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      City of Gardens

      2012 1h 41m Action Drama List
      Reviews 35% Audience Score 50+ Ratings A young surfer from California is forced to grow up in a hurry when he is thrown into a Peruvian prison in 1980. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      City of Gardens

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      Critics Reviews

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      Jeannette Catsoulis New York Times Unable to shape these events into a dramatic structure, the director, Camilo Vila, resorts to a meandering tale of random indignities suffered by a lead so bland he comes across less as principled than as stupendously nave. Rated: 2/5 Sep 20, 2012 Full Review Nick Pinkerton Village Voice On every level this production-from Robinson's callow performance to Vila's hackneyed handheld camerawork, punching beats in the stead of the actors-remains firmly on the level of the obvious. Sep 18, 2012 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (3) audience reviews
      Audience Member Normally i like movies in Jail ...this i liked a bit Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member The real title of this film is City Of Gardens and make sure you get the proper, subtitled, Peruvian original, and not a silly dubbed version. City Of Gardens is a Peruvian MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, minus the exceptionally hard edge of the 1978 Alan Parker movie. In GARDENS, a stupid American goes to Peru to surf, where predictably, he's essentially kidnapped. What actually happens is he's busted on phoney drug charges, and "lost" in Peru's hopeless penal system, pending a payoff from his "rich American father" that the local cops are just sure he must have (along with a swimming pool -all Americans are rich and have swimming pools.) Of course, this is the allegedly "pre-civil rights" Peru of 1980. We all know nothing like this could ever happen in a safe, modern, America-loving, enlightened nation like the modern-day Peru (snickers.) Anyway, stupid-surfer-boy refuses to give in -or maybe he really doesn't have a rich American father or a swimming pool back home. But either way, he's in a real hell-hole of a prison and has to deal with weirdos, each one a standard prison movie cliche: brutal guards, corrupt officials, an impotent US Consul, a crazy queer bunkmate, an inmate who thinks he's Jesus Christ, a pacifist flower-power Zen-Buddhist inmate, thugs, and various protestors, predators, and revolutionaries. Light on surprises and suspense, but rich in grim atmosphere, City Of Gardens is effective and well-made. It's worth a viewing, but it doesn't have a lot of point other than, KEEP THE HECK OUT OF COUNTRIES WHERE YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS BEING! It gives you that wonderful, THANK GOD THAT'S NOT ME!" and "No matter what my problems are, my life is wonderful BECAUSE I'M NOT ROTTING AND GETTING SODOMIZED IN A SOUTH AMERICAN PRISON !" feeling. Because that's a great feeling! Even though you'll want a hot shower after you watch this movie. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member sensitive and fast moving, dramatic story of an American Surfer falsely imprisioned in Peru during the 80's. John Robinson great as lead. Movie really moves! Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A young surfer from California is forced to grow up in a hurry when he is thrown into a Peruvian prison in 1980.
      Camilo Vila
      Monty Fisher, Camilo Vila, Alicia Rivera Frankl
      Camilo Vila, Monty Fisher
      Production Co
      DragonTree Media, Four Fish Films, City of Gardens
      Action, Drama
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 2, 2015
      1h 41m
      Most Popular at Home Now