Mad City | Chicago Reader

Mad City

It's always at least a little disingenuous to attack the medium that's your bread and butter; this media-bashing movie tries to get around the problem by restricting its critique to television, specifically the news. Dustin Hoffman is a self-aggrandizing reporter who lets himself be taken hostage by distraught former museum guard John Travolta and crafts an event for the cameras—a scenario whose messages are more than obvious after the first few minutes. The ethics of Hoffman's character, which are all over the map, end up in a convenient spot—so we can feel comfortable identifying with him. Written by Tom Matthews and directed by Costa-Gavras.

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