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Silver City

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grammatically challenged, user friendly gubernatorial candidate Dicky Pilager has just launched a rosy campaign for the citizens of the New West. But things take an unexpected turn when the taping ofan environmental political ad ends up with Pilager reeling in a corpse. Enter his ferocious campaign manager, Chuck Raven who hires idealistic journalist turned rumpled private detective Danny O'Brien to investigate potential links between the corpse and the Pilager family's enemies. In the tradition of the great films noir, Danny's investigation pulls him deeper and deeper into a complex web of influence and corruption, involving high stakes lobbyists, media conglomerates, environmental, plunderers, and undocumented migrant workers.

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John Sayles tackles one of his most provocative projects in Silver City, a broadside on politics and campaigning. It's one of Sayles's multi-character tapestries, set during a tarnished governor's race in Colorado. Chris Cooper has kicky fun as a feather-brained candidate, whose nonsensical speeches deliberately evoke the 43rd U.S. president. He doesn't get nearly enough screen time, because the film follows a burned-out private detective (the awkward Danny Huston) as he tugs at conspiracies. Sayles's understanding of the connected relationships in the political world is keen, and his malignant ending scores points--though the issues are more convincing than the characters. A subplot romance between Huston and journalist Maria Bello is tired, and there's a rushed quality that undercuts the political barbs. The crowded cast helps it perk along. This is a companion piece to Sayles's City of Hope and Sunshine State, and proves his teeth are only getting sharper. --Robert Horton

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Cooper, Thora Birch, Maria Bello, Billy Zane, Daryl Hannah
  • Directors: John Sayles
  • Writers: John Sayles
  • Producers: Maggie Renzi, Robert Lansing Parker, Sam Tedesco, Suzanne Ceresko
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 11, 2005
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006GVJEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Silver City" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 23, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film grew on me.

I first saw it after it was advertised in "The Nation." It had just enough laughs--and mystery--to keep me interested.

Others have gone over the plot. Chris Cooper plays quite a good dimwit--actually no less articulate than the dimwit who now occupies the formidable house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

I disagree with those critics who say Richard Dreyfus's character, the dimwit's campaign manager, is not slimy enough. I thought he did a good job as a Rove-like snake, of no integrity whatsoever. In fact, in the "making of" bonus feature, Dreyfus says what I've been saying since I was a teenager (and I'm almost Dreyfus's age!): People essentially don't care [about much of what's going on] until they're affected by it. And then it's too late. Thanks for confirming my assertion of the last nearly 40 years, Richard!

Frankly, at first I thought Michael Murphy was too young to play Dicky Pilager's dad, but, when I saw it a few more times, he did all right.

I had a slight problem with the sherrif, Skaggs I think the character was called. He was apparently the one responsible for the lead character, Danny O'Brien, played by Danny Huston, getting fired in the first place. But by the end, the guy bordered on being Danny's political advisor. There was nothing Danny could do, so, the sherrif advised him, he'll have to reconcile himself to what's happened.

But I can live with that as the consequence of a lower-budget story.

Overall, I'm glad I have it. Sayles says in one of the special features that we are a story-telling species. That's obvious, from oral tradition of religious scripture to tales told by vikings which became epics. Those stories are important. I'll use this story it at the "salons" some friends plan to have. It's a great caricature of what we face with the neocons running the show so far. And until we realize that, things'll keep getting worse.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Luce on January 28, 2005
Format: DVD
Silver City is a good movie, but a little slow. I wish it could have had more of Chris Cooper (who seems to act very much like Bush) and Richard Dryfuss (who seems awfully Cheney like). The movie wasn't as funny as the previews made it look and actually turns up to be a pretty good murder mystery full of oddball characters. It kind of reminded me of Primary Colors, with John Travolta, which was a mimic of Clinton and his skeletons in the closest. The movie never seems to step up and be true political satire or a full fledge murder mystery. It is somewhere in between, which actually reflects politics in today's world. Overall, it is an interesting movie and worth watching. It is very very slow at times, and I didn't really care for Danny Huston's character.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By audrey TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 4, 2005
Format: DVD
In John Sayles' latest, Chris Cooper plays Dicky Pilager, running for governor of Colorado and with more than a passing resemblance to George W. Bush. When Dicky finds a corpse while filming a campaign ad, his campaign manager (Richard Dreyfuss) hires investigator Danny O'Brien (Danny Huston) to find out if the corpse was planted. Danny, of course, gets into trouble as he uncovers family secrets and business deals.

This is a terrific cast but the pacing is very slow and the mystery is only mildly interesting. Iwould have liked to have seen Chris Cooper more.

Extras include a trailer, a 36-minute making-of featurette and a commentary track. Subtitles available in English.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cosmoetica on September 18, 2008
Format: DVD
Lost in the glare of Michael Moore's 2004 pseudo-documentary Fahrenheit 911 was independent filmmaker John Sayles' far more incisive filmic take on politics called Silver City. While Moore's film was a frontal assault on the George W. Bush administration, Sayles' film was less a jab at Right Wing politics, although it clearly was, and more an assault on the sliminess of politics in general. I was surprised at how good the film was, considering all the negative reviews it got from critics. Is it a great film, in league with Sayles' best? No. But it's light years beyond typical Hollywood fare- especially bigger budgeted films like the Clinton era's Wag The Dog.
The film it most resembles is Roman Polanski's Chinatown, although set in contemporary Colorado, and this film having a lighter feel- in terms of the cinematography and humor.... t's a shame that this film was swamped by so many other screechy films, such as Fahrenheit 911 and Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ, for it deserved it, despite its bad ending. The best thing about Sayles is that he is unpredictable- save that he writes and directs stellar adult dramas, and given his last several films, that aspect of his work seems to be in no danger of diminishing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Zander Kaufman on March 25, 2005
Format: DVD
I'm not going to sit here and lie to you. I first saw the trailer for Silver City while waiting to watch Fahrenheit 9/11. When I say the trailer I thought what I saw going to see was a movie similar to Primary Colors which I really enjoyed. Never again will I trust trailers.

I thought this movie was going to be one of satire, however it was fleeting. Chris Cooper does fall into the roll like he was born to play or run? It's just too bad it was in this movie. Another thing that bugged the hell out of me was the plot line was darting all over the place. Just when you barely get to know a charter, BOOM! Off we go. Fear not, there are no spoilers here. Because there's not much of an ending.

In a pre December, 2 I would still have to give this film 3 stars for the effort.
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