I think that there’s way too much going on in “Broken,” the 2012 feature film debut of stage director Rufus Norris. The total is far less than the sum of the parts (some of which go on too long, though many others are splinters).
I don’t buy that such disparate households —two of them motherless — exist in one cul-de-sac in Southampton. It’s the thuggish Oswalds (headed by Rory Kinnear) who seem from a different (lower in class) world. The plot involves many contrivances, though Eloise Laurence is very good as the diabetic daughter of Archie Cuningham (Tim Roth) (a lawyer not particularly like Atticus Finch, though Skunk is something of an innocent observer like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, which allegedly inspired Daniel Kay’s novel). Cillian Murphy is also on hand as a new teacher caught in cross-currents of the Oswalds and the Cunninghams (some the damage is visible in the following still).
There’s some teenage sex , an auto-wrecking operation, and lots of senseless violence in what won the British Independent Spirit Award for best picture. (Kinnear also won one for best supporting actor in a British independent movie and there were seven other nominations, including acting ones for Roth and Murphy.)