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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 2 September 2013
I should say up front that I haven't read the Mortal Instruments Books (although I have read other books by the same author) so I am judging the film as a film alone, not in comparison to the book.

I didn't really know what to expect, although I had heard some pretty sharp criticism of Jamie Campbell Bower's acting beforehand. As it happened, I love the character he plays, Jace. I suspect much of the objection is because is he is sarcastic, incendiary and self-effacing and uses attack as a form of defence; to get that much out of a movie with lots of action, J C-B must have some acting skills, although the character will not be to everyone's taste.

There are reviewers on here who say they had difficulty following the plot: I didn't. The tale is that of a quest to find a missing cup of power; a standard motif in fantasy literature but not one fantasy fans are likely to tire of.

The other characters; Clary, Simon, Jocelyn, Luke, Magnus, Isabelle and Alec all stand as individuals and it's easy to imagine that there is plenty of backstory to expand on in forthcoming films (and presumably already done in the books - I must get them!).

It shouldn't be necessary in this day and age to say that it was nice to see gay people treated as in and out of love the same as the non-gay people, but it was. I'm rooting for Alec and the hot witchy guy :D

Edit added, March 2014: I've now read all Cassandra Clare's books, and whilst I can now see why people have passed comment on the divergence of the film's plot from the first book, I still love the film. It's exceptionally well-cast, and the actors have the characters off to a tee. Terrific.
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on 8 March 2014
I absolutely loved this film! Loved the story, loved the actors I wasn't completely sure about Jamie Campbell Bower at first (only due to previously associating him with twilight films not because of his acting) but he's great as Jace. I hadn't read the books before I saw the film and I followed it quite easily with no confusion (someone previously said you would be confused if you hadnt read the books first). After watching it I have now read the first 2, now on book 3 and have the others sitting waiting on me! Great series made into a great film, don't understand why it didn't do well in the cinema tbh but I guess you can't please everyone. I would say if you haven't read the books yet then see the film first but I think that's true of any book to film adaptation.

All in all it's definitely worth a watch I can't wait for the second film!!
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on 29 August 2013
So fed up of reading 80% reviews that have to mention twilight. Lets get this out first. It is NOT Twilight. Whether you liked the saga or not, it is nothing like it, just because it is based on a set of YA books, that is as far as the similarity goes. Yes it had vampires in and a male/female lead (trio) and so have many other films.

City of bones is the first film based on the Mortal instruments books by Cassandra Clare. I went into the cinema as a non fan. Had no expectations.I couldn't get into the books when I was first encouraged to read them by my daughter. But the clips looked good and she wanted to see it. Yes it probably went on about legends and mythology. Why wouldn't it? If you are going to make a film, its no good bypassing the why's and the wherefores of why they are doing what they are doing today. Every series of films has the first film as a getting to know the characters and a backstory. If they don't go into the story, it wouldn't make a lot of sense. The film had a lot of action, from early on into the film. With a hint of romance that hasn't over powered the film. It had feeling and depth to it and a little humour. I came away from the cinema wanting to know more and wanting to see more films. Even my husband who normally only tolerates such films to keep the peace wants to see the next one.

Reading the first book of the series the same night, was awesome. It had the same lines in it, mostly delivered by "Jace" and having watched the film, I could hear his voice and it was the same! Yes they changed bits, they had to. They had to get a long book into a film, that had to appeal to fans, non fans, teenagers, adults, and poor long suffering husbands who get dragged along. In short it had to appeal to everyone. I would say it was successful.

If you don't like it, that is your opinion. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. But if you don't like it, it doesn't make it a bad film. I sincerely hope that if they don't make the entire series (and I really hope they do!) that they at least make the next 2 books and wrap it up properly.
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on 30 September 2013
I enjoyed this film when it was out at the cinemas, the books are brilliant. I cant wait for the dvd to come out, but why wait til january, it should be released before christmas. Once again, why is another series being compared to twilight, its nothing like twilight, I am a huge twilight fan, read the books several times, watched all the dvds loads of times too, but this is another brilliant stand alone series, by a completely different author, so those critics out there, forget twilight whilst reading or watching this, stop comparing. Now I learn the second film in the series has been put on hold indefinitely, why oh why are they putting the second film on hold, the first is brilliant, Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower are brilliantly cast as the leads. I don't want to say too much about the film, as it may spoil it for those who haven't seen it or read the book. Lets just say it is more about demons/magic. I just hope they change their minds and decide to film the second book, and all the other books too as it is a brilliant series.
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on 8 March 2014
This is a brilliant adaptation to a brilliant book!
It's fast paced, witty and beautiful and really does Clare's books justice. The film is very different to the books, but I don't think that this makes it worse or bad. It makes it much better!
The action scenes are the best and not to mention the rather fantastic soundtrack to this film which works so well with the gothic themes running throughout! The cast are fabulous and really suit the characters presented, and best of all take me back to when I first read the books and didn't know so much about them. There's so much more to unveil and understand like there was back in book one, and I really hope the sequel pulls through so we get a chance to explore this world so much more!
A fan of fantasy, mystery and a side-plot of romance? Well look right here, this is the film for you.. of course then I'd have to say read the books because man! Those things are addictive!
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The film kicks off with 'Clary' and doting-friend 'Simon' visiting a night-club
at which 'Clara' believes she is witnessing a murder, nobody else there see's
Those she saw had become aware that 'Clara' had the ability to see them, she
is not the normal teen she believes herself to be.
Whilst 'Clara' was at the club her home had been attacked, her mother 'Jocelyn'
has gone missing.
'Jace' a half-angel warrior who along with fellow warriors battles the 'demonic-
forces' in an effort to protect humanity at large, her world is about to change
forever as she learns something of what her parents really are.
'Clara' needs to find her mother.
'Jace' has brought her to his world that of the 'Shadow Hunter' she is about to
learn of her destiny.
Her doting friend 'Simon' has tagged along for the ride.
Welcome to the supernatural world in which 'Vampires' and 'Werewolves' become
very much part of her encounters.
A fantasy drama with plenty of action coupled with much in the way of sparkling
My Daughter has read the books, I have not, however whilst watching the film it
does appear likely as with film series such as 'Twilight' that this has been toned
down some to attract a wider audience.
Never-the-less this is a promising start to the series.
However, many possible series had beginnings such as.....'His Dark Materials'...
'I Am Four'....and the tale with the 'talking' dragon ...'Eregon' .....sadly, many of
us start watching the beginnings of what should be a series following the books,
but they aren't continued.....economics obviously.....kinda' hoping they will carry
on with this one ?
There is much in the way of additional features to watch.............
'Bringing them to life'
'Descendants of the 'cup'
'Into the shadows'
'From book to screen'
'Deadly attractions'
'Entering the shadow world'
'Music video'
'Almost is never enough' by 'Ariana Grande' and 'Nathan Sykes'
'Character lineage'
'Mortal memories'
'Exclusive cast roundtable'
'All access with 'Cassandra Clare'
'Deleted scenes'
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on 28 June 2015
I haven't read the books but really enjoyed this, and it's a shame there won't be more films. I'm going to have to read the books now though after the shock at the end. I manged to follow (and enjoy) this without any problems. In all fantasy/sci-fi you have to suspend reality, and it's essentially a quest to find a cup with specific meaning. I really liked the characters of Clay, Jace and Simon and I'll look forward to finding out when I read the books. Films often differ from the book it came from, but I think this sometimes is to make them accessible to more people. If you enjoy the paranormal/fantasy genre then do give this a try - even if you haven't read the books.
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on 11 September 2013
I absolutely loved this movie. I cannot wait for the DVD. The reviews are a unnecessarily harsh and unjustified. I will admit that it has been changed from the book, but I really liked it and cannot wait for the second one
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 21 February 2016
This is an entertaining whirlwind of an action-adventure fantasy movie set in contemporary New York and based on one of the books from the Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare. It is a dazzling tale involving demons, vampires, werewolves, witches, warlocks, portals, runes, Shadowhunters (half human, half angel), an ancient cup, a crusader backstory and Johann Sebastian Bach. The movie is not without humour and the narrative moves along at a pretty decent pace and includes some very good special effects. It was fun ticking off the actors in the film – CCH Pounder (The Shield, Warehouse 13), Jared Harris (Mad Men, Fringe), Aiden Turner (Hobbit trilogy, Poldark), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), Kevin Durand (Legion, Cosmopolis) and of course Lena Headey (Game of Thrones, The Sarah Connor Chronicles et al.). In fact the start of the movie reminds me of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, where Lena Headey’s character is in hiding with her son, but in this case it is her daughter, played by Lily Collins, who along with Jamie Campbell Bower are well able to hold the film together as the lead actors. For me, definitely a movie to rent or watch on television, and despite the ‘kissing parts’ kept my interest throughout (mostly) the two hours running time.
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on 20 September 2013
Given this is the biggest Young Adult Fiction franchise since Twilight, it's inevitable that this series would be compared to its massively successful predecessor. Although it has a young heroine, an attractive male lead, vampires and werewolves, the similarities between the two are actually exaggerated. I'm a huge Twilight fan, but I thought this was better. More ambitious, intricate plot, better acting and a beautiful score by Atli Orvarsson - I enjoyed every minute of this film. So much so that I went and bought the books (which are fab too) the next day. Jamie Campbell Bower was somewhat irritating in Twilight, but in this film he comes across as an impressive, charismatic actor, playing Jace pretty much to perfection. Godfrey Gao as the wonderful Magnus Bane and Jemima West as Isabelle stand out too.

It's a real shame more people didn't go and see this at the cinema (I think the film's producers failed to promote this first instalment effectively)- let's hope the sequel (City of Ashes) gets made as City of Bones really left me wanting for more!
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