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It's pretty trashy and sometimes stupid. But there was never a moment when I wasn't entertained on one level or another.
The New York Times
Hughes visual choices can feel borrowed and clichéd, but his regard for beauty often compensates for his blunders, as does the sturdy, reliable appeal of another story of good and evil, men and women, light and dark, glass and steel, sex and power. As it turns out, there are eight million and one stories in the naked city.
The truth is that we're way past being outraged by these sorts of Crimes of the One Percent, not because they don't happen, but because the real version is so much more interesting.
Hughes creates a white-knuckle scene from a mayoral debate about zoning policy. You could've heard a Skittle drop in the packed house screening I attended. That, and Broken City's terrifyingly realistic car chase – another throwback to vintage Hughes – are alone worth the price of admission.
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.
The Hollywood Reporter
Would have made for a fine film noir 60 years ago but feels rather contrived and unbelievable in the setting of contemporary New York.
Competent but juiceless New York melodrama, an unpersuasive marriage of head-slamming action and middling civic intrigue that treats issues like gay rights and public housing as red herrings rather than actual talking points.
Allen Hughes may suggest an air of pretty menace, but he does little to make the sequence work as a legible genre scene.
New York Daily News
There is no urgency, and little honesty, to the convoluted goings-on unfolding here.
There are plot twists galore, but they unfold in ham-fisted fashion, as if the screenwriter (newbie Brian Tucker) didn't know how to layer the mystery. Instead, the movie simply drops these secrets out of nowhere, in clunky fashion.
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