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Broken City

  R Closed Captioning

Allen Hughes

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Plot Summary

When disgraced cop turned private detective Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) is hired by NYC’s mayor (Russell Crowe) to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), he uncovers a city-wide conspiracy of corruption, sex, and murder. With his life threatened at every turn, Billy finds himself faced with an impossible choice, which could have disastrous repercussions for his career and family.

Credits

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

28%
  • Reviews Counted: 144
  • Fresh: 40
  • Rotten: 104
  • Average Rating: 4.7/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: 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. – Rex Reed, New York Observer, Jan 23, 2013

Rotten: 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. – Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, Jan 18, 2013

Rotten: Did these people - or even these people's people - not bother to read the script first? – Rob Salem, Toronto Star, Jan 20, 2013

Rotten: Somewhere in here there's a cogent, timely attack on the links between business and politics. – Tom Huddleston, Time Out, Feb 26, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A DECENT POLITICAL THRILLER WITH A BROKEN PLOT

"Broken City" has all the ingredients to make for a memorable flick: a promising all-star cast, an intriguing trailer, and a solid director. Unfortunately, none of those elements end up working to anyone's advantage, resulting in a mediocre crime thriller that desperately attempts to stand out from the rest of the films in its genre, but ultimately suffers from its overly convoluted script and thinly sketched characters. The broken city of this movie's title is none other than New York, where Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) covered up a shooting involving cop Billy Taggert (Mark Wahlberg) to protect himself seven years ago. Acquitted but disgraced, Billy is now working as a low-rent private detective when the mayor unexpectedly calls him in for a favor. He hires the former cop to find out who his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with before it threatens to derail his upcoming re-election campaign against enthusiastic mayoral hopeful Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper). It doesn't take Taggert long to get the incriminating photos he needs, but clearly there's something much bigger at stake here, so he continues to investigate the situation, eventually leading to him uncovering a city-wide conspiracy full of corruption, sex, and murder. Now with his life threatened at nearly every turn, Billy is left to trust no one but himself as he seeks his revenge on the ruthless man who double-crossed him, Hostetler. There are plenty of interesting things going on throughout this film, from eccentric relationships to shady dealings, but the story narrows in on a property-development aspect that couldn't be duller if it tried. Even as all the twisty details emerge, it's nearly impossible to drum up any sort of interest when most of us would rather know how Billy is going to get over his hot-headed attitude to patch up the bruised relationship with his longtime girlfriend (Natalie Martinez). But director Allen Hughes seems uninterested in this and the other promising subplots that easily come and go, abandoning them in place of the less-compelling political wrangling, which removes any genuine, gripping character layers. Crowe simply barks out orders and gives his best impression of a smug con-man, while Pepper's character looks perpetually on the verge of tears the entire time, making his performance especially agonizing to sit through. As for Zeta-Jones, her character is so underdeveloped that she barely even leaves a lasting impression in the scenes she stars in, which leaves Wahlberg to carry this whole movie on his own. And for the most part, he actually does a pretty solid job of it. Compared to the rest of the cast, he's the only one who constantly kept my interest afloat and made me want to stick around till the end. Granted, the ending was nothing special, but thanks to Wahlberg's dynamic presence, it was still a movie worth watching. In the end, I certainly wouldn't call "Broken City" a bad film. In fact, I enjoyed the gritty cinematography and tense scenery that served as the brutal aesthetic backdrop for New York. Plus, there were even a few dramatic and violent scenes that genuinely took me by surprise. It's too bad that this flick ends up collapsing under the crushing weight of its implausible script, contrived characters, and overly familiar plot points, even if it is boosted by a surprising sense of style and ambition. Despite all its convoluted twists and confusing clichés, this crime drama still packs enough of a solid punch to appeal to all but the least demanding noir aficionados. Even if the story is a little too predictable and drags on for quite a long while, "Broken City" is worth renting just once, as long as you're a fan of intense political thrillers.

Thoroughly Enjoyed It

I've noticed I'm in the minority among the reviewers, but I thought the movie was well done. It had a feel to it that reminded me of the old 50s & 60s dramas, with good acting and a decent storyline. I was on a plane traveling so anything to pass the time is always appreciated. My hunch is the reviewers are the under 40 crowd, and this movie does not contain the computer graphics or action adventure they might prefer. But if you're an old dude like me (48), I think you'll enjoy it....

Don't buy or rent!!!! Don't!!!

Terrible director, writers, and story. Don't be tricked by the AMAZING trailer. Don't be fooled!!!!

Viewers Also Bought

Broken City
View In iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings

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