HomeAll postsThe Mortal Instuments: City of Bones

The Mortal Instuments: City of Bones

City of Bonesa review by Elizabeth Manthos

Directed by Harald Zwart
Starring Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zeegers, Robert Sheehan, Lena Headley, Jared Harris and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

The movie is based on City of Bones, the first novel in best-selling book series The Mortal Instruments by author Cassandra Clare.

Following the novel, set in New York City, TMI: City of Bones follows the story of Clary Fray (Lily Collins), a seemingly ordinary teenager. It doesn’t take us long to discover that she is far from ordinary. After the disappearance of her mother (Lena Headley), Clary joins up with a fierce group of Shadowhunters (half angel, half human downworlders) to track down her mother’s whereabouts. Clary soon discovers that New York has a Downworld, filled with demons, warlocks, vampires, witches and werewolves. But Clary also finds you can’t trust everyone you meet.


I find novel to movie adaptations tend to be a tricky area when trying to transfer the captivating words on pages to images on a screen. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was hands down one of the best adaptations I have ever had the pleasure of viewing (for me it’s up there with Harry Potter and that’s saying something).

Casting choices

I did have some concerns for their casting choices. I didn’t think Lily Collins was suited to play the somewhat plain Clary, but she was amazing and captivated Clary’s personality perfectly. Not to mention completely kick ass in shadowhunter gear.

My biggest concern was Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace Wayland. In the novel Jace makes you swoon and has you completely hooked and utterly smitten with him. My concerns were, after his appearance in Twilight, I was worried he wouldn’t be able to portray the complex character that is Jace. I was happily mistaken. He made me swoon, I’m not afraid to confess it.

Musical score

City of Bones‘s musical score was amazing. The costume and set designers did a brilliant job with the costumes and sets. The visual and special effect’s crew deserve a special mentions, the effects were captivating and flawless. I don’t think anything I pictured in my head when reading the novel was any different to what was on screen.  The underlying romance didn’t flood the film either, it was perfectly dealt with and not the whole basis for the film.

Go and see it, I’ll be there

The best adaptations are the ones that can take a novel and express it perfectly on screen. I don’t even think I can express how much I enjoyed and loved this film. Everything about it was amazing. I walked out of the cinema wanting to go and purchase another ticket for the next session. I will definitely be seeing it again and I can’t wait for the sequel.

To anyone who has read the novels you will be pleased to know they have done the novel justice.

To anyone who hasn’t, I can recommend both the novel and the movie to you.

I don’t like rating movies, so I’ll leave you with this…The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was hands down one of the best movie adaptations I have ever seen.

Nalini also reviewed City of Bones.

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Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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