Breaking Away (1979)



Critic Consensus: At once a touching, funny coming-of-age story and a compelling sports film, Breaking Away is a delightful treat.

Movie Info

Bloomington Indiana is the site of this story about Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) and his three buddies. The derisive term used by the college kids for Dave's kind is "cutters," that is to say, children of the quarrymen who cut the stone for the university's buildings. In other college towns, they might simply go by the name "townies." The four lads have just graduated from high school and have no fixed destination beyond that. Dave is an exception, in that he is a dedicated bicycle racer. … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Steve Tesich
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 29, 2002
Twentieth Century Fox


as Dave Stohler

as Mrs. Stohler

as Mr. Stohler

as Katherine

as Nancy

as Suzy

as Doctor

as Mike's Brother

as French Girl

as Race Announcer

as Race Official

as Race Official

as Mr. York

as Italian Rider

as Italian Rider

as Black Student Leader

as Fight Spectator

as Owner of Car Wash

as Anthem Singer

as Race Starter

as University President

as Blond Guy

as Team Captain

as Homecoming Car Kid

as Stonecutter

as Stonecutter

as Stonecutter

as Stonecutter

as Stonecutter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Breaking Away

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Critic Reviews for Breaking Away

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (6)

There are a few moments when the picture's easygoing pace turns into wobbliness, but these are insignificant compared with its many moments of shrewd insight into the lives of amusingly shaded but very recognizable human beings.

Full Review… | August 3, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Though its plot wins no points for originality, Breaking Away is a thoroughly delightful light comedy.

Full Review… | March 21, 2007
Top Critic

Peter Yates, previously typed as an action director, lends the film a fine, unexpected limpidity, and the principals are mostly excellent.

Full Review… | March 21, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Displays the kind of unsentimental optimism that went out of fashion with Hawks.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Breaking Away is a wonderfully sunny, funny, goofy, intelligent movie that makes you feel about as good as any movie in a long time. It is, in fact, a treasure.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Here is a movie so fresh and funny it didn't even need a big budget or a pedigree.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Breaking Away


A feel-good, inspirational story concerning an offbeat teenager who discovers his love for biking, despite his non-supportive father (Paul Dooley) wanting him to grow up and accept adulthood as a member of the "cutter" class. While it suffers from a couple scenes that come across as over dramatic and one of the plot points is just downright awful, this movie is still hard not to love given the energetic lead performance by Dennis Christopher, as well as the fact that this is a great coming of age story. Sure, it's absolutely corny at times, but if you really don't fall in love with this movie, especially the last big race scene - something is wrong with you.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer


The essential biking film! If you're into sports movies, love riding bikes, or compete in bike racing yourself, you will love this movie. It's a great sports drama about both bikes and growing up.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

This film really impressed me the first time around. But since I haven't seen it since then (about 1984 or so), my rating is based on fond memories. If I see it again and it doesn't hold up, I'll re-evaluate.

Cindy I

Super Reviewer

Breaking Away Quotes

– Submitted by G Thomas B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by G Thomas B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by G Thomas B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Joe A (4 years ago)

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