Broken City 2013

Critics score:
28 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: When any film works, it's a miracle; when it doesn't, it's this. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: In the end, Wahlberg knows what he needs to know and takes sober satisfaction in a job well done. And the audience knows everything, too, but is less satisfied. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: As it turns out, there are eight million and one stories in the naked city. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: Most of the roles are so ambiguous you end up scratching your head in the final reel, and some of the loose ends are so irrelevant they seem to have ended up on the cutting-room floor. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The only reason to see this dreary parade of deception and venality is Mark Wahlberg's performance as a disgraced ex-cop caught up in the thick of menacing events he can't understand. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Few, if any, of the characters are believable and the twists the story takes are telegraphed well beforehand, or fairly guessable. Much of the plot gets bogged down with excess exposition. Read more

John Hartl, Seattle Times: Did "Broken City" have to be quite so dull and humorless and artificial? Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: In spite of some punchy scenes, crackling dialogue, and fine performances, Broken City is hopelessly overmatched. It has Academy Award dreams, but a detective-show heart. Read more

Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic: "Broken City"? More like "Broken Movie." Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: You could do worse on a slow Saturday night when there's nothing else on cable. But as the implausibilities and conspiracies and double-crosses pile up, "Broken City" paints itself into a corner. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: It's frustrating, because the cast is so natty and ready for action. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The film is a collection of crime noir oddments that don't add up to a full meal. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: It is not that Broken City -- boasting a cast worth big expectations -- is bad, exactly. But it is deeply mediocre. When they say television dramas are getting the better of the movies, this is the sort of middling outing that proves it. Read more

Adam Graham, Detroit News: Like the film's shady mayor, "Broken City" is a little too slick for its own good. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ While Broken City is hardly revolutionary, it's a slyly entertaining cop saga that leans more heavily on acting and dialogue than gunplay and chases. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Crowe, so tanned and coiffed that he looks like he belongs on a copper coin, plays the mayor as a boss out of the '40s, a heartless string-puller who thinks he owns the city. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, The picture comes out swinging with both a conscience and a set of brass knuckles; it also features a Russell Crowe who doesn't, thankfully, sing. What's not to love? Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: It's a local-government corruption thriller that doesn't care about logic or consistency or the people watching it. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Would have made for a fine film noir 60 years ago but feels rather contrived and unbelievable in the setting of contemporary New York. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Nothing clicks, nothing resonates, everything's broken. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Broken City is one of those movies in which characters keep reminding you that nothing is what it seems, and sure enough, there's more going on here than mere infidelity. But the audience is hard-pressed to follow exactly what it is. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "Broken City" wants to get heavy about politics and corruption, but all it's really saying is: 'Twas ever thus. Read more

Richard Brody, New Yorker: [An] overproduced, underobserved, yet agreeably twisty new political thriller ... Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: A more-than-pleasant change from the month's parade of horror films and trash comedies. Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: As an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, this modern-day noir works reasonably well. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: Wahlberg, at least, keeps the story watchable. But even he can't fix what's irreversibly broken. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: There's rarely a believable moment ... Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Wahlberg does what Wahlberg does, bringing muscular conviction to his troubled, tough-guy role. The city may be broken, but the movie star's formula is working fine. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Broken City? More appropriately, Broken Movie. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard If you're in the mood for some slick trash featuring great actors slumming it without phoning it in, "Broken City" is a crackling good time. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Another January dud. Broken City drops hot-shot actors in a quicksand of cliches and watches them sink. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Less than 24 hours later, I recall it with all the clarity of something I half-watched on a plane with a hangover in 1996. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Everything is simultaneously too complicated and overly spelled out. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Broken City" is a fractured movie. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: What follows is not a review; it's an long (illustrated!) spoiler. Read more

Rob Salem, Toronto Star: Did these people - or even these people's people - not bother to read the script first? Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: A movie with Lumet-ian aspirations which, like the corrupt NYC mayor at its center, can barely handle the weight of its own ambitions. Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: Somewhere in here there's a cogent, timely attack on the links between business and politics. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Broken City is an evocative and over-ambitious title for a so-so political potboiler that wants to be a gritty, expansive epic of moral and urban decay. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in Les Miserables. Read more

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: You may want to account for low expectations, but the crime drama "Broken City" turns out to be much better -- and funnier and more suspenseful -- than both trailer and release date portend. Read more