City By The Sea

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Distinguished veteran New York homicide detective Vincent LaMarca (Robert De Niro) has buried his past in his career, until the death of a drug dealer takes him back to his old neighborhood in the Long Beach suburb. Now seedy and run-down, the one-time middle class resort city is still home to his ex-wife Maggie (Patti Lupone) and estranged son Joey (James Franco). Joey is accused of stabbing the drug dealer and Vince wants to bring his son in quietly. But because of his relationship, Vince is taken off the case. The situation gets worse when Joey is accused of fatally shooting Vinces long time partner. Vincent must go behind his chiefs back to bring Joey in and solve the killing, before vengeance-minded cops bring Joey down. Michelle (Frances McDormand), Vinces actress girlfriend, helps him confront his past and reconnect with Joey as a father. Inspired by a true story, this well-crafted drama delivers an Oscar-worthy performance by DeNiro as a father conflicted between family and duty.

A few scenes show graphic use of drugs, although drug use is not condoned. And even Joey admits he needs to clean up. Joeys girlfriend, Gina (Eliza Dushka), is commended for getting off drugs for the sake of her child, but she later abandons the boy with Vince and says she needs the drugs. Vince and Michelle have an on-going sexual relationship and are seen in bed together, but no graphic sex acts or nudity is shown. Seemingly overwhelmed by current events, Vince finally reveals his past to Michelle. He overwhelms her with the story of his fathers criminal act and subsequent execution, along with charges of wife beating by his ex, his estranged son and his crimes, as well as the sudden introduction of his grandson. However, she helps him find the key to reconnect to Joey as a father. After Joey saves him from a drug dealer, Vince shows his love by talking Joey out of suicide by police squad, and protecting him from police snipers. Blood spurts in a few shootings seem overly gruesome, but on-screen violence is limited. Unfortunately, almost a hundred obscenities and strong profanities litter the dialogue and pollute CITY BY THE SEA.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (12) times Mild 5, moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (84) times F-word 59, s-word 23, other 2

Profanity: Many (11) times Regular 10 (GD 4, J 3, C, Csake, Swear to G); exclamatory (OG)

Violence: Several times Moderate and severe (men struggle, stabbing, blood on arm, shotgun threat, several shootings w/graphic blood spurts)

Sex: Implied few times (unmarried couple in bed)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times (woman calls man, man goes to womans apartment, unmarried couple in bed talk about routine)

Drugs: Several times (graphic cocaine smoking, cigarette smoking, beer drinking, bottle of alcohol/wine given to doorman, wine drinking)

Other: Cross wearing diner owner urges man to pray, man recognizes need to clean up form drugs, man steals from vets office, man accused of being like father wife beater, woman introduces man to grandson then abandons him, woman trying to stay off drugs for son, woman says difference between what want to do and can do, man explains his past to woman desire to do better, father shows son sacrificial love)

Running Time: 108 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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