A Quick Review of Broken City

Broken City Opens 1/18/13

Well Music Movie family it is rare that I endorse two movies in the same opening weekend, but I’m making an exception this week. Not only am I hype about the independent movie LUV opening today, but I am equally excited about the Allen Hughes (Dead Presidents, Book of Eli) driven 20th Century Fox vehicle Broken City. The film stars newly named, honorary Philadelphian himself Mark Wahlberg (Shooter, The Fighter), Russell Crowe (Les Miserables, American Gangster), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Rock of Ages, Chicago) and one of my FAVORITE actors of all time Jeffrey Wright (Cadillac Records, Quantum of Solace).

Broken City tells the story of disgraced cop turned private detective Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), who is hired by NYC’s mayorMark Wahlberg & Thomasena Farrar (Russell Crowe) to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and subsequently uncovers a city-wide conspiracy of corruption, sex, and murder. With his life threatened at every turn, Billy finds himself faced with an impossible choice, which could have disastrous repercussions for his career and family.

I enjoyed this film a lot, and became so engrossed in the story that I forgot a key moment from the beginning; one that really would have helped me figure out part of the ending. Now if you ask me, Mark Wahlberg really cannot do any wrong, and gave his solid tough guy, you’re gonna root for him no matter what performance. Russell Crowe also gave a solid performance as the conniving mayor who places Taggart in the center of a lose-lose situation without hesitation. And did I mention that Jeffrey Wright was one of my fave actors? He delivers, as usual, as the NYC commissioner, and displays that unique ability to make the audience first be annoyed by and ultimately love his character without remembering the negative emotion was first.

director Allen Hughes & Thomasena FarrarWhen the film screened here in Philly last week, I had the pleasure of meeting both Mark Wahlberg and Allen Hughes; and got to share with Allen that From Hell and Dead Presidents are two of my favorite films. I wish I would have remembered to plug giving Jeffrey Wright a lead in a future film! 🙂

I did ask him if he could bring any musician or singer’s biopic to the big screen, deceased or living, whom he would choose and he chose Jimi Hendix; who he believes is the most brilliant man to ever play electric guitar. He noted, however, that he’d attempted to bring the Hendrix biopic to the big screen, before the version starring André 3000 (All Is By My Side currently in post-production). He says the project is “impossible” to get done. Although he didn’t specify, it’s possible he was alluding to obtaining certain permissions from the Hendrix estate, which has barred the version featuring André 3000 from using any Jimi Hendrix music. When I asked if there was any other musician/singer’s story he’d be interested in producing/directing, Allen definitively stated “nope, that’s it.” Now as a fan of music biographies, and both Allen and Albert Hughes, I’m hoping he has a change of heart and finds another artist that can benefit from his creative vision. And if it happens, you read it here first. 😉

With a 109 minute running time, Broken City is rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence. You can check out the official trailer below, and stop back after you see it to leave a thought or two in the comments section.

Until next thought family, Thomasena


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and am also a Wahlberg, Wright and Hughes fan. I agree that there were so many fabulous twists and turns that I forgot the 1st point that did absolutely come full circle. Thrilled for you that you got the opportunity to meet and chat with him. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as always!!


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