Aug 052018

Breaking In isn’t a fresh suspense/thriller as the story has been done, to some extent, done before though with the twist of a mother trying to break back into the fortified home. Gabrielle Union delivers a fine performance in what is in the end an entertaining throwaway thriller.



Breaking In

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller
Universal | PG13/Unrated – 88 min. – $34.98 | August 7, 2018

Date Published: 08/05/2018 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: James McTeigue
Writer(s): Jaime Primak Sullivan (story), Ryan Engle (screenplay)
Cast: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Jason George, Seth Carr, Christa Miller
Features: Commentary, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 44.0 GB
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 3.0/5

Breaking In is a film that is within the home invasion subgenre that you’ve likely have seen before and you’re enjoyment is dependent on whether it meets the basic level of entertainment… and I can say this one met those standards, albeit just barely.

This has a very basic plot following Shaun Russell (GABRIELLE UNION), along with her daughter (AJIONA ALEXUS) and son (SETH CARR), travel to Shaun’s father’s estate to clean and put it up for sale following his death. Not too long after arriving, they encounter a gang, led way by a man named Eddie (BILLY BURKE), who want to find a safe containing millions of dollars, but had not counted on anyone else being there. But it’s too late and they manage to capture the kids, however Shaun isn’t just going to give up and for the duration of the movie, it’s a fight for time with a mother doing whatever it takes to protect her children while the hapless criminals do everything possible to further complicate things, though when you have a pure psychopath on the crew, it doesn’t help matters.

For all the faults the movie has, primarily with the paint-by-numbers script which borrows from numerous others, I did genuinely enjoy the flick, mostly for the underutilized and underrated Gabrielle Union (also served as a producer) who did a fine job in the lead while Billy Burke was satisfactory in the one-dimensional villain role. Everybody else was alright, including the child actors who thankfully weren’t overly precocious or insufferable.

James McTeigue directed Breaking In from a script written by Ryan Engle, whose no stranger to the thriller genre having previously worked on Non-Stop, The Commuter and more recently, Rampage (and has Cowboy Ninja Viking coming) while McTeigue is a familiar name with V for Vendetta and a decent stretch as an assistant director on Dark City, The Matrix Trilogy and Star Wars: Episode II. The direction, and script which I have to think was sitting on the bottom drawer at some producer’s office, was pretty standard stuff but the suspense was at least palpable enough to keep my attention until the end of what was a short running time (only 85-minutes without credits).



This release comes with a title-embossed slip cover and inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. There is an “Unrated Director’s Cut” but it’s only around 25 seconds longer, perhaps a couple scenes were a bit more violent and I did hear another f-bomb…

Audio Commentary – Director James McTeigue and Screenwriter Ryan Engle provide a rather entertaining track dishing out details on the production including the writing process to working with the actors and on the set.

Alternate Opening (2:08; HD) – This scene takes place in a gas station bathroom and as explained by McTeigue and Engle, was removed due how the scene came across.

Deleted/Extended Scenes (14:28; HD) – Only four scenes here, and nothing of great consequence, some of it repetitive, but always good to have an optional commentary to explain why these were remove or cut down.

One Bad Mother… (4:19; HD) is a behind-the-scenes featurette on the strong central character played by Gabrielle Union.

A Filmmaker’s Eye: James McTeigue (5:06; HD) looks at the director’s approach to making a thriller.

A Lesson in Kicking Ass (4:19; HD) focuses on the stunts and fight scenes featured in the film.

A Hero Evolved (2:54; HD) – This short featurette is on Gabrielle Union and specifically on having a female protagonist.


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Breaking In is presented with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture looks excellent with sharp detail on both the close-ups and some of the more distant shots while colors are fairly vivid while black levels are decent enough during those nighttime scenes.

AUDIO – 4.0/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track isn’t wholly powerful yet still above average with strong dialogue levels through the center channel and when the thrills pick up, the other speakers gets an okay workout and show off some good depth.


OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Breaking In isn’t a fresh suspense/thriller as the story has been done, to some extent, done before though with the twist of a mother trying to break back into the fortified home. Gabrielle Union delivers a fine performance in what is in the end an entertaining throwaway thriller.





Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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