Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

5.0 9
Director: Harald Zwart

Cast: Harald Zwart, Lily Collins, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand


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New York City teen Clary Fray (Lily Collins) learns that she is descended from a noble line of half-angel demon slayers known as the Shadowhunters, and joins their powerful ranks in a bid to rescue her missing mother (Lena Headey) from an alternate dimension known as the Downworld, where the terrifying…  See more details below


New York City teen Clary Fray (Lily Collins) learns that she is descended from a noble line of half-angel demon slayers known as the Shadowhunters, and joins their powerful ranks in a bid to rescue her missing mother (Lena Headey) from an alternate dimension known as the Downworld, where the terrifying creatures of legend roam free. Adapted from the popular series of novels by author Cassandra Clare, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones co-stars Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, CCH Pounder, and Jared Harris.

Editorial Reviews

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Enter the young-adult section in any bookstore and you can expect, with absolute certainty, a seemingly infinite number of covers depicting teen couples in the midst of the throes of love, angst, or love and angst against the backdrop of an epic battle to save mankind. And it's not a new phenomenon. It's as if Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret had a clandestine affair with The Hobbit and filled shelves upon shelves with their ambiguously attractive paranormal progeny. As the world made the transition to a post-Twilight society, however, there was a particularly spectacular explosion of paranormal-teen-romance series for young adults. Vampires and werewolves faded somewhat in popularity while angels and demons rose to the lead, witches and faeries had their day in the sun, and lesser known mythological creatures (sirens, mermaids, grim reapers, and banshees, to name a few) got points for participating. Among the more successful series is author Cassandra Clare's multipart saga The Mortal Instruments. It's a sweeping and addictive read, if ridiculously complicated. In short, Shadowhunters are human/angel hybrids who work within a turbulently political secret society dedicated to eradicating demons from the world. A teenage girl named Clary (Lily Collins) discovers that her mother has been keeping her heritage as a half Shadowhunter a secret in order to ensure her safety. At the same time, a hunky guy with a shady past named Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower) turns out to be a formidable warrior who has dedicated his life to Shadowhunting, and he quickly becomes enamored with Clary, making waves within his circle of friends. As a book, the plot is fun and creative, albeit clunky. As a film, it's kind of a hot mess, which is really too bad. The Mortal Instruments saga is one of the few supernatural tales with a female protagonist who is neither perfect nor profoundly damaged. She simply does the best she can with the cards she's been dealt. Romance is a part of her life, but it's not her entire identity. Her love interest Jace treats his situation similarly, though he's been dealing with the perils of living among supernatural beings for much longer. The love story, with the exception of one unbearably schlocky scene involving a garden that appears to be lit by pixie dust, is handled relatively well. Where the movie truly fails is by introducing a large cast of characters with no standouts to root for, partly due to the limitations of adapting a book into a film, and partly because the script alternates disjointedly between somber moments of exposition and sweeping fight scenes. The end result is constant emotional and physical chaos that is beautiful to watch, yet very difficult to care about. Although the demons certainly look gross and give off an air of malevolence, it's a Shadowhunter known as Valentine Morgenstern (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) who wants to enact a sort of biblical ethnic-cleansing program between the descendants of angels and the Downworlders (the general-purpose phrase for relatively nonviolent supernatural entities) by utilizing the powers of an ancient artifact known as the Mortal Cup. By the time this happens, though, the picture is coming to a rushed close that leaves too many loose ends unresolved -- even for what is obviously intended to be a multi-film series. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is a beautifully shot movie featuring talented actors and a story with a lot of potential. At the end of the day, however, it just doesn't have much soul.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Bringing them to life - Filmmakers and Cast discuss the characters of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; Descendants of the Cup - A look at the stunts and the cast's transformation into Shadowhunters; Deleted scenes; Music video: "Almost Never Enough" by Ariana Grande ft. Nathan Sykes

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lily Collins Clary
Robert Maillet Blackwell
Kevin Durand Pangborn
Lena Headey Jocelyn
Jonathan Rhys Meyers Valentine
Godfrey Gao Magnus Bane
CCH Pounder Dorothea
Jared Harris Hodge
Jamie Campbell Bower Jace
Aidan Turner Luke
Kevin Zegers Alec
Robert Sheehan Simon
Jemima West Isabelle
Harry Van Gorkum Alaric/Werewolf
Stephen R. Hart Brother Jeremiah
Chad Connell Lambert
Chris Ratz Eric
Elyas M'Barek The Vampire Leader
Pedro Miguel Arce Bouncer
Matthew Cheng Magnus' Bouncer
Carlos Gonzalez-Vio Vampire Henchman

Technical Credits
Harald Zwart Director
Geir Hartly Andreassen Cinematographer
Christoph Becker Musical Direction/Supervision
Deirdre Bowen Casting
Jim Brebner Asst. Director
Don Carmody Producer
Jaki Carmody Editor
Greg Chapman Sound Mixer
Stephanie Corsalini Casting
Anthony Ianni Art Director
I. Marlene King Screenwriter
Robert Kulzer Producer
Mark Lawton Special Effects Supervisor
Michael Lynne Executive Producer
Martin Moszkowicz Executive Producer
Atli Orvarsson Score Composer
Jessica Postigo Paquette Screenwriter
Gersha Phillips Costumes/Costume Designer
Chris Schaaning Sound/Sound Designer
Marty Eli Schwartz Asst. Director
François Séguin Production Designer
Bob Shaye Executive Producer
Robert Stecko Camera Operator
Kimberley Zaharko Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
1. Scene 1 [8:04]
2. Scene 2 [6:57]
3. Scene 3 [7:15]
4. Scene 4 [7:27]
5. Scene 5 [8:56]
6. Scene 6 [5:29]
7. Scene 7 [5:32]
8. Scene 8 [10:01]
9. Scene 9 [6:59]
10. Scene 10 [8:48]
11. Scene 11 [1:32]
12. Scene 12 [5:26]
13. Scene 13 [7:27]
14. Scene 14 [7:03]
15. Scene 15 [8:54]
16. Scene 16 [8:10]


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