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Broken City

3.6 out of 5 stars 463 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption -- and revenge -- after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy's relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force -- and the mayor's worst nightmare.


A good political thriller can work on several levels, pessimistically confirming an audience's worst fears about what goes on behind the curtain, while also offering the satisfaction of seeing the bad guys finally brought to light. The commendably old-fashioned Broken City may occasionally be a bit too retro in its storytelling (An idealistic politician named Valliant? Really?), but it successfully captures that vital feel of cathartic paranoia. Beginning with an intentionally murky flashback, the plot finds a disgraced ex-cop (Mark Wahlberg) barely eking out a living as a New York private investigator. Financial salvation comes a-knocking, however, when the mayor (Russell Crowe) asks him to keep tabs on his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Things get darker and deeper from there, in true noir fashion. Director Allen Hughes, making his solo debut after years of codirecting with his brother Albert (Menace II Society, The Book of Eli), has clearly studied up on classic New York films, transitioning between seedy back alleys and high-gloss boardrooms with economy and grace. The old-school vibe is further aided by Brian Tucker's script, which doles out plenty of big, chewy dialogue for folks such as Kyle Chandler, Barry Pepper, and the terrific Jeffrey Wright, as a police commissioner with an ear to every door. Broken City's biggest asset, however, proves to be Crowe, who goes all in (and then some) as a monstrously charming guy well aware of the perks of absolute power. If you caught him picking your pocket, you'd somehow end up giving him your watch, too. --Andrew Wright

Product Details

  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: April 30, 2013
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (463 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BB67UNW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,316 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Smail on April 18, 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Broken City (2013) - Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind), Mark Wahlberg (Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, The Fighter), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago, Zorro), Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace), Kyle Chandler (Super 8, Friday Night Lights)

This is a corruption drama. Mark Wahlberg plays a former cop turned private investigator hired by the Mayor of New York City (Crowe) to investigate the mayor's cheating wife (Zeta-Jones). It's a pretty standard story set against the backdrop of a mayoral race. It proceeds as you would expect - there are very few twists and turns in this paint by the numbers mystery. That said, is it a bad film? No. It's worth watching once - that said, I don't think this is a must have. Everyone gives a solid performance, though some come off a bit more hammy than others (Z-J/R.C. in their "dick measuring" contest scene). If you are a fan of Wahlberg and any of the actors listed, I recommend a rental.
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Format: Blu-ray
"If you think you're investigating adultery Mr. Taggart you don't know Nicholas Hostetler very well." Private investigator Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) is struggling to make money. When Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) hires him to follow his wife to see if she is having an affair Billy is offered an amount of money he can't turn down. After his findings lead to a murder Billy isn't sure who to believe anymore. I have to admit that I wasn't all that excited about this movie going in. Not a big Russell Crowe fan and the movie looked a little too generic from the preview. While the movie isn't really anything that new I really did enjoy this and was entertained the entire time. There were enough twists and double-crossing going on that it kept me guessing who was telling the truth the entire time. That to me is the sign of a good movie. This is not a movie that will become a classic or win a bunch of awards but it is very much worth seeing and is very entertaining. I recommend this. Overall, a good movie to put in and try and guess the end. I give it a B+.
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"Broken City" (2013 release; 109 min.) is a political crime drama in which we meet Billy Taggert (played by Mark Wahlberg), an ex-cop who is now a struggling private eue in New York. One day Taggert gets hired by New York's Mayor (played by Russell Crowe) to check out the Mayor's wife (play by Catherine Zeta-Jones), whom the Mayor suspects of having an affair. Taggert gets on it right away and wouldn't you know, he finds the Mayor's wife in the arms of the campaign manager of the Mayor's opponent in the upcoming election. Will this impact the Mayor's re-election prospects? Or will it torpedo instead the Mayor's opponent? Are there other twists and turns? To tell you more of the plot would ruin your vieweing pleasure, you'll just have to see for itself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: first and foremost, if you are expecting an action movie (as I did, having seen the trailer in previous weeks), be forewarned! This is an all-talk, hardly any action, movie. The first (and just about only) action comes 75 min. into the movie when there is a brief car chase. Then there are a couple of fist fights, but that's about it. This is in and if itself not a problem, if the talking leads to a compelling drama, in this case a political crime movie (similar to, say, the all-talk "All The President's Men". Alas, this movie is no "All The President's Men".

There are several noteworthy performances, first from Russell Crowe, who seems to enjoy his role of the overly zealous Mayor. Catherine Zeta-Jones as his wife steals several scnes with her charm. But the biggest surprise for me was Alona Tal as Kathy, the office assistant of Taggert. I don't think I had seen her before. Can't wait to see where she goes from here. I also liked the soundtrack quite a bit (scored by Atticus Ross). Meanwhile "Broken City" is not all that bad, but not all that great either and it is not the action movie that the trailer had lead me to expect.
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A former cop with the New York City Police Department had been double-crossed and framed; seven years later he is hired by the mayor to track a (possibly) unfaithful wife.... Why does this sound so familiar?

...Sigh...There is nothing new in this l-o-n-g (109 minutes) R-rated action-filled mess. Dirty cops, corrupt politicians, unfaithful wives, deadbeat customers, you know the drill. My biggest problem was finding someone I could root for! Maybe that darling secretary? Maybe the lover?

I watched:
* Mark Wahlberg ("The Fighter") is Billy. We want to root for him, but we can't forget those first scenes.
* Russell Crowe ("Les Misérables") is Mayor Hostetler. His phony smile can't disguise that little twitch under his left eye when he is tense.
* Jeffrey Wright ("Source Code") is Police Commissioner Fairbanks, who has me confused: is he clean or is he dirty?
* Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Rock of Ages") is Cathleen, the Mayor's wife. Is she or isn't she faithful?
* Kyle Chandler ("Zero Dark Thirty") is Paul, a political operative who is, believe it or not, the most decent guy in the whole movie.
* Alona Tal (Lots of TV) is Katy, Billy's Girl Friday in his private detective business. She's sweet and resourceful.

Expect gunshots, fisticuffs, vehicular mayhem and LOTS of talk, which, I was surprised to note, includes very little profanity. The R rating seems to be due to the violence of some of those fist fights. It struck me as funny that everyone is constantly drinking but absolutely no one smokes.

All in all, I didn't find this movie very involving; most of the characters seemed to be at arms-length. The talky script is Brian Tucker's first time out, so next time Mr. T.
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