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
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Feb 26, 2013
    83
    If Broken City – the first film to be directed solo by Allen Hughes, one-half of the Hughes Brothers directing team – is a little flawed and cracked itself, it still squeaks by as a reasonably thoughtful piece of big-screen entertainment.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 30, 2013
    63
    Director Allen Hughes ("The Book of Eli") hides the secrets well and stages a good fight and chase. But what's most entertaining about Brian Tucker's script is the lived-in feel it has.
  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: 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jan 21, 2013
    30
    So Broken City stokes a lot of hopes. Too bad for all of us, the makers and the watchers alike, that it's a grimy botch.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jan 18, 2013
    70
    It is a movie that's alive in its own way, and a welcome surprise in a genre sorely lacking in them of late.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jan 17, 2013
    63
    Overall, this is an entertaining diversion.
  16. 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.
  17. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 17, 2013
    50
    It's never boring, but it lacks a cumulative impact.
  18. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jan 17, 2013
    40
    Nothing clicks, nothing resonates, everything's broken.
  19. 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.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jan 17, 2013
    30
    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. It's striking how this tightly focused actor can find his own firmly grounded reality in the falsest of surroundings.
  21. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 17, 2013
    75
    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.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jan 17, 2013
    38
    Another January dud. Broken City drops hot-shot actors in a quicksand of clichés and watches them sink.
  23. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 17, 2013
    63
    For an hour or so, aided by the autumnal glow of Ben Seresin's cinematography, director Hughes maintains a firm handle on the story's turnabouts. Then the script goes a little nuts with coincidence and improbability.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jan 17, 2013
    70
    Hughes visual choices can feel borrowed and clichéd, but his regard for beauty often compensates for his blunders, as does the sturdy, reliable appeal of another story of good and evil, men and women, light and dark, glass and steel, sex and power. As it turns out, there are eight million and one stories in the naked city.
  29. 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."
  30. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jan 17, 2013
    40
    There is no urgency, and little honesty, to the convoluted goings-on unfolding here.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 77 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  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 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 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 same time. Should have been nominated for the Oscars. Full Review »