Dark City (1998 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Alex Proyas|
|Produced by||Alex Proyas
|Screenplay by||Alex Proyas
David S. Goyer
|Story by||Alex Proyas|
|Music by||Trevor Jones|
|Editing by||Dov Hoenig|
|Studio||Mystery Clock Cinema|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Running time||100 min (theatrical cut)
112 min (director's cut)
|Budget||$27 million (est)|
Dark City is a 1998 neo-noir science fiction film directed by Alex Proyas. It was adapted from a screenplay written by Proyas, David S. Goyer and Lem Dobbs. The film stars Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, and William Hurt. Sewell plays John Murdoch, a man suffering from amnesia who finds himself accused of murder. Murdoch attempts to discover his true identity to clear his name while on the run from the police and a mysterious group known only as the "Strangers".
The majority of the film was shot at Fox Studios Australia. It was jointly produced by New Line Cinema and Mystery Clock Cinema. New Line Cinema and New Line Home Video commercially distributed the theatrical release and home media respectively. The studio was concerned that the audience would not understand the film and asked Proyas to add an explanatory, voice-over narration to the introduction. The film premiered in the United States on February 27, 1998, performed poorly at the box office, but received mainly positive reviews.
Following its screening in wide release, the film was nominated for the Hugo and Saturn Awards. With the help of Roger Ebert and home screenings, the film has since become a cult classic. In the years since its original theatrical release, critical and scholarly reviews have reevaluated the significance of the film. A director's cut was released in 2008, restoring and preserving Proyas's original artistic vision for the film.
John Murdoch (Sewell) awakens in a hotel bathtub, suffering from amnesia. He receives a telephone call from Dr. Daniel Schreber (Sutherland), who urges him to flee the hotel from a group of men who are after him. During the telephone conversation, John discovers the corpse of a brutalized, ritualistically murdered woman, along with a bloody knife. Murdoch flees the scene, just as the group of men (known as the Strangers) arrive at the room. Eventually he learns his real name, and finds his wife Emma (Connelly). He is also sought by police inspector Frank Bumstead (Hurt) for a series of murders allegedly committed by Murdoch, who cannot remember killing anybody. A detective named Eddie Walenski tries to tell Bumstead that the case they were working on never existed. While being pursued by the Strangers, Murdoch discovers that he has psychokinetic powers like them, and he uses these powers to escape from them. Murdoch moves about the city, which experiences perpetual night. He sees people become temporarily comatose at midnight, when the Strangers stop time and alter the cityscape, as well as people's identities and memories. Murdoch questions the dark urban environment, and discovers—through clues and interviews with his family—that he was originally from a coastal town called Shell Beach. Attempts at finding a way out of the city to Shell Beach are hindered by lack of reliable information from everyone he meets. Meanwhile, the Strangers, disturbed by the presence of this human who also possesses psychokinetic powers, inject one of their men, Mr. Hand (O'Brien) with Murdoch's memories, in an attempt to find him. Murdoch meets Walenski at the subway and tells him that the Strangers take people's memories and replaces them with new ones. Walenski kills himself by jumping in front of a train, rather than risk capture.
Murdoch eventually finds Bumstead, who recognizes Murdoch's innocence and has his own questions about the nature of the dark city. They find and confront Dr. Schreber, who explains that the Strangers are endangered extraterrestrial parasites who use corpses as their hosts. Having a collective consciousness, the Strangers have been experimenting with humans to analyze their individuality in the hopes that some insight might be revealed that would help their race survive. Schreber reveals Murdoch as an anomaly who inadvertently awoke during one midnight process, when Schreber was in the middle of fashioning his identity as a murderer. The three men embark to find Shell Beach, which ultimately exists only as a billboard at the edge of the city. Frustrated, Murdoch tears through the wall, revealing a hole into outer space. The men are confronted by the Strangers, including Mr. Hand, who holds Emma hostage. In the ensuing fight, Bumstead, along with one of the Strangers, falls through the hole into space, revealing the city as an enormous space habitat surrounded by a force field.
The Strangers bring Murdoch to their home beneath the city and force Dr. Schreber to imprint Murdoch with their collective memory, believing Murdoch to be the final answer to their experiments. Schreber betrays them by inserting false memories in Murdoch which artificially reestablish his childhood as years spent training and honing his psychokinetic abilities and learning about the Strangers and their machines. Murdoch awakens, fully realizing his abilities, frees himself and battles with the Strangers, defeating their leader Mr. Book (Richardson) in a battle high above the city. After learning from Dr. Schreber that Emma's personality is gone and cannot be restored, Murdoch exercises his new-found powers through the Strangers' machine to create an actual Shell Beach by flooding the area within the force field with water and forming mountains and beaches. On his way to Shell Beach, Murdoch encounters Mr. Hand and informs him that the Strangers have been searching in the wrong place — the head — to understand humanity. Murdoch tilts the entire habitat towards the sun, and the City experiences daylight for the first time. He opens the door leading out of the city, and steps out to view the sunrise. Beyond him is a pier, where he finds the woman he knew as Emma, now with new memories and a new identity as Anna. Murdoch reintroduces himself as they walk to Shell Beach, beginning their relationship anew.
- Rufus Sewell as John Murdoch
- William Hurt as Inspector Frank Bumstead
- Kiefer Sutherland as Dr. Daniel P. Schreber
- Jennifer Connelly as Emma Murdoch / Anna
- Richard O'Brien as Mr. Hand
- Ian Richardson as Mr. Book
- Bruce Spence as Mr. Wall
- Colin Friels as Det. Eddie Walenski
- John Bluthal as Karl Harris
- Melissa George as May
- Ritchie Singer as Hotel Manager / Vendor
- Nicholas Bell as Mr. Rain
- David Wenham as Schreber's Assistant
Alex Proyas based The Strangers on O'Brien's character in The Rocky Horror Show, Riff Raff. Proyas said, "I had Richard in mind physically when I wrote the character, because I had these strange, bald-looking men with an ethereal, androgynous quality." When Proyas visited London to cast for the film, he met with O'Brien and found him suitable for the role.
Kiefer Sutherland's character Daniel P. Schreber is named after Daniel Paul Schreber, a German judge who suffered from narcissistic, paranoid psychosis and possibly schizophrenia and whose autobiographical Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Denkwürdigkeiten eines Nervenkranken) the film's plot alludes to at various instances. Hurt was originally asked to play Dr. Schreber.
Theologian Gerard Loughlin interprets Dark City as a retelling of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. For Loughlin, the city inhabitants are prisoners who do not realize they are in a prison. John Murdoch's escape from the prison parallels the escape from the cave in the allegory. He is assisted by Dr. Schreber, who explains the city's mechanism as Socrates explains to Glaucon how the shadows in the cave are cast. Murdoch however becomes more than Glaucon; Loughlin writes, "He is a Glaucon who comes to realize that Socrates' tale of an upper, more real world, is itself a shadow, a forgery."
Murdoch defeats the Strangers who control the inhabitants and remakes the world based on childhood memories, which were themselves illusions arranged by the Strangers. Loughlin writes of the lack of background, "The origin of the city is off–stage, unknown and unknowable." Murdoch now casts new shadows for the city inhabitants, who must trust his judgment. Unlike Plato, Murdoch "is disabused of any hope of an outside" and becomes the demiurge for the cave, the only environment he knows.
The city in Dark City is described by Higley as a "murky, nightmarish German expressionist film noir depiction of urban repression and mechanism". The city has a World War II dreariness reminiscent of Edward Hopper's works and has details from different eras and architectures that are changed by the Strangers; "buildings collapse as others emerge and battle with one another at the end". The round window in Dark City is concave like a fishbowl and is a frequently seen element throughout the city. The inhabitants do not live at the top of the city; the main characters' homes are dwarfed by the bricolage of buildings.
The film also contains motifs from Greek mythology, in which gods manipulate humans in a higher agenda. Proyas said, "I do like Greek mythology and have read a little of it, so maybe some of it has crept into the work, though I don't completely agree with that point of view."
Film noir of the 1940s and the 1950s like The Maltese Falcon was an influence for Proyas. The film is described as Kafkaesque, though Proyas cited the TV series The Twilight Zone as a conscious influence. Proyas wanted the science fiction film to have an element of horror to unsettle the audience.
Proyas co-wrote the screenplay with Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer. Goyer had written The Crow: City of Angels, the sequel to Proyas's 1994 film The Crow; Proyas invited Goyer to co-write the screenplay for Dark City after reading Goyer's screenplay for Blade, which had yet to be released. Writers Guild of America initially protested at crediting more than two screenwriters for a film, but it eventually relented and credited all three writers. Proyas originally conceived a story about a 1940s detective who is obsessed with facts and cannot solve a case where the facts do not make sense. "He slowly starts to go insane through the story," says Proyas. "He can't put the facts together because they don't add up to anything rational." In the process of creating the fictional world for the character of the detective, Proyas created other characters, shifting the focus of the film from the detective (Bumstead) to the person pursued by the detective (Murdoch). Proyas envisioned a robust narrative where the audience could examine the film from the perspective of multiple characters and focus on the plot.
When Proyas finished his preceding film The Crow in 1994, he approached production designer Patrick Tatopoulos to draw concepts for the world in which Dark City takes place. The city where the story takes place was entirely constructed on a set; no practical locations were used in the film. Tatopoulos described the city:
The movie takes place everywhere, and it takes place nowhere. It's a city built of pieces of cities. A corner from one place, another from some place else. So, you don't really know where you are. A piece will look like a street in London, but a portion of the architecture looks like New York, but the bottom of the architecture looks again like a European city. You're there, but you don't know where you are. It's like every time you travel, you'll be lost.
The production design included themes of darkness, spirals, and clocks. There appears to be no sun in the city's world, and spiral designs that shrink when approached were used in the film. A major clock in the film shows no hours; Tatopoulos said, "But in a magical moment it becomes something more than just a clock." The production designer created the city architecture to have an organic presence with the structural elements.
The Strangers are energy beings who reside in dead human bodies. When design first started, the filmmakers considered having the Strangers be bugs underneath but decided that the bug appearance was overused. Tatopoulos said Proyas wanted to make the Strangers energy beings, "Alex called me and said he wanted something like an energy that kept re-powering itself, re-creating itself, re-shaping itself, sitting inside a dry piece of human shape." The Strangers reside in a large underground amphitheater for their lair, where a human bust hid a large clock and where a spiraling device changed the layout of the city above. The set for the lair was fifty feet in height, where an average set is thirty-six feet. The lair set was built on a fairground in Sydney, Australia. The film's budget was $30–40 million, so the crew used inexpensive techniques to design the set, such as stretching canvas onto welded metal frames. The lair also had a rail conveyance that appeared expensive. Tatopoulos said, "We had, obviously, a car built, but we had just one built. We laid some rail for it to ride on. We made a section of corridor that we kept driving through all the time, and you end up believing this thing is running along forever." Proyas originally wanted the rail car to roll by various rooms, which was not feasible for the budget, so Tatopoulos and the crew used "replaceable elements and strong design textures" to mimic the impression of various rooms.
The film soundtrack was released on February 24, 1998 by TVT Records label. It features music from the original score by Trevor Jones, and versions of the songs "Sway" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" performed by singer Anita Kelsey. It also includes music by Hughes Hall from the trailer, as well as songs by Gary Numan, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Course of Empire that did not appear in the film. The music for the film was edited by Simon Leadley and Jim Harrison.
Similarities to other works
The film's style is often compared to that of the works of Terry Gilliam (especially Brazil). Some stylistic similarities have also been noted to Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's 1995 film The City of Lost Children, another film inspired particularly by Gilliam (Gilliam had presented Jeunet's & Caro's previous film Delicatessen in North America, another film by Jeunet & Caro that was a deliberate homage to Gilliam's style).
The Matrix was released one year after Dark City and was also filmed at Fox Studios in Sydney using some of the same sets. Comparisons have been made between scenes from the movies, making note of similarities in both cinematography and atmosphere, as well as the plot.
Fritz Lang's 1927 movie Metropolis was a major influence on the film, showing through the architecture, concepts of the baseness of humans within a metropolis, and general tone. In one of the documentary shorts featured on the director's cut, the influence of the early German films M and Nosferatu are mentioned.
When Christopher Nolan first started thinking about writing the script for Inception, he was influenced by "that era of movies where you had The Matrix, you had Dark City, you had The Thirteenth Floor and, to a certain extent, you had Memento, too. They were based in the principles that the world around you might not be real".
Dark City was previously titled Dark World and Dark Empire leading up to the film's release. Warner Bros. wanted the filmmakers to consider the alternate titles due to the release of similarly titled Mad City in the same time frame, but Dark City was ultimately kept as the final title. The film was originally scheduled to be released in theaters on October 17, 1997, and it was later scheduled for January 9, 1998. The film would premiere in theaters nationwide in the United States on February 27, 1998, screening at 1,754 cinemas.
Among mainstream critics in the U.S., the film received generally positive reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 74% of 80 sampled critics gave the film a positive review, with an average score of 7 out of 10 and the critical consensus stating: "Stylishly gloomy, Dark City offers a polarizing whirl of arresting visuals and noirish action.". At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average out of 100 to critics' reviews, the film received a score of 66 based on 23 reviews.
|"No movie can ever have too much atmosphere, and Dark City exudes it from every frame of celluloid. Proyas' world isn't just a playground for his characters to romp in — it's an ominous place where viewers can get lost. We don't just coolly observe the bizarre, ever-changing skyline; we plunge into the city's benighted depths, following the protagonist as he explores the secrets of this grim place where the sun never shines. Dark City has as stunning a visual texture as that of any movie that I've seen."|
|—James Berardinelli, writing for ReelViews|
Roger Ebert writing in the Chicago Sun-Times called it a "great visionary achievement," while also exclaiming that it was "a film so original and exciting, it stirred my imagination like Metropolis and 2001: A Space Odyssey." In the San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Stack wrote that the film was "among the most memorable cinematic ventures in recent years", and that "maybe there's nothing wrong with a movie that is simply sensational to look at." He felt the film's "twisting of reality and its daring look — layered and off-kilter grays, greens and blacks — make it click." In a mixed review, Walter Addiego of The San Francisco Examiner thought "as a story, Dark City doesn't amount to much." He believed Dark City contained a "complicated plot" while also having important themes that were "no more than window dressing". But on a positive front, he wrote, "what counts here is the show, the creation of a strange world by a filmmaker who clearly knows science fiction and fantasy, past and present, and wants to share his love for it."
Left unimpressed, Marc Savlov of The Austin Chronicle wrote, "You really have to feel for Alex Proyas. This guy wears bad luck like the grimy trenchcoats of his protagonists, only his zipper's stuck and he can't seem to shake the damn thing off." In expressing his negativity, he believed "Dark City looks like a million bucks (or rather, a million bucks gone to compost), but at its dark heart it's a tedious, bewildering affair, lovely to look at but with all the substance of a dissipating dream." Left equally disappointed was John Anderson of the Los Angeles Times. Commenting on the directing, he thought "If you had to guess, you might say that Proyas came out of the world of comic art himself, rather than music videos and advertising. Dark City is constructed like panels in a Batman book, each picture striving for maximum dread." He went on to say, Proyas was "trying simultaneously to create a pure thriller and sci-fi nightmare along with his tongue-in-cheek critique of artifice. And this doesn't work out quite so well." Author TCh of Time Out, felt the development of the Murdoch character was "surprisingly engrossing" and thought production wise, the "art direction is always striking, and unlike most contemporary sci-fi, the movie does risk a cerebral approach, tapping a vein of postmodern paranoia."
Writing for TIME, Richard Corliss said the film was "as cool and distant as the planet the Strangers come from. But, Lord, is Dark City a wonder to see." James Berardinelli writing for ReelViews, remarked that "Visually, this film isn't just impressive, it's a tour de force." and noted that "Dark City opens by immersing the audience in the midst of a fractured, nightmarish narrative." Berardinelli also said "Dark City appears to be New York during the first half of this century, but, using a style that is part science fiction, part noir thriller, and part gothic horror, he has embellished it to create a surreal place unlike no other." Describing some pitfalls, Jeff Vice of the Deseret News said that "when critics talk about films being 'style over substance,' they're definitely talking about movies like Dark City, which looks good but leaves an unpleasant aftertaste." Vice however was quick to admit, "The special effects and set designs are dazzling", but ultimately believed "Proyas makes a crucial error in treating the subject even more seriously than The Crow, and the dialogue (co-written by Proyas and The Crow: City of Angels scriptwriter David S. Goyer) is unintentionally funny at times and often just plain dumb."
Andrea Basora of Newsweek, stated that director Proyas flooded the screen with "cinematic and literary references ranging from Murnau and Lang to Kafka and Orwell, creating a unique yet utterly convincing world". Similarly, David Sterritt wrote in the Christian Science Monitor that "The story is dark and often violent, but it's told with a remarkable sense of visual energy and imagination." Additionally, Marshall Fine of USA Today, found the film to be "Fascinating, visionary filmmaking." and "With its amber-tinged palette and its distinctively dystopian view of life, it may be the most unique-looking film we've seen in ages...[but] defies logic and makes frightening and unexpected leaps." Critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote that the "plot that Dark City builds on John's predicament is a confused affair" and that the film's premise is "unsettling enough to make you wonder if it could actually derail a seriously drug-addled mind."
Steve Biodrowski of Cinefantastique found the production design and the cinematography overwhelming, but he considered the narrative engagement of Sewell's amnesiac character to be ultimately successful. Biodrowski writes, "As the story progresses, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and we gradually realize that the film is not a murky muddle of visuals propping up a weak story. All the questions lead to answers, and the answers make sense within the fantasy framework." The reviewer compared Dark City to the director's preceding film The Crow in style but found Dark City to introduce new themes and to be a "more thoroughly consistent" film. Biodrowski concluded, "Dark City may not provide profound answers, but it deals seriously with a profound idea, and does it in a way that is cathartic and even uplifting, without being contrived or condescending. As a technical achievement, it is superb, and that technique is put in the service of telling a story that would be difficult to realize any other way."
The film won and was nominated for several awards in 1998. Film critic Roger Ebert cited it as the best film of 1998. In 2005, he included it on his "Great Movies" list. Ebert used it in his teaching, and also appears on a commentary track for the original DVD and the 2006 Director's Cut. The film was screened out of competition at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.
|Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival||Silver Scream Award||Alex Proyas||Won|
|Bram Stoker Award||Best Screenplay||Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, and David S. Goyer||Won (tied with Gods and Monsters)|
|Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film||Pegasus Audience Award||Alex Proyas||Won|
|Film Critics Circle of Australia||Best Screenplay – Original||Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, and David S. Goyer||Won (tied with The Interview)|
|Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation||Nominated|
|International Horror Guild Award||Best Movie||Nominated|
|National Board of Review||Special Recognition||Won|
|Saturn Award||Best Science Fiction Film||Won (tied with Armageddon)|
|Best Costume||Liz Keogh||Nominated|
|Best Director||Alex Proyas||Nominated|
|Best Make-Up||Bob McCarron, Lesley Vanderwalt, and Lynn Wheeler||Nominated|
|Best Special Effects||Andrew Mason, Mara Bryan, Peter Doyle, and Tom Davies||Nominated|
|Best Writer||Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, and David S. Goyer||Nominated|
The film premiered in cinemas on February 27, 1998 in wide release throughout the U.S.. During its opening weekend, the film grossed $5,576,953 to start up in 4th place showing at 1,754 locations. The film Titanic soundily beat its competition during that weekend opening in first place with $19,633,056. The film's revenue dropped by 49.1% in its second week of release, earning $2,837,941. For that particular weekend, Titanic remained in first place pulling in $17,605,849 in revenue, while Dark City dropped to 9th place still holding on to a top ten position. The film went on to top out domestically at $14,378,331 in total ticket sales through a 4-week theatrical run. Internationally, the film took in an additional $12,821,985 in box office business for a combined worldwide total of $27,200,316. For 1998 as a whole, the film would cumulatively rank at a box office performance position of 105.
Following its cinematic release in theaters, the film was released in VHS video format on March 2, 1999. The Region 1 Code widescreen edition of the film was released on DVD in the United States on July 29, 1998. Special features for the DVD include two audio commentary tracks, one with film critic Roger Ebert, and one with director Alex Proyas, writers Lem Dobbs and David Goyer, and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos. The DVD also includes biographies, filmographies, comparisons to Fritz Lang's Metropolis, set designs, and the theatrical trailer.
A director's cut of Dark City was also officially released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on July 29, 2008. The director's cut removes the opening narration which the director felt explained too much of the plot, and restores it to its original location in the film. It also includes 15 minutes of additional footage, generally consisting of extended scenes with additional establishing shots and dialogue. Expanded audio commentaries by Ebert, Proyas, Dobbs and Goyer are included, along with several new documentaries. The Blu-ray disc additionally includes the original theatrical cut and the special features from the 1998 DVD release.
- "Movie Dark City - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
- "Dark City (1998)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- Michael Helms. "Dark City", Cinema Papers May 1998 p18-21,44
- Wagner 1997a, p. 9
- Kemble, Gary (2009). Movie Minutiae: Dark City (1998). ABCNews. Articulate: Daily talk on arts news and events. 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2010-04-10.
- Harris, Ken: Film and Conspiracy, in: Knight, Peter (2003). Conspiracy theories in American history: an encyclopedia, Volume 1, ABC-CLIO Inc., Santa Barbara, California, ISBN 1-57607-812-4, p. 262
- Bould, Mark. On the Boundary between Oneself and the Other: Aliens and Language in the Films AVP, Dark City, The Brother from Another Planet, and Possible Worlds, Yearbook of English Studies, University of West of England
- Proyas, Alex (Director) (2008). Dark City (Director's Cut Commentary) (DVD). Event occurs at 1:15:23-1:17:40. "And so for me, the love story aspect of this film, the love affair between Murdoch and his wife, that kind of grows and sort of comes to a culmination in this scene, [Scene 12, "Do You Remember?"] is for me exploring that idea, and how, when you take away both of these people, these character's identity, is there something left, something that they acknowledge or recognize within each other, that is expressed as love for each other? For me the question is, if there was a man and a woman who were in love who were married let's say, and who had been together for a very long time, if by some strange procedure they could have their memories erased, and then they would re-meet, would they fall in love again? Is love some kind of a force that rules us beyond our identification with each other and ourselves? My feeling is that's probably the case. I don't think any scientist has fully resolved why two people amongst the many millions of people in the world and the many thousands they might meet, why you find a partner and have this bond with a particular person. So my belief is that it is a very fundamental aspect of the way we function as human beings and that perhaps it's something that rules us, that drugs us in ways we can't explain or understand."
- Loughlin, Gerard (February 2004), "Seeing in the Dark", Alien Sex: The Body and Desire in Cinema and Theology, Wiley–Blackwell, pp. 46–48, ISBN 0-631-21180-2
- Higley, Sarah L. (2001), "A Taste for Shrinking: Movie Miniatures and the Unreal City", Camera Obscura (Duke University Press) 16 (2 47): 9–12, ISSN 0270-5346
- Wagner 1998a, pp. 40–41
- Wagner 1998a, p. 40
- Wagner 1997a, p. 8
- Wagner 1997b, p. 67
- Wagner 1997a, p. 7
- Wagner 1997b, p. 64
- Wagner 1997b, p. 65
- Wagner 1997b, p. 66
- Wagner 1998b, p. 32
- Wagner 1998b, p. 33
- Wagner 1998b, p. 34
- Fawthrop, Peter. "Dark City (Original Soundtrack)". Allmusic. Retrieved 2006-03-04.
- Dark City trailer (QuickTime). Retrieved 2007-05-04.
- "Dark City (1998)". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
- Hicks, Adrienne. "DARK CITY" (1998): Critical Review and Bibliography
- Blackwelder, Rob. Visions of 'strangers' dance in his head: 30 minutes with 'Dark City' writer-director Alex Proyas, SPLICEDwire
- Dunne, Susan (2006).Welcome To Dystopia At Trinity's Cinestudio, Hartford Courant, February 23rd, 2006
- Fisher, Russ (2008). Why Dark City is What The Fuck?, chud.com
- ‘Dark City’', Hayden Reviews, March 9th, 2009
- Maciak, Luke (2010). Dark City, Terminally Incoherent, October 15th, 2010
- Wroblewski, Greg. Dark City (1998), Scoopy.com
- Carpenter, Jerry, "The City of Lost Children" (review), Movie Reviews (SciFilm.org), archived from the original on 2007-10-12, retrieved 2007-11-07, "The production design by Jean Rabasse is marvelous. The city is dark and damp, all stairs and walkways. It clearly served as inspiration for DARK CITY three years later—- one scene even features sharply inclined risers filled with members of the cyclops cult just like those used by the cenobites in the later film."
- Mestas, Alex (2003-03-03), "The City of Lost Children (1995)" (review), DVD Reviews (LightsOutFilms.com), retrieved 2007-11-07, "The film is similar in theme and execution to the slightly better Dark City."
- < SFrevu.com
- Clark, Mike (2006-05-05). "New on DVD". USA Today.
- Ebert, Roger. Great Movies: Dark City (2005). 2005-11-06.
- Morales, Jorge. Comparación de los Filmes "Dark City" & "The Matrix". Retrieved 2005-12-24. (Spanish)
- "The Metropolis Comparison". Dark City DVD (1998).
- Proyas, Alex. Dark City DC: Original Ending !?. Mystery Clock Forum. Retrieved 2006-07-29.
- Boucher, Geoff (2010-04-04). "Inception breaks into dreams". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-04-06.
- Dark City. Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Dark City (1998). Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Berardinelli, James (1998). Dark City. ReelViews. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Ebert, Roger (27 February 1998). Dark City. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Stack, Peter (27 February 1998). Stunning visuals overshadow thriller's muddled plot. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Addiego, Walter (27 February 1998). Grave new world with a murky plot. The San Francisco Examiner. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Savlov, Marc (27 February 1998). Dark City. Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Anderson, John (27 February 1998). Dark City. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- TCh (1997). Dark City. Time Out. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Corliss, Richard (2 March 1998). Dark City. TIME Magazine. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Vice, Jeff (27 February 1998). Dark City. Deseret News. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- McCarthy, Todd (19 February 1998). Dark City. Variety Magazine. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Basora, Andrea (1998). Dark City. Newsweek. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Sterritt, David (1998). Dark City. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Fine, Marshall (1998). Dark City. USA Today. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Holden, Stephen (27 February 1998). Dark City: You Are Getting Sleepy: Who Are You, Anyway?. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Biodrowski 1998, p. 35
- Biodrowski 1998, p. 61
- Ebert, Roger (February 27, 1998), "Dark City", Chicago Sun-Times, retrieved 2009-07-28.
- Ebert, Roger. "The Best 10 Movies of 1998". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2005-12-20.
- "Festival de Cannes: Dark City", festival-cannes.com, retrieved 2009-10-04.
- "February 27-March 1, 1998 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "March 6–8, 1998 Weekend". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Domestic Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Dark City VHS Format". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- "Dark City DVD". DVDEmpire.com. Retrieved 2010-09-02.
- Alex Proyas Interview - Dark City Director's Cut and More. twitchfilm.net. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
- Biodrowski, Steve (April 1998), "Dark City – Review", Cinefantastique 29 (12): 35, 61, ISSN 0145-6032
- Khoury, George (September 2000), "The Imagineer: An Interview with Alex Proyas", Creative Screenwriting 7 (5): 83–90, ISSN 1084-8665
- Wagner, Chuck (September 1997a), "Dark World", Cinefantastique 29 (3): 7–9, ISSN 0145-6032
- Wagner, Chuck (October 1997b), "Dark Empire", Cinefantastique 29 (4/5): 64–67, ISSN 0145-6032
- Wagner, Chuck (January 1998a), "Dark City", Cinefantastique 29 (9): 40–41, ISSN 0145-6032
- Wagner, Chuck (April 1998b), "Dark City", Cinefantastique 29 (12): 32–34, ISSN 0145-6032
- Wilson, Eric G. (2006), "Gnostic Paranola in Proyas's Dark City", Film/Literature Quarterly 34 (3): 232–239
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Dark City|
- Official website
- Dark City at the Internet Movie Database
- Dark City at AllRovi
- Dark City at Rotten Tomatoes
- Dark City at Metacritic
- Dark City at Box Office Mojo