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Breaking and Entering
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Reviews & Ratings for
Breaking and Entering More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

another high quality movie from Minghella

9/10
Author: martinhatcher from United Kingdom
30 October 2006

One of the most enjoyable films I have watched this year. Strong acting and direction with constant suspense almost to the very end. Juliet Binoche is outstanding , and Ray Winstone plays a strong support role as a sympathetic detective. Not every one rates Jude Law , but he is well cast in this , and I could not help think that there might be something semi autobiographical in the role that he plays. The views of London are good and there is plenty to think about in this movie as well , overcrowding , poverty , lack of opportunity for the young , personal relationships in the busy lives that we lead. to sum up , a movie that we all should go and see , relevant to our modern lives.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Second Chance

8/10
Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
12 June 2008

In London, the British architect Will (Jude Law) lives with his Swedish mate Liv (Robin Wright Penn) a worn-out relationship, without the former passion, consumed by the dedication of Liv to her autistic daughter Bea (Poppy Rogers). The needy of love Will and his partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) have an ambitious architectural project to improve the dangerous neighborhood of King's Cross where their firm Green Effect is located. The practitioner of parkour and refugee from Serbia Mirsade a.k.a. Miro (Rafi Gavron) breaks in Green Effect in the night to deactivate the alarm system to burgle computers and others electronic devices with a gang of compatriots leaded by his uncle. Will decides to stake-out during the nights to find the culprit, and he witnesses Miro trying to break-in the firm again. Will pursues Miro and finds his address, where Miro lives with his seamstress mother Amira (Juliette Binoche). Will does not call the police, and on the next day, he visits Amira with the pretext of sewing a coat. Will gets closer to Amira, visiting her everyday, and more distant from Liv, When Miro finds that Will had been in his room, he tells the truth to his mother and she decides to give Will's laptop back to him. Will sexually desires Amira and she has an encounter with him to get pictures to compromise and blackmail him.

"Breaking and Entering" is another great movie of Anthony Minghella that explores the theme of second chance in life through a dramatic triangle of love of the needy lead character and the maternal love of two mothers. Jude Law performs a successful but needy of love architect that misses the passion and attention of his girlfriend; Robin Wright Penn neglects her mate and gives her total attention to her daughter; and Juliette Binoche is a Serbian refugee capable of any sacrifice to save her son from prison. Their daughter Bea and son Miro are the key elements that trigger the plot. The lead trio has magnificent and credible interpretations and the story concludes with a final non-commercial redemption. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Invasão de Domicílio" ("Invasion of Domicile")

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Five tips to improve Breaking and Entering

5/10
Author: Ruben Mooijman from Ghent, Belgium
24 March 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Five tips to Anthony Minghella in order to make this a better film.

1. Change the courthouse scene. The way it is now makes you laugh. Which judge or law enforcer would believe such blatant lies? This scene makes a laughing stock of the British law system. (Besides, I don't get it. Why couldn't Will just say: OK, this bloke broke into my office, but I know his mother who mends my clothes and I want to give them both a break?)

2. Change the scene where Amira FIRST gives Will the incriminating photos and THEN begs him to help her son. I mean, which woman in her right mind would do that? Why take the pictures in the first place if you don't use them? Also, her keeping the pictures would add a little suspense to the story.

3. Remove the scene where Liv gets out of the car, kicks it and then embraces Will. This is Hollywood melodrama of the worst kind.

4. Remove Bea's accident on the construction site. It distracts from the conversation with the police persons and doesn't serve any purpose in the story.

5. Cut out all the psychobabble about circles, cages, and dark places within oneself.

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17 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Not a total success, but interesting nonetheless

5/10
Author: Andres Salama from Buenos Aires, Argentina
15 May 2007

After winning several Academy Awards through several dubious epics (The English Patient, Cold Mountain) English director Anthony Minghella delivers in Breaking and Entering his most personal film. Sure, this tale of a successful architect coming to grips with urban crime is full of liberal self-guilt and some not very believable plot twists and improbable coincidences, but it is still a quite interesting look at modern multicultural London. Jude Law is fine as the architect who starts questioning his life when his recently installed firm in a seedy neighborhood is burglarized by what turns out to be a gang of teenage refugees from the Balkans. Robin Wright Penn is equally fine as his Swedish girlfriend (it doesn't speak ill of her performance that the character appears to be a complicated and unlikable person: I think that's what the film means her to be). Less accomplished is Juliette Binoche's performance: she's a fine and beautiful actress, but just not believable as a Bosnian refugee (and mother of one of the burglars).

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Protection

9/10
Author: tedg (tedg@FilmsFolded.com) from Virginia Beach
5 October 2008

Gosh. Here's a film that not only went directly to video, but horror of horrors, it was directly to Blockbuster.

And yet it is precisely in the center of one of the six nodes of film perfection. Its that place where cinematic qualities recede and theatrical drama of the Chekov variety is delivered: should in conflict; souls in pain; souls striving toward some sort of tentative peace, knowing that each balance is forged personally.

Now that Mangella has died, taken from us early, I appreciate him. He made a commercial excrescence in "Cold Mountain," but there are elements of his other films that show a delicate soul behind the noise. Here he is himself, directing something he has conceived, and brought into the world.

Its a marvel of tension. He has two mothers, each struggling alone with "special" children. Two children who are addicted to gymnastic life beyond what is healthy and reasonable. Tow enterprises to clean the city, one using trees, the other sensitive policing.

Two themes of ethnic cleansing.

In other words, two haunting worlds that swirl around our focus, the one who draws, creates models, makes photos on a MacBook. This character is played by Jude Law. He's not who I would have chosen to play this man who manages four balancing acts, all connected to each other. I just don't think he is an interesting enough soul to speak to us about these sorts of things. He's basically a child himself in these matters.

It almost doesn't matter, because Mangella fills in the void with cinematic ambiguities. There are deleted scenes on this DVD that should, really absolutely have been in the final cut. Why they were not baffles me. Would it lessen the commercial value of the thing? One involves a coworker, a women apparently worth exploring, who Law's character considers. That he backs off makes his subsequent leap all the more forceful.

The two women here are played by real actresses. By this I mean that they not only know how to show us what their souls contain, but they have souls worth visiting when (temporarily) so shaped.

Binoche may be our most real woman, here moving between a woman and all women. Shes a blessing/ I feel blessed to have known her this way, and blessed that Mingella made the introduction and engagement such.

I think you should see this. Its his real legacy.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

British Yuppie Angst/New Age Justice

3/10
Author: ciribiribin from United States
12 May 2007

Breaking and Entering is a tedious, tedious, tedious film. Every character (except the psychiatrist and the attorney for the defense) is tormented by some sort of past psychological trauma which causes them to sulk, cheat, lie, leap from buildings in a single bound, scream, steal, tumble, and whore their way through the story. If you like this sort of thing, maybe you won't be as bored as I was. I suffered through the thing on DVD.

The plot is contrived. The dialogue is mostly unintelligible (the angst-ridden actors mumble in thick British accents). Of course, if you're British and seriously hampered by psychological problems of your own, you might possibly understand and believe this rubbish.

I suspect the film was trying to make some vital, social commentary about urban renewal, modern social justice and single-parenting. If so, it went right over my head. Perhaps, I was distracted by plot twists and character transformations that the story could not justify and the real world would not sustain.

Three stars was my wife's idea. (She liked the acting.)

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A bland globalized movie customized for those in the Western world's upper echelons who enjoy pretending to care about the world(s) outside their own.

4/10
Author: Maksimilijan Bogosavljeviæ from Toronto, ON.
28 February 2008

Set in London, one of planet Earth's most prosperous and important cities, the film presents a series of artificially sweetened events, set in motion by an office break-in carried out by a 15-year-old kid named Mirsad, a war refugee from Bosnia. Now based in London and straddling the line between lower middle class and poverty, he is cared for by his Muslim mother Amira who provides for both by working as a seamstress after his Serb father got murdered during the war.

The office space that he keeps breaking into belongs to an architectural firm owned by Englishmen Will Francis and his partner Sandy. Will is young, rich, and bored. He's also got a depressed Swedish-American girlfriend Liv along with her 13-year-old autistic daughter Bee to deal with at home.

Another one in a growing line of recent Kumbaya, global village cinematic offerings, B&E purports to explore a slew of additional themes (human relationships, single-parent / mixed-family tribulations, etc.). However, everything outside its general "people are people" running thread is a rather bland salad dressing. Unfortunately, the main course isn't a whole lot better, either. Among an almost alarmingly germinating number of these kinds of films springing up lately - "Crash" and "Babel" being the most prominent - B&E offers no substantial improvement. Much like those mediocre movies did, in a desperate search for relevance this one also resorts to dropping little bits of halfass global liberal politics at strategic points throughout the story.

Furthermore, on the dramaturgical and even aesthetic front, B&E lives and dies by the character of Amira. She is supposed to be the spice that elevates proceedings from the mundane and purely Western "I'm kinda bored and my woman's a crazy moody bitch so some exotic tail on the side would sure hit the spot" territory into something more hearty.

And while Binoche does a minimally adequate job portraying a Bosnian Muslim woman, giving the role to a South Slavic actress would've improved things substantially, and not just from the external authenticity standpoint. Apart from her annoying French "Bosnian accent" and her insufferable French-accented Serbo-Croatian, she plays this woman very unevenly. Not to mention that the way this entire character is written feels undercooked to begin with. At times it's as if they've taken Sena, a supportive wife from "When Father was Away on Business" (played by Mirjana Karanovic), applied a selective 21st century makeover, and built a new movie around her.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Apologies

7/10
Author: jotix100 from New York
8 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anthony Minghella, the talented English director, wrote the screen play for "Breaking and Entering". As the title suggests, this is a story about alienation, exile, the clash of cultures, among other things. Mr. Minghella whose death leaves a tremendous gap in the world cinema, was a man whose work will be sadly missed by discerning fans. He was, above all, a man of impeccable taste and it shows throughout his entire career.

The story centers around an architect, Will, who decides to go to an unsavory part of town to locate his office. The area is crime infected. Soon criminals invade the premises to steal things that can easily be disposed and will fetch a good return to the criminals. Will is the lover of Liv and although it appears they have a nice thing going, we get an impression that all is not well between them.

When Will's computer is stolen, he gets upset. He decides to keep surveillance on the place until he watches a young man breaking into his office. Will is determined to track him down and succeeds in locating the public housing project in which he lives. To his amazement, he discovers the young thief's mother is a seamstress, Amira, and decides to go to her with the feeble excuse he wants some suits altered.

What Will doesn't imagine is to what extent he will become attached to the beautiful woman. She is a refugee from Bosnia who lives by taking private jobs in order to support herself and the son, who she doesn't suspects of being capable of any wrong doing. Will and Amira get into an affair that's bigger than both of them. He gets something bigger than what he bargained for, thus putting in peril his own relationship with Liv. When all it's said and done, Will ends up apologizing to Amira and to Liv. The ending it's a cop out, because Will enters into his affair with open eyes. He ends up apologizing to everyone. Begging forgiveness he feels exonerated, perhaps, for his actions and what he did to both Amira and Liv.

One wishes the film would have had a different resolution, but one can see why Minghella decided to go ahead with his instinct. The movie has an excellent cast. It's probably one of the best things Jude Law has done in recent memory. Robin Wright Penn makes a great Liv. Juliette Binoche is also effective as Amira.

It's sad in a way to realize this was Mr. Minghella's last work when he had so much to give us.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Anthony...

8/10
Author: jpschapira from Argentina
1 November 2007

Risky, risky shots is what Anthony Minghella and his team have achieved here. Things that belong far away from the the classy style of "The talented Mr. Ripley" and the classic style of "Cold Mountain". There's also a risky screenplay, an original one by the director that also stands on a different level compared to his previous adapted efforts. But what a way to keep up the good work the man has!

This is because there are things that also remain the same; the kind of things that define a director's work: like actors direction. You really need to watch Jude Law in an Anthony Minghella film because the director has made him portray all sorts of things, but here you can catch him as an everyday man, and sense his reactions to the dramatic and comic situations in a way he's not shown before. Instantly compared to "Closer", Law's work here is much more mature.

He plays Will Francis, an architect that has a project and office in a not so safe place of London: King's Cross. Now, I lived in London for six months and most of the places are known to me, but I'd never seen them from Minghella's perspective here. There's a robbery in the film and Will chases the aggressor, a kid, and after a series of events ends up involved with his mom Amira, played by Juliette Binoche...Yes, involved like the "Closer" type of involvement.

Maybe it's because Juliette Binoche can play any character and resolve any scene, but putting her character and Law's together in such a common place as the Millennium Bridge doesn't sound good with a simple look. However, in that scene Will attempts to kiss Amira; the way she rejects that kiss and the tiny instant which shows Will's afterthoughts, eliminates every other possibility and makes something good of the scene.

"Breaking and entering" is a movie about decisions, but the decisions are not evidently presented and they're not necessarily life-changing. I remember the actions of Patrick Marber's characters in "Closer", so brilliantly ruthless, but not very explained. Minghella's screenplay here leaves the viewer no doubt that every action done by every character is justified.

The kid, Miro (a promising Rafi Gavron), robs an office because he needs to prove something to himself; a detective (unexpected Ray Winstone) looks for him and tries to talk about the issue because he senses the boy has some good inside him; Will does what he does (the good and the bad) because he's a kind person; his wife (Robin Wright Penn) makes a choice because she understands.

And Amira, she's like every other mother that will go to end of the world for his son...Not caring if he's right or wrong. Mother's love is impossible to explain.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Tenderness is contagious.

8/10
Author: b-jacobsons from United Kingdom
30 August 2007

Tenderness is contagious. Looking for love and ways to give it? Are movies more to you than entertainment? Without dreams, ambition and inspiration, life is harder than it has to be. Who says only the very young are hungry for knowledge. This good movie has taught me something about foreign relations, love and families, crime and punishment, truth, imagination, diligence, experience...the list goes on. And the commentary by Minghella -a bonus offered in the DVD features- is simply a joy. See the movie, enjoy the collaborative efforts of several true artists and then learn a bit about what it all meant to this successful writer/director. Or just see it because it's entertaining.

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