City by the Sea
City by the Sea ★★½ 2002 (R)
Pitchblack drama starring De Niro as NYC homicide detective La Marca, an absentee father trying to find his son Joey (Franco), a junkie on the lam for murder. Though he's not exactly a model son, La Marco is convinced Joey is not the perp who popped a loathsome drug dealer. Events force him to revisit the title's rundown Long Island city, where he must confront his bitter ex (LuPone) and the troubled past he fled 14 years ago. McDormand appears as La Marca's trusty sometimegirlfriend. Suffers from overwrought, lengthy exposition, mostly via De Niro (not exactly his specialty). Overacting only exposes a depressing, overcooked script. Loosely based on a true story. 108m/C VHS, DVD . US Robert De Niro, James Franco, Frances McDormand, Eliza Dushku, William Forsythe, George Dzundza, Patti LuPone, Anson Mount, John Doman, Brian Tarantina, Nestor Serrano, Leo Burmester; D: Michael CatonJones; W: Ken Hixon; C: Karl Walter Lindenlaub; M: John Murphy.