• Brake
    2 minute
    Added: Feb 1, 2012


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Brake Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Al S

Super Reviewer

January 23, 2013
An intense and terrifying thrill-ride that will leave you breathless. It's a vastly original and gripping movie that is more thrilling than Buried and more shocking that Phone Booth. A surprisingly well-crafted and tremendously performed film. It's an exciting and nail-biting edge of your seat thriller. A terrifically entertaining and sensational movie that's filled with sizzling suspense and a double-twist ending you got to see to believe. Director, Gabe Torres knows how to build up the tension and grab you in its most gripping moments. It has you going right to it's heart-pounding and mind-blowing finish. Stephen Dorff is a tour de force, he gives his best and most compelling performance yet. This and Officer Down really showed me that he still has what it takes to be a star.
Sylvester K

Super Reviewer

June 13, 2012
Horrible horrible twist..... One of the most foul mouthed movies I've seen, most of the elements in the plot did not make any sense, acting was only OK, and honestly, who on earth would have this kinda of intense training where they physically hurt you??? No sense has been made, I would interrogate the prisoner, not put him inside a box.
November 22, 2012
this one man show of Stephen Dorff in a glass box for bout most of the film get kinda old fast even with the attempts of cell phones,CB radios, am radio, other outside and the scares to keep your intrested
June 13, 2012
Note: Usually when writing these reviews, I attempt not to repeat an already recognized theme or motif to introduce the film's evaluation in these opening paragraphs, but an exception to this rule is mandatory for my point regarding the subject of this review to get across. If any of this introduction sounds a bit familiar, it's almost note by note taken from my assessment of Jennifer Westfeldt's romantic comedy Friends with Kids, so if you've already read that, feel free to just skip to the main review itself in the paragraphs below, and my apologies for the repetition.

An infinite number of films, no matter the quality of their opening two thirds, crumble when attempting to reach a conclusion. Whether it be an imaginative action-comedy succumbing to generic violence during its final shootout (21 Jump Street), a romantic drama willing to twist reasonability and character logic for the titular lovers to be coupled by the end (Chico and Rita), or a romantic comedy inexplicably turning into a mediocre melodrama for, well, I'm not necessarily sure (Friends with Kids), no movie is immune to a final third collapse. The three films referenced under parentheses, for example, were each movies I greatly enjoyed until cases of third act self immolation. Because of the severe lack of subtlety in this introduction, it may be easy to conclude that the subject of this review fell victim to the "conclusion collapse", and you'd be completely right. This is the review of a decent, well acted thriller, which was going full throttle entertainment wise until the screenplay hit the brakes for a truly terrible culmination. Though that may've perhaps been the worst pun ever featured on the site, the ending of the film was probably a little worse. Before moving on, let that fact sink in a bit.

Starring Stephen Dorff (Public Enemies) as a CIA operative locked inside the trunk of a car by terrorists seeking information on the president's secret bunker during a terroristic attack, Brake could best be considered as a two-hour special episode of Kiefer Sutherland's 24 in which Jack Bauer is locked in a box, and his hostage takers enjoy Nicolas Cage's cult unintentional comedy The Wicker Man. In case you are unsure, this is a compliment. Spending 90 minutes with one character inside a single tight, claustrophobic location could easily become dull and tiresome, but while the scenarios and ordeals Dorff's character is forced through are at times nothing short of absolutely ridiculous, his excellent performance brings a John McClane essence to the film, and the result is well acted pure popcorn entertainment. Until its disappointing eventual reveal, we are also mystified as to why these terrorists have rigged the trunk like a cage, and what their reasoning is for keeping this character alive. Because the camera never leaves the trunk, we only know as much as Dorff knows, leading us to question the identities of who's being talked to, and what is real and what is manipulation. It's thrilling and mysterious, with some entertaining dumb fun included to show how far Dorff is willing to push himself not to reveal the president's location.

Brake was written by Timothy Mannion, a man with no other writing credits listed on IMDb. It was directed by a Gabe Torres, a man with no other feature length directing credits listed on IMDb. Because of their joint lack of movie making experience (though Torres has directed a wide variety of television specials), it's understandable why the film ended the way it did, but someone along the way should've spoken up about the quality of the ending. An editor, an actor, or even an audience member for an early screening should've explained that the conclusion needed to be trashed and rewritten, but clearly that didn't happen. I will not spoil the film in this review, but two back-to-back twists occur which annihilate any mystery the film once had, and nearly destroy any fond memories of what came before. It's a conclusive "Screw You!" to the audience; twists so abysmal even M. Night Shyamalan wouldn't touch it. In fact, he'd probably get aggravated about them himself. Here's advice: Stop watching the film with around fifteen minutes left. You'll be a little curious how it ended, but curiosity is far more acceptable than crushing disappointment.

In spite of its ending, which will hopefully be quickly forgotten and never discussed again, Brake is an incredibly entertaining popcorn film with an excellent performance from Stephen Dorff. If the idea of watching a guy trapped in a trunk for an hour and a half seems dull, you may want to think again. You'll be missing out on two thirds of an excellent thriller.

Grade: B-
June 22, 2014
Not a bad concept. Kind of felt like Phonebooth. But I was sorely disappointed with the lousy ending. They could have ended the movie five minutes earlier and it would have been better.
June 3, 2014
Pretty amazing acting.
May 28, 2014
Although it is claustrophobic and tense for a while, it's really just a bad knockoff of Buried, and not only is it nowhere near as taut, but the writing derails so badly at the end that it becomes Shyamalan-esque
April 7, 2014
This movie sucked. If it wasn't an exercise, people would have died because of that weak idiot.
March 6, 2014
Cheesy, childish and ultimately very very boring!!
August 4, 2013
Not bad but a few holes in basic human nature and how we would react to certain situations just didn't ring true.
July 28, 2013
Brake is a disappointing film. It is about a Secret Service Agent is held captive in the trunk of a car and endures mental and physical torture as terrorists attempt to extract information for their plot against the President of the United States. Stephen Dorff and Chyler Leigh give awful performances. The script is badly written. Gabe Torres did a horrible job directing this movie. I was not impressed with this motion picture.
The Media Worm
July 7, 2013
For 90% of this film I would have said absolutely yes. Unfortunately, the other 10% (and you've guessed it, it's the ending) is a ridiculous example of writers trying to be too clever with twists. Imagine sitting through two M. Night Shyamalan style twists, each more damaging to the previous 80 minutes than the last, in the space of the final three minutes.

Up to this point I had greatly enjoyed Brake. I've never really noticed Dorff in any films I've seen him in before but here he is excellent as the hero in the box and gives his all to the performance as he is put through a series of physical and mental trials designed to make him give up the top secret info. Until the ending the plot is clever, fast paced and full of suspense and the writers use sensible plot devices to help move the narrative along without the audience just watching Jeremy wriggle around for 80 minutes. The direction (Gabe Torres) is also sharp and avoids too much darkness (like a car boot really would be !) by cleverly using the red illumination from the clock to create a tense mood in boot space. Also Brian Tyler provides the score and he doesn't disappoint as usual.

Overall Brake has so many things going for it and is a surprisingly taught thriller for those who enjoy this genre of thrillers, however it will also be damaged by the unnecessary and frankly bonkers ending.
Mark B.
June 25, 2013
An engaging premise, but flips one too many times for me. Watch it & you'll see what I mean.
June 22, 2013
I loved this film, the writing and the situation was superb, so much tension comes out of the setting, and the twist endings were a shock!
peter s.
June 20, 2013
Have to say this was a poor plot, though I agree with the other reviewers that Dorff's acting was great.

Given that this character has supposedly had some training and his current position and responsibility would grant him a level of intelligence and quick thinking associated with someone tasked with an important aspect of the president's protection, yet we have two key failures - the first being that this guy has apparently run up a gambling debt to the extent that his being kidnapped after travelling to New York without any recollection is the most plausible explanation he can think of - if someone in his position got into that sort of debt (or any gambling debt) would you trust him with crucial information about the president in the event of a terrorist attack? As the near ending "twist" would have us believe, not only are the CIA (and more specifically, the very people tasked with the protection of the president) indicating they are very much aware of this gambling debt; but they have decided to give him a promotion anyway because, hey, gambling is only an addiction, I'm sure that won't be a problem. If the guy had any sense he would have said, "seriously, you're offering me a promotion, a self-confessed gambler who didn't think it surprising to be kidnapped for his debt?"

The other key failure has to be the whole intelligence of a man being held hostage to reveal information about where the president will be taken in the event of a terrorist attack that would potentially put him in danger. He knows that they will be using his wife, the Henry, and Henry's family in an attempt to sway him to their side. At one point he has a mobile phone, from which he can call anyone, including 911. At this point, no terrorist attacks have taken place - the bombs don't go off until the driver has returned to the car. The most sensible course of action is to tell the 911 operator "Call the CIA / Secret Service / ETC, and tell them that the president's life is in danger, there is an imminent terrorist threat in Washington DC. They want the location of roulette" - given that there are numerous bunkers, and somehow this guy along with a bunch of other people in the know are aware of which one they'll go to on any particular day; all the secret service have to do is pick a different bunker at random. Of course, if the 911 operator is actually a fake, this won't reach the secret service etc. But then if the terrorists still make any sort of notion of wanting to know anyway, you know instantly that the 911 operator is fake, which in turn reveals the whole thing to be fake (he only got the phone because the terrorist was "shot" by the police)

The whole idea that it was a training exercise was full of holes; he was "shot" by a piece of glass/plastic from the casing (even if you planned the bullet trajectory, you couldn't plan what it would do when hitting the casing, or that a chip would hit him in the leg - they wouldn't have known about this injury until he spoke to the "911 operator". Henry's family (or fake family) are either sided with the terrorists (starting the kid at a very young age) or they're in for a surprise one way or another; and the extra twist made no sense, he only revealed the location because he saw the washington monument (really, if you're going to hide the president in a *safe* bunker; somewhere that isn't a potential target for a terrorist attack would be one of the main criteria - lets choose somewhere that doesn't have a big needle pointing to it) - just how were they planning to get him to reveal the information en-route to the hospital anyway? (I passed out for half an hour and we're still nowhere near a hospital... you broke my nose, almost killed me with bee my bee sting allergy, shot at me and we're apparently over half an hour away from the hospital - there's a hospital 1.1 miles away from the Washington monument (someone tasked with knowledge pertaining to the president's safety surely knows this) - they're driving away from the monument (its in the back window) and it looks further than a mile away so something's wrong already.

This movie requires a suspension of disbelief - sure I get that, but it steps over the line when it expects a suspension of character belief - the guy is a gambler who has run up a significant debt and also works for the secret service, one of a few trusted individuals tasked with knowledge necessary to protect the president (why does he even know - why does he need to know what bunker the president will be taken to when he's on his day off - whatever happened to "need to know basis"?) yet we see no evidence of either his gambling nature (only one throw away comment to henry about not playing a real man's game) or his secret service background. He could have just as easily been "bob from the box making factory" and the character traits wouldn't be any different. The call to the radio station makes no sense - the radio presenter isn't going to get any information from him about roulette, it only serves as a subtle dig at Jeremy as he fails to see that he is also playing into the terrorist's hands.

Let us not also forget the planning involved - his wife of however many years has been turned into a terrorist (or perhaps she was a terrorist before they married) - how do you not notice that? They get all this information about roulette, except the actual details of who will be where. The level of involvement they have (if we ignore the fake role that Ben has, then he's still in charge of recruitment, and important enough that Jeremy considers him the emergency contact in the event of an unexpected kidnapping that threatens the president) means that they not only have the wife of someone near the president; his friend and colleague in the secret service, and who knows who else involved in the terrorist plot, but with someone in charge of recruitment, they can easily get moles into the secret service as well. What stupid plan is "force the president to go into a fortified, protected bunker; get the location of that bunker, and then attack it" - if the primary defense of the bunker is the secrecy of its location, its a rather useless defense - wow, we know where the president will be after a terrorist attack... hang on, you know where the president will be before a terrorist attack, surely you would want to plan an attack that involves the president somewhere nice and open, not in a bunker that is, among other things, nearly completely secret - great we know the location now, its under the Washington monument... ok where's the entrance, what defenses are in place, what pass codes, are there security cameras, where are the exits..etc, if they have the sort of ordinance required to take on a bunker, why not just take out the president in the initial attack? The whole movie just falls apart when you pick at the loose threads. It could have held up if they put a bit more effort into the plot.
May 11, 2013
A tense, claustrophobic and gripping thriller. Stephen Dorff turns in an excellent performance. There are a number of good plot twists but the absurd ending is a real let-down.
April 23, 2013
Brake is like buried, but dumber. Doesn't make sense at some point nd goes far to prove nd misses out on a lot. Didn't see the twist coming.
Despite the quirks, it was entertaining nd i chose to forget logic for a while just like i did in Battleship.
April 16, 2013
I watched this and it wasn't bad. I found it to be interesting and rather fast moving. There were times where I had my finger on the button to change the channel, but I couldn't, as I wanted to find out the ending. The ending really disappointed me.
April 6, 2013
Silly, ridiculous, and obvious despite attempts to twist and turn into something clever.
March 29, 2013
A great great movie of its kind. Much inspired from the movie "Buried" which wasn't as gripping as "Brake" to me.
Really can't understand the low scores here,as it was a gripping movie and didn't bore for a single minute.
Great stuff,must watch if you're a fan of movies like "Buried".
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