Breaking and Entering

2007

Breaking and Entering

Critics Consensus

This class warfare drama feels contrived and superficial: characters don't act logically as the movie manipulates them towards deconstructing various social issues.

34%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 126

52%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 57,464
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Movie Info

In this Anthony Minghella film, a young landscape architect (Jude Law) with a state-of-the-art office in a dangerous neighborhood in the Kings Cross section of London suffers repeated burglaries. This sets into motion a chain of related events and clashes between ethnicities, forcing the architect to reexamine his life.

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Critic Reviews for Breaking and Entering

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (43) | Rotten (83)

  • The complicated interactions involving class and culture that ensue between all these characters remain fascinating even when they seem overly schematic.

    Mar 18, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Though Binoche does very solid work, she can't sell the idea of her and Law as a couple; the chemistry isn't there. Not much else rings true in Minghella's screenplay, which is full of coincidences and speeches about race and class.

    Aug 22, 2007 | Rating: 2/4
  • Despite its arty construction and clever dialogue, Breaking and Entering leaves us too chilly to care.

    Mar 2, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Breaking and Entering offers a kinder, gentler version of London's strife than we're accustomed to seeing. Not all parts of the script are equally well-developed, and sometimes it seems as if we're looking at drama under glass.

    Mar 2, 2007 | Rating: B-
  • As with all of Minghella's films, there's intelligence and texture and depth and feeling, though here the emotions can seem frostbitten. Perhaps the first thing that wasn't working and needed to be fully broken to heal was the script.

    Mar 1, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • Maybe Jude Law should take some time off from acting. Maybe Juliette Binoche should get a new dialect coach. Maybe Anthony Minghella should try writing a movie ending that doesn't make everybody groan.

    Feb 16, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

Audience Reviews for Breaking and Entering

  • Jul 06, 2012
    Anthony Minghella's script, about family, motherhood, immigration, urban renewal, integration, is maybe overambitious as not every subject is handled, or settled, with resolve. Nonetheless the proceedings never fail to be interesting and some moments sparkle.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2011
    Breaking and Entering is a 2006 romantic drama film, by Academy Award-winning director Anthony Minghella's first original screenplay since his 1991 feature debut, Truly, Madly, Deeply. The film stars Jude Law (whom Minghella directed in Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Juliette Binoche (from The English Patient, also directed by Minghella). In a major supporting role, Robin Wright Penn plays Liv, the long-standing girlfriend of Will (Jude Law's character). Set in a blighted, inner-city neighbourhood of London, Breaking and Entering examines an affair which unfolds between a successful British landscape architect and Amira, a Bosnian woman - the mother of a troubled teen son - who was widowed by the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rafi Gavron, in his first major film role, portrays Miro. The role, that of a young traceur, and the burglar to which the film's title partly alludes, requires Gavron to perform several difficult physical feats. It is a presentation of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company and was distributed in the U.S. by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Breaking and Entering premièred on September 13, 2006 at the Toronto International Film Festival. Will Francis (Jude Law), a young Englishman, is a landscape architect living a detached, routine-based life in London with his Swedish-American girlfriend Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and her behaviourally challenged daughter Bea. The 13-year-old girl's irregular sleeping and eating habits as well as her unsocial behaviour (she has trouble relating to people and seems only interested in doing somersaults and gymnastics) reach worrying proportions and start to put a lot of strain on Will and Liv's relationship. Complicating the situation further is his feeling of being shut out of their inner circle since Bea is not his biological daughter. He and Liv start relationship counseling, but their drifting apart continues. Simultaneously on the business front, Will's and his partner Sandy's state-of-the-art offices in the Kings Cross area are repeatedly burgled by a group of Slavic-language speaking thieves. The thieves employ a 15-year-old traceur named Miro (Rafi Gavron) whose acrobatic skills allow them to enter the building. Miro is actually a refugee from Bosnia living with his Muslim mother Amira (Juliette Binoche) who works as a seamstress while his Serbian father got murdered during the war.
    Andre T Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2010
    There was just too much going on to know what was the REAL story being told. The build up is way too slow because where the movie ends, to me, is where the story really had potential. To me the "thief" is the story, but it is lost with all the unnecessary scenes in bathtubs! Does it require acting for Jude Law to portray a man incapable of monogamy? lol
    Thomas J Super Reviewer
  • Jan 26, 2010
    Set in London, one of planet Earth's most prosperous and important cities, the film presents a series of artificially sweetened events, set in motion by an office break-in carried out by a 15-year-old kid named Mirsad, a war refugee from Bosnia. Now based in London and straddling the line between lower middle class and poverty, he is cared for by his Muslim mother Amira who provides for both by working as a seamstress after his Serb father got murdered during the war. The office space that he keeps breaking into belongs to an architectural firm owned by Englishmen Will Francis and his partner Sandy. Will is young, rich, and bored. He's also got a depressed Swedish-American girlfriend Liv along with her 13-year-old autistic daughter Bee to deal with at home. Another one in a growing line of recent Kumbaya, global village cinematic offerings, B&E purports to explore a slew of additional themes (human relationships, single-parent / mixed-family tribulations, etc.). However, everything outside its general "people are people" running thread is a rather bland salad dressing. Unfortunately, the main course isn't a whole lot better, either. Among an almost alarmingly germinating number of these kinds of films springing up lately - "Crash" and "Babel" being the most prominent - B&E offers no substantial improvement. Much like those mediocre movies did, in a desperate search for relevance this one also resorts to dropping little bits of halfass global liberal politics at strategic points throughout the story. Furthermore, on the dramaturgical and even aesthetic front, B&E lives and dies by the character of Amira. She is supposed to be the spice that elevates proceedings from the mundane and purely Western "I'm kinda bored and my woman's a crazy moody bitch so some exotic tail on the side would sure hit the spot" territory into something more hearty. And while Binoche does a minimally adequate job portraying a Bosnian Muslim woman, giving the role to a South Slavic actress would've improved things substantially, and not just from the external authenticity standpoint. Apart from her annoying French "Bosnian accent" and her insufferable French-accented Serbo-Croatian, she plays this woman very unevenly. Not to mention that the way this entire character is written feels undercooked to begin with. At times it's as if they've taken Sena, a supportive wife from "When Father was Away on Business" (played by Mirjana Karanovic), applied a selective 21st century makeover, and built a new movie around her. Jude Law plays Will, an architect who lives with Liv (Robin Wright Penn), a documentarian and her behaviorally challenged daughter. After a series of break-ins at his office, Will begins staking it out in order to find the culprit. This puts an extra strain on his already tenuous relationship with Liv. One night, he sees a young man breaking in. He shouts to him, and when the kid runs away, Will pursues him. Will follows the kid, Miro, to his apartment in a rundown area. At once he becomes entranced by Miro's mother Amira, an refugee from Serbia who works as a seamstress. Will invents reasons to keep coming back to see Amira. They soon begin an affair. He out of lust, boredom and a lack of intimacy at home. Amira has ulterior motives. She believes if she keeps sleeping with Will he won't turn in Miro. As Will grows closer to Amira, he begins to pull away from Liv. The tension and uneasiness grow until the spacious rooms of their posh townhouse are full of all the things they can't seem to say to each other. Anthony Minghella uses this setup to explore the issues of trust, love and honesty in the intertwining relationships of these characters. As always, he proves himself to be an intelligent and insightful writer. His story and characters are authentic and every emotion is real. He is also an outstanding director. He has an excellent sense of pace, tone, and the composition. The entire cast is fantastic. Jude Law gives his most mature and honest performance to date. Juliette Binoche's accent is superb and she finds the soul of Amira. Robin Wright Penn excels at playing emotionally distant women and she is able to communicate all of Liv's submerged emotions with small gestures or looks. Rafi Gavron, who plays Miro, despite this being his debut, holds his own among these seasoned pros. Benoit Delhomme's muted grey-tinged cinematography is drastically different than his golden sun burnished work in The Proposition, but no less beautiful. Walter Murch's editing is near flawless. Gabriel Yared has collaborated with Karl Hyde and Rick Smith to create a score that is rich and modern. In London, the British architect Will lives with his Swedish mate Liv a worn-out relationship, without the former passion, consumed by the dedication of Liv to her autistic daughter Bea. The needy of love Will and his partner Sandy have an ambitious architectural project to improve the dangerous neighborhood of King's Cross where their firm Green Effect is located. The practitioner of parkour and refugee from Serbia Mirsade a.k.a. Miro breaks in Green Effect in the night to deactivate the alarm system to burgle computers and others electronic devices with a gang of compatriots leaded by his uncle. Will decides to stake-out during the nights to find the culprit, and he witnesses Miro trying to break-in the firm again. Will pursues Miro and finds his address, where Miro lives with his seamstress mother Amira. Will does not call the police, and on the next day, he visits Amira with the pretext of sewing a coat. Will gets closer to Amira, visiting her everyday, and more distant from Liv, When Miro finds that Will had been in his room, he tells the truth to his mother and she decides to give Will's laptop back to him. Will sexually desires Amira and she has an encounter with him to get pictures to compromise and blackmail him. A mother and her daughter, a mother and her son, and a man living with one and attracted to the other. Miro, a teen from Sarajevo, lives near King's Cross with his mother; he's nimble, able to run across roofs, so his uncle hires him to break into office skylights, so the uncle can boost computers. Twice they steal from Will's architectural firm, so Will stakes it out at night. He follows Miro home and returns the next day and meets Miro's mother, Amira. At home, Will's relationship with Liv is strained - he feels outside Liv and her daughter Bea's circle. The stakeout and Amira's vulnerability are attractive alternatives to being at home. The police, too, watch Miro.
    Sergio E Super Reviewer

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