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Movie Review

Broken City

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.

Reviewed by: Maggie Hays

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Crime Thriller Drama
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
January 18, 2013 (wide—2,620 theaters)
DVD: April 30, 2013
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation


sin and fall of man to sin

vigilante justice

pursuit of justice

justice of God

government corruption

alchohol abuse, alcoholism


Featuring: Mark WahlbergBilly Taggart
Russell CroweMayor Hostetler
Catherine Zeta-JonesCathleen Hostetler
Jeffrey WrightCarl Fairbanks
Barry Pepper … Jack Valliant
more »
Director: Director: Allen Hughes—“Dead Presidents,” “From Hell,” “The Book of Eli” (uncredited director)
Producer: 1984 Private Defense Contractors
Black Bear Pictures
Closest to the Hole Productions
more »
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

“Proof can be a powerful weapon.”

“Broken City” is certainly Mark Wahlberg’s movie. He is a New York City ex-cop turned investigator, hired by the Mayor (Russell Crowe) who suspects his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is cheating on him. What complicates the situation is that the mayoral election is only a week away, and the Mayor is embroiled in a very tough campaign. Among the twists and turns of the plot, Wahlberg’s character discovers that several people and situations are not what he first believed them to be. He also discovers that his employer, the Mayor, has some pretty shady business dealings going on and is murderously ruthless in his re-election bid.

It sounds like a delicious political thriller, rife with nail-biting suspense, doesn’t it?

So, here’s the downside—this film has it all: adultery, explicit sex, nudity, murder, excessive amounts of liquor, and an uncountable number of crude and profane words. I stopped counting the “F” words, because I left my calculator at home, and I couldn’t keep up. The film’s atmosphere is thick and oppressive with profanity, and every other crude anatomical reference in the English language. It’s really quite sad. This could have been an interesting story, fun to watch, as Taggart follows the maze that ultimately leads to the political mess created by the shiftless mayor. It could have easily carried a PG-13 rating that would surely draw in a larger audience and more revenue for the studio.

Unfortunately, the producers took the low road and made this movie profane and common, choosing instead to foul the theater with filth, rather than deftly present art to entertain an audience. So now the “F” word has become a noun, verb, adverb, and adjective—virtually every part of speech—and all of it is dumped into your head by unimaginative producers and a talentless director who can only serve up a tasteless soup of profane swill rather than a plain ole’ good story.

The acting skills of Crowe and Wahlberg and the beauty of Zeta-Jones are wasted on this mess. They really should be much more particular about scripts, so as not to be dragged down by bad writing, excessive profanity, and tawdry talent trashing.

As a Christian, I reiterate that it is imperative that you realize this movie does not deserve your ten bucks, as it breaks all Ten Commandments, while you support it with your attendance. If your 13 year-old asks for money to see this movie, be a really good parent and firmly reply, “Not on your life, Buster. We have higher standards than that!”

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

HOLLYWOOD DISCONNECT—Why is there a disconnect between Hollywood and the rest of America? Answer

CELEBRITIES’ VIEWS—What do Hollywood celebrities believe about spiritual issues? Find out

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments


Negative—What a disappointment! Everything about this movie is “broken,” as the name suggests. There is nothing redeeming about the entire film. Even the ending was a huge disappointment. We left feeling hopeless and depressed. We give this film only 1 star!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Dawn, age 39 (USA)
Negative—I, for the most part, try to come to this Web site to check movie reviews before I go see them. I didn’t do it before I went to see “Broken City,” that was a huge mistake! This was by far the worst movie I have seen in a long time. As a Christian, I do not have a big conviction on the movies I watch, but there are a couple of things I look out for. The excessive use of “GD” and nudity. This movie had an extremely vulgar sex scene with full blown female nudity. As a Christian man, this is a stumbling block.

For the actual movie itself, it was also horrible. The plot line seemed like it was thrown together last second and really didn’t seem to make much sense. When I watched the previews, I thought this was going to be a grimy crime movie like “The Departed,” again I was way wrong. I went with my brother, and he fell asleep, it was so boring. And for those sensitive to cursing, the F-bomb was used more times than I could count on 10 hands. I love movies, but my advice, do not waste your money or time!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Danny W, age 29 (USA)

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