Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Apr 3, 2014
    90
    The exquisitely calibrated Breathe In explores such a fraught mutual passion with honesty, intimacy and complete emotional involvement.
  2. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jun 28, 2013
    83
    Intimate, expressive, agonizing and beautifully rendered.
  3. Reviewed by: Cath Clarke
    Mar 26, 2014
    80
    Swinging it to compelling are irresistible performances from Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jun 28, 2013
    80
    While the plot — too low-key to be called a thriller — points toward obvious extramarital cliches, delicate changes in the overall mood reveal deeper truths.
  5. Reviewed by: Jeremy Kay
    Jun 28, 2013
    80
    The story of the ingenue who enters the fold and awakens deep feelings is nothing new, but Doremus makes it all utterly captivating. He mines just the right amount of drama and spontaneous comedy from each moment and the foreshadowing is perfectly weighted.
  6. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Mar 26, 2014
    75
    Top performances by Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones, though, make the film emotionally rich.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Mar 26, 2014
    75
    The May-December romance is an overworked genre, but steady hands guide this one with intelligence to a sad but satisfactory conclusion.
  8. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Mar 26, 2014
    75
    Buoyed by some nicely nuanced performances (especially by Pearce and Amy Ryan as his dream-dashing wife), Breathe In never quite rises above its predictable potboiler premise.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Mar 27, 2014
    70
    What distinguishes Breathe In from countless similar movies about marital discontent and disruption is the restraint with which the story is handled, the subtlety of its performances and its almost perverse refusal to turn into a prurient, heavy-breathing examination of adultery and its consequences.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 28, 2013
    70
    Director Drake Doremus confirms his knack for pinpointing subtle emotional tremors on fragile personal landscapes, even if some too-easy coincidences and pat dramatic moments chip away at the compressed story's credibility.
  11. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Mar 26, 2014
    67
    To be fair, Breathe In may hit a lot of familiar beats, but none of them are entirely unwelcome.
  12. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Mar 27, 2014
    63
    Breathe In is all simmer, no boil, despite an abrupt, overwrought, agonizing emotional climax that’s too much, too late.
  13. 63
    A romantic melodrama that’s so well-cast and acted and made with such loving care that you could almost forgive how long it takes to get to its obvious conclusion, how melodramatic the whole “sordid” affair is.
  14. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Mar 27, 2014
    60
    For all the obviousness on the surface, and despite some forced last-act havoc, Breathe In works like a piece of chamber music. It goes up to the edge of emotion, circles it, then backs away. But the notes not hit seem as powerful as the ones that are.
  15. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Apr 3, 2014
    50
    Mr. Doremus is an exceptional director of actors; almost every scene in Breathe In comes alive, with or without the help of music. But the film needs more help than it gets from the script, which turns on facile coincidence and dwindles in originality as it moves toward its climax. Next time around, let's hope this gifted filmmaker hangs his characters' lives on stronger dramatic bones.
  16. Reviewed by: Leba Hertz
    Apr 3, 2014
    50
    Although Jones and Pearce are interesting when onscreen alone, their chemistry is slightly off.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 25, 2014
    50
    At every possible turn, the film chooses to take the dumbest and most reductive path. It remains semi-watchable nonetheless, which is a testament to the skill of its four lead actors, who valiantly struggle to remain truthful.
  18. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jul 18, 2013
    40
    The whole thing unspools at such an unremittingly earnest pitch that it leaves you groping under your seat for a ventilator.
  19. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Mar 27, 2014
    33
    The result puts a handful of good actors on autopilot, maneuvering around Intro To Screenwriting character beats, occasionally accompanied by sappy piano music.
  20. Reviewed by: Sherilyn Connelly
    Mar 25, 2014
    30
    Drake Doremus's Breathe In is a star-crossed romance where your enjoyment level will depend on your tolerance for what feels an awful lot like potential statutory rape.
  21. Reviewed by: David Lee Dallas
    Mar 24, 2014
    25
    Seemingly high-brow because it's so low-key, but underneath that veneer is an inert, thinly plotted melodrama premised on trite characterizations that would be offensive if they weren't so absurd.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. May 26, 2014
    10
    Agonizingly, purposefully and sadistically slow moving. It's a thin line between dragging something out, and enjoying every moment that youAgonizingly, purposefully and sadistically slow moving. It's a thin line between dragging something out, and enjoying every moment that you spend with a person. ...I mean a film.
    So I totally fell in love with the perfect Sophie, who is essentially my dream girl, but equally fell in love with the flawed human family situation that Keith had going on.
    We all have our interpretations of things and I chose to cast aside my inhibitions as I watched, the withheld passion and electricity between the two leads almost set the room on fire each time they were forced to hold themselves apart from one another, and this was as new an experience for me vicariously, as it was for Keith experiencing it. And as a male audience obviously I (definitely wrongly) sided with Keith. I decided it wasn't creepy as the argument of love, passion and an organic bond between soul mates, made it's case so strongly as the characters face's were practically pressed up against the screen in one intimate moment after the next. It was like watching through their windows!
    Intimate moments which were stolen away by characters that I've heard people say were "wrongly villainized." I utterly utterly disagree with this.
    I'm not the most sympathetic person you'll find but I absolutely wanted the best for each of the players on the board. The entire thing held me with drama and guilt by allowing me to come to my own realisation that this was never going to go well. The lesser characters were dotted around going through the motions carelessly, and at no point did I feel like I was meant to dislike any of them for how they'd affected Keith's life.In a brief moment where Keith lets his regrets slip I would certainly have villainized him, but instead I sympathised more as he struggled monstrously to hold the rest down. The director perfectly utilises natural, subtle expressions to build tension in moments like this, which is certainly not the only example.
    But then came the fresh reminder that they are all human. They are weak.
    A person can spend their entire life wishing they'd done something else while not necessarily resenting their current situation, when a fresh opportunity comes along. A reset button. And it comes in the shape of a mature, amazing, talented, perfect (for you) human being who simply aches for you, but remains aware of the dangers, because they're also very down to earth!
    I knew how it would end from the minute it started, but that reality and also the unique people and situations who constantly defied my expectations and misguided me, allowed my mind and heart to be lifted into the centre of a whirlwind of passion, something I wish fully to experience. Until it carried me back down to reality, kicking and screaming, while I watched helplessly as their collective mistakes set the final tone.
    So before I go and say my prayers, that I may never find myself in such a painful, winnerless situation, I pass on a recommendation and a plea.
    That you watch this film and take from it something special, for it has truly affected me.
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 31, 2014
    5
    This is a slow burn piece that only becomes drama towards the end. Performances are as good as should be expected for this kind of film.This is a slow burn piece that only becomes drama towards the end. Performances are as good as should be expected for this kind of film. However, it is a story that would have been better suited to tv. where its small ambitions would probably have been better served. Not bad, just lacking impact. Full Review »