BROKEN CITY

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
JANUARY 20, 2013

“Broken City” relies heavily on its seasoned cast, especially the leads, Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Jeffrey Wright, to hold this film together when the script is paper thin. Caught in a scheme of betrayal and murder, Wahlberg’s character, Billy Taggart, a former detective turned private investigator, is contacted by acquaintance Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to follow his “cheating” wife, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones. The women players are often glazed over, with Jones playing the victim, Taggart’s longtime girlfriend (Natalie Martinez), the naive actress, and Taggart’s assistant (Alona Tal) playing the attractive and last-minute/after-thought love interest.

Instead of burying its surprises, “Broken City” wears them on its sleeve, with revelations replaced by factors already in play that the audience is supposed to have forgotten. For example, the tape the Mayor has on Taggart. Are we supposed to conveniently forget this the entire film even though it’s introduced in the opening scenes? Built around a mayoral campaign, much like 2010’s “The Ides Of March,” which happened to do it much better, this film can reach past most of its shortcomings and still produce an entertaining thriller.

RELEASE DATE
January 18, 2013

DIRECTOR
Allen Hughes

WRITTEN BY
Brian Tucker

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

R
(for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence)

CRIME
DRAMA
THRILLER

109 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Ben Seresin

COMPOSER
Atticus Ross
Claudia Sarne
Leopold Ross

EDITOR
Cindy Mollo

CAST
Mark Wahlberg
Russell Crowe
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Barry Pepper
Kyle Chandler
Natalie Martinez
Jeffrey Wright

PRODUCED BY
Randall Emmett
Mark Wahlberg
Stephen Levinson
Arnon Milchan
Teddy Schwarzman
Allen Hughes
Remington Chase
Brandt Andersen

BUDGET
$35 million

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