British Reporter
Laura Davis
as Hollander's Producer
Julio Oscar Mechoso
as Air Force Sergeant
Rueben Grundy
as Reporter Rueben
David Clennon
as Street Preacher
Stephen E. Kaufman
as Hollander's Lawyer
Richard Portnow
as Brackett's Agent
Bill Rafferty
as Bill Gottsegen
Kurt Johnson
as Macho Parent
Susan A. Burig
as Stage Manager
D. Seifert
as Minister
J.P. Bumstead
as Fisherman
Sean O'Kane
as Lemke's Assistant
Lee Ann Manley
as Rachel's Mother
Velina Brown
as Bonnie's Mother
Patricia Smith
as Jenny's Mother
Adina Goldman
as Lou's Assistant
Roger Shamas
as Hollander's Driver
Stephen Brown
as Hollander's Associate
Richard Gross
as FBI Agent
Tom Fridley
as Young Man
Dirk Blocker
as Bowler No. 2
Pamela S. Laws
as Folk Singer
John Halbleib
as Folk Singer
Shannon L. Linke
as Folk Singer
Eric Wycoff
as Rap Singer
Norman Berry
as Rap Singer
Chad Russell
as Rap Singer
Steven Lazaneo
as Rap Singer
Omar Lima
as Rap Singer
Larry King
as Himself
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Critic Reviews for Mad City

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

This simplistic and obvious expose about the manipulative power of the news media (lazily acted by Travoilta and Hoffman) is so familiar that it's not going to upset or provoke anyone.

August 21, 2006 | Rating: C
Top Critic

A wanna-be event movie that merely reinvents the wheel.

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

Mad City arrives with the last thing a movie about journalism needs -- last year's news.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A drama too timid to tackle its media machinations or manipulations with thoughtful talk. Dustin Hoffman is fine. John Travolta resembles the SNL version of Wolverine. Ultimately, it's a 2-7 off-suit hand bluffing an ace in the hole.

June 24, 2019 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

Mad City is a waste of your time and money.

May 23, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

...a film of mild pleasures and mild annoyances, alternately tired and clever yet ultimately dismissible.

July 8, 2005 | Rating: C

Audience Reviews for Mad City

I quite liked this movie, dustin hoffman was brill and so was john travoltas acting. John travlta is a security guard who gets sacked but he wants it back so it turns into a hostage situation with dustin playing the reporter and in the heeart of it all. I think this is a brilliantly acted surperb film with a heart wrenching ending and something to relate to as well its has some humour and you feel sorry for travoltas character ! well worth a watch !!

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer


A thought-provoking thriller that takes embedded journalism to a new level when a TV reporter (Hoffman) finds himself trapped in an accidental hostage situation. John Travolta plays to perfection the role of a simple, irate museum security guard who just wants his job back. Costa-Gavras takes his scathing satire of media influence a bit too far, but as this was intended to be a mainstream movie he had to make the satire obvious. An interesting plot and enjoyable to watch even if it was a bit slow at times.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

Ginny  X
Ginny  X

Super Reviewer

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