Broken City is a 2013 American crime thriller film directed by Allen Hughes from a screenplay written by Brian Tucker. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Natalie Martinez.
The film concerns a police officer turned private investigator and the mayor of New York City who hires this private detective to investigate his wife.
The film was released in theaters on January 18, 2013
- Directed by: Allen Hughes
- Produced by: Randall Emmett, Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Arnon Milchan, Teddy Schwarzman, Allen Hughes, Remington Chase, Brandt Andersen
- Written by: Brian Tucker
- Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Natalie Martinez, Kyle Chander, Jeffrey Wright
- Music by: Atticus Ross, Claudia Sarne, Leo Ross
- Cinematography: Ben Seresin
- Edited by: Cindy Mollo
- Country: U.S.A.
- Language: English
- Running time: 108 minutes
- Budget: $35 million
- Box Office: $20 million
- Release date: January 18, 2013
- Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
The film begins at night in New York, with NYPD detective William "Billy" Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) after shooting and killing a suposed criminal called Mikey Tavarez, who was believed to have raped and murdered sixteen-year-old Yesenia Barea but "walked" on a technicality.
Billy is then arrested for the murder of Mikey Tavarez. Chief Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright), goes to Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) with a witness and evidence that proves Billy Taggart clearly murdered Tavarez. But Mayor Hostetler buries the evidence, and a judge clears Taggart as having shot Tavarez in self-defense. So Taggart is set free.
Later on Mayor Hostetler calls Taggart to his office for a private meeting and calls him "a hero," but still forces him to leave the police.
Seven years later, Billy Taggart is living with his girlfriend Natalie Barrow (Natalie Martinez), an aspiring actress. Taggart now has founded a private detective agency, but the business is on the verge of bankruptcy.
But that year Mayor Hostetler (who's corrently on campaign) calls Billy up and hires him to investigate his wife, Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones), whom he thinks is having an affair. Billy accepts the job offer and Mayor Hostetler pays him in advance, recovering BIlly's business.
Billy begins his job and starts to follow the Mayor's wife. Helped by his assistant, Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal), Taggart learns that Cathleen is seeing Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler), the campaign manager of Hostetler's rival in the upcoming elections, Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper).
At a fundraiser for Hostetler's campaign, Cathleen reveals to Taggart that she knows he has been following her. She tolds him that Jack Valliant is not her lover, she warns Billy that he's not really investigating an infidelity and advises Billy not to trust her husband. But, later on, Taggart delivers to Mayor Hostetler photos taken of Cathleen meeting with Andrews.
At a film debut party, Billy's girlfriend, Natalia Barrow reveals that her real name is Natalia Barea, and that Yesenia was her sister. At the screening, Taggart is shocked at Natalie's sex scene, and strongly disapproves. He had thought it would express poetic love, but finds it akin to porn. Combined with guilt over working for Hostetler, Taggart descends into regular drinking bouts. He argues with Natalie over the scene and about the people she is seeing during her work. She breaks off the relationship.
Taggart gets drunk, brawling with strangers while walking the city streets. He receives a phone call from his assistant telling him Chief Fairbanks wants him at a murder scene. When he arrives, he learns that Andrews, Vaillant's campaign manager who Billy had been investigating before in the Hostetler affair, has been found murdered.
Taggart tells Fairbanks that he was hired by Mayor Hostetler to investigate his wife and that he found Andrews was involved with her.
Later on Fairbanks and Billy learn that the candidate Valliant was in Andrews' apartment, and that the two men were lovers. Candidate Valliant reveals that Andrews was scheduled to meet Todd Lancaster (James Ransone), son of Hostetler's wealthy benefactor, contractor Sam Lancaster (Griffin Dunne). A furious Cathleen tells Taggart that Andrews was a close friend of hers, not a lover, and that he had promised her information about Mayor Hostetler's ilegal plans for the Bolton Village Housing Project. The deal was expected to enrich both Sam Lancaster and the mayor. Hostetler wanted to Cathleen's source, so he manipulated Taggart into tracking her.
So Taggart decides to investigate Mayor Hostetler for corruption. He goes to Lancaster's construction business, and finds workers destroying loads of documents. Stealing some of the documents, he discovers that Bolton Village has been sold in order to build high-rise office buildings, rather than a new housing development.
Hundreds of impoverished people will be left homeless while Hostetler and Lancaster make a profit. After leaving Lancaster's, Taggart is pursued in a car chase by Hostetler's men, who run him off the road and take back the documents.
Taggart visits Sam's son, Todd Lancaster, who says he had intended to give Andrews a copy of the demolition contract as evidence against Hostetler on the night Andrews was murdered. He gives it to Taggart instead. Taggart confronts Mayor Hostetler, who is unfazed because he has kept a video showing that Taggart murdered Tavarez in cold blood. Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, Taggart can still be prosecuted and face prison time. Taggart records their conversation, as the Mayor admits to his own corrupt dealings.
Willing to make the recording public, although he would endanger his freedom, Taggart turns the recording over to Commissioner Fairbanks. While Hostetler is at home celebrating a successful debate, Fairbanks arrives to arrest him. Fairbanks tells the mayor he was having an affair with Cathleen.
In the film's final scene, Taggart meets Fairbanks at a bar and they toast Valliant, who has won the election. Taggart's assistant Katy comes in to say goodbye before the two men leave the bar
- Mark Whalberg - William "Billy" Taggart
- Russell Crowe - Mayor Nicholas Hostetler
- Catherine Zeta-Jones - Cathleen Hostetler
- Kyle Chandler - Paul Andrews
- Natalie Martinez - Natalie Barrow
- Ann Dowd - Martin's mother
- Polly Draper - Emily's boss
- David Costabile - Carl Millbank
- Mamie Gummer - Kayla Millbank
Originally, Blake Lively was cast for the lead role. However, it was later reported Rooney Mara would replace her.
This is the third collaboration between Catherine Zeta-Jones and Steven Soderbergh, following Traffic (2000) and Ocean's Twelve (2004).
It's also the third collaboration between Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh, following Haywire and Magic Mike.
The film's original score was provided by Soderbergh's regular collaborator,, Thomas Newman. The score was released by Varese Sarabande on March 5, 2013.
- "Acute Parasomnia" – 0:41
- "Very Sick Girl (Main Title)" – 2:25
- "Houston Free Meds" – 2:22
- "Relativity – 1:22
- "Past Behaviour" – 1:28
- "Another Acquittal" – 3:27
- "Knife" – 1:20
- "Hopelessness" – 1:22
- "Allison Finn" – 2:27
- "Dark & Stormy" – 1:10
- "Poisonous Fog" – 2:29
- "Salt Water" – 2:00
- "Conduct Review" – 2:09
- "Double Jeopardy" – 0:46
- "Malingering" – 5:42
- "St. Luke's" – 1:23
- "Take Back Tomorrow (End Title)" – 2:21
- "The Forgotten People" (performed by Thievery Corporation) – 3:12
In January 2012, it was reported that The Bitter Pill would be released by Open Road Filmsy. The title was later changed to Side Effects. In November 2012, the first trailer was released. The film was screened in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival.
Side Effects opened nationwide on February 8, 2013. It finished number three at the box office with $9.3 million, behind fellow newcomer Identity Thief ($34.6 million) and Warm Bodies ($11.4 million). The film grossed $32.2 million in America and $31.2 million in other territories, for a total gross of $63.4 million.
Side Effects received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a rating of 83%, based on 195 reviews, with an average rating of 7.3/10. The site's consensus reads: "A smart, clever thriller with plenty of disquieting twists, Side Effects is yet another assured effort from director Steven Soderbergh." On Metacritic, the film holds a score of 75 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Peter Sobczynski gave the film two and a half out of four stars. Kirk Honeycutt of Honey Cutts Hollywood called the film a "post-modern Hitchcock-thriller" and praised the story matter, which he dubbed "incredible". Richard Collins of Time gave the film a positive review, complimenting the director and screenwriter and noting its similarity to Spellbound, The Wrong Man, Vertigo, Marnie — and such Hitchcock-tribute films as Obsession, Dressed to Kill, Raising Cain and Passion, stating "More efficient than inspired, Soderbergh rarely succeeds on style alone, but when given a sharp script, like the one for Side Effects, he can make an excellent film. If this is his swan song, it's got a haunting melody". In the UK, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film a maximum five stars, calling it "a gripping psychological thriller about big pharma and mental health that cruelly leaves you craving one last fix". He praised the lead performance from Rooney Mara as "compelling" who "lays down the law with her presence. She demonstrates a potent Hitchcockian combination: an ability to be scared and scary at the same time, and Soderbergh's film manages to introduce its effects in some insidious, almost intravenous way". Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph awarded Side Effects a maximum five stars and also acknowledged its debt to earlier psychological thrillers. He wrote: "There's a lot of Alfred Hitchcock in what follows, but even more Henri-Georges Clouzot, with whose classic spine-tingler Les Diaboliques (1954) Soderbergh's film shares a poisonous tang". Peter Travers of Rollin Stone praised the film's performances, the script and direction, writing "Soderbergh delivers ticking-bomb suspense laced with psychological acuity about a world where mood-altering meds are as disturbingly prevalent as social media".
Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net gave the film a 7.5/10, praising the performances of Jude Law and Rooney Mara as well as the writing of the film, stating that the film explores "some interesting ideas". Douglas compared the film to classic thrillers, but stated that the film began feeling far-fetched as the story progressed.