Critic Reviews



Based on 27 critic reviews provided by
The A.V. Club
After being strapped down by a run of elegant, high-class literary adaptations--"The English Patient," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and "Cold Mountain"--writer-director Anthony Minghella liberates himself in Breaking And Entering, his first wholly original screenplay since his piercing, minor-key debut feature "Truly, Madly, Deeply."
Despite very good performances and solid construction, it's a slightly too symmetrical, way too tendentious side-by-side comparison of two families -- Haves, meet the Have-nots -- who come into unlikely contact in the fitfully gentrifying area of Kings Cross.
The New Yorker
The movie has a gentle, bemused intelligence, the tone of British liberalism at its most open-minded.
Entirely respectable in every way, it nonetheless has a very cool body temperature and thus likely will inspire polite admiration rather than excitement among viewers.
L.A. Weekly
Bold in scope and aptly mimicking the loose structures of kinship, friendship and work most city dwellers make do with these days, Breaking and Entering nonetheless plays out too quiet and too loose for its own good.
However admirably Minghella urges a break from complacency and an entry into a state of local/global compassion, his characters are position holders rather than people.
There's no shortage of candidates for the fatal flaw: the artificial storyline; the presence of a ridiculously cliched character; the lack of chemistry between illicit lovers. Blaming one of these problems is probably unfair. The movie's failure is likely based on a fusion of all these, and perhaps a few others.
The film is handsomely mounted and well played (particularly by the always magical Binoche--such a wonderfully alert actress), but somehow it never draws one into its schemes.
This is an ambitious midlife-crisis movie that valiantly weaves together big themes, among them the nagging guilt of the successful, wealthy artist.
Village Voice
Forgive Minghella for taking a breather, even if Breaking and Entering exhales nothing but hot air.

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