User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 86 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 86
  2. Negative: 14 out of 86
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  1. 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?"
  2. 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.
  3. Jan 21, 2013
    5
    I'm always baffled that Hollywood casts overexposed stars like Catherine Zeta Jones, who are constantly being exposed in magazines and tv, and then wonder why the audience is pulled out of the movie and don't like the movie. I'm just going to have to face the fact that anything with a Hollywood wife in it is not going to be a good movie (can you say Nicole Kidman).
  4. Jan 19, 2013
    5
    The story was somewhat interesting and the acting was very good all around. My main issue is that the plot is difficult to follow at times and the motivations for some of the characters' actions (the mayor, the commissioner, the mayor's wife, etc) don't really get explained until the very end. It takes a long time to develop and as you sit there watching you get caught up thinking aboutThe story was somewhat interesting and the acting was very good all around. My main issue is that the plot is difficult to follow at times and the motivations for some of the characters' actions (the mayor, the commissioner, the mayor's wife, etc) don't really get explained until the very end. It takes a long time to develop and as you sit there watching you get caught up thinking about why things are happening. The film could have been put together better because in the end it keeps throwing new "twists" making the plot overcomplicated. Expand
  5. Jan 21, 2013
    5
    I got exactly what I expected out of this film. A Russell Crowe fading in his career, Mark Walberg replaying the role of blue collar tough guy, a plot that is interesting but stitched together with no character or plot line fully developed, and story twists dropped in with no plausibility. It's called January in the theater. You have seen this story of the corrupt mayor and the inner cityI got exactly what I expected out of this film. A Russell Crowe fading in his career, Mark Walberg replaying the role of blue collar tough guy, a plot that is interesting but stitched together with no character or plot line fully developed, and story twists dropped in with no plausibility. It's called January in the theater. You have seen this story of the corrupt mayor and the inner city politics a thousand times so don't expect anything new and different. In a way, it is sort of sad, considering that much talent. That said, I actually enjoyed it versus sitting at home. Expand
  6. Jan 19, 2013
    4
    Mostly entertaining but nearly always stupid. Persons in front of the camera and behind it seem to make a senseless (or nonsensical) decision at every turn. It's hard to enjoy the film too much when you spend so much of your time rolling your eyes.
  7. Feb 3, 2013
    4
    I enjoy a really good, intelligent thriller. Unfortunately there are usually only one or two a year that end up fitting that criteria. Broken City is not one of them in 2013. There are many good actors in this film but all are wasted here. The films first half hour is not bad but quickly falls off the rails. Much of the story is predictable, and what isn't is put together for ourI enjoy a really good, intelligent thriller. Unfortunately there are usually only one or two a year that end up fitting that criteria. Broken City is not one of them in 2013. There are many good actors in this film but all are wasted here. The films first half hour is not bad but quickly falls off the rails. Much of the story is predictable, and what isn't is put together for our protagonist in a boring unbelievable way. Expand
  8. Jan 25, 2013
    4
    Just your average run of the mill January release. Broken City has good ideas, but they are badly executed, resulting in a dull experience. The actors are ok, but don't expect Oscar-worthy performances. Aside from the already messy story, there are some sub-plots that are less interesting than watching paint dry. Dialogue is cringe-worthy at times since it seems taken from a Ben StillerJust your average run of the mill January release. Broken City has good ideas, but they are badly executed, resulting in a dull experience. The actors are ok, but don't expect Oscar-worthy performances. Aside from the already messy story, there are some sub-plots that are less interesting than watching paint dry. Dialogue is cringe-worthy at times since it seems taken from a Ben Stiller comedy. It's the kind of film that you remember you saw, but after a couple of hours you can't tell anything about the plot because of how forgettable it is. Expand
  9. Jan 28, 2013
    4
    After watching the movie Broken City, I wasn't really impressed. Im a huge advocate of Mark Whalberg and his films. Although recently this latest movie and most movies out there now are going over the top. These films in general are plain plot lines, with too much action, and not enough creativity. Almost anyone out there these days can simply right a mediocre action plot about a drugAfter watching the movie Broken City, I wasn't really impressed. Im a huge advocate of Mark Whalberg and his films. Although recently this latest movie and most movies out there now are going over the top. These films in general are plain plot lines, with too much action, and not enough creativity. Almost anyone out there these days can simply right a mediocre action plot about a drug ring, mob members, or some time of crooked cops. I feel that the movie was entertaining, but it just falls into place with many of the same typical categories that have been all over the big screen in recent months Expand
  10. Apr 30, 2013
    4
    Your standard action/drama............well actually somewhat below standard.......the plot line is obvious......ex-cop gets hired by corrupt politician to do something.....cops finds out more than he should and starts asking questions.........the dialog is painfully dry and obvious and even the mock political debates are just ripoffs of last year's newspaper headlines...........theYour standard action/drama............well actually somewhat below standard.......the plot line is obvious......ex-cop gets hired by corrupt politician to do something.....cops finds out more than he should and starts asking questions.........the dialog is painfully dry and obvious and even the mock political debates are just ripoffs of last year's newspaper headlines...........the acting....directing is okay.....but nothing out of the ordinary......I'm quite shocked that actors like Russel Crowe and Barry Pepper would agree to do mediocre stuff like this...........to sum up.....it's not good....it's not interesting....it's barely even entertaining. Expand
  11. Jan 25, 2013
    5
    Mark Wahlberg plays a hardened NYC cop (is there any other kind?), who turns private detective after an on-duty controversy. He's hired by the city's sketchy mayor (Russell Crowe) to conduct a personal investigation. This results in the inevitable paranoid political complications. While nothing here is particularly original or surprising, it's well crafted and never drags or loses interest.
  12. Feb 21, 2013
    5
    Wahlberg sleepwalks through another feature role here. The movie drags and the plot becomes thin. Save yourself some time and watch an episode of Law Order.
  13. Apr 23, 2013
    5
    Mark Wahlberg has made a career out of gritty crime dramas but ultimately all of them are lackluster. Broken City doesn't really break that trend although it does have enough good qualities to make it worth a watch. The film follows Billy Taggert (Wahlberg), an ex cop turned private eye who is employed by the mayor of New York City (Russel Crowe) to investigate his wife's infidelity butMark Wahlberg has made a career out of gritty crime dramas but ultimately all of them are lackluster. Broken City doesn't really break that trend although it does have enough good qualities to make it worth a watch. The film follows Billy Taggert (Wahlberg), an ex cop turned private eye who is employed by the mayor of New York City (Russel Crowe) to investigate his wife's infidelity but the case ultimately leads to a minefield of death, danger and corruption. Firstly it must be said that Broken City continues the career resurgence of Catherine Zeta Jones whose work in both this and Side Effects is exemplary despite the small nature of both roles. In fact the acting in Broken City is excellent, especially that of Wahlberg himself. The only problem is Crowe who has the tendency to play a scene straight and then suddenly turn camp, he is inconsistent throughout and therefore the film really doesn't have a convincing or reliable villain, something that makes the film suffer in its closing. Another flaw is that much like Killing Them Softly, it's political commentary is quite heavy handed and in places incredibly insulting. The central mystery feels more like economics 101 than a story in a thriller and to be honest its fairly hard to call the film a thriller with only a couple of action based sequences in the entire film. It's a decent redemption story but its buried beneath a simplistic mystery and a disappointing script which doesn't really reach the gritty levels it strides for but can impress in its politics and acting, just not its storytelling. Collapse
  14. May 25, 2013
    5
    Disappointing modern 'noir' has a great cast (Crowe, Wahlberg and Zeta Jones), but absolutely predictable plot that you can see from a mile off. Sure the basic concept was great, but they just needed a better screenplay. This film shows that some of the best film makers have left this genre and moved on to blockbuster territory (i.e. Nolan, Bryan Singer and David Fincher). The endDisappointing modern 'noir' has a great cast (Crowe, Wahlberg and Zeta Jones), but absolutely predictable plot that you can see from a mile off. Sure the basic concept was great, but they just needed a better screenplay. This film shows that some of the best film makers have left this genre and moved on to blockbuster territory (i.e. Nolan, Bryan Singer and David Fincher). The end result: films of such ho-hum quality as this one. A rental at best. Expand
  15. Dec 21, 2013
    5
    Broken city digs into the broken politicians, so I give it points for that, but the movie is slow and forgettable. This movie sure disappointment me. It`s an average movie, even when things pick up here and there it`s just not enough to make up for the rest.
  16. Aug 9, 2013
    5
    "Broken City" quickly descends into a quicksand of clichés, and the results are meager and completely insubstantial. This is a story about power and its abuse in the city, and there are a countless amount of films that have covered this storyline already.Though it's runtime clocks in at a compact 109 minutes, it feels much longer than that. It's never outright boring, but it lacks an"Broken City" quickly descends into a quicksand of clichés, and the results are meager and completely insubstantial. This is a story about power and its abuse in the city, and there are a countless amount of films that have covered this storyline already.Though it's runtime clocks in at a compact 109 minutes, it feels much longer than that. It's never outright boring, but it lacks an accumulative impact.

    Mark Wahlberg stars a Billy Taggart, a New York cop is forced to resign after a controversial shooting. But no worries, Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) has his back. He hires Billy, now a private investigator, to catch Mrs. Mayor (Catherine Zeta-Jones) screwing around. What seems like a simple adultery case opens a rat's nest of political corruption.

    The plot quite simply is little confusing. Several subplots wander off into oblivion never to return. It's occasionally hard to tell whether the Hughes brothers are winking at clichés, or merely adhering to the genre handbook. The script written by newcomer Brian Tucker is a bloody mess that has no sense of direction. Throughout the film, we're led to believe there will be some big "shock" a twist or secret that will cause us to gasp in shock. When it comes, it's so muted and unsurprising that it completely diminishes the film's climax.

    The characters are poorly developed, but the overall performances are generally fine. In the right role, Mark Wahlberg can be a tremendous asset to any movie. Unfortunately, Billy is not the right role. Wahlberg is stiff and unconvincing and it quickly becomes apparent that the film would have benefitted from someone with a more volcanic temperament in the lead. As his adversary, Russell Crowe brings a little more to the part, but this isn't the New Zealand-born actor's finest hour. Catherine Zeta-Jones, continuing her comeback from obscurity, does a fine job.

    Although well-made, altogether the end result is an unremarkable thriller. "Broken City" fails to impress, largely in part because there is nothing here we haven't seen before. That being said, "Broken City" isn't a terrible film, it's just not particularly memorable.
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  17. Jun 2, 2013
    6
    Broken City is an enjoyable movie with some good performances. Wahlberg and Crowd makes a middle of the road film a good one. See it once and you won't be disappointed.
  18. Jul 5, 2013
    5
    Broken City is a film that can't really decide what it wants to be. From the beginnings of a story centred on Mark Wahlberg's character, Billy, it evolves into a standard conspiracy thriller, but never really gets going with either of them. There are vague stabs at joining the dots here and there, but without much success.

    The first forty-five minutes are largely a throwaway and only
    Broken City is a film that can't really decide what it wants to be. From the beginnings of a story centred on Mark Wahlberg's character, Billy, it evolves into a standard conspiracy thriller, but never really gets going with either of them. There are vague stabs at joining the dots here and there, but without much success.

    The first forty-five minutes are largely a throwaway and only loosely connected to the much stronger second half, the tenuous link mostly going through the character of Billy. This poses a big problem. Due to the fact that the role is so flimsy, what little attempts there are at filling him out in the early stages are completely redundant once the plot finally kicks in. Wahlberg does his best to give the guy some personality, but it's a constant uphill struggle. This leaves any efforts at poignant references to his past that come later feeling not only forced, but also unnecessary.

    Once the movie begins to focus on the conspiracy, it becomes much more watchable, the dodgy character development holding less sway over the progression of the narrative. This isn't to say that it improves things hugely, just that it holds the attention much more effectively. It's tolerable and won't make you wish you'd defrosted the fridge rather than sit through it, but you've definitely seen it all before. There's no real sense of urgency about the whole thing and the mystery that is unraveled is positively trite and lacklustre. Having said that, the process of reaching the conclusion is executed reasonably well at times.

    Despite the distinctly average presentation, there are a few scenes worthy of note. Barry Pepper's range in the film caught my eye, particularly as there is unsurprisingly very little in the way of fleshing out his character. Russell Crowe too, manages to dig out some of the menace that marks his best performances, but these occasions are very few. Other than these sparse moments, it's a very dreary outing for all concerned.

    In addition to these issues, the resolution of the plot had a nasty habit of introducing new players into the mix that seemingly had not been mentioned previously. I'm not entirely sure if this was because I wasn't paying enough attention in the less agreeable sections of the picture, or if they were genuinely tacked on in wrapping things up. Either way, this should never be a complication in mainstream cinema and only confirms to me my opinion on the opening as uninteresting and superfluous, given where the film ends up.

    Overall, it's not terrible, but it's almost certainly not worth the time. More or less everything about it is wholly ordinary and I was ultimately left disappointed.
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  19. Jul 19, 2013
    4
    A subpar movie from writing to directing. Drags on without obvious rewards.
    The storyline is the age old cliche of "Mayor sells out the city to developers for personal gain" ...
    All the "twists" are really no surprise at all, and I agree with another commenter that with a cast of Catherine Zeta Jones and Russell Crowe, the movie could have been better.
  20. Apr 19, 2015
    4
    Broken City is one of the worst films Mark Wahlberg has done in a while. I had no sympathy for him at all through the movie and Russell Crowe is fairly average as well. Wahlberg's motive is really not that well established and that makes the harder to watch as it goes along.
  21. Nov 13, 2014
    5
    "Broken City" 10 Scale Rating: 4.5 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: I liked what they were trying to do. A hard boiled crime noir type of film set in modern times sounds like a good idea and was definitely a different way of going about this sort of film. I also can't complain about the acting. While no one was amazing, no one did a poor or mediocre job either. The Bad: It just doesn't work.
    "Broken City" 10 Scale Rating: 4.5 (Mediocre) ...

    The Good: I liked what they were trying to do. A hard boiled crime noir type of film set in modern times sounds like a good idea and was definitely a different way of going about this sort of film. I also can't complain about the acting. While no one was amazing, no one did a poor or mediocre job either.

    The Bad: It just doesn't work. While the idea was a good one, the pacing and tone felt out of place in a modern film. This means that either a. this sort of thing isn't possible or b. it was poorly written and directed. The plot also unravels towards the end and you're left with a pretty formulaic film overall.
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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.