Broken City


Broken City (2013)


Critic Consensus: Broken City's thinly sketched, formulaic script offers meager rewards for all but the least demanding noir aficionados.


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In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy's relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force and the mayor's worst nightmare. (c) Fox

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Mark Wahlberg
as Billy Taggart
Russell Crowe
as Mayor Nicolas Hostetler
Catherine Zeta-Jones
as Cathleen Hostetler
Jeffrey Wright
as Commissioner Carl Fairbanks
Barry Pepper
as Jack Valliant
Kyle Chandler
as Paul Andrews
Natalie Martinez
as Natalie Barrow
Alona Tal
as Katy Bradshaw
Griffin Dunne
as Sam Lancaster
James Ransone
as Todd Lancaster
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News & Interviews for Broken City

Critic Reviews for Broken City

All Critics (150) | Top Critics (42)

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

Jan 6, 2014 | Full Review…

It's stolid, it's dogged, it knows where it's going. Back and forth around the same old scenery.

Feb 28, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Feb 26, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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.

Jan 28, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

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.

Jan 23, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

Jan 22, 2013 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Broken City

Nothing special. Note to Russell...don't sign for a movie with Mark Wahlberg in it. It will bring you down...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Directed by one half of the Hughes Brothers, this is the story of one man's shot at redemption and revenge in the wake of corruption treachery. It had a lot of promise, but unfortunately doesn't have a lot to offer. It's like a really slick half baked take on Chinatown, but without the guts, intelligence, or skill. Don't get me wrong, there's some talented people involved here, but they just seem to be coasting along on auto pilot, and it shows. The film has a few good moments, but overall proves to be largely unremarkable and run of the mill. See it if you want, but you would probably be better off watching something else.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Entertaining but very flawed political thriller about a private eye (Mark Wahlberg) who was thrown off the NYC police force but gets a major job when the Mayor (Russell Crowe) asks him to find out who his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is messing around with. This case is rather easy for the man but soon he realizes that this is just the start of dirty business. BROKEN CITY, as a thriller, really doesn't work because the plot is rather silly. It's especially silly if you start to think about it too long and that's why it's best to just walk into the theater, turn your brain off and enjoy the excellent cast that's offered up here. It's always amazing to see how many great actors they can get for less-than-stellar material but the three leads are excellent as are Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper and Alona Tal. The performances are certainly the reason to check this film out as they help keep the film moving along no matter how many twists and turns get thrown at us. Wahlberg is once again a lot of fun playing the tough guy and has no problem with this. Crowe appears to be having fun with the less than serious role and Zeta-Jones gets a couple nice scenes along the way. I thought Pepper is the one who really stood out playing the man going up against Crowe's character in the upcoming election. Tal was also a breathe of fresh air when she's on screen. An almost unrecognizable Griffin Dunne also plays a supporting part. Director Allen Hughes does a nice job at keeping the film moving at a nice pace but there's still no question that the material just isn't all that strong. I'm not sure if there were countless re-writes or not but the screenplay pretty much hits on every cliché that this lower-quality political thrillers do. The twists and turns aren't all that shocking and neither is the ending. Still, BROKEN CITY remains enjoyable thanks to the cast. 4 Stars 5-21-13

Bruce Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Ever since I saw the first trailer for this I've thought "man that looks like a damn good movie". "Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, this should be pretty good." Well, my expectations were way too high, and I should have stayed away from the trailer. This is one of those movies where if you've seen the theatrical trailer, then you pretty much know the entire movie, except maybe one or two little twists that aren't anything major. The basic premise is a cop(Wahlberg) gets off for murder and has to leave the force and become a Private Investigator. One day out of the blue the man who got him off, the mayor(Crowe), calls him up for a job. Find out who is sleeping with his wife(Catherine Zeta Jones). But things aren't always so simple, and from there this becomes a just OK political type thriller. All the actors do decent, not their best, but they do ok. But the story is kind of bland, and having seen the trailer, I was left with a feeling of "that's it?" This is an OK rental, at best, just keep expectations low and go in knowing as little as possible. But, even then it's still probably just an alright movie that hovers around average.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

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