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Jeffrey Wright in a scene from “Broken City”

*Filmmaker Allen Hughes goes solo for the first time with “Broken City,” a crime film currently in theaters starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jeffrey Wright.

Wahlberg plays Billy Taggert, a private investigator hired by the mayor of New York City (Crowe) to look into his wife (Zeta-Jones) and find out if she’s having an affair. As a result of the investigation, Taggart learns there is more to the mayor than meets the eye.

Wright plays the New York City police commissioner – who gives the strong-willed mayor a run for his money.

“It goes back to Shakespeare,” says Wright regarding the film’s plot. “Look at Julius Caesar, which is the same kind of story about power, corruption and betrayal set in a political landscape. This is just rich fertile ground for storytelling. So probably, unfortunately, these types of stories will always have relevance.”

Wright, according to Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, “commits larceny and quietly steals the movie.”

Jeffrey Wright (center) stars in "Broken City" along with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg.

Jeffrey Wright (center) stars in “Broken City” along with Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg.

“Broken City” marks rarified air for both Wright and his director. It marks the first time Allen has gotten behind the camera without his twin brother Albert Hughes. As the Hughes Brothers, their resume includes “Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents,” “The Book of Eli” and the documentary “American Pimp.”

Wright, whose career spans over two decades and includes such memorable turns as “Basquiat,” “Ali,” “Cadillac Records” and “The Ides of March,” says a project like this – with both an African American director and screenwriter (Brian Tucker) – has been rare for him.

“Broken City” is currently in theaters. Watch a trailer below.