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Breaking In is proof that Gabrielle Union deserves more leading roles -- particularly in films that offer more than this rote, disposable action thriller.
All Critics (101)
| Top Critics (18)
| Fresh (27)
| Rotten (74)
Just in time for Mother's Day comes a thrill-free, home-invasion thriller about a mom (Gabrielle Union) who'll stop at nothing to keep four bad guys from killing her two kids. Buy a ticket to this dull, dim-witted con job and you'll want to break out.
James McTeigue has a fleet, efficient visual style that keeps the suspense set pieces percolating.
There is a familiarity to its characters and story, which doesn't do much at all in terms of reinventing the genre, but very much meets its own expectations.
"Breaking In" is broken.
Without suspense, all the audience has to go on are the plot mechanics, which are no great shakes, and the characters, which are paper-thin.
Breaking In mirrors the incompetence of its crooks, in the sense that it doesn't feel like much thought went into plotting it out.
Panic Room knockoff minus all the inventiveness the director of V For Vendetta should have brought to a project like this.
Unfortunately it ended up being a pretty mediocre film.
The biggest problem with Breaking In is that you can see a fairly clear path to a much better movie. What could have been a fun upending of expectations turned into a rote checklist of those very same expectations.
In more adroit hands, such a set-up could yield tense cat-and-mouse thrills, but the twists in Breaking In are all too predictable and so are the characters. Still, Union gives it her best shot as the resourceful heroine.
Quick, disposable entertainment that leaves you wanting to see Union given a meatier action role.
This isn't one of the best of the class, but the film delivers what it promises. Think of it as a good bad movie.
There is nothing remotely original, clever, entertaining, tense or exciting in this lousy break-in thriller that reuses the dullest clichés you could think of and is filled with dumb characters who make the most stupid decisions all the time, even when trying to appear smart.
This required and deserved an R-rating.
Richard Cabral is the only actor here that seems to know what type of movie he's in. Well, him and Levi Meaden dye job. Cobral plays every scene with the perfect balance of cheap, cheese, and cliché.
Too bad everyone else thought they were making high drama as this would have greatly improved by knowing it needed to be nothing more than entertaining schlock.
Just in time for Mother's Day weekend comes two eminently bland, safe, and unmemorable movies that generally waste their female stars. On the other side, Breaking In is a mundane, low-budget home invasion thriller that disappears almost instantly from memory. I'm struggling to even come up with enough to say in this review that isn't just repetitions of the word "boring." Gabrielle Union (Bring it On) plays a mom who brings her two children to visit the estate of her recently deceased, estranged father. Also visiting is a trio of stupid robbers searching for a hidden stash of money. They take the kids hostage though keep them locked in a room and in little danger. Union's determined mother must break in and save her children. It's a thriller without anything genuinely thrilling to experience, as each chase or near miss hums along ineptly and tediously, finding the least interesting conclusion. There are no well-drawn suspense set pieces to quicken the pulse, no clever escapes or near-misses, no intriguing villains with strong personalities, and no entertainment to be had through its strained 88 minutes. There are glaring plot holes, chief among them why doesn't she just flag down a car and call the police rather than hack it alone. Depressingly, Breaking In is actually directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) who seems to have exhausted any sense of style and excitement he may have had earlier in his directing career. It feels like nobody really cared about the movie they were making, and that lack of enthusiasm and effort translates into one very boring and very poorly written and executed thriller. Union deserved a better showcase but, then again, the audience deserved a better movie too.
Nate's Grade: D+
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