Russell Crowe - Russell Crowe's Broken City Could Have Been Good... But Isn't
With a cast boasting some of the greats of the past couple of decades, from Mark Wahlberg to Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones, it would be more than acceptable to be a little excited about Broken City, despite the plot about corrupt politics and general scandal having been done before, and done to death. However, with just an 18% fresh rating on review aggregate RottenTomatoes, clearly it's very, very rotten.
Set in New York City, Wahlberg plays an ex-cop who is tasked with following the Mayor's Wife (Zeta-Jones, Crowe is the mayor) only to uncover a scandal in the process. THR note that it "Would have made for a fine film noir 60 years ago but feels rather contrived and unbelievable in the setting of contemporary New York." Crowe's portrayal of the mayor is dated, not to the fault of the actor, per se, but because the script calls for him to offer visitors a scotch on arrival. "Who was the last mayor of New York City to automatically offer a Scotch to every visitor to enter his office?" The review asks, "You'd probably have to go [a long way] back."
The NY Times agrees with the noir assertion, explaining that director Allen Hughes (Book of Eli) "has painted NYC a darker shade of noir." The Times it impressed with neither the screenplay nor the cinematography saying that the script is "weak" and describes the cameras as "restless and prowling". Village Voice also agrees with them all, considering the production and direction poor, "The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in Les Misérables." Overall it seems, the general consensus is to simply not bother watching it.