• R, 1 hr. 48 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Allen Hughes
  • In Theaters:    Jan 18, 2013 Wide
  • On DVD:    Apr 30, 2013
  • 20th Century Fox

Broken City Reviews

Wesley Morris
Grantland
Top Critic
January 6, 2014

It's a local-government corruption thriller that doesn't care about logic or consistency or the people watching it.

Tom Huddleston
Time Out
Top Critic
February 26, 2013

Somewhere in here there's a cogent, timely attack on the links between business and politics.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
Top Critic
January 28, 2013

If you're in the mood for some slick trash featuring great actors slumming it without phoning it in, "Broken City" is a crackling good time.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
January 23, 2013

Most of the roles are so ambiguous you end up scratching your head in the final reel, and some of the loose ends are so irrelevant they seem to have ended up on the cutting-room floor.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
Top Critic
January 22, 2013

What follows is not a review; it's an autopsy...one long (illustrated!) spoiler.

Stephanie Zacharek
Film.com
Top Critic
January 22, 2013

The picture comes out swinging with both a conscience and a set of brass knuckles; it also features a Russell Crowe who doesn't, thankfully, sing. What's not to love?

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
January 22, 2013

Crowe, so tanned and coiffed that he looks like he belongs on a copper coin, plays the mayor as a boss out of the '40s, a heartless string-puller who thinks he owns the city.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Richard Brody
New Yorker
Top Critic
January 21, 2013

[An] overproduced, underobserved, yet agreeably twisty new political thriller ...

Rob Salem
Toronto Star
Top Critic
January 20, 2013

Did these people - or even these people's people - not bother to read the script first?

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

It is not that Broken City -- boasting a cast worth big expectations -- is bad, exactly. But it is deeply mediocre. When they say television dramas are getting the better of the movies, this is the sort of middling outing that proves it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

Broken City is one of those movies in which characters keep reminding you that nothing is what it seems, and sure enough, there's more going on here than mere infidelity. But the audience is hard-pressed to follow exactly what it is.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

The film is a collection of crime noir oddments that don't add up to a full meal.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

When any film works, it's a miracle; when it doesn't, it's this.

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

A more-than-pleasant change from the month's parade of horror films and trash comedies.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Adam Graham
Detroit News
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

Like the film's shady mayor, "Broken City" is a little too slick for its own good.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

There's rarely a believable moment ...

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
Top Critic
January 18, 2013

You may want to account for low expectations, but the crime drama "Broken City" turns out to be much better -- and funnier and more suspenseful -- than both trailer and release date portend.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

While Broken City is hardly revolutionary, it's a slyly entertaining cop saga that leans more heavily on acting and dialogue than gunplay and chases.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

In the end, Wahlberg knows what he needs to know and takes sober satisfaction in a job well done. And the audience knows everything, too, but is less satisfied.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Few, if any, of the characters are believable and the twists the story takes are telegraphed well beforehand, or fairly guessable. Much of the plot gets bogged down with excess exposition.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Nothing clicks, nothing resonates, everything's broken.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

It's frustrating, because the cast is so natty and ready for action.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

The only reason to see this dreary parade of deception and venality is Mark Wahlberg's performance as a disgraced ex-cop caught up in the thick of menacing events he can't understand.

Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

"Broken City" wants to get heavy about politics and corruption, but all it's really saying is: 'Twas ever thus.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark Jenkins
NPR
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

As an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, this modern-day noir works reasonably well.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Another January dud. Broken City drops hot-shot actors in a quicksand of clichés and watches them sink.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Broken City? More appropriately, Broken Movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

"Broken City" is a fractured movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Wahlberg does what Wahlberg does, bringing muscular conviction to his troubled, tough-guy role. The city may be broken, but the movie star's formula is working fine.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Wahlberg, at least, keeps the story watchable. But even he can't fix what's irreversibly broken.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

You could do worse on a slow Saturday night when there's nothing else on cable. But as the implausibilities and conspiracies and double-crosses pile up, "Broken City" paints itself into a corner.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

"Broken City"? More like "Broken Movie."

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Less than 24 hours later, I recall it with all the clarity of something I half-watched on a plane with a hangover in 1996.

Scott Foundas
Village Voice
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in Les Misérables.

Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

As it turns out, there are eight million and one stories in the naked city.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

Did "Broken City" have to be quite so dull and humorless and artificial?

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
Top Critic
January 17, 2013

In spite of some punchy scenes, crackling dialogue, and fine performances, Broken City is hopelessly overmatched. It has Academy Award dreams, but a detective-show heart.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
January 16, 2013

A movie with Lumet-ian aspirations which, like the corrupt NYC mayor at its center, can barely handle the weight of its own ambitions.

Justin Chang
Variety
Top Critic
January 16, 2013

Broken City is an evocative and over-ambitious title for a so-so political potboiler that wants to be a gritty, expansive epic of moral and urban decay.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
January 16, 2013

Would have made for a fine film noir 60 years ago but feels rather contrived and unbelievable in the setting of contemporary New York.

Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
January 16, 2013

Everything is simultaneously too complicated and overly spelled out.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4