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The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Synopsis
Set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of young half-angel warriors locked in an ancient battle to protect our world from...
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


Chicago Sun-Times

By Bruce Ingram
Everything chugs along briskly and reasonably entertainingly until running off the rails a bit with a wildly overcomplicated finale.
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Slant Magazine

By R. Kurt Osenlund
The movie? blasts by for a while as an odd and busy slice of highly watchable garbage.
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Miami Herald

By Rene Rodriguez
Start with a heaping helping of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Throw in some "Percy Jackson," a dash of "Twilight," a spoonful of "The Vampire...
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By Mark Jenkins
Aside from the giggles induced by the romance-novel bits, the movie's principal hazard is exhaustion. There are too many characters, and...
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By David Hiltbrand
Though imaginatively directed by Harald Zwart, Mortal Instruments, which is adapted from Cassandra Clare's YA novels, is marred by...
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By James Berardinelli
The storyline is at times muddled and incoherent. This won't bother readers much since they have the "inside track" on what's happening....
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Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
If you love exposition and shapely if bland young actors in leather, skinny jeans, knee boots, Goth cocktail dresses and heavy eye makeup,...
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The New York Times

By Jeannette Catsoulis
Too much of the film feels like shorthand, a trail of teasing crumbs to lead us to the inevitable sequels.
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USA Today

By Scott Bowles
Though it has flashes of promise, Bones traces the footsteps of its fantasy film predecessors too closely to blaze anything close to an...
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Village Voice

The nomenclature varies slightly, but there's little new or exciting in City of Bones. For strong female role models and unique fantasy...
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Best book-to-film adaptation.

By dylangarroway17
I thought this was one of the best book to film adaptations. Yes there were a few things that were different, and things taken out, but it was great. It really was just a wonderful experience. It was...

Could Have Been Better

By MyMindStorm
I really liked the book series, so I went to the opening night of City of Bones. The plot moved too slow, the action seemed placed (not natural), and the actors didn’t do the book characters justice....

Great book - Bad Movie

By MovieGuyNJ
The book was fascinating. It's too bad they turned this into an MTV version. I take that back; Teen Wolf is much better than this. The one character in the book who is full of life, charisma and...

Not what I expected

By mrsblack1029
Granted movies cannot follow books exactly, however this one was so far off of key points it was difficult to watch. The only actors that portrayed the characters accurately were Robert Sheehan...

For fans only?

By mmmdaniel
City of Bones will satisfy fans of the series by Cassandra Clare, but might be a hard sell to newcomers. The casting was great--Jace and Clary have chemistry to spare, and Simon stole every scene he...

Director never read the book

By stephaniesadowsky
The first part of the movie went along with the book. But I wondered how anyone could follow it if he/she hadn't read it. The second part was all over the place. Completely scattered story and I...


By ramirobia
Loved the dialogues,jace is everything like in the book, and despite people complaining about magnus amd valentine, I liked them. Really! Hell yeah,valentine looked like a hippie but he was still as...


By amtj2008
I have read the first 3 books in the immortal instruments series and I thought maybe introducing it in another medium would help. Sadly, that is not the case, in fact the movie does a better job of...

Of course the book is better

By MsBitterheart
But yeah... as movie adaptations go, I can live with this. Jamie Campbell Bower is not my Jace, and there were a few other minor/major changes (Simon is never a mouse!), but I can accept them and...

Loved it!

By halgirl1129
I love The Mortal Instruments and its prequel The Infernal Devices and this movie didn't disappoint. Yes, there were some changes but I think that they made the movie better. Keep in mind that the...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Intense sequences of fantasy violence and action, and some suggestive content.
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Teen-friendly fantasy romance doesn't live up to the book.
Read the Common Sense Media Review