Breaking In (2018): ‘Breaking Out’ – A Film Review



Well it may come as a surprise but between franchise big guns like Solo: A Star Wars StoryAvengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, there are also a lot of lesser known original films out there. One such film is the Thriller/Home Invasion film Breaking In by director James McTeigue, of V for Vendetta fame, staring Gabrielle Union who started rising to fame with film roles like Bad Boys II but is mostly known from her TV roles. Here she is also producing this film, which puts Breaking In in promising light, especially with James McTeigue at the helm.


So What Happened?

Working against the film is the staleness of the genre. Home Invasion films had a height in the 70s with films like The Last House on the Left and Fight for Your Life taking it to the extremes. More recent attempts have seen a lot of backing without much quality at all. The strange thing that strikes here is that, with the 40/50 years of filmmaking behind them, films like Breaking In can’t seem to break effective ground. The look is glossy and with good colours but the script and characters are uninteresting, bland and undeveloped. A forced theme is jarring from the rest of the films world. Ultimately this makes for a mess of a film that feels like a small daydream from someone thinking what they’d like to be like if their home was invaded – with one or two lines to force a feminist angle from left field.


What’s Left

This leaves a film whose cast and crew are evidently trying. As previously stated, there is little wrong with the films look. Each actor tries to do what they can but as the characters are haphazardly put together they have little to work with. Some manage to make a little bit of a presence, but are restricted by stereotypes, as is especially the case for Richard Cabral (Duncan). Ultimately, this means that there is something to get invested in but without any depth, whilst needing audience dedication to get there. Despite this Breaking In has a slightly darker tone to its plot – but not to what it shows in terms of violence or deaths, which are abrupt and bland. This logic may make some points unpredictable but as soon as one catches on, it all fits into place without surprise or intrigue.



Breaking In remains to be a testament to those who worked very hard to make it look right, but is ultimately an uninteresting and badly scripted film. It seems that, unfortunately, recently James McTeigue hasn’t been working on anything of note and definitely not to the degree of his V for Vendetta. Whilst Gabrielle Union might be making headway with her acting career and fighting for her breakthrough leading role, but Breaking In is definitely not it.



Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) returns to her father’s home following his death to organise what’s to be done with his house and belongings. Meanwhile a group of thieves are intent on robbing the rich house whilst no one, that they know of, are there.




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A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.


Films Mentioned

Avengers: Infinity War (d. Anthony Russo, Joe Russo USA 2018)

Bad Boys II (d. Michael Bay USA 2003)

Breaking In (d. James McTeigue USA 2018)

Deadpool 2 (d. David Leitch USA 2018)

Fight for Your Life (d. Robert A. Endelson USA 1977)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (d. Ron Howard USA 2018)

The Last House on the Left (d. Wes Craven USA 1972)

V for Vendetta (d. James McTeigue USA/UK/Germany 2005)


Further Reading

Official Site

Interview with James McTeigue and Will Packer (Producer)

Interview with James McTeigue

Interview with Gabrielle Union

Behind the Scenes


If you liked this…

Den of Thieves (2018): ‘Emotion and Plot’ – A Film Review

A Quiet Place (2018): ‘A Quiet Family’ – A Film Review

Unsane (2018): ‘Stalker Selfie – A Personal Look at Stalker Victims’ – A Film Review

Red Sparrow (2018): ‘The Gritty Spy Film’ – A Film Review


This was an analytical review of….


Breaking In (d. James McTeigue USA 2018)


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