Breaking In Review

Gabrielle Union has come a long way since she waved those Pom-Poms in the air talking about “Go Clovers” and telling us its cold in here. Since then she has always shown strength and characters in her roles as a tough woman who works hard for what she wants. Now she joins a list of women who star in their own thriller where she will play someone who kicks butt and takes names by any means necessary. A couple of examples that come to mind are Beyoncé in Obsessed and No Good Deeds with Taraji P. Henson. I recommend seeing both titles by the way. It’s Union’s turn up to bat as she stars in her own thriller where she plays a single mom who has to protect her family from home invaders in the movie Breaking In.


Picture via

Aside from a great performance from Gabrielle Union, the movie scripts and execution fell under many clichés and troupes most people are familiar with leaving the movie to be lost in an ocean of typical thrillers blended in with the rest and most likely soon forgotten. So close to Mother’s day, this was the perfect time to release a film like this. A single mother of two, who is visiting the home she grew up in after her Father’s passing, is interrupted by some intruders who have their own specific agenda. What makes this particular film different is that while most plotlines involves escaping the invasion, Union’s character Shaun is trying to break in and rescue her children who are kept hostage while the intruders complete their mission.

In case you didn’t already know, Union acting ability an actress she is strong both mentally and physically. This movie is another example to show her talents as she held her own as the leading lady. She is believable in the fights and squabbles she gets into and also takes a few licks of her own making sure she isn’t Super Mom. She brings this determination in her facial expressions that she will do anything for her kids without looking completely helpless or even desperate.

The antagonist on the other hand are left questionable. This is where the troupes and clichés come into play. Remember that movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster. Well there was three goons in that movie and they all played a different type of thug. There is the Planner, the Redemption Guy, and the Crazy Killer. Each one vital to make sure these band of evil doers are not one note. To me, having those mixed personalities cheapens the villain and here’s why: The group are never on the same page. They are constantly arguing and changing the plan or hell, they don’t even know each other to make it believable that they can pull off their heist or plan without any problems.  When I see that, it takes away from the fear that they will succeed or oppose a physical threat. At this point the suspense is gone for most of the movie. I could list more but for the sake of this non-spoiler review I will leave the rest out but if you know what I am saying, keep that in mind if you decide to see this film.

Film Title: Breaking In

L to R: Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden, and Billy Burke. picture via

The suspense was okay but could have been better as we were dealing with a pg-13 rating. Let me just say that in the editing and ADR voice overs, you can tell they wanted to push the line but were kept on a leash to reach a broader audience. Which is good for business but if it’s not paired with a convincing execution, it just comes off as some movie you would see on lifetime. I will admit there were times I was a bit curious with what will happen with the family. The one to play the Crazy one, Richard Cabral (TV’s American Crime) played a convincing murdering psychopath. Unfortunately, his character wasn’t able to pull off the range he was meant to do with a pg-13 rating. The Planner, Billy Burke (Twilight Series) kept a cool demeanor about him which can interpret fun and slick or just dull and boring opposing no real threat. Not good or bad but just giving you a heads up of the type of villain mastermind he is. The Redemption Guy, Levi Meaden (TV’s The Killing, The 100) played the baby of the group, the naïve one but also the one who provided a bunch of the Intel. These characters are the most unpredictable to me which means they are the most interesting because you have no idea which side they are going to play or how their character will come out of it. In this movie, he provided more laughs than suspense and I didn’t really care if he lived or died. Read that as you will.

The action started in the first quarter of the movie, you don’t have to wait long for the invasion to begin. This is a good or bad depending on what you like to have with the movies you watch. The upside is that they don’t drag the movie along to get to the reason why you came to the movie in the first place. Then you have the other side where there isn’t much character development to get attached to the stars of the film. In the case of this film, you don’t learn too much about the characters good or bad. If that is going to be an issue, this might be a movie you don’t come out enjoying.


picture via

I recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see Gabrielle Union shine as a badass she is known to be on-screen. This movie won’t leave you with much to remember but I would say that with the exception of one scene where they are all just sneaking around the house the rest is good enough to keep your attention. If you have movie pass, that would be the best way to watch. Otherwise, it’s worth checking out when it arrives on the small screen.

2 ½ out of 5

Thank you for reading this review. Remember to subscribe to this blog and also make sure to follow and listen to my podcast every Wednesday when I review old and new movies either by myself or with a round table of friends. Follow me on twitter @mgnppodcast and on Instagram: moviegeekandproud.


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