Dark City

1998 R 1h 40m DVD

Dark City

1998 R 1h 40m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
John Murdoch awakens in a hotel room to find he's wanted for a series of murders he doesn't remember committing. But then he encounters the Strangers, a group of ominous beings with a collective memory who can stop time and alter physical reality.
Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Richard O'Brien, Ian Richardson, Bruce Spence
Alex Proyas
Widescreen 2.35:1, Pan-and-Scan 1.33:1
Spanish (Neutral), French, English
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 16+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 16+
age 16+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that there is brief female nudity in a subplot about a helpful prostitute/single mother, though no sex results. She gets murdered for her troubles in helping out the hero, and there are several bloodied corpses plus fantasy violence in which zombie-like beings are decapitated or smashed. The nightmare imagery, recalling ghosts, vampires, and zombies (but with a sci-fi explanation) can be unnerving to sensitive viewers. A "director's cut" DVD lacks the opening narration that explains much of the complicated setup; some viewers might find this non-narrated version confusing.

Sexual Content

Female nudity (topless and in profile) of a prostitute, bare-butt shot of the hero. Talk of an adulterous affair (which turns out not to have really happened).


Brief shots of bloody victims (female) of knife-killings, with spiral designs cut into flesh. Some of the zombie-like "strangers" get smashed/impaled, and one has the top of his head sheared off. Hypodermic needles plunged into foreheads.


Not applicable

Social Behavior

In its weird way the film affirms the human spirit and individuality ("the soul"), compared to the super-powered but stagnant and dying alien race that holds people captive here. Even though the hero is set up to think he's a Ripper-like murderer, he really isn't, and even villainous-seeming characters are secretly working toward the liberation of humanity.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Some cigarette smoking, social drinking as backdrop.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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