6.2/10
76,477
158 user 303 critic

Broken City (2013)

Trailer
2:21 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Allen Hughes

Writer:

Brian Tucker
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Wahlberg ... Billy Taggart
Russell Crowe ... Mayor Hostetler
Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Cathleen Hostetler
Jeffrey Wright ... Carl Fairbanks
Barry Pepper ... Jack Valliant
Alona Tal ... Katy Bradshaw
Natalie Martinez ... Natalie Barrow
Michael Beach ... Tony Jansen
Kyle Chandler ... Paul Andrews
James Ransone ... Todd Lancaster
Griffin Dunne ... Sam Lancaster
Odessa Feaster ... Secretary - Hostetler (as Odessa Sykes)
Britney Theriot Britney Theriot ... Valerie
Luis Tolentino Luis Tolentino ... Mikey Tavarez
Tony Bentley ... Judge
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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:

2013's most exciting real men's crime action! [South Korea poster] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katy (Alona Tal) plays an assistant to a private investigator. Tal starred in Veronica Mars (2004), a series about a high schooler who is a private investigator. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 25 mins) Billy leans on and breaks the wing mirror on his assistant's car. As they drive away from Todd Lancaster's place, the mirror is fine. See more »

Quotes

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

Shot in the Back of the Head
Written by Moby (as Richard Melville Hall)
Performed by Moby
Courtesy of Little Idiot\Mute Corporation US
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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User Reviews

 
Unconvincing stuff, but well made it seemed to me
31 December 2013 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Broken City (2013)

A familiar zone that gets freshened up with a fast plot, some great acting, and a series of twists that never ends.

At first this seems to be a cop story, then a cop story involving the mayor as he runs for office. The mayor is played with such conviction and charm by Russell Crowe you end up rooting for him even as the plot clearly turns against him. But more important is the cop, vilified and with dubious ethics, played by Mark . He's tough, easily duped, and eventually principled—depending on what your principles are.

Beyond the plot (which I'll get to) and the clashing of big personalities (which works), what makes this movie tick is how well it's made. Those prosaic things like editing and photography really meld and take on a force that sucks you in without exaggeration or affectation. It's a straight ahead film in many ways, but invested with intensity and solidity enough to make it really commanding, despite some holes in the plot.

Why the unfavorable response by so many? This might be helpful before diving in. The key is some kind of believability. Wahlberg plays a troubled cop in a troubled relationship (which is a cliché of these kinds of movies), and then becomes a low level detective taking sneaky pictures of adulterous situations. And as a photography myself I have to say this part of the movie is rotten stupid—the way he hides is one thing (bad) but the way he uses his camera is just silly. And getting results (which we are told about later) that are impossible given what we were shown earlier.

Then there is the motivation behind it al, which I can't reveal (and which won't be clear until the end, if even quite then). Since the movie has no real tricks up its sleeve, it depends on a convincing series of events, which it doesn't quite have. The events taken one by one are bold and well done, sometimes very well done, but they don't quite accelerate into a coherent, gripping plot.

For those who watch movies for what happens (the action, the plot), this will be a struggle. But if you also get into the ambiance, the acting, and the visuals, you might give it a shot. I watched it straight through and was interested all along. Maybe I kept holding out hope that it would gel by the end (it does not), but if that's what it takes to watch it, give that a try!


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broken City See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$35,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,268,908, 20 January 2013

Gross USA:

$19,701,164

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,737,199
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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