Broken City Image
Metascore
49

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

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5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 94 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 39
  2. Negative: 7 out of 39
  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 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. Expand
  2. Jun 29, 2013
    8
    Having never seen the previews, I found myself immediately turned off by the cast/plot combo as described by my friends (who had only seenHaving never seen the previews, I found myself immediately turned off by the cast/plot combo as described by my friends (who had only seen previews). Coming into the viewing with a negative outlook, I found myself very pleasantly surprised. While initially very slow and monotonous, the movie has decent twists and a fast pace when it comes to the fine details. I do believe, however, that some story elements were completely unnecessary (I'm referring to the relationship between Mark Wahlberg's character and his girlfriend.) While the movie is admittedly not perfect, overall I believe it is vastly underrated and I would definitely recommend it to intelligent and patient individuals. It is a political drama/thriller, for anyone wondering, but I found it to be true to reality with regards to how ruthless and insensitive people can be. Expand
  3. Feb 1, 2014
    7
    It's one of those movies who you just have to watch it and decide for yourself and stop reading reviews about it, because the reviews areIt's one of those movies who you just have to watch it and decide for yourself and stop reading reviews about it, because the reviews are mixed and disturbing 50% are good and the other 50% are bad,
    and the reason for this is that the movie is so easily to misunderstood. some say it's a predictable plot, some say awful screenplay or awful directing and i say it's an enjoyable movie with a great message behind it.
    it's a crime/thriller movie, definitely not the best in the genre but it's good in so many levels that people tends to ignore.
    the performances were solid, obviously (Mark,Russell and Zeta-Jones), the screening was beautiful and the music was very good, the plot is average but what do you expect from a movie about Corruption, i mean it might be a predictable but it have a great message behind it.
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  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 theMark 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,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 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 CroweBroken 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. 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,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. Expand

See all 39 User Reviews

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