Film Review: Crime Thriller ‘Broken City’ Fictionalizes its Crime Without Most of its Thrill

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CHICAGO – Rife with corruption and injustice, the setting for “Broken City” could have been picked from a litter of U.S. metropolitans. Said star Mark Wahlberg in a recent red-carpet interview with, it’s not Chicago. Oscarman rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

The Windy City most certainly isn’t “broken,” Wahlberg says, though he did highlight our issues with gang violence and the inner city – adding that he’s vehemently behind Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Instead, “Broken City” centers on New York City. Director Allen Hughes said in our Jan. 6, 2013 red-carpet interview – amid a mob of Chicago fans – that the backdrop of The Big Apple was chosen because it’s “modern-day Rome”.

StarRead Adam Fendelman’s full review of “Broken City”.

He added: “It’s emblematic of the world and represents our capitol.” Hughes says he chose the project because it’s strongly “character and narrative based”. When asked about honest politicians and whether they exist, he paused silently and said: “That’s why it’s called politics.”

While Hughes enjoys the characters and the narrative he spent $35 million crafting into yet another crime thriller, moviegoers these days demand more than the everyday formula that used to work for this genre. A year ago, Wahlberg perplexed the peanut gallery by delivering an unexpectedly strong opening weekend with “Contraband”.

“Broken City” stars Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Natalie Martinez, Alona Tal, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler, James Ransone, Griffin Dunne, Britney Theriot, Luis Tolentino, Tony Bentley and Andrea Frankle from director Allen Hughes and writer Brian Tucker. The film, which has a running time of 109 minutes, opened on Jan. 18, 2013. It is rated “R” for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Broken City” review.

Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Broken City
The mayor (Russell Crowe) threatens his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) for undermining his plans.
Image credit: Alan Markfield, 20th Century Fox

StarContinue for Adam Fendelman’s full “Broken City” review.

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