Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Feb 9, 2013
    60
    Broken? Not quite, but certainly damaged. City offers star power, dashes of dazzle and plenty of movie nods. But Hughes’ thriller fails to locate a life of its own.
  2. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jan 22, 2013
    60
    Broken City never asks its gumshoe to repent for the blood on his own hands, and the anticorruption - but pro-vigilantism - ethics here are especially murky.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jan 18, 2013
    60
    As an investigation into American municipal corruption, Broken City is, well, damaged. But as an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, this modern-day noir works reasonably well.
  4. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jan 16, 2013
    58
    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.
  5. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 22, 2013
    50
    Ultimately, everyone in the movie is wasted, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, who provides great eye candy but has nothing important to say or do. 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. With Russell Crowe, it really helps if you can read lips.
  6. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jan 21, 2013
    50
    Performances, over all, are a mixed bag; Zeta-Jones does a fair, if incongruous, impersonation of a forties vamp, while Chandler and Pepper do well with limited screen time. As usual, Wright, as a Machiavellian police commissioner, transcends so-so-material to establish himself as the most complex character in the film.
  7. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 21, 2013
    50
    If nothing else, Broken City manages to pull off a difficult feat: It's too convoluted to follow and simultaneously too simplistic to be believed.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 18, 2013
    50
    Directed by Allen Hughes and written by Brian Tucker, the film is a collection of crime noir oddments that don't add up to a full meal.
  9. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    To put it as positively as possible, there's never a dull moment in this flick - and that's not something you can take for granted at this time of the year. At the same time, though, there's rarely a believable moment in the script.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    It tries to be a moody thriller, but cliched dialogue and too many coincidences make for a predictable and hackneyed film.
  11. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    It's never boring, but it lacks a cumulative impact.
  12. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    Whether the core flaw lies in the script or is the result of overly aggressive editing, the final result is offers only sporadic glimpses of the compelling thriller Broken City fails to evolve into.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    As the implausibilities and conspiracies and double-crosses pile up, Broken City paints itself into a corner. A plot can be confusing as long as the filmmakers themselves don't seem confused, but that's not the case here.
  14. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    Quality-wise, the crime drama Broken City lives in a frustrating mid-range area: It's too complex and competently crafted to dismiss as junk -- but it's also nowhere near sharp enough to work as the serious grown-up detective movie it clearly wants to be.
  15. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    The movie's curious capacity for self-erasure makes it a tough one to write about; 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.
  16. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    Broken City slogs through such fatigued plot "twists" as having one character confess to another without realizing he's being recorded. The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in "Les Misérables."
  17. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    Allen Hughes may suggest an air of pretty menace, but he does little to make the sequence work as a legible genre scene.
  18. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jan 16, 2013
    50
    Competent but juiceless New York melodrama, an unpersuasive marriage of head-slamming action and middling civic intrigue that treats issues like gay rights and public housing as red herrings rather than actual talking points.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 16, 2013
    50
    Would have made for a fine film noir 60 years ago but feels rather contrived and unbelievable in the setting of contemporary New York.
  20. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jan 17, 2013
    42
    There are filmmakers who are able to weave social commentary through the arena of big budget entertainment, without having it come across as lopsided or boring; Allen Hughes, it turns out, is not one of these filmmakers.
  21. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    Feb 25, 2013
    40
    If this ‘power corrupts’ potboiler had been made in the 1990s — with, say, Andy Garcia, Gene Hackman and Kim Basinger — it would already have felt old-fashioned. Forget it, Jake, it’s no "Chinatown."
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jan 18, 2013
    40
    Not only did Hughes shoot a handful of prominent scene-setting exteriors in the Big Apple itself, but he does an exceptional job of camouflaging his New Orleans scenes.
  23. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jan 17, 2013
    40
    Nothing clicks, nothing resonates, everything's broken.
  24. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 17, 2013
    40
    There is no urgency, and little honesty, to the convoluted goings-on unfolding here.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 37
  2. Negative: 6 out of 37
  1. Jan 20, 2013
    4
    It's just a very average movie - starting with the writing. The story is just not all that interesting, and the script isn't saved at all byIt's just a very average movie - starting with the writing. The story is just not all that interesting, and the script isn't saved at all by the directing. An all-around forgettable film. Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    5
    Broken City is worth watching if you like watching movies; however, you might set yourself up for disappointment if you have highBroken City is worth watching if you like watching movies; however, you might set yourself up for disappointment if you have high expectations. No singular part of this movie is folly or apathetic, but the story and performances aren't the ones you will recommend when someone asks you, "what's the best movie out right now?" Full Review »
  3. Jan 23, 2013
    10
    Do not miss out on this movie! I thought Marky Mark would just be OK, but this movie will leave you breathless and Speachless at the sameDo not miss out on this movie! I thought Marky Mark would just be OK, but this movie will leave you breathless and Speachless at the same time. Should have been nominated for the Oscars. Full Review »