Film Review: Broken City

Broken CityDirector Allen Hughes’ Broken City is a solid thriller with very contemporary themes.

Former cop Billy Taggart is a private detective who needs to chase his clients for unpaid bills. When he is hired by the mayor of New York City to tail his wife, Taggart sees it as an easy case. However, it may not be simple adultery that the private detective uncovers…

Written by Brian Tucker, Broken City is very competent in what it does. The film is not wildly innovative, but it is executive well enough to satisfy audiences. Tucker sets up a decent thriller with sufficient twists and turns. There are a few moments of humour and some violent action. However it is the narrative which makes the film tick.

There is a sound level of ambivalence over the motivation of the main characters. This is effective in keeping the audience engaged with the plot. Allen Hughes paces the film well, with the election giving a necessary sense of urgency key to making a thriller such as this work.

Given the setting, it is hardly surprising that Broken City concerns itself with the political world. This theme feels both contemporary and resonant given the growing public awareness of political corruption in the last few years. The financial background of the film is rooted in this period.

Broken City has the polished look of a slick thriller. The film features a good use of music. Performances from the main cast are admirable. The casting of Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones in their respective roles is great. Mark Wahlberg has been cast as a cop several times before, but it is a role he plays well.

Although Broken City does not break any mold, it is well-crafted and entertains throughout. The film is recommended for those who like their political thrillers to contain some action.

Stuff To Look At

A bumper edition this week, with plenty of releases for 2013…

Man of Steel

I have always been more of a Batman child than a Superman one, but I did love the Christopher Reeve movies (maybe not the last one). After 2006’s underwhelming Superman Returns, this new version looks more appealing. Henry Cavil stars as the title character in the first full trailer for Man of Steel, due for release in June 2013.


Ageless Tom Cruise has been getting action-heavy recently, with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jack Reacher and now Oblivion. This futuristic thriller sees Cruise’s character Jack Harper battle to save mankind. Also starring Andrea Riseborough, Oblivion will be released in UK cinemas on 12 April 2013.

The Wolverine

The follow-up to X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine is due for release in July 2013. The film sees Hugh Jackman reprise his role from the X-Men franchise. This adventure is set in Japan, as the above poster suggests. I’m sure a trailer for The Wolverine will be released shortly.

The Lone Ranger

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter together again, but not in a Tim Burton film? The emphasis in the above trailer is on the fact that it is the same team behind Pirates of the Caribbean. If executed correctly, The Lone Ranger should be a lot of fun, like the first film of that earlier franchise. The Lone Ranger is due for release next year.

The Croods

The latest animation from DreamWorks is The Croods, a prehistoric adventure film. The Croods features the voices of Nicholas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. From the above trailer, I am liking the monkey. The Croods will be released in UK cinemas on 22nd March 2013.

Broken City

Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones star in Broken City, a crime thriller set in New York. My first thought on viewing this was ‘Russell Crowe’s weave!’. That aside, this tale of corruption could be quite good. Broken City is out on 1st March 2013.

The Last Stand

What is The Last Stand, you ask? Well it is Arnold Schwarzengger’s return to lead roles on the big screen. Schwarzenegger plays the sheriff of a small town where a notorious drug baron is trying to make his escape. The Last Stand, which also stars Forest Whitaker and Rodrigo Santoro, is out on 24th January 2012.


Everyone loves a bit of Alfred Hitchcock, don’t they? The eagerly anticipated Hitchcock tells the story behind the making of Psycho. Anthony Hopkins stars as Alfred Hitchcock in the film which also features Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson. Hitchcock is released in UK cinemas on 8th February 2013.