YMMV / Dark City

  • Award Snub: The lack of a Best Picture Oscar nomination is understandable thanks to the Sci Fi Ghetto, but no nominations for Art Direction, Visual Effects, or Makeup Design is near-obscene.
  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack. It's as if Trevor Jones managed to put the epicness of sci-fi, the intrigue of noir, the sadness of drama and the creepiness of horror in one score. Special mention must go to "Memories Of Shell Beach".
  • Critical Dissonance: While the film received generally positive reviews, it didn't manage win audiences, and didn't do well commercially. It took a combination of an extremely positive review from Roger Ebert and home releases for audiences to finally appreciate it.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Yeah, it's fantastic the Strangers have been thwarted, but even though John is now the God of the City, what's supposed to happen next? Has an oligarchy been replaced by autocracy? How long can he maintain the illusion? It's shown John can create matter out of nothing using the City's power, which could solve any issues regarding food or drinking supplies, but with the Strangers gone, the inhabitants are effectively free of the illusion. They will no longer be subjected to the Strangers' drugs. But then that'll only mean they'll begin to notice what they haven't before... that this city is always changing. Won't there be panic? If it wasn't for the upbeat tone at the end suggesting hope, this would have come off as incredibly bitter. We can only hope John will be a benevolent deity and ensure human progression rather than stagnation.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The image of Emma or Anna now standing on the end of a pier, since Jennifer Connelly would coincidentally recreate that same shot in two more movies. First in Requiem for a Dream and then in House of Sand and Fog - to which she said "how many times have I done this now?"
  • HSQ: Several moments. But special mention must be made of the film's climax, where the visual effects really go off the rails in the most spectacular way.
  • Iron Woobie: Tortured Dr. Schreber's comeuppance against his captors with his "how to kill Tune like a mofo" memory syringe.
  • Memetic Mutation: "SHUT IT DOWN! SHUT IT DOWN FOREVER!"
  • Older Than They Think: Dark City explored the themes of a mutable reality controlled by otherworldly forces a year before The Matrix. By strange coincidence, the two films were also shot at the same studio, and the Wachowskis re-used some of the Dark City sets (specifically the big spiral staircase and the rooftops used for Trinity's run). Taking things full-circle, the Shinichiro Watanabe short in the Animatrix has a Hero Antagonist Private Detective pursuing Trinity and realizing the terrible truth about his world. This is rather similar to Bumstead's role in Dark City.
  • Paranoia Fuel: One-ups even The Matrix's Platonic Cave. The world you live in isn't a lie, your life and memories down to your own entire personality are a lie, built to order mere minutes ago.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Melissa George has a small role as a prostitute, in her first American film.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: It can be very difficult for modern audiences to appreciate this given its influence on The Matrix and Inception. Christopher Nolan even admitted to being inspired by this film.
  • Special Effects Failure: The miniatures are woefully out of scale and poorly executed compared to the CG.
  • Uncanny Valley: Justified with The Strangers. They are dead human bodies being inhibited by parasitic aliens.
    • Mr. Hand can pass as human more easily than the other Strangers. It's unsettling.
  • Vindicated by History: It didn't make a lot of money, audiences generally ignored it, and even most critics at the time thought that it was merely good, mainly praising the spellbinding visuals but finding the story to be average. Roger Ebert, on the other hand, absolutely adored it! He gave it 4 stars in his initial review, declared it the best film of 1998, compared it to Metropolis and 2001: A Space Odyssey, put it in his "Great Movies" collection (that's alongside The Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, and Citizen Kane!) only 7 years after it was released, gave a glowing audio commentary on the DVD release, and used it frequently in his film teachings. Lucky for the film, Ebert was one of the most famous critics in the world, and his word-of-mouth was quite enough to earn it some re-evaluation.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Alex Proyas always keeps the screen alive with some truly jaw dropping imagery that rivals Christopher Nolan or Ridley Scott firing on all cylinders. Especially the amazing scene in which the buildings start changing before Our eyes.