Film » Film Features

Opening: Broken City


Broken City beings in the middle of things as Billy (Mark Wahlberg), a New York cop, is on trial for shooting a defenseless man, an act that has created such controversy, protesters have gathered outside of the courthouse where he is about to be sentenced. But when a key piece of evidence disappears, Billy is set free. And yet Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) and police commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright) agree it’s best he leave the force despite the fact that he wasn’t convicted. And so Billy ends up becoming a private investigator that digs up dirt on extramarital affairs and often has trouble getting his clients to pay him after he delivers the bad news. So when the mayor offers him $50k to find out if his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair, he takes the gig without giving it much thought. He photographs her with the campaign manager for the mayor’s opponent in a tight mayoral race but begins to think that maybe the mayor has set him up to inadvertently help out his campaign. At this point, the twists and turns — which include a secretive high-rise project — become too convoluted to really follow. And the subpar acting courtesy of the usually reliable Crowe, Zeta-Jones and Wahlberg suggests the flaw here is with the script, which comes off like a bad episode of Law and Order.

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