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Critic Reviews for Broken
The comic and tragic elements are nicely balanced, and the three families' stories neatly and economically knit together.
Although there are some light moments and traces of dark humor, Broken's overall aura is one of dread.
An absorbing coming-of-age drama that suddenly, pointlessly self-destructs with an onslaught of cheap ironies and overkill.
[It] drives its plot via an interesting and unusual character: the female victim who's actually a wholesale liar.
"Broken'' embraces the sort of unappealing British miserabilism perfected by "Ratcatcher" director Lynne Ramsay.
At a certain point, Mr. Norris forsakes realism for theatricalized fantasy, and "Broken" ultimately loses its stylistic cohesion, if not its humanity.
Audience Reviews for Broken
An eleven-year-old girl comes of age against the violent backdrop of her neighborhood. Director Rufus Norris resorts to some cheap tricks with non-sequential narration, but the central story is pretty good. After violence erupts in her neighborhood, Skunk, wonderfully played by Eloise Laurence, wonders why adults behave with such cruelty, and her father seems to have as much understanding as she does. At its core, Broken is about violence and dread and the mystery of cruelty and prejudice. These are interesting themes, and while they're not fully realized, the film remains basically compelling. Overall, this isn't a bad film, but Norris's gimmicks wore on me, especially after he went to the same bag of tricks for the third time.
This is a pretty damn good coming-of-age film with some top-notch performances, great cinematography. The main problem, however, is the incredibly melodramatic last act of the film, especially when it really didn't need to be as I was already invested in the characters and the story, and the fact that the film got so dramatic at the end there really took away from what had been a great movie until that point. Yes, there's a lot of symbolism in the last 10 minutes of the film but it could've beem done in a way that wasn't as emotionally exploitative as it was. Even with that I appreciated how everything in the film seemed to play a part in the ending. I don't think any scene is wasted or used for purposes that don't benefit the climax of the film, so I'm glad the film was so focused on its story. I liked the chemistry between the cast, it felt real and organic rather than rigid and heavily scripted. That works wonders when you're trying to tell this type of story and I think the kid actors, in particular Eloise Laurence, the lead actress, really benefited from that chemistry as it made them more outgoing and genuinely feel like they were a family. The writing is solid and the story, if not particularly unique, is still well-told with a great cast to certainly help elevate that story. I was a bit disappointed with the melodrama in the third act, particularly when the film had been so great without it, but this is still a damn good movie and definitely worth giving a shot to if you have Netflix.
The story of events going on in a neighborhood is a bit engaging, but considering the overall experience the flick offers, IMO, it's mediocre at best.
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