Breaking Away - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Breaking Away Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ April 4, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
July 6, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2006
This is my friend Gwen's all-time favorite movie. It turned her into a bike fanatic. Great early work from a young Dennis Quaid. My how time flies.
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2007
A little rough around the edges, but I guess that represents the cutters. Dave, his three friends and his parents are each unique characters. I thought it was VERY strange but also funny that Dave wants to become Italian, and works toward that goal with such conviction. His Italian bicycling idols turn out to be really nasty though. It's a coming of age story about losing innocence, maturing, standing up for yourself, and discovering your place in the world.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2007
So apparently I saw this film...and I can't remember a single thing about it. It must have been reeeeally good :)
Super Reviewer
November 11, 2012
A simple story greatly told.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2010
Peter Yates "Breaking Away" is a tender picture, starts off slowly and then turns into a beautiful flower. It is one of those coming of age films that can instantly make film goers grin from ear to ear. I don't know how a film this good kept my attention. "Breaking Away" is not even stylistic(but who says all films have to be?) the story of four teenage guys who graduated from high school and is sort of stuck in finding what they want to do. One of the guys is obsessed with cycling, another friend use to be leading football player for the high school, another doesn't want to be known as a shorty, and another who is not so bright.

The character that struck me the most is the one who has an obsession with cycling and Italian culture. He is played by Dennis Christopher. In one scene he tries to out run a Cinzano big rig truck, another scene shows him riding his bike on a treadwheel in the rain while his father who is inside the shed looks on in puzzlement. "Breaking Away" has a lot of those funny moments but it also has smartness, heartwarming and heartbreaking scenes.
Super Reviewer
March 24, 2010
One of my favorite classic movies from the late 70's. Funny and charming, with Paul Dooley being the scene stealer as Dave's father. A classic in it's time. :)
March 25, 2016
Not without its faults, I sat through this movie full of emotion for the whole thing, lovable characters with a universal struggle. But we never know what truly becomes of Mike or Cyril, specifically Cyril who seems to have no one to celebrate their win with.
½ January 2, 2016
This is a wonderful cycling movie that captures the human spirit and lifts the coming-of-age story to new heights. If you love cycling, this is a must see, if you enjoy a really well balanced story, this is a must see.
April 18, 2015
With unlikable characters of which the main one is especially obnoxious and awfully cliched plot with typical ending, Breaking Away has its moments including some wonderful dialogue sequences mostly including the father who is the saving grace here bringing the humor and heart to a film and the direction, technical aspects and acting are good, but the script is so by-the-numbers with a boring sports drama that ruined the whole movie and should have been left out. It is such a major disappointment and undoubtedly an incredibly overrated movie.
½ November 14, 2014
***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***
October 20, 2014
I loved this movie from beginning to end. A wonderful ensemble cast most notable a hilarious performance from Paul Dooley, who I loved in the 2007 Hairspray as well, in a performance that is among the greatest dads in movie history. The lead Dennis Christopher is excellent as is Dennis Quaid, Jackie Earl Haley, Daniel Stern, and Barbra Barrie. The movie rightfully won the Original Screenplay and should have won Picture and Director over Kramer VS Kramer. It has an impressive score and great camera work during the race. It's also a coming of age tale that has stood the test of time to still really works today.
July 15, 2014
Just happen to catch this movie that I originally saw in the theater back in summer of 1979, and I really believe it's forgotten in the pantheon of sports movies. Yes it's the underdog story to a tee, but it's more then that. There's a bunch about growing up, who you are in society and the relationship between father and son. I really love this movie and almost always stop to watch when I see it on. I'd certainly put it in my sports top 20, maybe top 10.
March 14, 2014
One of my favorite movies of all time. A funny and heart felt family and friendship based comedy drama. Not a false note. A beautiful, triumphant, sweet film.
February 5, 2013
Here is a great young cast with a fun subject and the ever inspiring ending to the story. It is a film that definitely makes me wish I went to University in Bloomington and I also wish I liked cycling more and could speak Italian. This certainly will not be for everyone but it works as some light and inspiring fun. It includes a young Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, and a lead performance by the often forgotten Dennis Christopher.
June 26, 2013
A fun coming of age story, all filmed in Bloomington, Indiana.
I missed the first part, but I'd recommend, anyways it was good enough for cineclub's weekly bicycle movie night! :-)
And maybe i like it because I can relate to parts!
June 6, 2013
One of the best feel-good inspirational movies I have ever seen in my life!!!! This movie can make a person smile over and over again!!!
September 26, 2012
It's more than just a wonderful sports movie. Breaking Away is at heart the story of a young man coming to terms with who he is and overcoming any opposition he might face. The bike racing is just a means of self expression and not really the point of this film, which is much deeper and more excellent.
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