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

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Cross Purposes

5/10
Author: writers_reign
17 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Minghella has a knack for making films that are flavor-of-the-month when they are released yet date very quickly (could anyone actually watch The English Patient today with a straight face?) and this is perhaps an exception inasmuch critics seem to be getting wise and have been reluctant to hype it out of all proportion. Not that it's downright Bad, far from it; it's got Juliette Binoche in it hasn't it and she doesn't do mediocre but somehow it doesn't quite come off. It's destined to be compared to and contrasted with Mike Leigh's High Hopes which also offered a Them and Us scenario set in King's Cross and honors are about even. Robin Wright Penn began her Screen life as Buttercup, The Princess Bride and here Minghella almost casts her as the Wicked Witch in this latter-day fairy story, whose growing emotional distance from live-in lover Jude Law sends him 'looking for love' as he puts it so imaginatively. The film is replete with metaphor (verbally as well as pictorially, Law spends half the movie talking about 'metaphor'), symbolism and 'meaning' so much so that simplicity and 'story-telling' go out the window. It's definitely watchable but then so is Spiderman.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

What a dud!

1/10
Author: badajoz-1 from United Kingdom
23 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I do not like to speak ill of the dead (except Hitler and Stalin) but this awful, awful film showed that Anthony Minghella's career was on the slide when he unfortunately passed away. Not that I have liked any of his previous efforts - Truly, Madly, Deeply was an unbelievable bad joke, English Patient overblown with repellent characters, Cold Mountain a waste of space and ridiculously portentous after the big explosion! This though is an attempt at a noughties art-house cross between Antonioni and Bergman that is boring, artificial with again totally uninteresting characters. Jude Law cannot open a film (he just repeats his Closer persona who is looking for love but cannot stop sha***** other women), Robin Wright Penn is a moody Swede going nowhere who is a double of Ulrika Jonsson! Juliette Binoche is prepared to get her kit off to blackmail and not look too good in the nude - brave but irrelevant!And how can you go with a script where the hero talks to his dysfunctional step daughter about communicating to each other in metaphors!! An original screenplay that sounds and looks like a stage play! Possibly the worst and most unprofessional aspect of this movie is the absolutely awful quality of the lypsynching! Give it a miss - theatre audiences obviously did!

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The deeper you dig, the banal it gets

4/10
Author: doichin from Bulgaria
6 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The film is surely enjoyable compared to "Crash" mentioned by the previous reviewer since it at least does not shout its banalities about human nature and society in your face. The film is well crafted and the cast performs quite decently. On the other hand the banalities are there. The main character attempts to replace the broken communications with his partner with action. He fails and his relationship is remedied with a "sorry" communication rather than with any action. The action itself is full-bodily personified by an ugly Russian prostitute who does not want to "blah-blah" even for money - charming but dysfunctional from a plot view. Since realty is dominantly verbal, the communication between people from different races, social strata and nationalities becomes totally (and unrealistically)unproblematic, leaving drama entirely in the domain of individual characters. Social drama then is only of second order. Bosnian tragedy for instance is reduced to the formula "It's very complex." Urban decay is just a moody setting for the story. The danger of entering into an eternal spiral of self-reflecting communication was cut by a quite naive ending - a harmless lye was presented to the institutions and a meaningful "tuth" was consumed within the couple and the small circle of characters with plot significance. A too Hollywood style happy end for a film that tries desperately to recreate the Britishness of say "Closer".

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Film Does Not Deliver

8/10
Author: Desertman84 from United States
22 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Breaking and Entering is a romantic drama film that stars Jude Law, Juliette Binoche, and Robin Wright Penn. Set in a blighted, inner-city neighborhood of London, the film is about a successful landscape architect whose dealings with a young thief and his mother cause him to re-evaluate his life.It was written and directed by Anthony Minghella.

Will Francis is a successful landscape architect who runs an upscale business with his friend Sandy in the King's Cross section of London, a neighborhood that has long been plagued by crime and poverty but has lately become the target of a major gentrification program. Will's longtime girlfriend is Liv, a lovely woman troubled by a lack of communication between herself and her husband and emotional problems with their teenage daughter, Bea, who can't sleep and is obsessed with gymnastics. A thief has broken into Will and Sandy's office not once but twice, taking Will's laptop and the company's computer equipment, and Will begins spending his evenings at the shop in hopes of catching the culprit in action. The burglar strikes a third time, and while giving chase, Will sees him make his way into a shabby apartment building. Will learns the criminal is Miro, a 15-year-old refugee from Bosnia. Without revealing what he knows, Will makes the acquaintance of Amira, Miro's widowed mother -- a Bosnian refugee who makes a living as a seamstress. As Will starts bringing Amira business on a regular basis, the two begin an affair which continues even as Will maintains his relationship with Liv.

The complicated interactions involving class and culture that ensue between all these characters remain fascinating despite the fact that this film feels contrived and superficial.Unfortunately,characters don't act logically as the screenplay manipulates them towards deconstructing various social issues.Overall,not all parts of the script are equally well-developed and it leaves us too chilly to care.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Underwhelming yet emotionally overcooked

6/10
Author: paul2001sw-1 (paul2001sw@yahoo.co.uk) from Saffron Walden, UK
13 June 2012

Anthony Minghella's 'Breaking and Entering' tells the story of the lives and loves of a group of north Londoners; but I found it an underwhelming affair. Neither Jude Law's flat male lead, nor Robin Wright-Penn's neurotic female one, attracted my sympathy; and the film as a whole had a soft-focus, idealised feel to it, with heavy use of an emotional soundtrack to underscore dialogue that doesn't always justify the treatment, and a story of a love triangle which magically ends with everyone getting what they really want. A certain housing estate in north London features as a backdrop, one you may have seen before in other films: is it really the only architecturally interesting estate in the city? But this is not such an interesting film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Robberies change a young man's life.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
10 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found this rather boring, in spite of a multitude of critics raving about it. Will Francis(Jude Law)is a partner in a landscape architecture firm that has recently relocated to a different location. The thriving state-of-the-art business now located in a seedy part of town is attractive to a local gang of thieves. Will's partner(Martin Freeman)is aggravated as much as Will with the repeated robberies. Will going in search of the criminals follows a young man to an apartment that he shares with his mother Armira(Juliette Binoche). In spite of having a very lovely wife(Robin Wright Penn), the young architect enters into a torrid affair with Armira and begins his walk on the wilder side. The attraction to this film must be Law. Others in the cast: Rafi Gavron, Vera Farmiga and Poppy Rogers.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Serendipity and the Resulting Emotional Changes

10/10
Author: gradyharp from United States
12 May 2007

Anthony Minghella is an artist of distinction. His current successful role as writer and director of BREAKING AND ENTERING once again demonstrates how subtlety and economy can enhance the impact of a well-devised and well-paced strange story, leaving the viewer with a true sense of dramatic climax and awe. This is one of those under the radar films that is as fine as any before the public in the past year.

Will Francis (Jude Law) is a successful landscape architect who with his partner Sandy (Martin Freeman) has just begun a 'community restoration' project in the down and out King's Crossing area of London. Housed in an old building in that area from which the project will develop, they work with the finest of computers and business equipment - an easy target for locals to vandalize. Will lives with the Swedish American Liv (Robin Wright Penn) and her autistic young daughter Bea (Poppy Rogers) in a relationship that after 10 years has grown stale: the friction results in retreating into silence instead of communication. After two burglaries at the business occur, thefts that include Will's own laptop with all of his personal data, Will and Sandy begin nightly watches, hoping to catch the thieves. In this seedy area Will befriends an immigrant hooker Oana (a brilliant Vera Farmiga) while Sandy defends an accused cleaning girl immigrant Erika (Caroline Chikezie) until the two see two young boys breaking and entering on night. The lads are teenage Bosnian immigrants, good kids who are going with the flow of finding the means of survival in London. The boys, Miro (Rafi Gavron) and Zoran (Ed Westwick), escape the chase, though Will's pursuit results in his discovering Miro's home in the projects. Knowing that Miro's mother Amira (Juliette Binoche) takes in tailoring, Will drops off a jacket to be mended and is attracted to the beautiful unattached Amira with whom he gradually begins an affair.

Meanwhile Liv is in therapy with Rosemary (Juliet Stevenson) and attempts to include resistant Will in hopes of healing their domestic chaos. Their relationship is on the brink of dissolution, both adults are fatigued by the management of Bea, a situation which encourages Will to increase his participation in Bea's care, a decision which leads to an accident for Bea at Will's place of work. Eventually Miro and Zoran are captured by the police (Ray Winstone) and Amira is so devastated by the possible incarceration of her son that she takes measures with Will to secure herself. It is the manner in which the 'crime' by the boys triggers the breaking and entering of each of the lives, crippled by shells of defense, which serves as the sensitive resolution of the story.

The cast is perfection, providing plum roles for Law, Binoche, Penn, Farmiga, Winstone, Freeman and newcomer Gavron, each creating credible characters who though with less than pure lives completely drawn our empathy. Minghella's story is important and entertaining and the filming techniques are bold and innovative. Gabriel Yared provides yet another beautiful musical score and the added featurettes are informative - far better than the usual DVD fillers. A superb film, this. Grady Harp

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Dour drama creates ambivalence

6/10
Author: fertilecelluloid from Mountains of Madness
25 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jude Law, an architect, is feeling terribly distant from his Swedish wife (Robin Wright Penn) and her autistic daughter, so when his King's Cross offices are burgled, a search for greater intimacy begins. A deeply personal tale and a portrait of London's many faces, "Breaking and Entering" is initially compelling. Unfortunately, its second act sags and its resolution comes across as contrived. Juliet Binoche is pretty terrific as the mother of a boy involved in the burglaries at Law's offices; Law is attracted to her and hopes she can fill his need for intimacy. Not unexpectedly, their relationship creates interesting complications. Music by Gabriel Yared, who also scored director Minghella's "The English Patient", has a subdued, dour quality that also describes the overall tone of this movie. There is very little contrast here and almost no sunshine in the bleakness. The feeling one is left with towards this piece is ambivalence.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A must buy!

8/10
Author: no-speech-girl from Lisbon, Portugal
20 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You can only distinguish honesty if you know dishonesty.

I fell in love with Minghella only with Cold Mountain (loved, loved). So i was looking forward for this movie. And i didn't get disappointed. At all.

And i loved how he mixed moments of great tension with some humor. That's Vera Farmiga's character. Very funny. She play's a prostitute who hangs with Will (Jude Law) when he plants himself outside his office (the object of breaking and entering).

At first it was weird to see Binoche as a Bosnian mom. But she plays it wonderfully, even speaking the language! Jude Law is very charming, as always, giving a great charisma to his character.

The end may be a little too perfect, but the movie is good for itself.

A delight!

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Inconsistent Movie

6/10
Author: safinahmed from Portugal
26 January 2008

When I first came to check for info on this movie, I thought this would be a bad (or at least, not very good) movie.

But this movie surprised me, it catched me almost from the beginning, the big problem is that it loses you in the middle, and then picks you back up a little further down the road. It's a movie full of ups and downs in interest, otherwise it could have had a better review I suppose.

I didn't care much for Jude Laws performance (not that is was bad, it was nothing special), but I really liked Juliette Binoche in this movie (and I not her biggest fan) you can feel real emotions with her acting, and for me she's the main reason to stick with the movie when it's loosing you.

As for the hole plot of the movie, I would say it's interesting, not very believable though.

This movie shouldn't be your top pick of the week, but definitely try to watch it.

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