Iffy for 16+
Political thriller mixes violence, language, drinking, sex.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Broken City is a mature political thriller with lethal violence, strong language, and lots of heavy drinking. Starring Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, it's the kind of star-studded, testosterone-driven movie that teens might find appealing. But there's some pretty intense violence (including images of gunshot victims and brutal fighting), near-constant swearing (especially "f--k"), alcohol use (Wahlberg's character is a recovering and then lapsed alcoholic), and a couple of sex scenes (one is in a movie within the movie, and the other features a topless woman). The majority of the characters are deeply flawed, compromised, or corrupt, but there is a lesson here about redemption and sacrifice for the greater good. A subplot involves homosexuality; some derogatory terms are used.
- Families can talk about the amount of violence in Broken City. Would the movie be less compelling without it?
- Broken City has several corrupt characters, particularly those with political standing. Do you think real-life politicians and lawmakers have as many scandalous secrets as Mayor Hostetler and Commissioner Fairbanks?
- How does the movie portray drinking and alcohol? What are the consequences for Billy of falling off the wagon? Do they seem realistic?
The good stuff
Messages: The only positive message is that the main character is able to redeem himself by owning up to his wrongdoing and exposing someone else who's committing crimes.
Role models: Most of the characters are deeply flawed and even corrupt in some ways. That said, Councilman Valliant seems to be a good guy who truly wants what's best for the city; Andrews wants Valliant to run a campaign on the up and up, rather than resort to mudslinging; Billy's assistant, Katy, is caring and hardworking; and Billy shows that redemption is possible. On the other hand, there's a cop who kills in cold blood, a police commissioner who commits adultery with the mayor's wife, and a mayor who orders people killed.
What to watch for
Violence: The movie begins with a close-up shot of a man who was shot in the head and killed. Another man is shown shot and dead in the street. Two men get into a hand-to-hand fight that ends with one of them beaten/kicked/killed. A husband caresses his wife in a way that's almost menacing. A car chase leads to an accident. A general sense of menace/the potential for explosive reactions.
Sex: Through a camera lens, a woman is shown topless, wearing only a thong, on top of a much older man (who's presumably committing adultery). Based on secret meetings and embraces, someone believes the mayor and the opposition's campaign manager are having an affair. In a movie within the movie, a character is shown having sex (she's undressed by her lover and then shown in a sexual position, but the camera focuses on her face).
Language: Very frequent use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "douche," "d--k," "p---y," "ass," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more. The word "fag" is used a couple of times, as is the word "homo."
Consumerism: A few car brands are visible: Chevy, Honda, and Suburban, and Jameson Whiskey is mentioned a couple of times. The news channel New York 1 is featured a few times.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Almost everyone in the movie seems like an alcoholic. Although Billy refrains for the first half of the movie, he's constantly offered a drink at every meeting he attends and eventually gets incredibly drunk at a bar; when drunk, he's angry, belligerent, and destructive. Other people drink heavily during cocktail parties, meetings, and dinners. When Billy finally drinks again, a character tells him "good for you."
Fan Reviews provided by
A good movie and very entertaining by schwartzm9039
One of Mark Wahlberg's good performances and a standard Markie-Mark tough guy showing. Nothing new here: A twisting and turning drama wrapped around a good script, with excellent actors. Good cinematography. Medium action. Overall entertaining, but not cerebral at all.
Solid performances, great twists by pedsarq
This is an entertaining thriller featuring crooked politicians and crooked ex-cops playing dangerously with each other. Crowe is the incumbent Mayor of NYC and he's in a close election race with an unknown. Walberg plays an ex-cop-turned-detective who takes pictures of cheating wives. It's a messy plot, but easy to follow and ultimately predictable. The performances are entertaining. I enjoyed following the twists and turns and was interested throughout. However, it never really impresses and I predict that I'll forget about it very quickly, with no lasting impression.
Broken City was darn good by flirtemercury223
I as pleasantly surprised. Only wish the previews didn't reveal a major twist of the film. Go see it! Saw Haunted House today and it was trash-WAS NOT FUNNY AT ALL >_I as pleasantly surprised. Only wish the previews didn't reveal a major twist of the film. Go see it! Saw Haunted House today and it was trash-WAS NOT FUNNY AT ALL >_< Was surprised the Wayans put that crap out since I usually love their movies. See Broken City instead.
Disappointing by lnbee
Looked better in the previews. Story convaluted, no real suprises, Crowe kind of a caricature, Zeta-Jones Botox injection too fresh. Alona Tal as the Walberg's assistant was the best character. She's got a future.
Entertaining but not great by swaymbsc
Movie was ok, pretty good i guess. Wahlberg is always good as a tough guy. I give it a 7.5 out of 10. However, I do have two questions. Why was Russel Crowe so tan he looked orange? And why does Barry Pepper look so old? Seriously the man is 42 but looks like he's going on 55.
Broken City by gailg876
Story line reminded us once again that government officials and politicians just can't be trusted. Mark Wahlberg did the same role as in other movies, but Russell Crowe did do a nice change by being the crooked politician. Maybe better to rent than see in theaters.
Broken City by stevendbeard
This is a gritty cop drama that takes place in New York City . Mark plays a New York cop that is involved in a shooting of a civilian [he is cleared] . He is forced to retire [he is told that it would be better for the city] and he becomes a private detective . Russell is the mayor and he hires Mark to investigate his wife , Catherine , whom he suspects is having an affair [re-election is coming up and he doesn't need the bad publicity] . Barry is Russell's opponent in the upcoming election and Kyle is running Barry's campaign . There are dirty politics at play , as well as blackmail and believability issues [who is telling the truth and who can you trust ?] .
It's rated "R" for language , sexual content [there is some semi-nudity] and violence and has a running time of 1 hour & 49 minutes .
It was good but not much better than what you might see in a t.v. show .
It's not one that I would buy on DVD but it would be alright as a rental .
Broken City by tmwally
This film has such a twisted, suspenceful plot. I really enjoyed it and recommend to those who like intrigue,suspence, drama and the line up of actors.
Intelligent Plot, Well Executed, More Editing Was Required. by Alon Patterson
Overall, this is a fine film populated with A-list talent. They all live up to their reps and deliver fine performances here. Still, they can only do what's on the page and it's obvious this play, and the consequential film, both required more editing. In a striking attempt to avoid all plot holes, the play becomes misdirected and convoluted. To make matters worse, the dialog is muddled and confused in places. Beyond these things, all-in-all, it's worth the price of a ticket. Take along your patience though, you'll need it for the payoff.
Broken City by m644290
Wahlberg as always, did an amazing job. Crowe was right behind him. I would have liked that they would have kept Natalie Martinez (Wahlberg's girlfriend) longer in the movie. She sort of vanished from the story mid through the movie and I was expecting to have her come back. The movie itself had a good plot but I do have to say, it really didn't have me guessing.