Breaking In (2018)

Director: James McTeigue

Writer: Ryan Engle (Screenplay) Jaime Primak Sullivan (Story)

Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr, Mark Furze


Plot: A woman fights to protect her family during a home invasion

Tagline – Payback is a Mother

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Entertaining Home Invasion Film


Story: Breaking In starts when Shaun Russell (Union) takes her children Jasmine (Alexus) and Glover (Carr) to her father’s estate after his death, the weekend is meant to be to prepare the house for sale. The weekend takes a dark twist when four thieves Eddie (Burke), Duncan (Cabral), Sam (Meaden) and Peter (Furze) have broken in, searching for a secret safe.

With Shaun locked out and her children being held captive by the thieves, she will do anything to save her children, not caring what the men want, this does become a battle of a mother that will do anything versus thieves that won’t stop for anything.


Thoughts on Breaking In


Characters – Shaun is a mother of two children that is tidying up the affairs of her late father, she thinks her weekend will just be tidying up his house, but she soon shows that she has a few skills picked up from her father, she will play a cat-n-mouse game with a group of thieves that are holding her children hostage, Shaun will prove herself as somebody smarter than the thieves, showing a mother’s love will overcome any plan. Eddie is the leader of the thieves, he remains calm and in control, even if his men can get out of hand, he only wants the money, getting pushed into difficult decisions. Duncan is the loose cannon of the thieves, he doesn’t want to leave any witnesses to the crime they are committing. Jasmine is the eldest daughter that needs to protect her little brother from the situation, even if the two have a bickering relationship.

PerformancesGabrielle Union in the leading role is great, she brings us a strong powerful mother that isn’t going to let any man take advantage of her family. Billy Burke does bring the required calmness to his character which is everything needed, with Richard Cabral bring his own unhinged character to life to just about step away from the generic normal one. Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr fill the children roles which in the works very well as they feel like they could easily be brother and sister.

StoryThe story here follows a mother that will do anything to get her children to safety after their home gets invaded by a group of criminals searching for money. This is a home invasion film, it doesn’t need to break away from the normal in anyway, we know the formula, with this one putting the spin on the mother being separated from her children, we have the discussion of power between the criminals and mother, which is an important scene. We see how the mother might have a few more tricks up her sleeves that first thought. This is everything you expect without needing to make anything complicated, making it an easy watch.

Action/Crime The action is restricted because of the separation between the characters, but when we need it, we get action we need, the crime story does follow how the thieves operate, though we don’t learn everything about the father’s situation in the criminal world.

SettingsThe film is set in one location which is the house that has the ability to hold people out or keep people in, this helps build the battle between mother and thieves.

Scene of the Movie –
Losing control.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not truly learning about the Shaun’s father previous life as a criminal.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book home invasion film, it does give us plenty of entertainment and is above the average in the sub-genre.


Overall: Home invasion above the rest.




John Hurt Weekend – V for Vendetta (2005)

vndettaDirector: James McTeigue

Writer: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (Screenplay) David Lloyd (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves


Plot: In a future British tyranny, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of “V”, plots to overthrow it with the help of a young woman.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Revolution 101


Story: V for Vendetta starts as we watch Evey (Portman) who is part of the dictatorship run England run by Adam Sutler (Hurt), Evey finds herself being rescued during a curfew by the charismatic V (Weaving). V is trying to force a revolution in England to take down Sutler where he calls for everyone to come together on 5th of November one year from the start of the film.

As the year continues Detective Finch (Rea) is trying to figure out who is V, where is V hiding and how V is going to make this happen? Through the year he starts to discover a truth behind who V is. While being investigated V keeps Evey has his prisoner and partner in the revolution until she runs where she gets captured by the government who are torture her for answers.

V for Vendetta is part revolution part revenge film, we follow a one-year long movement in how the England sees the current government before making things happen themselves, well that is partly true because we watch V take out everyone he wants revenge on while the revolution is being used to cause a distraction. The motives behind all work very well but I would have liked to have seen more about how the dictatorship was controlling the country. Overall the story is one of the best and still feels fresh over ten years after its release.


Actor Review


Natalie Portman: Evey is just a normal woman in this controlled world but when she ends up getting saved by V she ends up joining in the vigilante side of his thinking going against the dictatorship control the country. She gets tested on whether she will expose his true identity while being the target of the leader of the country. Natalie gives us a good performance but I can’t help but wonder if her character was just used as a dummy to the bigger story.evey

Hugo Weaving: V is the charismatic vigilante who wants to overturn the government and expose the truth. He has been planning this for years and Evey comes into his life putting his plans in danger, we are left to see if he can lead the revolution. Hugo shines in this film as you are hung on every world coming out of his mouth.v

John Hurt: Adam Sutler is the High Chancellor of the country, what he says goes and no one can go against his rules or they will be killed. John gives us a good performance when he is on camera but in the end he doesn’t get enough time.sutler

Stephen Rea: Finch is the detective trying to hunt down V, he is one of the few people who actually thinks for himself not going for anything that Sutler says. Stephen is good in this role as the seemingly tired of the government detective.


Support Cast: V for Vendetta has a supporting cast which are mostly the mix of the people V is against and the people who believe in his cause and want to see a change.

Director Review: James McTeigueJames does give us one of the most memorable films of the year.


Action: V for Vendetta does have plenty of slick action scenes involving V and his knife skills.

Thriller: V for Vendetta does keep you waiting for how the film will end from the start to the finish.

Settings: V for Vendetta uses London as the setting which works to show how a country can be run with such fear.
Special Effects
: V for Vendetta has good effects when needed mostly in the fight scenes.

Suggestion: V for Vendetta is one I would like to think most people have watched at least once. (Watch)


Best Part: The character V

Worst Part: Being picky, I would like to have seen more from the strict dictatorship.

Action Scene Of The Film: Sewer fight.

Favourite Quote: V ‘People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $70 Million

Budget: $54 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline: Freedom! Forever!

Trivia: The cast and crew were only allowed to shoot near the British Parliament and the Clock Tower from midnight to 4:30 am, and they could only stop traffic for four minutes at a time.


Overall: One of the best and most underrated graphic novels out there today


Survivor (2015)

llogoDirector: James McTeigue

Writer: Philip Shelby (Screenplay)

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster, James D’Arcy, Angela Bassett

Plot: A Foreign Service Officer in London tries to prevent a terrorist attack set to hit New York, but is forced to go on the run when she is framed for crimes she did not commit.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Very Solid Thriller

Story: Survivor starts with a mission in Afghanistan with an all out gun battle going on in the streets. We see the two helicopter pilots captured by the enemy where they learn one has value but the other is worthless in their eyes.

Skip to London where we watch a secret mission going on with Kate Abbott (Jovovich) the new security officer. Kate brings a new addition to the office with includes Sam Parker (McDermott) and Bill Talbot (Forster). Kate works as the new head security making sure terrorists don’t get into the country and questioning anyone who seems out of place, she knows about fake visa but that opens the doors to new enemies for her.

When the terrorists wanting to bring in illegal immigrates hear this news they turn to Nash (Brosnan) and specialist for hire. Kate continues to investigate her case learn that scientists have been coming into the country and granted visa even if they have questionable back-stories. Kate ends up making enemies in all the wrong places grabbing the attention of Inspector Paul Anderson (D’Arcy) and the Ambassador Maureen Crane (Bassett).

When Bill plans a birthday celebrations for all his co-workers it turns out to be a trap as Nash planets a bomb for the terrorists, but not everything goes to plan when Kate isn’t in the building at the time and survivors the attack having to go on the run from the ruthless Nash. Kate has to use all her training to survive from friends and enemies alike as she is made out to be the prime suspect in the terrorist attack, with no one to turn to she has to prove who committed the crime before the next major terrorist attack happens on US soil.

Survivor takes a lot of the technical side of terrorist stories and puts it into a good old fashion thriller, we get the traditional one person being chased by both sides but we all know that person is innocent. We do get a lot of generic characters but what this film does is try and keep the pace going not wanting to let us take a breathe from the moment the bomb goes off. Many people will talk badly about this film because of its true lack of originality but in the end it does end up using the known ideas that work to make this entertaining. This will go under the radar at the box office but it is well worth a watch and it will give good enjoyment for all the thriller fans out there. (7/10)

Actor Review

Milla Jovovich: Kate Abbott is the newly hired asset to help with security in the American Embassy, when she starts digging into the truth she ends up becoming the target of the next terrorist attack. She gets framed for the attack and must go on the run from an assassin and the people she is meant to be working for to clear her name and uncover the truth. Milla does give us a good performance but we all know she is a good action star and a very good female lead. (7/10)kate

Pierce Brosnan: Nash is the deadly assassin know as the ‘Watchmaker’ who get hired to kill Kate and her team but when she escapes the bomb radius he has to track her down and finish off the job he started. Pierce gives us a good performance also showing us that he isn’t afraid to play the villain after all the years as James Bond. (7/10)nash

Dylan McDermott: Sam Parker is the one person that seems to stand by Kate wanting to believe she is innocent while everyone else is seeing her as guilty. He tries to find her to bring her in but is constantly followed by Inspector Anderson. Dylan gives a solid performance that we expect to see in the supporting roles. (6/10)sam

James D’Arcy: Inspector Paul Anderson is the man trying to track down Kate to close the case on the bombing in his city, he answers to anyone in power from England as doesn’t want to stop to ask questions first. James plays the typical idiot police officer that makes us all laugh. (6/10)

Angela Bassett: Maureen Crane is the Ambassador of the US Embassy who wants to mess cleaned up as quick as possible, she is the one that hired Kate to help increase security in the UK. Angela does a solid job in the role but never really gets enough screen time to do anything with. (6/10)

Robert Forster: Bill Talbot is the head of the security team but has been getting blackmailed into passing visas through the system so he can get his son back. Robert gives us a solid supporting role which tests us to wonder what we would do to save a loved one. (6/10)

Support Cast: Survivor has a supporting cast of the victims of the opening attack as well as the terrorist group who have been carefully playing their next attack.

Director Review: James McTeigueJames gives us a very solid thriller that won’t leave too much the imagination but does what we need to see. (7/10)

Action: Survivor does keep the action rolling once the first attack happens but mostly through chases. (7/10)

Thriller: Survivor keeps you guessing right to the end about just what the attack is going to be. (8/10)

Settings: Survivor keeps the settings very generic and iconic to help make us find it easy to identity the location. (7/10)

Suggestion: Survivor is one for the action thrillers fans to enjoy, it is easy to watch but don’t expect anything to the level of the Bourne film. (Action Thriller Fans Watch)

Best Part: Good pacing.

Worst Part: The characters never look into any other potential leads.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final short fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could do, depends on Box Office.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: 24

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Framed. Abandoned. Hunted.

Overall: Survivor is a good thriller but won’t go down as a classic just as an enjoyed one.

Rating 70