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Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 78 Ratings

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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: 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jan 17, 2013
    63
    Overall, this is an entertaining diversion.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Randy Cordova
    Jan 17, 2013
    30
    There are plot twists galore, but they unfold in ham-fisted fashion, as if the screenwriter (newbie Brian Tucker) didn't know how to layer the mystery. Instead, the movie simply drops these secrets out of nowhere, in clunky fashion.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
  1. 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. Expand
  2. May 30, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I thought this was a great movie. It is definitely one of those movies you have pay attention because there are a few plot twists. The one criticism I have is that there were a few slow parts and I thought there was going to be a little more action. But all in all a very good movie. Expand
  3. May 19, 2013
    7
    Broken City is a very good movie but it's not the type of movie I thought it would be. That's not to say the trailers misrepresented the film in any way, only that Mark Wahlberg isn't known for his political thrillers. That being said, this was a very good political thriller with solid acting across the board, especially from Russell Crowe. The characters all developed well and the plot was great. The twists came about in a nice fashion, not out of left field where nobody could possibly see them coming, which has unfortunately become a trend in the increasingly uncreative Hollywood climate. The film did drag quite a bit and the ending felt a bit rushed when it happened but I'd say all-in-all this was a solid film that most people would enjoy. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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 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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  6. 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...........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
  7. Jun 19, 2013
    0
    Predictable and strangly poorly acted as well. I expected a lot more from these two. Maybe an aspect of a terrible script, screenplay, direction, I can go on and on. Collapse

See all 35 User Reviews

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