Brake (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

User Reviews

Add a Review
79 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Dorff - One Man Show
Marc Davis20 July 2013
Make no mistake about it, Stephen Dorff owns this film. He did such an excellent job. Since he plays the only visible character for about 93% of the film, I can confidently say it's worth a watch despite the glaring flaws of the film. He's just that entertaining here.

First off, I've never seen Buried, so my review will be unbiased in regards to that film - just keep that in mind. Overall, I thought the concept of Brake was pretty clever: Secret Service agent gets kidnapped; locked in the trunk of a constantly moving automobile by a group of mysterious terrorists; physically and mentally tortured by unconventional methods in order for them to get what they want. (As if any method of torture is conventional.) Will his character break (not BRAKE)? What exactly do the terrorists want and who are they? Will everything go according to plan along the way? You'll have to watch to find out.

A lot of people have complained about the ending (or multiple endings) and the ability to predict some of the plot twists, like, before the prologue. (No, just kidding.) Seriously, it was way too easy figuring this movie out. That said, I still enjoyed it. Listen, with a plot of this nature there are only a few ways this could have ended - either the terrorist will get what they want out of agent Jeremy Reines (Dorff) or they won't. Everything in between is just a waiting game of HOW they intend to get it out of him, WHAT it is they want, and IF Dorff's character will make it out alive or not. When it comes down to it, the ending (or multiple endings) does provide you with the answers. What more do you want people?!

Indeed, the plot is more than a bit far-fetched and I couldn't help but wonder why in the heck would anyone go through this much trouble to get something when there certainly were simpler (and probably more effective) methods to get the job done. I don't know, maybe they could have injected him with a truth serum or something. But then if that happened this wouldn't be called Brake; it'd be an entirely different movie.

There are some other issues. There were a few revelations that the writer, Timothy Mannion, intended to be relevant towards the climax of the film but he came up short big time. They made no sense in context to what had happened earlier in the film and added no value to the outcome of the film. Also, for Reines to be such a highly trained and alert Secret Service agent, he was often too naive in certain circumstances when even Stevie Wonder would have seen the writing on the wall. No fault of Dorff's though, as once again, this is more a reflection of poor writing than anything else.

Dorff was brilliant! That's why despite a cop out ending, sloppy writing, and plot elements so implausible that even M. Night Shyamalan would shake his head in shame, I still can't give it less than 7 stars. And that says a lot about Stephen's performance.
8 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Keeps you interested up to the end but unfortunately not the best ending
kuklei3 May 2012
I must say I liked the movie. Would I watch it again? No. Up to the very end the movie was very interesting and it has been thus far - by my standards one of the best movies that you see 1:20mins only one actor acting.

Acting was good to great. Special attention was given to verbal communications to convey meaning and a big thumbs up for that.

Cinematography and editing was very good, too. It does not get boring or repetitive and the movie maintains an edge right close to the end. Very clever script actually.

I would spoil the movie if I continue to speak about the ending but If you haven't read many reviews (that could spoil the end) and like mystery flick I would recommend this movie.

7/10 for the clever movie but loses some point for the ending.
40 out of 51 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Movie gets almost totally ruined by its ending.
Boba_Fett113818 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Now, I do admit that I'm not the biggest fan of claustrophobic movies, as I would call them. The sort of movies that are being almost completely set in a small confinement. Movies like "Phone Booth", "Buried", "Panic Room". It's not like I hate those movie but it's just so that you can only do so much with its concept, before things are starting to feel stretched and worn out or just incredibly far fetched. And boy, is this movie far fetched! To be honest, I really wasn't hating on this movie at first. It was simply fine enough for what it was and I was somewhat entertained by it all. Not that the movie ever becomes truly tense or exciting with its story but it was all really good enough to keep me interested and wanted to see where it was going with its story and mystery. However, the further the movie started to progress, the more ridicules and unlikely things were getting and the more obvious it started to become where the movie was heading at. I still was hopeful and wishing for it that the movie would be doing something different and more clever but unfortunately no. The movie did the worst possible thing it could had done, in its final 15 minutes or so. I don't know what is worse about it; that it actually ended on such a bad note, or that I could see the ending coming from miles away already. I'm serious, the cop out ending almost ruined the complete movie for me and I felt so let down and angry by it all. It gets all the more worse once you start thinking back about the entire movie. All of the things that happened in it suddenly start to seem even more unlikely and just plain ridicules when you do so and it makes you never want to watch this movie again. But I need to be fair. Since I still enjoyed the movie for most part, I just can't rate it as a complete train-wreck, no matter how tempted I am right now. The movie has its moments, especially at its start, when you still have no idea what is going on. But still, I obviously can't recommend this movie to anyone! As a matter of fact, I would urge people to never see it, since chances are you will be just as let down and angered by its lame and just horrible ending, just as I was. 5/10
57 out of 78 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Steaming heap of excrement
barbardoyle24 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I don't usually feel compelled to review films for the benefit of others but.........Absolutely terrible American copy of Buried. Full of distasteful sentiments about patriotic duty and cynical, hackneyed tension generating devices which have no relevance to the "plot" of "theme". Some kind of zip-tie was obviously used to attach the cheesy, clichéd double twist at ending.

I don't believe in, nor write plot summation in film reviews which in this case is fortuitous because the the entire plot is:

A CIA guy wakes up in the boot of a car. Terrorists try to get information from him by killing his wife and friends. CIA guy lets them die rather than betray his country. Then they're actually CIA, not terrorists! Then they are actually terrorists, not CIA. The End.

Doesn't deserve verbs needed to describe the waste of hours I could have spent peeling grapes. Try not to watch this waste of storage media if you value your time or intelligence.

27 out of 40 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Yet another Great movie Killed by a Second ending
KyleBel11 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This is yet another example of a director over extending his movie with a predictable ending. Yes it's always for some outrageous twist, and you're always left saying to yourself why, oh why did they not just end it there.

I would have given this a solid 9/10 stars - for fans of Buried - if they had cut the last 11minutes out of this one.

First off the first portion of this movie was cinematically pleasing, intense and the overall pacing was perfect.

The twist at the end (2/10)... was pointless, looked like a day time soap - the way it was shot and way to predictable. The entire last half I was saying to myself ... I bet this is a .... I won't ruin it for you. Please, please before you release this in a cinema get rid of that horrible excuse for an ending and end it where it should have.

I feel bad giving this movie any lower than a 7 as it was really good... up to that pointless and predictable twist.
22 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An Infuriating Exercise in Cheating
Chris_Pandolfi23 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
"Brake" is an infuriating exercise in cheating. We're led to think the experience will be rewarding, simply because it's packed with excitement and suspense. Alas, all that waits at the end of the line is disillusionment. That's because each thrill, we eventually learn, stems from a profoundly implausible and hopelessly transparent premise. For the filmmakers to have built a plot on it is to assume that audiences possess not a shred of intelligence. Once we navigate through its pulse-pounding scenes, we're punched straight in the gut with not one but two plot twists, which collectively adding up to the single worst ending since that of M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village." To call it an anticlimax would be a massive understatement. I cannot recall the last time a movie has made me feel so swindled.

Jeremy Reins (Stephen Dorff) awakens, confused and disoriented. He has no idea where he is or how he got there. It's totally dark, apart from the red light of a digital clock, which seems to be on countdown mode. He can barely move or breathe. He quickly realizes he's in a clear box made out of either glass or some industrial strength plastic. He now understands he has been kidnapped and imprisoned. Initially, he thinks it might have something to do with some unpaid gambling debts, which is the reason he went to New York in the first place. Is he still in New York? Various sounds and sensations make it clear that he's in the trunk of a car, which is now on the move. The digital clock will count down to zero and reset itself many times throughout the course of the movie.

Reins realizes that there's a CB radio in the box with him. He gets hold of a man who says his name his Henry Shaw (the voice of J.R. Bourne). It seems he too is being held captive in a clear box in the back of some automobile. Through their many exchanges, we learn that both Reins and Shaw are Secret Service agents. Someone pushes a postcard through a tube that connects from the back of the car to the box. It shows the White House. On the back is a handwritten message demanding to know the location of Roulette. That's obviously a code word, although out of decency, I will not reveal what it refers to. I will say that Reins and Shaw are at the mercy of terrorists who are attempting to assassinate the President.

Various voices – some with Middle Eastern accents, others sounding American – eventually make their presence known on the CB radio. If Reins doesn't tell them what they want to know, they will hurt his estranged wife. And wouldn't you know, a speaker phone is taped to the top of the clear box. The terrorists patch Reins through to his wife, Molly (the voice of Chyler Leigh), who will eventually be kidnapped and put into her own clear box. The terrorists go one step further and release a swarm of bees into Reins' box. Somehow, they know that Reins is allergic to bee stings. He's so allergic, in fact, that he immediately goes into anaphylactic shock. He passes out, only to come to with a needle puncture on his side. His captors injected him with the necessary antidote. They obviously need him alive.

Exciting things happen, one right after the other. The car is pulled over by the cops. There's a shootout, leaving a small hole in the clear box. Reins gets hold of a cell phone and calls 911, at which point he learns he's in Maryland. He and the dispatcher (the voice of Kali Rocha) will go through the usual banter; much of hers involves technical lingo about cell phone triangulation. He will also call Molly and his associate Ben Reynolds (the voice of Tom Berenger), who's frantic because it seems all of Washington, D.C. is in chaos following a series of explosions. Indeed, Reins is made to hear news reports through the tube. Henry becomes panicked because he fears for his wife and children. Molly becomes increasingly frightened and weepy as Reins professes his love for her. And all the while, the digital clock keeps on counting down. Can all this be stopped if Reins simply tells his captors what they want to know?

I'll bet you think I've given too much of the plot away. You have no idea the lengths I've gone to keep the real secrets of this movie hidden. I'm obligated to not spoil the ending, and I will stay true to that. You should know, however, that it has nothing to do with keeping you in suspense over a great surprise. The truth is, if you knew the plot twists beforehand, you would avoid this movie like the plague. Both secrets are insultingly stupid. Whereas the first one merely irritated me, the second one made me livid. This is the reward I get sitting through ninety minutes of suspense? What a gyp. The experience of watching "Brake" is not at all unlike the experience of being lifted several stories into the air, only to be dropped without warning. And no, there isn't a safety net there to catch you.

-- Chris Pandolfi (
20 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loved it!
Joey Vieira24 July 2011
I went into see this movie, not having a clue of what to expect. I knew it starred Stephen Dorff, but I've never really been a big fan of his. It opened with Stephen trapped in some sort of box and like his character I had no idea what was going on...and I liked that. I liked that it put me in his shoes. And it continued like that every step of the way. Trying to figure out what the hell was going on. It was like 90 min of the best roller coaster ride...and I didn't want to get off! I was at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. It wasn't full of pyrotechnics and cgi for a change! Great writing and directing! Best move I've seen all year!
67 out of 116 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Exhilarating from start to finish
bridiggiddy23 January 2012
This was one of the most unique and intriguing films I have seen in years. My reaction to Brake was similar to when I first watched The Usual Suspects. I had only a loose understanding of what the film was about before I went in, but after I walked out, I was speechless. How? Thats the only thing I kept asking, how did they do it? A true think piece crossed with an action flick, nothing is what it seems in Brake. The performances are solid throughout, Stephen Dorff gives a gritty, organic performance and this vehicle finally allows him to flex those acting muscles in a way we haven't seen in some time. Gabe Torres takes a gamble on a script that seems immeasurably difficult to bring to life, and builds a roller-coaster ride out of it, flawlessly. If you have the chance, see this film! It will change your opinion about what is fundamentally possible in cinema.
44 out of 74 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Rock Solid Thriller
WilliamFBryant20 January 2012
The movie was a thriller start to finish. The best part was that what would seemingly be predictable never was and kept me enthralled the entire time. Great cast, Stephen Dorff gives a great performance. For those of you that may not be a fan or don't know much about his work, this is really a movie to see, he brings everything to the screen. The story is fun to watch develop, full of twists and turns and witty dialogue that adds just that right amount of sarcasm to intense situations. The movie is fantastically shot, kudos to the director and cinematography as well as the fx team that put together some great material for the filming, I would really like to catch some behind the scenes footage of the shooting of this movie. All in all this movie is one to watch as it pulls together the last things you would expect throughout and is great entertainment.
31 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
$1.29 that i will never get back...
humandonut28 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a colossal piece of crap! Dorff? His name should be "Dork" for making such trite nonsense!!! A training exercise??? REALLY??? This is a poor attempt at suspense playing on the fears of post 9/11 hysteria. My guess is that it was written on a series of cocktail napkins in an airport during a long layover. I am being generous assuming that it was written at all. I am told that its domestic gross was a whopping $4,000 - shame on the 214 people who actually paid to see this movie and did not write insight such as this to warn the rest of us.

Wasn't there an actor named Tom Berenger at one time? He in no way resembled the over bloated card reader who was featured in this fecal swab that they are trying to pass off as a movie...Save your time and money and just slap the top of your head ten or twelve times - it will be far better than wasting your time watching this trash.
15 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews