‘Broken City’: Is Mark Wahlberg’s New Thriller a Worthy Follow-Up to ‘Ted’?

Mark Wahlberg follows up the biggest box office hit of his career, last summer’s Ted, with the crime thriller Broken City.

In the film, Wahlberg plays a fallen New York cop-turned-private eye who gets caught up in big city corruption centered around the Mayor (Russell Crowe) and his philandering wife, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Broken City, director Allen Hughes’ first solo effort without his brother Albert, sat on a shelf for quite some time and, according to the critics, it should have stayed there.

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

“First-time screenwriter Brian Tucker’s script starts strong, laying the groundwork for what feels like a wonderfully labyrinthine web where corruption and deceit meet personal weaknesses and political hubris, but by the film’s rushed and sloppy third act, the whole thing collapses into a very familiar and not particularly compelling heap.”

Marshall Fine, The Huffington Post

Broken City isn’t awful, just kind of pale and predictable… As roguish and attractive as the mayor is supposed to be, Crowe can’t do much more than reveal his shiftiness amid the bluster. Wahlberg, meanwhile, brings his B game; he’s present but seldom seems engaged in what he’s doing.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Hughes’ direction is haphazard; some scenes seem perfunctory — even useless — others never find their dramatic centers, a few are all right. Wahlberg, who also co-produced, does his bulldog blue-collar thing with practiced determination.”

Nathan Rabin, The A.V. Club

“In spite of some punchy scenes, crackling dialogue, and fine performances, Broken City is hopelessly overmatched. It has Academy Award dreams, but a detective-show heart.”

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“I can’t tell you with a straight face Broken City is any good, but I can make the case you’ll have a good time even when the screenplay is breaking bad.”

Will you defy the critics this weekend and see Broken City anyway? Watch the film’s theatrical trailer, and then sound off in the comments below.

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