Box art for City Island

City Island


Meet the Rizzos, a fuedel family in the throws of battle as their bizarre and layered lies unravel.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
2 out of 5

Wacky film makes smoking, teen fetish part of the joke.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this hilarious comedy about a disfunctional family addresses such squeamish subjects as teens using Internet fetish porn, young women working in strip clubs (with scenes of barely dressed dancers), and a criminal past. Also, the whole family smokes (and lies about it), plus there's some swearing ("bitch," "s--t"), though not much, and lots of raised voices -- this clan likes to yell -- but there's also plenty of love.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about smoking. Did you know that exposure to smoking in the media is connected to teens taking up the habit? Did smoking appear sexy or cool in this movie? Why do you think the makers of the movie decided to include smoking in the story?
  • Why does Vince feel the need to hide his aspirations? What does acting give him that's missing in other parts of his life? Why doesn't his wife talk to him about her suspicions? What hampers their communication? Does any of this storlyline resonate with your family issues?
  • Talk about the singular way relatives can get under your skin and yet be the ones who have your back. What is it about this dynamic that makes it so rife for conflict? What kinds of conflicts arise in your household? How do parents and kids manage conflict in healthy and unhealthy ways?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

4 stars

The Rizzo household is full of secrets. Vince (Andy Garcia) is out "playing poker", but he's actually too embarrassed to admit that he's taking an acting class. His wife Joyce (Julianna Margulies)thinks he's having an affair and lets it drive her crazy. Vince's daughter Vivian (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) is home from school on break, not alerting her parents that she had been suspended and was saving up for her tuition by stripping. Their son Vince, Jr. (Ezra Miller) is into looking at chicks on the internet. Sounds normal? Well, he likes looking at overweight girls being fed. Add on top of all this the con Tony (Steven Strait) that Vince brings home on an early release that he feels is his duty due to something way back in his past. You know that this many secrets are going to unravel at some point. The other star in the film is City Island itself, a small fishing village that sits between Manhattan and the Bronx.It's like Martha's Vineyard between these two great seas of humanity. You get a closed in feeling as the characters keep running into each other, almost spilling the secretes each one bears. The cast is particularly good with Andy Garcia deliver one of his best performances in years (yes, better than Pink Panther 2) playing the prison guard/struggling actor. City Island is another one of those ensemble comedies that hinges on its cast. The cast in one of these films can either make or break it and City Island scores because of its cast and a nice little story that isn't preachy, isn't too ridiculous, and can be moving at times without being a total sap fest. It's one of those little films out there that outshines the schlock Hollywood is deliver in brown paper bags every Friday.

- sononothing, Tuesday, August 31, 2010

3 stars

Saw it at Redbox, Decided to give it a chance & really expected just another crappy Hollywood comedy so when this movie was actually good, I was suprised.Im also suprised that I enjoyed a movie that had Andy Garcia in it.I just wonder why I havent heard of City Island earlier.

- dukeakasmudge, Monday, August 30, 2010

4 stars

"Oh dear. Greek in scope." I haven't seen a family drama/comedy this good and refreshing in quite some time. I only decided to see City Island because Emily Mortimer was in it; the plot description that I read didn't exactly sell me on the movie, if I'm being honest. But, I ended up really enjoying it. The plot's too complicated and spread out for me to go into detail, but it's basically about a family that lives on City Island in Brooklyn. A family that's full of more secrets and lies than should even be theoretically possible. The father is keeping his acting lessons a secret from his wife, and one of his sons a secret from everyone (including the son, who's fresh out of prison). His other teenage son is hiding a rather amusing fetish. His daughter is hiding her risquƒ job and the truth about her school. As you can imagine, endless complications and misunderstandings result that could have easily been avoided by a little honesty and trust. Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer, and Andy Garcia were all absolutely excellent in this. I'd go so far as to say that it's the best performance of Mortimer's career. The script is funny and emotionally engaging, and I really couldn't have asked for a better ending. If you even vaguely enjoy this kind of film, you would be doing yourself a favor by giving City Island a viewing. I found it to be a very pleasant surprise.

- lewiskendell, Tuesday, August 24, 2010