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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Action . Adventure . Drama . Mystery . Romance . Fantasy

In New York City, Clary Fray, a seemingly ordinary teenager, learns that she is descended from a line of Shadowhunters — half-angel warriors who protect humanity from evil forces. After her mother disappears, Clary joins forces with a group of Shadowhunters and enters Downworld, an alternate realm filled with demons, vampires, and a host of other creatures. Clary and her companions must find and protect an ancient cup that holds the key to her mother's future.

Actors: Kevin Zegers , Jamie Campbell Bower , Lily Collins , Jemima West , Robert Sheehan , Lena Headey , Jared Harris , Aidan Turner , Godfrey Gao , Robert Maillet
Directors: Harald Zwart
Release: 2013-08-21
More Info:
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Make no mistake, there will be a sequel. Clary may not wind up having the same pop-culture impact as Bella and Katniss, but like it or not, this won't be the last time you hear from her.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Bruce Ingram

    Everything chugs along briskly and reasonably entertainingly until running off the rails a bit with a wildly overcomplicated finale.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Mark Jenkins

    Aside from the giggles induced by the romance-novel bits, the movie's principal hazard is exhaustion. There are too many characters, and too many of them spend too much time morphing into something else. Five more like this? That would be demonic.

    NPR Full Review
  • David Hiltbrand

    Though imaginatively directed by Harald Zwart, Mortal Instruments, which is adapted from Cassandra Clare's YA novels, is marred by significant flaws.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    The movie blasts by for a while as an odd and busy slice of highly watchable garbage.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The storyline is at times muddled and incoherent. This won't bother readers much since they have the "inside track" on what's happening. Then again, the narrative is so predictable that maybe it doesn't matter.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Borrowing every single component of its complicated plot from other sources, The Mortal Instruments is hodgepodge claptrap, but there’s a faint flicker of fun in its introducing-the-world passages.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Start with a heaping helping of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Throw in some "Percy Jackson," a dash of "Twilight," a spoonful of "The Vampire Diaries" and a sprinkling of "Harry Potter," and you end up with The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    There are elements worth celebrating. The movie is thankfully less self-serious than the mopey “Twilight” films. The Mortal Instruments revels in its own camp. But there is plenty of room for improvement. The action flick is overly long, complicated and, even by teen romance standards, cringe-worthy in its cheesiness.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    If you love exposition and shapely if bland young actors in leather, skinny jeans, knee boots, Goth cocktail dresses and heavy eye makeup, this may be the movie for you.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Curtis Woloschuk

    As for some of the big reveals, viewers will see them coming from a galaxy far, far away.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    This initial “Mortal Instruments” picture has the vibe of a straight-to-video release from the mid-‘90s, except with a $60 million budget and considerable special-effects expertise. Full Review
  • Helen O'Hara

    Apparently unable to decide whether to take its own mythology seriously or not, this is a mess of sculpted cheekbones and incoherent romance.

    Empire Full Review
  • Anna Smith

    It’s a potent mix for young fans that gets off to an entertaining, action-packed start with bursts of knowing humour. But it’s soon bogged down by an increasingly convoluted plot, an overindulgent running time and absurd dialogue.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Despite the overstuffed assortment of vampires, werewolves, warlocks and demons of all shapes and sizes, The Mortal Instruments seldom feels like anything more than a shameless, soulless knockoff.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    A ludicrous, borderline-nonsensical supernatural concoction with a slightly redeeming sense of its own silliness.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    Too much of the film feels like shorthand, a trail of teasing crumbs to lead us to the inevitable sequels.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    There’s so much bouncing around in tone and story that this film never really finds its footing. It flounders around trying to figure out what it should be, and never really settles on anything.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Genevieve Koski

    There’s a germ of something interesting and different within the film’s narrative tangle, but it’s unfortunately been subsumed by Hollywood’s dedication to replicating previous successes.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Sarah Bryan Miller

    That can’t disguise the script’s complete lack of wit or originality, though, or the generally wooden acting.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Scott Bowles

    Though it has flashes of promise, Bones traces the footsteps of its fantasy film predecessors too closely to blaze anything close to an original narrative.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Louis Black

    Not only have we seen this all before, but we were probably hoping to not see it again.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    City of Bones isn’t the worst of its kind, but crap served with flair is still basically crap.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Mark Olsen

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is just a sloppy rag bag of ideas cobbled from other stories.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Oursler

    The nomenclature varies slightly, but there's little new or exciting in City of Bones. For strong female role models and unique fantasy settings, stick with The Hunger Games.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Simon Abrams

    These kids have to contrive magical pretexts just to lay hands on each other, and boy, are their excuses rotten. Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    No matter how good The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones looks, it's hard to really care about anything that's going on, and not just because we could barely understand it.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    Every moviegoer will have his own breaking point, when The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones surpasses the mundane and enters the ridiculous.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Within this bloated fantasy hodgepodge, there are few grace notes: In the role of the creepy fortune teller, Madame Dorothea, CCH Pounder is evil fun. And a few special effects, including a Rottweiller who turns into a skinned hellhound, leave an impression. Otherwise, Mortal Instruments manages to occupy 130 minutes of frantic, numbing, activity.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Laremy Legel

    This is a story that has everything you’re looking for, provided that you’re looking for absolutely nothing. Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hopes to be the start of a new franchise for tweens and Twihards, but the twuth is this twash is anything but a twiumph.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Francesca Steele

    This is film-making at its most cynical. But none of it actually makes much sense.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    This one is by far the worst of the “Twilight” copies. And when that bunch includes “The Host” and “I Am Number Four,” that’s saying something.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    The plot is an incomprehensible tangle of dead ends and recaps.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Matt Patches

    If only the fantasy surrounding her made a lick of sense. Here, the Muggle types are known as the “Mundane.” An apt label for a wanna-be franchise with plenty of sheen and nothing to say.

    Time Out New York Full Review
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