Three-time New York City Mayor (1978-1989) Ed Koch was combative, funny, and blunt. He was also intensely private. ‘Koch’ gives us a contemporary history of the world’s greatest city, and an intimate portrait of the 86-year old former mayor, as he confronts his own mortality and legacy. The film examines issues still relevant today – race, homelessness, AIDS, and gay rights – and gives us a window into the trials and tribulations of the nation’s most famous mayor in the world’s most wondrous city.









Film information

Genre: , ,
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Release date: Feb 1, 2013
Official website:
Runtime: 100 min
Movie Reviews:
  • 88
    New York Post - by Lou Lumenick
    Koch ends with the former mayor showing off a typically flamboyant gesture that embodies his contradictions - choosing to be buried in a Christian cemetery in his beloved Manhattan, complete with an already erected tombstone proclaiming his Jewish identity. more

  • 83
    Entertainment Weekly - by Owen Gleiberman
    As a politico, Ed Koch loved power a little too much. But as a leader, he was a storybook embodiment of New York's contradictions, which is why his chapters in the city's saga loom so large. more

  • 75
    Movie Nation - by Roger Moore
    The film reminds us that as amusing as he could be, he wasn’t the dazzling wit history packaged him as. “Relevant” is how he wanted to be remembered. And before he died, he got a filmmaker to remind us of exactly that. more

  • 75
    NPR - by Stephanie Zacharek
    Neil Barsky's documentary Koch captures the essence of this very big personality - though if the film were even two minutes longer, it might constitute Koch overload. Luckily, Barsky knows when enough is enough, even if his subject doesn't. more

  • 70
    Arizona Republic - by Bill Goodykoontz
    Barsky’s film is light on biographical detail before Koch’s first term began, in 1978. That’s probably fitting. Koch obviously lived for the job. ...

  • 70
    Village Voice - by Nick Schager
    It's an effective primer on a voluble and charismatic mayor who embodied the spirit of the city he loved. more

  • 70
    New York Magazine (Vulture) - by David Edelstein
    The film is a canny balancing act, making Koch's arrogance so plain that you quickly move past it and concede that he accomplished remarkable things for a city that was broke and in chaos and with much of its housing stock in ruins. more

  • 67
    Austin Chronicle - by Kimberley Jones
    The former mayor is an alert onscreen presence, but the film surrounding him is not always so lively. more

  • 63
    Slant Magazine - by Chuck Bowen
    Neil Barsky is aware of how a great and terribly troubling person can reside in the same body, but his occasional eagerness to appoint himself as his subject's latest press agent is dubious. more

  • 60
    The New York Times - by A.O. Scott
    Like Walt Whitman, another hard-to-classify embodiment of the spirit of New York, he is contradictory and multitudinous. The hour and a half Mr. Barsky provides might be enough time for a lesser figure. Mr. Koch...needs more. ...

  • 60
    New York Daily News - by Joe Neumaier
    The politician who almost pathologically asked the question "How'm I doin'?" clearly never needed a view outside his own. Which is as New York as it gets. more

  • 60
    Time Out New York - by David Fear
    The result is neither blind idolatry nor a definitive portrait; just a major missed opportunity content to loiter in the middle of the road. more

Movie images
User Comments & Reviews

  1. illustro

    It’s amazing how they attack the Koch Brothers but would never even consider looking at the real Elite people like Carlos Slim and George Soros, Rockefeller and so on.. It’s pure propaganda. Even wonder why the left says they must tax the rich when the rich are all leftists? Bill Gates, Buffett, most of Hollywood movie industry, most of the music industry and so on!

  2. Ericthehalfabee

    Ignore these planted comments by ignorant right wing minions and watch this film. It’s about some of the most powerful and corrupt people in the world today, and it should be seen by everyone.

  3. mrandy

    Great documentary. Just shows how there is no solidarity with the 99% when 2 crooks out of 312,000,000+ people in the United States could buy the government. Most people are either selfish or too stupid to know what’s happening in the world…in either case, there’s a reason why politicians backed by the Koch brothers so easily keep winning elections. If the 99% actually stuck together then all the problems would be solved but everybody is looking to see what THEY could get out of something rather than what they can do to make it better.

  4. Beetroot

    A very illuminating documentary. Recommended viewing, though the music was very intrusive.

  5. Ladyteguesian

    If these two get anymore influence, I’m gonna pick another country to live in. .. they are truly SCARY!