City of Ghosts (2002) - Crime, Drama, Thriller

Hohum Score



A con man (Matt Dillon) travels to Cambodia (also on the run from law enforcement in the U.S.) to collect his share in an insurance scam, but discovers more than he bargained for.

Director: Matt Dillon
Stars: Matt Dillon, James Caan
Length: 116 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 21 out of 70 found boring (30%)

One-line Reviews (51)

This was one confusing film.

I know it is his directorial debut, but too much is predictable and clumsily handled.

Shifty plot, intense scenery .

Slow with no real payoff .

do you guys want to leave?

Dillon's debut as writer/director, this flick takes a solid cosmopolitan cast, great exotic locations, a thick coat of sweaty noir and squanders them all on a thin story which will evoke little more than a yawn.

The repetition in some scenes was unbearable.

Plot unwinds like a Where's Waldo comic book, with weak contrived scenes to showcase wacky expatriate character behaviour.

The film moves at a somewhat slow pace, giving the story and characters lots of time to develop.

But the film is hard to follow, and that's not because the story is confusing, it's because Dillon is.

This is an engrossing movie that provides "adult entertainment" in the best possible sense.

While some of the characters may seem to be cliche I have actually met people like this while traveling.

"save your money on this one.

here I was interested in all of the characters, some of whom I found very compelling, and the relationships between them were very interesting and complex without being overly dramatic.


The story comes across as a Graham Greene novel for the poor man yet it has its own charm of the unexpected menace lurking about like its humid locales.

The movie is gorgeously photographed in exotic locations, rich in atmosphere, fun to watch (for its odd details and its plot), and packed with top flight character actors who work side by side with Asian non-professionals to provide a host of entertaining character studies.

The actors don't bring anything new either to the film, and they are also predictable.

The slow pace of the film is by design to enhance the suspense leading up to the `thrilling' finale.

to me, it was a highly enjoyable experience to reconnect with my travel-memories, to find myself watching a movie and knowing the places in it.

Now, this can either make for a boring film stuck in doldrums of its own making, or it can somehow oddly just.. work.

It's a pity the movie didn't get wider theatrical distribution, but now that it's available on video, viewers who long for some old-fashioned, well-written, grown-up viewing satisfaction in a visually stunning package should check this out.

How many films have we seen set in decaying far away third world locations, way beyond the reach of law and order and inhabited by the detrius of the Western World, each with a shady past and all living on the edge.

Contradictions, confusing sentiments, Jimmy has to sort out.

Then there's Skarsgård, bringing some of his "Insomnia" insecurity aura with him, is the doubtful associate Kaspar.

Yes the resolution of the movie was somewhat weak and contrived.

Dillon does do many things right for this film and the first is that he assembled a terrific cast and I thought Depardieu was truly engaging as the bartender trying to keep order in his bar.

Though the somewhat cliché-like plot twist at the end could have easily spoiled the film for me; somehow it didn't.

The film was engaging, beautiful and different.

this was really too much of a cliche.

The insurance scam being parlayed into a casino plot is murky and confusing.

Let's also talk about the contrived love scene that was thrown in just so that the lead character could get some action.

Although showing a lot of dingy city scenes, the Cambodian scenery was fascinating.

"City of Ghosts" is more entertaining per se.

(SPOILERS)this was quite possibly the worst movie ive EVER seen.

Stellan Skarsgård plays a shady associate of Marvin's and is one of the more confusing elements in the film.

Dillon's romantic exploits are dull, and his double-crossing friend is quite frankly, insignificant.

I really highly recommend it.

Heavy on atmosphere but light on substance, and the direction is a problem as the story becomes very confusing.

The love thread is banal.

City of Ghosts is too long and the Dillon-McElhone romance is forced.

Even Sereyvuth has solid moments in the film but the script is both cliche and muddled.

Unfortunately, the pace is so slow that it makes the film difficult to get through, and as for the thrilling finale, well, not quite.

Add to that the extreme violence and predictable plot twists and one would pray for a sequel to "Heavens Gate.

The characters in the film are somewhat stiff with their performances, and the plot is quite predictable.

As a result, the main character has no story arc.

I would have liked to see this drive Matt Dillon's character as crazy as it did me, but instead he keeps it pretty monotone throughout the entire film, never showing any extreme emotion despite the extreme situations he finds himself in.

But no, this was an amazing intense movie.

I can't remember how I even had the DVD in my possession or why I bothered to watch it, given the cover was fairly bland.

The film's soundtrack- a heady international collection of pop music mixed with Tyler Bates' evocative score - adds another layer to the already-rich atmosphere.

when 2 of my friends actually walked out of the theater halfway through the movie, one said, "boy, i sure hope there are some more ambiguous killing scenes" within the 5 minutes after she left, we saw at least 3 more.