• PG-13, 1 hr. 47 min.
  • Drama, Romance, Comedy
  • Directed By:    Peyton Reed
  • In Theaters:    Jun 2, 2006 Wide
  • On DVD:    Oct 17, 2006
  • Universal Pictures

The Break-Up Reviews

Anna Smith
Time Out
Top Critic
July 20, 2006

Sharp dialogue and detailed observations make it a good deal funnier than you might expect.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
July 1, 2006

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
June 22, 2006

It's not a good sign when a movie is called The Break-Up and you can't wait for the couple to split so they'll get some relief from one another, and give the audience some relief from them.

Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
Top Critic
June 21, 2006

One seemingly terminal problem with the casting of Ms. Aniston and Mr. Vaughn is that neither of their careers has featured characters who excelled at one-to-one relationships with the opposite sex.

Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic
June 5, 2006

Vince Vaughn kills me. Jennifer Aniston, I think, is underrated as a film actress.

Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

The movie offers nothing funny, just a series of sour situations.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

The Break-Up, a grim excuse for a romantic comedy, is basically an hour and 45 minutes spent in the company of two unpleasant people during a miserable time in their lives.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Michael Agger
Slate
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

There's no reason not to see The Break-Up, but there's also no reason, assuming the date is going well, not to skip it and order dessert.

Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

It's the most interesting spin on domestic strife since Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner were hurling dishes at each other in The War of the Roses.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

In short, The Break-Up is too accurate to be light-hearted, too light and flippant to be really romantic.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

A romantic comedy that's short on both romance and comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

With a movie unwilling to go for the jugular, it's more like the dismal The Story of Us than The War of the Roses.

| Original Score: 1.5/4
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

I don't know if The Break-Up qualifies as a date movie. But it will serve as a cautionary tale for couples falling in love.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

Listening to people bicker for almost two hours wears thin, especially when the comedy is never quite so funny as you had hoped it would be.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

It might not be the frosted lemon tart that's been advertised for months, but it is solid, satisfying fare -- flecked with humor, grounded in pain.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

The Break-Up goes badly wrong. Although possessed of a laudable desire not to be yet another run-of-the-mill, wacky-impediment -- damned if the picture can figure out how to be an anti-romance comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

As an off-beat anatomy of a troubled couple, the film almost succeeds. As summer movie fun well, it's not.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

If you really feel the need to be bullied and insulted, just call up your HMO provider or reserve a table at an expensive restaurant.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

It doesn't work as a revealing look at relationships or as a consistently funny comedy about the war between the sexes.

| Original Score: C
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

If 7 Up is the un-cola, consider The Break-Up, -- the un-romantic comedy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

Like so many contemporary movies, The Break-Up doesn't know when to call it quits, and the film finally expires after several false endings.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

The Break-Up mostly just lies there -- alternately adoring and condemning its characters for their puppyish refusal to grow up.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

For the movie to work, we would have to like the couple and want them to succeed. Despite some sincere 11th-hour soul-searching by Gary, we're sorry, but we don't want them back together, we want them to end their misery.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

Nobody likes a fixed fight, except the backroom boys making the deal. Which is why The Break-Up may have its share of laughs, but isn't much fun.

Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
June 2, 2006

It's full of pain and quirky characters standing at oblique angles to one another, and while it doesn't add up it held me throughout.

Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

It is the Mutt & Jeff qualities of Aniston and Vaughn that have the most comic potential. Alas, it goes untapped here.

| Original Score: 2/4
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

If you value your time and your relationship, don't see this on a date.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

The Break-Up doesn't know whether it wants to be a facile, enjoyable date movie or an unnerving examination of the dark, pockmarked underbelly of everything we expect out of romantic relationships.

Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

The Break-Up is a refreshingly different romantic comedy, one that doesn't so much rely on gimmicks as on digging around for genuine feelings.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

Director Peyton Reed doesn't quite bring the sharpness, litheness and attention to detail he brought to Bring It On and Down With Love to The Break-Up, which is nonetheless alternately funny and painful.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
A.O. Scott
New York Times
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston play a couple on the splits in a desultory modern version of the classic comedies of remarriage of the 1930's and 40's.

| Original Score: 2/5
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

If, as the ads would lead you to believe, you go to see The Break-Up expecting a romantic comedy, you will be severely disappointed. If you go to it expecting a good movie, you will also be severely disappointed.

Full Review | Original Score: D+
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

We're not talking Ingmar Bergman here, but suffice it to say that audiences expecting a raucous Vince Vaughn comedy (in the mold of, say, Old School) will find themselves laughing less than they'd hoped.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

The Break-Up is too badly fractured to be deemed repairable.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

The Break-Up is like an uncomfortable party that you can't wait to leave.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

Until a cop-out ending, this is War of the Roses territory, where laughs take no prisoners.

| Original Score: 2.5/4
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

Watching these likable actors flounder around as they try to save a picture that's not worth saving is, well, depressing.

Full Review | Original Score: C-
Jan Stuart
Newsday
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

The Break-Up fails to freshen the stale news that women are from Venus and men are from Mars.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Joe Donnelly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic
June 1, 2006

To call it erratic would be to imply there was a course it went off, but the film's intentions are impossible to fathom. It's a romantic comedy in which the romance comes stillborn and in which the comedy barely exists.

Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
May 31, 2006

When they break up, which happens pretty early in this self-professed 'anti-romantic comedy,' it doesn't seem tragic. It just makes sense.

Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic
May 31, 2006

The Break-Up is being marketed as an 'unconventional romantic comedy,' but the only thing unconventional about it is that it's not romantic and it's not a comedy.

| Original Score: 1.5/4
Keith Phipps
AV Club
Top Critic
May 31, 2006

It's like watching the 'we were on a break' episode of Friends stretched to feature length...

Full Review | Original Score: D+
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
May 31, 2006

This one, in every sense, is fake.

Full Review | Original Score: C
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
May 30, 2006

The movie plays like Scenes From a Marriage for 14-year-olds.

Carla Blumenkranz
Village Voice
Top Critic
May 30, 2006

Their trademark good guy and girl blow their mutual affability in a dull show of falling apart.

Brian Lowry
Variety
Top Critic
May 26, 2006

Ill-conceived virtually from the opening frame as a self-described 'anti-romantic comedy.'

Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
May 26, 2006

After a promisingly quirky start, Break-Up suffers a major breakdown from which it never recovers.