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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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4.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Jeremy Reins is about to have a very bad day. He wakes up in total darkness, confused and disoriented. The only light comes from the blood-red digital numbers ticking away above his head. Jeremy quickly realizes he’s in trouble. It’s hard to breath. He can barely move. And no one will answer his cries for help. Then, he hears the sound of an engine and it all becomes clear…he's trapped in the trunk of a moving car. As his captors reveal themselves and their motives, Jeremy realizes he won't be set free until he gives up the whereabouts of “Roulette,” a secret location where the U.S. President is taken in the event of a terrorist attack. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 11
  2. Negative: 4 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 21, 2012
    75
    In retrospect, it's preposterous. But while you're gasping for air, it's one hell of a thrill ride, like being stuck on a malfunctioning roller coaster for an hour and a half at top speed, and unable to get off.
  2. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Mar 21, 2012
    70
    It wouldn't go so far as to say it feels like you went through Jeremy's ordeal for nothing, but I did wish I had come to know as much about Dorff's character as I did about the size and shape of his nostrils.
  3. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Mar 21, 2012
    58
    Ridiculousness aside, though, Brake is reasonably impressive both as a performance piece and as an exercise in staging.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 20, 2012
    40
    Brake is a full-scale paranoid nightmare with back-to-back double-whammy endings.
  5. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Mar 21, 2012
    40
    Mannion's script goes a bit too far in terms of twists, capping the third-act suspense with a plot U-turn, and then another, that leaves audiences feeling played. Worse, the final development loses credibility in retrospect, reducing the film to the level of an exercise in paranoia, effects and one actor's ability to hold attention for nearly 90 minutes.
  6. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Mar 23, 2012
    38
    Director Gabe Torres lobs a twist you'll likely see coming, and another you may not - neither satisfying enough to justify an hour and a half of Dorff-in-a-box.
  7. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Mar 17, 2012
    12
    Until its pair of ludicrous twist endings, which complicates its message and logistics in ways that make little sense, Gabe Torres's Brake plays like a more simplistic version of Buried tailored specifically to a hawkish right-wing crowd.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Jul 21, 2013
    6
    We, as moviegoers, seem to be disproportionately preoccupied with the final scenes. While an ending can help put a positive twist on things, that is not its job. It can also let us walk away from a film with more questions than answers, or it can wrap everything up for us and let many of us leave the theater content. Even if an ending is not to our liking, we still seem to appreciate a clear, concise ending.

    I say, all this focus on the last minutes does a terrible disservice to the rest of the film. Brake is a movie that leaves the viewer hanging on for some resolution, an inevitable outcome of salvation or demise. It does, regretfully, mess up in the end. At least, that's how I took it. Predictable to a degree, but more than that lacking the emotional impact the rest of the film builds up to.

    Stephen Dorff is the undisputed star of the film, and is on camera very near 100% of the time. I've never been a big fan of his, but he somehow felt perfect for the role. His training with actual Special Forces agents pays off in a big way, as he is entirely believable in his role. The entire film tends to come off as a bit of a performance piece for Mr. Dorff, but the subject matter and situations he finds himself in will no doubt thrill and chill fans of psychological horror.

    It's just a shame that all that fast-building dread and tension spills out into such a flat ending. Still, as my first paragraph may have led you to guess, I'd still recommend this movie. The first hour and fifteen minutes are very well done.
    Expand
  2. Jul 7, 2013
    6
    For 90% of this film I would have said absolutely yes. Unfortunately, the other 10% (and you've guessed it, it's the ending) is a ridiculous example of writers trying to be too clever with twists. Imagine sitting through two M. Night Shyamalan style twists, each more damaging to the previous 80 minutes than the last, in the space of the final three minutes.

    Up to this point I had greatly enjoyed Brake. I've never really noticed Dorff in any films I've seen him in before but here he is excellent as the hero in the box and gives his all to the performance as he is put through a series of physical and mental trials designed to make him give up the top secret info. Until the ending the plot is clever, fast paced and full of suspense and the writers use sensible plot devices to help move the narrative along without the audience just watching Jeremy wriggle around for 80 minutes. The direction (Gabe Torres) is also sharp and avoids too much darkness (like a car boot really would be by cleverly using the red illumination from the clock to create a tense mood in boot space. Also Brian Tyler provides the score and he doesn't disappoint as usual.

    Overall Brake has so many things going for it and is a surprisingly taught thriller for those who enjoy this genre of thrillers, however it will also be damaged by the unnecessary and frankly bonkers ending.
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  3. Aug 4, 2012
    4
    This IFC Films film works best as a psychological study for students of film, but not so much as an entertainment vehicle for the rest of us. I had to lean on the FF button alot to move it along, and I wasn't really surprised by the two twists near film's end. The film isn't rated but it's definitely PG-13 due to language and violence. Again, I wouldn't recommend this for general viewing but those that are into psych thrillers may have more patience and appreciation for it. Expand
  4. Jun 21, 2013
    2
    Ridiculous ending! So predictable and the final twist is utterly ludicrous! Premise is promising but this could have been so much better. Don't waste an hour and a half of your life on this! Expand

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