I was just thinking to myself the other day that there aren't any smart noir/detective films made anymore. When was the last time we had a 'Chinatown'? Or even an inferior attempt at one? It seems Hollywood has decided audiences don't have the patience for a movie where we have to pay attention and think. But everything happens in cycles and hopefully these types of films will make a comeback. Last week we had 'Gangster Squad' which, granted, was heavier in style than in smarts, but it's very well made and a lot of fun. And now we have 'Broken City' which is even better.
Mark Wahlberg plays a former New York City cop, who now makes his living (barely) as a private dick. But when his old acquaintance, the Mayor, played by Russell Crowe, calls and asks him to find out who his wife is fooling around with, you just know not everything is as it seems. It's a story right out of the noir playbook, but fans like me will revel in every second of it. Wahlberg is just right as the lead, and Crowe is at the top of his game here, and more devilishly fun than I've ever seen him. I really hope people go see this movie so we'll get a lot more like it in the future. And kudos to Hollywood for releasing such a smart, well made film in mid-January. You've given a jaded film critic hope. (a small tear runs down my cheek)