(1996)3Karl WilliamsDirector Harold Becker reunites with his Sea of Love star Al Pacino for this underrated gem of a political drama written by a trio of heavy-hitting screenwriters. Pacino is at his best in the role of a powerful man trying to do the right thing while compromising his values and integrity. A subplot involving Bridget Fonda seems to exist solely for the purpose of providing a love interest for the character played by John Cusack and detracts mightily from the film. Cusack struggles somewhat with his role of a naïve do-gooder who goes from starry-eyed idealism and hero-worship to sabotaging the object of his admiration perhaps too quickly, but his slightly underdeveloped character is a quibble in what is mostly an intelligent, probing film with much on its artistic mind. City Hall sank at the box office and was given a lukewarm critical reception; given the later success of television shows such as Spin City and The West Wing, perhaps the film was somewhat ahead of its time.