The Loveless (Breakdown) (1983)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The period biker flick The Loveless marks the feature debut of both actor Willem Dafoe and writer/director Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days). Bigelow co-wrote and co-directed the film with Monty Montgomery, who would go on to produce Wild at Heart and The Portrait of a Lady. Dafoe plays Vance, a stoic, leather-clad biker who rides into a small Southern town and to wait for some other bikers. Their plan is to travel on to Daytona for some racing, but they have to stick around the little truck stop … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Kathryn Bigelow, Monty Montgomery
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 16, 2004
Atlantic Releasing


as Sportster Debbie

as Augusta

as Lady in T-Bird
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Critic Reviews for The Loveless (Breakdown)

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2)

At times the perversely slow beat of each scene can irritate, but that's a reasonable price for the film's super-saturated atmosphere.

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

Its evocation of tough-guy glamour is ridiculously stilted. And it regards the past with absolutely no perspective or wit.

Full Review… | May 14, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

An excoriation of Reagan-era nostalgia for the Fifties

Full Review… | September 25, 2009

A strange, but compelling amalgam of art film and homage to the American International Pictures biker flicks of the 1960s.

Full Review… | October 26, 2007
All Movie Guide

Bigelow's first feature, co-written and co-directed with Monty Montgomery, is a nihilistic meditation on 1950s biker flicks, featuring Willem Dafoe in his first screen role.

Full Review… | January 24, 2007

Mostly concerned about how it looks and not too concerned about its story or in making great observations.

Full Review… | November 21, 2006
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Loveless (Breakdown)

Did this movie have a story? You can't even tell, since nothing happens at all. I did not care for this movie, and I don't recommend it.

Aj V

Super Reviewer


It was worth it to see Willem Dafoe as a fifties biker in the same light as The Wild One, but the script was just not strong enough. It had a lot of bizarre stereotypes for the time that just didn't fit and almost nothing happened until the very end. I liked a lot of the cinematography and it really could have been a great movie if it would've had a more interesting plot and supporting characters.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Kathryn Bigelow's feature debut is an assured, vibrant and detailed biker flick set in evocative 50's small town America. There's not much in the way of plot and the script is basic (but natural) and much of the pleasure of the film is in the way it looks more than what is being said. Interesting that the bikers themselves are rather a peaceful bunch, more interested in shooting the breeze, drinking cola and listening to rock n roll on the jukebox than causing any real trouble - it's the locals, their prejudices, and the sins of a father that lead to the brief but memorable violence. A fascinating flim.

Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

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