The Break-Up Reviews

Top Critic
Anna Smith
Time Out
July 20, 2006
Sharp dialogue and detailed observations make it a good deal funnier than you might expect.
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
July 1, 2006
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 5, 2006
Vince Vaughn kills me. Jennifer Aniston, I think, is underrated as a film actress.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 2, 2006
The movie offers nothing funny, just a series of sour situations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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
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.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
June 2, 2006
A romantic comedy that's short on both romance and comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
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-
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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+
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 1, 2006
If you value your time and your relationship, don't see this on a date.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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.
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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
Top Critic
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
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
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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+
Top Critic
Jessica Reaves
Chicago Tribune
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
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 1, 2006
The Break-Up is too badly fractured to be deemed repairable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 1, 2006
The Break-Up is like an uncomfortable party that you can't wait to leave.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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-
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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
Top Critic
Joe Donnelly
L.A. Weekly
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.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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.
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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
Top Critic
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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+
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 31, 2006
This one, in every sense, is fake.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 30, 2006
The movie plays like Scenes From a Marriage for 14-year-olds.
Top Critic
Carla Blumenkranz
Village Voice
May 30, 2006
Their trademark good guy and girl blow their mutual affability in a dull show of falling apart.
Top Critic
Brian Lowry
Variety
May 26, 2006
Ill-conceived virtually from the opening frame as a self-described 'anti-romantic comedy.'
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 26, 2006
After a promisingly quirky start, Break-Up suffers a major breakdown from which it never recovers.