Broken City


Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller


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April 17, 2013 at 05:08 AM



Mark Wahlberg as Billy Taggart
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Cathleen Hostetler
Russell Crowe as Mayor Hostetler
Natalie Martinez as Natalie Barrow
720p 1080p
849.12 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
P/S 3 / 12
1.59 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
P/S 3 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by sueg-1 3 / 10

One Convoluted Mess

This is a movie that is much less than the sum of its parts. Good cast, good director, both completely undermined by a Godawful script. I sat through the whole thing hoping it would get better, even though it revealed its awfulness within the first ten or fifteen minutes, but no such luck ... it just descended into further levels of horrible until it finally fizzled out with a whimper.

The plot is a mishmash of elements from other, superior movies -- cop with a vigilante bent, corrupt mayor, blackmail, plucky Girl Friday, double-crosses, incriminating documents being shredded, blah blah blah - - with extra subplots (girlfriend seduced by showbiz, father-son conflict, gay marriage) thrown in for good measure, except they don't advance the story or humanize the characters one bit. The script is full of expository dialog (most irritating rookie-screenwriter habit ever), improbable twists, clunky edits and plot holes you could park a semi truck in.

This one might be worth seeing on DVD, especially if you can make up a good drinking game to go along with it -- take a shot for every plot hole, perhaps? Or every slip of Russell Crowe's questionably-Queensy accent?

Reviewed by Bob_the_Hobo 7 / 10

Smarter than You Think, Not as Clever as You Hope

Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) is a New York city cop who got off on a technicality following his execution of a supposed rapist/murder. Discharged from the force by his Captain (Jeffrey Wright), Taggart is viewed highly by Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) for taking out the trash with a common thug. Seven years later, Hostetler, amidst a re- election battle against golden boy city councilman Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper), hires Taggart to find out who is sleeping with his gorgeous wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). As Taggart follows, he uncovers a much larger conspiracy.

In his first solo outing, Allen Hughes (one half of the Hughes brothers that brought us "The Book of Eli") now offers a stylish, dark vision of corruption in New York. The ladies are beautiful and all have something to hide, the men are violent and vicious and the story is ripped out of countless true-to-life headlines. "Broken City" lives up to its name and fires a slug packed with intrigue and intelligence. That doesn't necessarily translate to mean "clever".

The story sold in the trailer is a bit misleading, but perhaps that's the point. Mayor Hostetler's hiring of the true-blue cop Taggart is only a minor segment of a much larger puzzle. It involves cops, businessmen, and politicians in bribery and exploitation with a prize that all but Billy seem to seek: power. Overall that is the film's theme and it more than adequately conveys it. If you understand that and aren't looking for much else, "Broken City" is your ticket.

As I was watching the film I kept thinking that there must have been some significant cutting and re-editing. Perhaps the original cut was too dry so they added in some scenes and cut some to make the film seem more edgy. But it doesn't seem as edgy as it could have been. A number of subplots (for instance Billy's actress girlfriend, or the undeveloped father-son relationship between two of the villains) go nowhere and remain unresolved when the screen goes black. I felt much the same way.

Mark Wahlberg does an excellent job playing Mark Wahlberg, a role he was born to play. Catherine Zeta-Jones is as beautiful and commanding as ever in a role that is too short for the movie. But it is Russell Crowe who devours his scenes with the political intensity I would suppose is necessary for any real Mayor of New York. Even as the script built around Billy lags, Crowe tears apart his role. He shows why he is truly one of the best actors in the business.

The supporting cast of this film are as much a draw as the leads. Jeffrey Wright, the usual supporting character with more power than he lets on, plays the secretive Police Commissioner. His character is introduced as a stock role but ends up being much more. Kyle Chandler has a small role that deserved to be expanded. Barry Pepper, who wasn't even featured in the trailer, is the only actor in the film with the same bravado as Crowe. His scenes, particularly one with Wright and Wahlberg, are indicative of why he should be the one on the poster, now buried in the bottom credits.

Overall "Broken City" kept my attention but left me hungry for more. I suppose that is all you can ask for at the movies. I would take this ride again.

Reviewed by mannin11 5 / 10

Painting by numbers

I give this a five for the cast, but a two for the obtuse and predictable script, which inexplicably appeared on the Black List of best unproduced scripts -- in which category it should have remained. In development hell for years, it should at the very least have undergone a major rewrite to simplify the story (which wanders all over the place and becomes dumber by the minute) and raised the tone up out of the gutter. Whichever studio execs placed this on the Black List need to stop sniggering over the dirty words and earn their money by figuring out just what constitutes a good script. Wahlberg is always a pleasure to spend time with but the phoniness of so many of the scenes and the clunkiest car chase ever defeat even his efforts to entertain. So much of this movie is predictable and so many scenes are actors simply going through their paces with inferior material. The gorgeous, gorgeous Catherine Zeta Jones is totally wasted in this piece of dreck. Somewhere in this movie there may originally have been a good idea about corruption in the city. Unfortunately nobody appears to have had the courage to grab it by the throat, beat it into shape and present it to the public with any wit, style or originality. Like it says in the header, this is painting by numbers.

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