Broken City

2013 R 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD

Broken City

2013 R 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
After private detective Billy Taggart informs the mayor of New York that his wife is having an affair, the woman's lover turns up dead. In short order, the PI learns that his mayor boss is at the center of some very shady real estate dealings.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 2:40:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
Widescreen 2:40:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio, English: DVS - Descriptive Video Service
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
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age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Broken City is a mature political thriller with lethal violence, strong language, and lots of heavy drinking. Starring Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, it's the kind of star-studded, testosterone-driven movie that teens might find appealing. But there's some pretty intense violence (including images of gunshot victims and brutal fighting), near-constant swearing (especially "f--k"), alcohol use (Wahlberg's character is a recovering and then lapsed alcoholic), and a couple of sex scenes (one is in a movie within the movie, and the other features a topless woman). The majority of the characters are deeply flawed, compromised, or corrupt, but there is a lesson here about redemption and sacrifice for the greater good. A subplot involves homosexuality; some derogatory terms are used.

Sexual Content

Through a camera lens, a woman is shown topless, wearing only a thong, on top of a much older man (who's presumably committing adultery). Based on secret meetings and embraces, someone believes the mayor and the opposition's campaign manager are having an affair. In a movie within the movie, a character is shown having sex (she's undressed by her lover and then shown in a sexual position, but the camera focuses on her face).


The movie begins with a close-up shot of a man who was shot in the head and killed. Another man is shown shot and dead in the street. Two men get into a hand-to-hand fight that ends with one of them beaten/kicked/killed. A husband caresses his wife in a way that's almost menacing. A car chase leads to an accident. A general sense of menace/the potential for explosive reactions.


Very frequent use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "douche," "d--k," "p---y," "ass," "damn," "hell," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more. The word "fag" is used a couple of times, as is the word "homo."

Social Behavior

The only positive message is that the main character is able to redeem himself by owning up to his wrongdoing and exposing someone else who's committing crimes.


A few car brands are visible: Chevy, Honda, and Suburban, and Jameson Whiskey is mentioned a couple of times. The news channel New York 1 is featured a few times.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Almost everyone in the movie seems like an alcoholic. Although Billy refrains for the first half of the movie, he's constantly offered a drink at every meeting he attends and eventually gets incredibly drunk at a bar; when drunk, he's angry, belligerent, and destructive. Other people drink heavily during cocktail parties, meetings, and dinners. When Billy finally drinks again, a character tells him "good for you."

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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