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Broken City [2013] [R] - 7.6.10



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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After a shooting that some determined not to be in self-defense, a police officer (Mark Wahlberg) is fired. When called back into service by the mayor (Russell Crowe) who suspects his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) of having an affair, the assignment becomes muddled and he must figure out if there is anyone he can trust. Also with Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler, James Ransone and Griffin Dunne. Directed by Allen Hughes. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A man and a woman are watching a movie, and the woman is one of the actors: in a movie she kisses a man passionately, they remove their clothing (we see her bare breasts, abdomen and buttocks), and the man leans her over a counter and thrusts from behind; the woman's boyfriend, who's watching the movie with her, becomes visibly upset.
 We see a topless woman through a window and her bare breasts are visible; a man stands outside the window and takes photographs of a man seated in a chair and the woman, wearing panties that reveal her bare buttocks, is leaning over him and kissing him and she appears to move toward his crotch, but it is not clear (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man and a woman kiss passionately. A man and a woman hug and go inside a beach house where they close the curtains (it is implied that they are having an illicit sexual affair).
 Women wear a low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage, bare shoulders and backs in several scenes. We see a man's bare abdomen while a woman is tending to a bloody wound. Two men are shown in a locker room and one is seen bare-chested while dressing. A man sits in a bathtub and we see his bare shoulders, abdomen, arms and back.
 A woman caresses a man's back and holds his hand while they sit on a park bench. A husband caresses his wife's shoulders and squeezes her neck (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details). A man and a woman hold hands.
 A man asks his girlfriend if she had sex with another man. A man talks about suspecting his wife of infidelity and uses crude terms to describe the details that he wants a man to uncover for him. A man talks about a female dog in heat. A man talks about metrosexuals. A woman refers to the excitement she gets from uncovering a clue as "orgasmic."

VIOLENCE/GORE 6 - A man points a smoking gun toward someone in the distance and we see a dead man on the ground with a bloody bullet hole in his head. A man is shown shooting a man three times (once after he falls to the ground); it is dark and we see the man fall but blood is not evident.
 A man in a car is shot at, speeds away and another car chases; the cars ram into each other, one car is T-boned by another car and one car slams into a construction barrier (we see the driver with bloody cuts on his face as he pulls a shard of glass out of his forehead).
 A man shoots another man (it is implied that he is shot in the back or the leg but we do not see a wound); the two men then fight with punches, one man presses his fingers in the other man's eyes, and one is struck and falls to the floor where the other man kicks him in the head a couple of times (he is shown lying unconscious). A man breaks into a house, grabs a man and slams him against a wall, shoves him to the floor and holds him at gunpoint; he then hits him in the head a few times after getting him up off the floor.
 A man standing outside a window and taking photographs is attacked by another man with a baseball bat; the man is struck a couple of times and he then fights back and knocks the attacker unconscious, another man comes out to inquire about what is happening and he is struck by the man with the camera. A man holds an inebriated man under water in a bathtub while another man questions him (the man struggles and is let up before drowning). A man grabs another man by the throat, slams him against a wall and then throws him to the ground (we do not see injuries). A man hits his adult son in the head twice, and they yell at each other and shove each other until they are separated by other men. A man shoves another man while walking on the street and punches him (he's presumably a stranger). A man throws a partially filled bottle of liquor at a passing car.
 A tarp is pulled off a shooting victim and we see a bloody patch on his chest and blood splatter on his face. We see a man with a bloody ear and a bloody wound on his abdomen after a fight as a woman tends to his injuries. We see a child with an IV in a hospital bed.
 A husband caresses his wife's shoulders and squeezes her neck while speaking to her in a threatening manner (she seems afraid).
 People talk about a 16-year-old girl that had been raped and murdered in a several scenes; the girl's sister refers to her having been beaten to death. We hear a report of a shooting. A man talks about being bullied when he was younger. A man and a woman argue and he accuses her of having sex with another man. A man yells at people over the telephone trying to get them to pay him for work he has done for them. A woman yells at people over the telephone, makes threats (including revealing an extramarital affair to a man's wife) and calls them names. A man talks about a "kill shot." A man refers to his son not being capable in business using crude terms. Two men argue during a political debate.
 Two men play racquetball; one falls on the floor, and then the other (neither is injured). A man squeezes a glass and it breaks in his hand.

PROFANITY 10 - About 64 F-words, 8 sexual references, 7 scatological terms, 13 anatomical terms (1 in Spanish and not translated), 15 mild obscenities, 3 derogatory term for homosexuals, name-calling (homicidal rapist, cross-dresser, liar, crook, smug, cut rate), 4 religious profanities, 2 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A man drinks a glass of alcohol and offers another man a drink (he turns it down), a man talks about not drinking for seven years, a man drinks a beer from a bottle, a woman drinks a glass of wine, a woman says "I drink wine," a man and a woman hold glasses of wine (we do not see them drink), people drink wine at a dinner, people drink alcohol at a party, a man is shown drinking several drinks quickly at a party, people drink alcohol in a bar, a man drinks in a bar, a man drinks several drinks in a bar and then leaves to buy several bottles of alcohol that we see him drinking while walking the streets in a stupor, and people drink alcohol at a celebration. A woman smokes a cigarette.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Murder, vigilantism, criminal justice system, heroes, justice, corruption, human rights, actors, infidelity.

MESSAGE - Not everything is black and white.

Special Keywords: S7 - V6 - P10 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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