The Hughes brothers are well known purveyors of gritty movies with flawed characters. Their previous directing credits include hard boiled crime movies like Menace II Society and Dead Presidents but also post apocalyptic dramas like The Book of Eli. For Broken City Allen Hughes has decided to handle the direction of the movie alone while his brother Albert works on other projects. The movie looks like it will have the same signature style that the brothers are famous for.

Mark Wahlberg plays Billy Taggart, a downtrodden ex-cop trying to survive and make a living as a gumshoe. When Billy was a cop he was acquitted of killing a man who got off on a rape and murder charge. Despite being acquitted his superiors felt they could no longer keep him on the police force so he had to leave. He is hired by the popular mayor of the city known as Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to find out who is sleeping with the mayor’s wife Cathleen (played by Catherine Zeta Jones.) Unfortunately while investigating the case Taggart uncovers a larger conspiracy and is made an accomplice to murder. The city is rife with corruption and Taggart fights to try to clear his name and get revenge on those who framed him.

The film has a gritty, neo-noir style to it and Russell Crowe seems to be enjoying his role here as a tough guy mayor. The supporting cast is also good and includes Jeffrey Wright as the police commissioner and Barry Pepper. It’s also nice to see Catherine Zeta Jones acting again as she has been out of the limelight for a long time. The acting performances look good and the players are well cast. Mark Wahlberg in particular always excels as a regular guy out of his depth and trying to swim against the tide. That is the kind of character he plays very well and he did a very good job with it in movies like The Fighter. He appears to be one step behind the bad guys in Broken City and it will be interesting to see if he can achieve justice.

A film likes this really needs a good script to succeed and if Broken City can deliver that it should do well. The script itself was actually written by Brian Tucker a few years ago but sadly no one wanted to use it. Thankfully that all changed when Tucker met Hughes.

Fans of crime movies can see Broken City when it is released on March 1st.

Have a look at the trailer and share your thoughts.