Critics Consensus

Breathless rewrote the rules of cinema -- and more than 50 years after its arrival, Jean-Luc Godard's paradigm-shifting classic remains every bit as vital.



Total Count: 64


Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,878
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Movie Info

Enjoy brunch in the Torpedo Room before screening BREATHLESS hosted by John DeSando and Johnny DiLoretto. There was before BREATHLESS, and there was after BREATHLESS. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, BREATHLESS helped launch the French New Wave and ensured that cinema would never be the same.


Jean-Paul Belmondo
as Michel Poiccard/Laszlo Kovacs
Jean Seberg
as Patricia Franchini
Daniel Boulanger
as Police Inspector
Liliane David
as Minouche
Liliane Robin
as Minouche
Van Doude
as Journalist
Claude Mansard
as Claudius Mansard
Michel Fabre
as Plainclothesman
Henri-Jacques Huet
as Antonio Berrutti
Richard Balducci
as Tolmatchoff
Roger Hanin
as Carl Zombach
Philippe de Broca
as A Journalist
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News & Interviews for Breathless

Critic Reviews for Breathless

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (2)

  • A hip, jokey thriller in which the sketchy plot serves as an excuse for stylistic flourishes and philosophical asides.

    Oct 5, 2018 | Full Review…
  • With the appearance of Breathless, we have a film that is new, aesthetically and morally.

    Dec 3, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Breathless jumps to its own rhythm and pokes holes in its idols even as it worships them.

    Aug 20, 2010 | Rating: 5/5
  • On its fiftieth birthday Breathless remains fresh and exciting, although its revolutionary approach has long since been absorbed into the mainstream, and the years do show on it a bit.

    Aug 4, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Even 50 years later, it's easy feel how vivid a game-changer Breathless must have been when it arrived.

    Jul 16, 2010
  • This movie liberated the cinema -- the stories you could tell and the ways you could tell them -- as clearly and cleanly as Picasso freed painting and the Sex Pistols rebooted rock.

    Jul 15, 2010 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Breathless

  • Jun 02, 2018
    3/06/2018 - Overrated. The films opening scene is great, but afterwards basically nothing happens until Michel's death, which couldn't have come soon enough.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 07, 2013
    An iconic film of the French New Wave that revolutionized film-making in general, Breathless is unconventional in many ways but undeniably impressive and unique. From its frequent jump cuts to its leisurely pacing and improvisational dialogue, Breathless is far from a typical drama, and it demonstrates New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard's endless love of film and film-making that separates the movie from its counterparts and makes it a must-see movie for any self-respecting film buff.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 08, 2013
    A landmark in cinema history, due mostly to revolutionary editing techniques, pop culture references, and a biting undercurrent of intellectualism.
    Kase V Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2012
    This is the first Godard movie I can say I was vividly entertained throughout the whole movie. A unique love story between a murderer and an American girl in France. Stuffed with memorable dialogue and every moment something was happening. Practically every single second was filled. I still hate Godard's cinematography style, it's annoying and confusing. Unlike the other Godard works I've seen though this one kept you into it, and started the French new wave.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer

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