Broken City

Rated 3.0

A former New York cop (Mark Wahlberg) who left the force under a cloud after shooting an acquitted (but clearly guilty) murderer, now works as a private eye—in which capacity he's hired by the oily mayor (Russell Crowe) to find out who's sleeping with the mayor's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). There are no surprises or subtlety in Brian Tucker's run-of-the-mill mean-streets script—Barry Pepper plays a crusading councilman named “Valliant,” for heaven's sake!—but the first-rate cast (including Jeffrey Wright, Kyle Chandler, Michael Beach and Natalie Martinez) gives it the kind of solid conviction it needs but doesn't deserve, and director Allen Hughes moves the action along with stalwart precision. The movie's one surprise is Alona Tal as Wahlberg's gal Friday; with luck, she could be the next Amy Adams.