Proyas' movie lacks a truly rich or compelling story -- although the city secret is certainly a rich and compelling idea. All too often, Dark City seems a great production design in search of a movie, an ultimate modern film noir pastiche, in which the images are so strong they overpower the drama. [27 Feb 1998]
Fascinating, visionary filmmaking. With its amber-tinged palette and its distinctively dystopian view of life, it may be the most unique-looking film we've seen in ages...[but] defies logic and makes frightening and unexpected leaps.
An almost really good movie...risks leaving the viewer feeling like one of the bewildered automatons that move through the plots.
Manohla DargisL.A. Weekly
[Proyas] hasn't yet learned how to enliven his characters as fully as his sets. Part of this is structural (somnolence is built into the script), but the greater fault lies with Proyas' direction of his performers, most of whom deliver their lines in a strangulated whisper.
Maitland McDonaghTV Guide Magazine
It's all about the amazing look, cobbled together from an astonishingly evocative range of sources: "Nosferatu" and "Mad Love," "Brazil" and "Metropolis," a haunted mosaic of bits and pieces of movie memories.