6.2/10
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Broken City (2013)

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In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Secretary - Hostetler (as Odessa Sykes)
Britney Theriot ...
Valerie
Luis Tolentino ...
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Storyline

In New York City, detective Billy Taggart goes to court for the murder of the rapist Mikey Tavarez, but the Mayor Nicholas Hostetler and the Chief of Police Carl Fairbanks vanish with important evidence and Billy is declared not guilty by the judge; however, he leaves the police department. Seven years later, Billy is a private detective and lives with his girlfriend Natalie Barrow, who is an aspiring actress and the sister of Mikey's victim. His secretary Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal) is trying to collect part of the debts to save their business. In the week of the elections, Hostetler summons Billy and offers $25,000 to investigate his wife, Cathleen Hostetler, whom he believes is having a love affair. Billy discovers that Cathleen is meeting Paul Andrews, who is the coordinator of the campaign of Jack Valliant, the opponent of Hostetler and favorite in the election. When Paul is found dead on the street, Billy finds that he had been double-crossed by Hostetler and he decides to ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Proof Can Be a Powerful Weapon.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ciudad de sombras  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,268,908 (USA) (18 January 2013)

Gross:

$19,692,608 (USA) (29 March 2013)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2008 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

While Taggart is in the mayor's office, not only does the blanket move on its own, it also changes color from plaid to white & back to plaid again. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prosecutor: Your Honor, it's murder. Even when the police do it.
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Connections

Featured in Film '72: Episode dated 27 February 2013 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Heart of the Matter
Music written by Atticus Ross, Kirk Hellie
© 2014 Metropolis Movie Music
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User Reviews

 
Smarter than You Think, Not as Clever as You Hope
18 January 2013 | by See all my reviews

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.


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