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The Broken (2008)

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In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate ... See full summary »


Sean Ellis


Sean Ellis
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lena Headey ... Gina McVey
Ulrich Thomsen ... Dr. Robert Zachman
Melvil Poupaud ... Stefan Chambers
Michelle Duncan ... Kate Coleman
Asier Newman ... Daniel McVey
Richard Jenkins ... John McVey
Daren Elliott Holmes Daren Elliott Holmes ... Simon the Garage Manager
Howard Ward Howard Ward ... Jim
Damian O'Hare ... Anthony
Dennis Banks ... Doorman
In-Sook Chappell In-Sook Chappell ... Crash Nurse
Peta Longstaff Peta Longstaff ... A&E Team
Ziad Alyan Ziad Alyan ... A&E Team
Lucy Bingham Lucy Bingham ... A&E Team
Marie Flood Marie Flood ... A&E Team


In London, the radiologist Gina McVey organizes a surprise birthday party to her father John McVey with her boyfriend Stefan Chambers, her brother Daniel McVey and his girlfriend Kate Coleman. On the next day, she sees herself driving a car on the street and she follows the woman to her apartment, where she finds a picture of her father and her. While driving back, she has a car crash and loses parts of her memory; further, she believes Stefan is another man. Gina decides to investigate what is happening and unravels a dark reality. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Face your fears.


Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, brief sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Gaumont [France]


UK | France



Release Date:

26 November 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Buro-Kun See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayswater, London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


£4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The inventive spelling of the title reads somewhat silly in Norwegian and Danish since the Ø in broken is a letter in the alphabet in these languages and sounds like the "u" in "burden". In addition "brøken" is the Norwegian and Danish word meaning "the fraction". See more »


When Gina wakes up and sits on the edge of the bed you can see she is topless. if you look closely you can tell she is wearing panties, and still appears to be when she leaves the room. When the camera goes to show her walking through her house her naked butt is visible, so what happened to the panties? See more »


[Dr. Zachman is questioning Gina about her boyfriend, Stephan]
Dr. Robert Zachman: And you live together?
[Gina slightly shakes her head as if she's disturbed and unsettled by the question]
Dr. Robert Zachman: What are you holding back, Gina? Tell me what's wrong.
Gina McVey: I don't think Stephan is my boyfriend.
Dr. Robert Zachman: Well, we all have different relationships until we find the one.
Gina McVey: No, he looks like him, but he's not him.
Dr. Robert Zachman: Right. When did you first notice this change? After the accident? Do you think then, that maybe he really is Stephan and that ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

If the music played during the first half of the closing credits sounds a bit off, that's because it's being played backwards. See more »


Are You Drunk Enough?
Written by Martin Phipps
See more »

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User Reviews

Sean Ellis brings Hitchcock and Poe back to life
14 March 2008 | by larry-411See all my reviews

It was with great anticipation that I attended the World Premiere of "The Broken" at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Writer/director Sean Ellis had impressed me so much with his first feature, "Cashback," that I selected it as my #1 Top Pick from the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival (of over 30 films I saw) and as one of my Top Picks of the year. So with this, his second feature, the bar was set pretty high for me. I expected to be wowed and boy, was I. "The Broken" simply left me in awe.

The film's London setting is perfect for a story shrouded in mist and mystery. Lena Headey ("300," "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") is Gina McVey, a radiologist whose life is turned inside-out when she begins to question the true identities of those around her. To them, she is losing touch with reality. But she is determined to prove them wrong. To do so, however, would be to entertain the possibility that the world is more broken than the bones on the X-rays which occupy her days. Mirrors seem to shatter at will, as does her perception of whose life she is leading.

Headey's performance is central to the film and it is hers to make or break. She accomplishes it with ease and is frighteningly brilliant. Veteran Richard Jenkins is delightfully haunting as Gina's father. But, more than just about any film I've seen since his "Cashback," it is the look, tone, and pacing of Ellis' film which makes "The Broken" a haunting, heart-pounding experience. With cinematographer Angus Hudson at the helm, "The Broken" boasts a visual style worthy of the best Hitchcock has to offer. The use of natural and single-point lighting enhances the shadowy world in which Gina finds herself. Long tracking shots and silence are a much more effective way of heightening tension than the rapid-fire dialogue and fast cuts which populate horror films, and nobody is better at it than the team of Ellis, Hudson, and editor Scott Thomas. In any good psychological thriller, the soundtrack becomes a character unto itself and Guy Farley's score does just that. "The Broken" truly runs on all cylinders and never misfires.

No film can be too Hitchcockian for my taste, and this would truly have gotten Alfred's stamp of approval. My own sensibilities were shaped by a childhood reading the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, watching "The Twilight Zone" on television and, as well as Hitchcock's work, more recent films that play with space and time like "Jacob's Ladder" and "Donnie Darko." The combination of science fiction and psychological thriller is the stuff of classic cinema and Ellis hits the mark again. I sat in wonder with my jaw open, literally, many many times during the midnight screening.

"The Broken" keeps the viewer guessing until the very end. From the first shattered mirror to the last drop of blood we join Gina on her quest for the truth and the outcome will stay with you long after the end credits roll. "The Broken" establishes Ellis as a modern master of provocative storytelling.

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