“Sharp Dialogue Informs This Comedy Replete With Ethnic Humor.”
Andy Garcia reminds you of what a cunning, likable actor he can be.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
A professionally executed farce of the yelling-family variety.
Jeannette Catsoulis - New York Times
All the performances are warmly engaging, even though the characters are broad and scenarios occasionally extreme. For those tired of clashing titans or weepy teen romances, City Island is a breath of fresh air.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
A very funny film, and one that operates at the sea level of humanity. Quaint. Slightly peculiar.
John Anderson - Washington Post
The movie's comic machinery never stops clanking long enough for us to relax and genuinely enjoy the silliness. But the actors are enjoying themselves, and that goes a very long way.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
An affectionate portrait of a lower-middle-class, outer-borough clan, City Island works best as an actor's showcase, with Margulies's aggrieved, simmering wife the stand-out.
Melissa Anderson - Village Voice
The performances are absurdly broad, and each story line is more outlandish than the last. But De Felitta's approach is so easygoing, and the waterside setting so irresistibly charming, you're bound to walk out in a great mood.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
[A] noisy, eccentric, bizarrely lovable film.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
I can think of far less pleasant ways to pass 100 minutes -- many of them playing now at a theater near you.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
[It] won't put [Garcia] back on the main road, but he tries some new things in it, and it's fun to watch him work.
David Denby - New Yorker
Garcia and Margulies, who worked so well together in George Hickenlooper's Man from Elysian Fields, show a sure feel for comedy here...
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
City Island scrapes by and delivers a smile or two because it does contain a fundamental understanding of the rot that sets in when people hide their true selves from the ones they love.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Feeble but well-stuffed comedy.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
City Island runs through its stockpile of impossibly melodramatic scenarios and manages to make them, and the respective Rizzos in their throes, feel genuine.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Writer-director Raymond De Felitta is essentially offering a kinky-comic New Yawk version of a Greek tragedy here, and even if the whole thing is pretty implausible, it's also fairly entertaining.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A funny, heartfelt look at families, relationships and the lies that prop them up as much as tear them down.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Another expertly written joyride through the confines of narrowminded provincialism to cleansing self-awareness from indie director de Felitta.
Ronnie Scheib - Variety
De Felitta, who directed the wonderful Two Family House (2000), has a great feel for New York City's further reaches and a very sure hand with actors.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Writer-director Raymond De Felitta has cut together a frustrating comedy, with the misunderstandings piling up like kindling for a bonfire that his movie never lights.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
This is the kind of movie that could easily sink into comedy hijinks as broad and flat as pappardelle. But it doesn't. De Felitta... makes no apologies for the outrageousness of the coincidences and gloriously knotty relationships and secrets.
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
A treat for movie lovers everywhere -- even if you've never heard of the community where it takes place.
Leonard Maltin - indieWIRE
Writer-director Raymond de Felitta understands that a proper farce, like a good campfire, needs plenty of friction to get started.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
All the family secrets must come crashing together, of course, in an implausible, if impeccably crafted, collision of botched confessions, mistaken identities, handcuffs and risque outfits.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
An indie of the sort that achieved popularity during the 1990s but which has since fallen out of favor, City Island offers jokes worth laughing at and characters who earn their good turns of fortune.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Andy Garcia demonstrates real comic chops in this charming comedy of family dysfunction.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
The outer-borough oddities of City Island are hard to resist.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
City Island is a relief for filmgoers dulled by Hollywood formula. Despite lapses into overstatement, it's nothing but good, sweet, breezy times.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Andy Garcia is a pleasant enough guide to almost rate a visit to this City, but all the conflict here lies on the surface.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
an enjoyably offbeat slice of amusingly dysfunctional family life
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
An enjoyable film.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Wacky film makes smoking, teen fetish part of the joke.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
De Felitta chose well by casting 24-year-old actor Steven Strait, who gives the exasperated convict humor, charm, and sex appeal - something that doesn't go unnoticed by Joyce, or many of the women in the audience as well.
Alison Gang - San Diego Union-Tribune
Melding the abundant misunderstandings of a Shakespeare comedy with the New York wit of a Neil Simon play, City Island is a boisterous charmer with a big heart.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
Everybody has a secret and is too dumb to work out what those secrets are, a specious bit of plotting designed to pad out the running time of this shrill farce beyond its natural sit-com length.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
This feature might work better as a television series, but Garcia himself gives the picture some much-needed ballast.
There's nothing earth-shatteringly new, but you do end up wishing the characters well, and I was happy to have spent time with them.
- Daily Mail [UK]
I won't make great claims for Raymond De Felitta's film - it hardly makes them for itself - but I will say this for it: as an ensemble acting workout, it exceeds expectations from the top down.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
An at-times marvellous muddle of high farce and low-brow chuckles.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
This isn't a revolution in filmmaking, but a rare kind of comedy where the actors keep it real.
Stella Papamichael - Digital Spy
The script, by dyed-in-the-wool New York indie filmmaker Raymond De Felitta, is like someone's homework for a screenwriting course. The secrets aren't interesting and you know a big showdown at the end is a given.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
Garcia's gift for comedy is a true revelation.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
Sweet and satisfying.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is an emotionally engaging, warm-hearted and frequently funny family drama with terrific central performances from Andy Garcia and Julianna Margulies.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Its revelations come too early, and many of its scenes are too long, but City Island is kept afloat by its unusual location and fine-tuned performances.
Anton Bitel - Film4
In real life, I find relationships with loud, argumentative people exhausting. In the movies, though, they can be a lot of fun to watch.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
This drama feels a little contrived due to the sheer number of issues faced by one family over a short period of time. But it's so refreshingly well-acted, with lively characters and some fairly outrageous situations, that it keeps us fully engaged.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
I would say that if you have a distaste for indie comedies about quirky families that co-star Alan Arkin, think twice.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
City Island contains a lot of warmth and good humour making it an unexpected delight.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
There's a beating pulse to this emotionally complex story and writer director Raymond De Felitta has created a wonderful, involving film with flawed characters we understand and with whom we empathise. When the secrets start to unravel like a tightly coil
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Contrived soap-opera, delineating yet another dysfunctional family - and woefully underutilizing its interesting locale.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
The film has a likable, warm-hearted compassion for its characters. This generosity of spirit won my affection.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
The sense of humour threaded through De Felitta's writing is infectiously sarcastic enough to silence any cynics who might be watching, but also warm and wise enough to give the feelgood crowd the fuzzy feeling they are after.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Garcia gives a wonderful impression of a life-hardened non-actor finding his voice by drawing upon his own experiences.
Nick Dent - Sunday Mail (Australia)
Is mildly entertaining until it sinks from sentimentality.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
For most of its 100 minutes, City Island is smart entertainment. The characters are involving, and the dialogue has snap. Before the ending falters, City Island has a personal, enjoyable verve.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
[H]ilarious and witty portrait of a functional dysfunctional New York City family...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Parental Content Review (all the details you need to know)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
According to writer-director Raymond De Felitta's blog entries on Salon.com, he has worked a long time to get his new movie City Island to the screen, maybe a little too long.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
It just wants to entertain, and on that score it succeeds better than a lot of comedies with 10 times its budget.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Consider the unpretentious 'City Island' fine counter-programming to the CGI monsters, bland romantic comedies, randy teens and spandex superheroes that clog the megaplex.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
... City Island can be a moving piece of filmmaking when it gets serious and focuses on real people who are having real-life problems.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Resembles a Norman Lear television comedy, for better and worse; it's 'realistic' but not exactly naturalistic.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
... the movie has a good heart, and that's what we respond to.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Strangely, this comedy-drama works pretty well a great deal of the time. The good cast certainly helps in that regard.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
A crowd-pleaser indie with comic chops and charm to burn
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Just when City Island makes you want to say "Enough with the yelling already!" it does, and the characters' stories get softer, less wacky, more nuanced -- and more interesting.
Chris Foran - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The slice-of-life comedy City Island is a charming throwback filled with authentic characters.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Writer/director Raymond De Felitta has an uncommon talent for creating simple but compelling characters.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
A sparkling example of independent filmmaking at its finest. This delightful family-oriented movie wears its heart on its sleeve.
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
The sentiment feels real and the payoffs feel earned, and those things are worth the price of admission.
Jason Heck - Kansas City Star
It has a basic goodness of heart that counteracts, if not entirely cancels out, the film's broadness and busyness.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Some situational humor is predictable: with hunky Tony walking around shirtless, both wife and daughter feel a close, um, kinship. Well, of course they do. Because there's chemistry ... and then there's DNA.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Andy Garcia, comedy cutup? City Island gives the intense actor a fine comic showcase.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
In spite of an overly elaborate series of mix-ups that are revealed in a paroxysm of absurdity in the final scene, the movie has a genuine heart and a delicate earnestness that is as amusing as it is affectionate.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
Raymond De Felitta's sweet little comedy is all about putting up appearances as opposed to following your muse.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
In a season dominated by loud 3-D CGI flicks, this ethnic family comedy may be old-fashioned and too much like a TV sitcom, but it exudes charm and is very well acted by Andy Garcia, Alan Arkin and the rest of the ensemble.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
one of the best films of 2010. It finds the absolute magic of family life gone right, even as it seems to be going very, very wrong
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
The cast proves game for anything, from Emily Mortimer as Vince's floridly English acting-class partner to a beleaguered, bewhiskered Strait, here displaying a comic prowess and fond knack for exasperation.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
>City Island is so beautifully cast and so warmly, gently amusing that the contrivances go down easy.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The complications have the appeal of a classic farce, and if the movie's humor requires a suspension of disbelief, the actors are terrific, and there's much pleasure in watching the way the drama redoubles and resolves.
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out
The movie too often equates drama with volume, and agita with authenticity.
Sam Adams - AV Club
De Felitta knows how to depict family dysfunction, but he lards his film with asinine quips and too many headache-inducing dinner-table shouting matches, and the humor is so contrived, Garcia's Bronx accent sounds channeled through Fred Flintstone.
Michael C. Walsh - Boston Phoenix
I was won over by this movie's affectionate, silly spirit.
A.O. Scott - At the Movies
The movie doesn't always make sense, but it's very funny and seems to charm viewers wherever it plays. And the performances are terrific. Garcia is particularly good as a blue-collar guy with acting aspirations.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
City Island offers few surprises and is content to leave audiences with a tidy, unquestioning view of traditional family values.
Sean Gandert - Paste Magazine
...the film keeps clicking largely due to the very appealing performances of Garcia and Margulies..., who not only are believable as a long married couple, but a couple that still has simmering chemistry beneath the simmering hostilities
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Warm, broad and uneven, City Island almost thrives in the lite entertainment zone where ethnic family dramedy meets mildly raucous farce.
John P. McCarthy - Boxoffice Magazine
City Island is pure entertainment in the vein of Moonstruck. Star Andy Garcia has never been better or, surprisingly, more in his comedic element.
Pete Hammond - Back Stage
There are some capable actors here, working very hard with very little.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
- National Post
Garcia delivers a nerve-jangling tour de force tryout that will be appreciated by out-of-work actors for years to come.
Glenn Whipp - Baltimore Sun
it feels natural that the actors are what keep the more superfluous scenes from weighing down De Felitta's film
Chris Cabin - Filmcritic.com
Charming and funny...obviously a labor of love that turns out to be worth every ounce of affection the cast and crew lavished on it.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An immensely entertaining film about family secrets and the many roles we play in our private and public lives.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
City Island doesn't achieve a secure heartfelt resonance, and while I don't fault it for trying, it's not easy to watch the film strain so hard to achieve so little.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Overflowing with ethnic energy.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Everybody's got their secrets in City Island, something we're reminded of early and often by writer-director Raymond De Felitta.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
Who would think that a sleepy seaside snippet of the Bronx could foster a Faulkner novel's worth of family skeletons?
Kevin Lee - Time Out
Deceptively funny, a blithe mix of smarts and feeling that never panders to the audience.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine