Breaking Into Drama More Than Thriller

Breaking In Poster


It’s Mother’s Day, a time for celebrating your maternal parental figure who cooked meals, did chores, and saved you from thieves.  Okay, maybe not that last one, but it is the theme of our movie review tonight.  In an attempt to capitalize on the holiday, tonight’s review hopes to bring the drama and thrills to entertain the masses, and potentially bring a new meaning to the Mama Bear title.  Robbie K here with another analysis on film, attempting to guide your movie viewing pleasures.  So, let’s get started on the review of:


Movie: Breaking In



James McTeigue


Ryan Engle


Gabrielle Union,  Billy Burke,  Richard Cabral




Acting:  The movie is a very character centric tale, primarily attempting to portray a mother caught in a dire situation. Gabrielle Union accomplished this goal, managing to bring the heat and fire of a mother scorned, who is refusing to let these thieves harm her babies by any means.  The balance of emotion with deadly edge and vulnerability, led to a well-designed character who holds much of the movie on her shoulders.  The thieves led by Billy Burke, all play their roles well, each with a certain quirk to lean heavily on, as this modernized Harry and Marv attempt to claim their goals.  As for the kids, they do a decent job, just not the most integrated roles outside of crying and a few clever moves.


The Realism: Thrillers can sometimes bend reality too much, but Breaking In keeps its feet on the ground pretty well in the realism department.  While there are slight stretches at times, the writers managed to keep the superhuman feats to a minimum, and all injuries rather debilitating.  In addition, it’s very similar to the home team advantage, allowing knowledge of the property to contribute to her strengths of outwitting these dangerous men.  Say what you want about the mercy of the characters, but give it a round of applause for avoiding the super human magic movies love to cast.


The Time:  Not much to say here, other than the movie is around 90 minutes long so as not to be too long in your Mother’s Day plans.  So, hooray for condense story telling.


The Setting:  The coolest like for me in this film, is by far the setting this game of cat and mouse plays.  This house in the middle of the country is gorgeous and elaborate, lulling your sense of envy out to admire just how much one can do with real estate, interior design, and amazing technology and landscaping.  Yet, to use that house as a massive chess board weapon is even cooler in my opinion.  Breaking In is all about exploring the house and surrounding terrain, utilizing the knowledge of the manor to outwit the opponents and obtain the riches within.  It’s the shadows and interconnected twists that really bring the suspense out, and open up the possibilities of what can happen next.




Pacing:  The movie has issues with keeping a consistent pace for me in this movie, resulting in at times a sluggish speed that was difficult to stay awake for.  These moments are not entertaining, thrilling, and add little in terms of character development, which means it’s more a waste of time and editing than anything else.  And even when things are supposed to speed up, they only ramp up slightly and quickly fizzle out.


Lack of Character Development:  If its character centric, it needs to be character developing and this movie fails on that aspect for me.  While Union’s character (Shaun) is able to get some new levels of strength and love for family, the rest of the characters advance very little from their already limited group.  While the kids were most likely not going anywhere, the thieves really could have used some better backstory, deeper qualities, and perhaps a little more reasoning behind their actions. These shallow qualities reign supreme though and lead to one-dimensional characters that are flat, boring, and only creepy at times.


Predictable/Unmotivated Story:  Such hope filled me from the trailers, the small drops at a potential deeper story that could end up providing some twists and surprises that could be hiding in the dark halls.  Indeed, they dropped these lines in the movie, however they did not elaborate on them at all.  No more explanations about the dad outside a few cheap lines, no backstabbing politics that you couldn’t see coming.  And most notable, no real build up to make an attempt to wow.  The story is just so linear and simplified that it just left me feeling robbed of my money for an incomplete script.  If you want this safe route, you’ll love this plot the, but if those looking for edge… don’t hold your breath.


Thrilling?: This dislike is questionable depending on what you consider thrills.  If you like the straight up, low key threats, and mild running and hiding, this movie is for you Yet if you were expecting holding your breath moments, intense stand offs, close calls, and manners similar to Don’t Breathe… then you’ll be bummed like me. Breaking In is more an elaborate drama that feels like a heated, soap opera moment, and while things can get a little tense, it fizzles out at the empty threats of the thieves at hands.  While mothers will be ready to claw the guys eyes out and worry for the kids, other fans may just be waiting for the movie to end when they realize how low key the thrills are. 




            Breaking In held such potential, but like many films it just didn’t deliver on those promises that well edited trailer brought. While the setting is good, the acting is decent, and everything is presented concisely… the movie just could not deliver the thrills for me it wanted.  Much has to do with one-dimensional characters and an unmotivated pace, which makes it difficult to see this movie thriving outside of Lifetime or another local cable channel/streaming service.  Can’t say it’s worth a trip to the theater for me, so hold out for now and get ready for the bigger blockbusters to come into play next week. 


My scores are:


Thriller:  6.0

Movie Overall:  4.5

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