City of Angels
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In Wim Wenders' gossamer Wings of Desire (1987), invisible angel Damiel (Bruno Ganz) is moved by the sadness of Berlin trapeze artist Marion (Solveig Dommartin), and as his concern for her deepens, he yearns to experience life as humans do -- with love, pain, joy, and full sensory input. Wenders, who expanded on his masterpiece in his equally ethereal sequel, Faraway, So Close! (1993), once made notes on the terrible plight of an angel: "To live for an eternity and to be present all the time. To live with the essence of things -- not to be able to raise a cup of coffee and drink it,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Strains to achieve the enchantingly sublime, but ends up sinking to the depressingly ridiculous."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"My face had been locked in that goofy, awestruck expression you experience only in Spielberg movies. City of Angels demonstrates the best kind of emotionally manipulative filmmaking."
‑ Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
"Glossy romance as an angel falls for a surgeon."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"An emotionally uninvolving flick that attempts to play on the heart strings of the viewer and fails in its effort."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Superb imagery can't compensate for deficiencies of Dana Steven's script and can't hide the formulaic nature of this film."
‑ Dragan Antulov,
"As a remake it's not as poetic as Wenders' masterpiece Wings of Desire, but it's supremely mounted (by ace lenser John Seale) and contains touching performances from Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan deviating from their respective screen images."
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"A lovely oddity."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"The movie's eerie, slightly menacing vision of black-clad angels lurking in the shadowy corners of unsuspecting lives is genuinely haunting."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"City of Angels is the sort of compromised movie that could have been almost good, but decided to be a great big hit instead."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"This useless remake lacks the sheer ethereal beauty of the original Wings of Desire."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Funnier than Wenders' version, and it also succeeds in visualising LA as a magical city while dealing intelligently with the themes of mortality, sacrifice, free will, and the mixed blessings of the human condition."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"It manages to leave a pleasant afterglow for those in the mood for its kind of loving."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"A good deal better than it has any right to be."
‑ , Film4
"City of Angels raises theological questions, albeit in a somewhat pedestrian manner, and makes them an integral part of its otherwise formulaic plot."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"Why would anyone remake Wim Wenders' masterpiece, Wings of Desire? Certainly not for artistic reasons."
‑ Carlo Cavagna,
More reviews for City of Angels on Rotten Tomatoes

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