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Former Mayor Ed Koch was the quintessential New Yorker. Ferocious, charismatic, and hilariously blunt, Koch, who died in February at the age of 88, ruled New York from 1978 to 1989 - a down-and-dirty decade of grit, graffiti, near-bankruptcy and rampant crime. First-time filmmaker (and former Wall Street Journal reporter) Neil Barsky has crafted an intimate and revealing portrait of this intensely private man, his legacy as a political titan, and the town he helped transform. The tumult of his three terms included a fiercely competitive 1977 election; an infamous 1980 transit strike; the burgeoning AIDS epidemic; landmark housing renewal initiatives; and an irreparable municipal corruption scandal. Through candid interviews and rare archival footage, Koch thrillingly chronicles the personal and political toll of running the world's most wondrous city in a time of upheaval and reinvention.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 38
- Fresh: 34
- Rotten: 4
- Average Rating: 7.4/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: New York may be a safer, cleaner and less argumentative place than it was in the 1980s, but he remains as contentious, as mischievous and at times as inflammatory as ever.
Fresh: A highlight-to-lowlight chronicle of the man's three terms as mayor, and in the case of any other mayor, such a narrow focus might have seemed reductive.
Fresh: Though the film, more than two years in the making, was never intended as such, it plays like the kind of eulogy Koch would have approved - neither fawning nor eviscerating but always compelling.
Fresh: If unlikely to change anyone's mind about its subject, it's an effective primer on a voluble and charismatic mayor who embodied the spirit of the city he loved.
Compelling, honest, enlightening...