City Island

City Island

4.0 5
Director: Raymond de Felitta

Cast: Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Emily Mortimer


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A dysfunctional family living on a picturesque island in the Bronx spares no expense in avoiding the truth about their messed-up lives in writer/director Raymond de Felitta's dark family comedy. The family patriarch, Vince (Andy Garcia) is a prison guard who is secretly plotting a new career as an actor.


A dysfunctional family living on a picturesque island in the Bronx spares no expense in avoiding the truth about their messed-up lives in writer/director Raymond de Felitta's dark family comedy. The family patriarch, Vince (Andy Garcia) is a prison guard who is secretly plotting a new career as an actor. Meanwhile, as Vince takes acting lessons on the down low, his daughter moonlights as a stripper and his younger namesake harbors a secret fetish that involves the family's 300-pound neighbor. Under normal circumstances Vincent's wife, Joyce (Julianna Margulies), would be the family rock, but lately she's been preoccupied with uncovering the identity of the hired help, a secret that only her husband knows.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Writer-director Raymond De Felitta (The Thing About My Folks) returns to the low-key urban working-class comedy of Two Family House with City Island. Andy Garcia stars as Vince Rizzo, a corrections officer who lives in the eponymous section of the Bronx, a surprisingly bucolic fishing village abutting one of the busiest cities in the world. "You ask me about my biggest secret," Vince narrates as the movie opens, "Like most people, I guess, I've got a few." And he certainly does. In fact, the Rizzo family is brimming with them. For one thing, he and his wife, Joyce (Julianna Margulies), both smoke, and hide it from one another. Vince tells Joyce he has a regular poker game, but he's actually taking acting classes. Daughter Vivian (Dominik García-Lorido) pretends to be coming home on spring break, when in fact she's dropped out of school and is working as a stripper. Teen son Vinnie (Ezra Miller) has a fetish for large women, and has grown obsessed with Denise (Carrie Baker Reynolds), a heavyset neighbor. But the biggest secret is Vince's son from a previous relationship, whom he hasn't seen in decades. In one of several contrivances, Tony (Steven Strait) winds up an inmate at Vince's job, eligible for parole only if a family member will take him in. Without telling Tony or the rest of his family the truth about their relationship, Vince gets Tony out of jail, and takes him into their home on City Island. As part of an acting exercise, Vince confides the truth to Molly (Emily Mortimer), a sympathetic woman (with her own mysterious past) from his acting class. The film works most effectively when it maintains the kind of modest, mildly amusing, naturalistic level that makes all this family drama palatable. Garcia is a pro, and he makes the thwarted, bottled-up Vince both believable and compelling. He's matched by the supporting cast. García-Lorido and Strait are pretty and charming. Margulies is a bit shrill, and Miller (who was fantastic as a much quieter troubled teen in his debut, Afterschool) grates a bit as a peanut-gallery smart-ass, but they're both reasonably believable characters, up to a point. Alan Arkin is fine in a disappointingly small role, and Mortimer shines, as usual, until Molly reveals her own dark secrets and the part essentially becomes unplayable. Watching City Island, we know that everything will eventually break down, and that all the family's secrets, big and little, will be revealed. It all goes down pretty much the way we expect it to, with a big dramatic meltdown out in the street. It's a bit disappointing how closely De Felitta hews to convention in resolving the family's crises, but along the way to that foregone conclusion, there are surprises and pleasures. For example, it's refreshing how the movie addresses Vinnie's budding perversion without judgment or hysteria. Though the trajectory of Vince's acting career might seem far-fetched, De Felitta clearly knows that milieu, and those scenes have a lived-in feel that is ultimately convincing. Things eventually bog down in too much plot, too much drama, and simply too much yelling, but what saves City Island is De Felitta's understanding of the neighborhood, and his obvious affection for the flawed, fragile Rizzo family.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Sales rank:

Special Features

Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer/Director Raymond De Felitta and Producer/Actor Andy Garcia; ; Dinner With The Rizzos; Deleted Scenes

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Andy García Vince Rizzo
Julianna Margulies Joyce Rizzo
Emily Mortimer Molly Charlesworth
Alan Arkin Michael Malakov
Steven Strait Tony Nardella
Ezra Miller Vinnie Rizzo
Dominik Garcia-Lorido Vivian Rizzo
Raymond de Felitta Actor

Technical Credits
Raymond de Felitta Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Maria Teresa Arida Executive Producer
Vanja Cernjul Cinematographer
Franckie Diago Production Designer
Tere Duncan Costumes/Costume Designer
Andy García Producer
Miluting G. Gatsby Executive Producer
Grzegorz Hajdarowicz Executive Producer
Sheila Jaffe Casting
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek Score Composer
David Leonard Editor
Zachary Matz Producer
Michael Roban Executive Producer
Lucia Seabra Executive Producer
Meredith Tucker Casting
Lauren Versel Producer


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City Island 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Eightgoesaround More than 1 year ago
If you loved the movie Moonstruck, you'll love this movie. It's a great script, wonderful actors, filled with humor, love, and all the things we think we know about our family and discover we don't. Just like Moonstruck it feels like opera with everything building to the final scene where all is revealed. Love this movie. It's filled with joy and love
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
This is a laugh-out-loud, off the chain riot! Even with the language, porn sites, strip club, and lies, this was a crazy, hilarious, and great for boosting your laugh meter DVD. "City Island" starring Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Steven Strait, Dominik Garcia-Lorido, Ezra Miller, and Alan Arkin was just fun entertainment. The views of City Island, in the Bronx, were beautiful and the little history lesson Andy Garcia offered the viewers was fantastic. This was great comic relief and wonderful for stress reduction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the worst films ever produced. Vince Rizzo is a ludicrous parody of DeNiro's "Bronx Tale" protagonist, but Garcia's performance is more overdone than cafeteria lunch. Everyone in and around this family has a crippling secret, but, like the Rizzos' 350 lb. neighbor with her own recipe for happiness, the characters and theme are so exploited that they become little more than an annoyance. No opportunity for trite, working class stereotyping is missed. There's enough wrong with this film for everyone to gag on. A meaningless waste of time, this film makes reality TV look wholesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago