Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
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  1. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 17, 2013
    75
    Doggedly manipulative and yet consistently affecting, Broken piles on the miserablism to almost unbearable effect.
  2. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jul 14, 2013
    75
    It's the rare coming-of-age narrative that manages to respect the tricky ambiguities of shifting perceptions.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Jul 17, 2013
    70
    Broken may someday be remembered only as a minor footnote in Norris’ career, but it’s already a career worth following.
  4. 70
    Rufus Norris’s debut film, Broken, is a fractured, tonally scrambled British coming-of-age movie with flashes of greatness and an intensely felt performance by a young actress named Eloise Laurence.
  5. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Jul 19, 2013
    63
    An absorbing coming-of-age drama that suddenly, pointlessly self-destructs with an onslaught of cheap ironies and overkill.
  6. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jul 18, 2013
    60
    There’s little doubt that the obvious parallels between this dark coming-of-age drama and “To Kill a Mockingbird” are deliberate. But while they are undeniably overreaching, director Rufus Norris has adapted Daniel Clay’s young adult novel with a sensitivity that will appeal to teens and adults alike.
  7. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 18, 2013
    60
    Solidly done if somewhat unremarkable, there is nothing particularly wrong with "Broken," nothing that needs fixing exactly, and yet it never fully comes together.
  8. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jul 16, 2013
    60
    The first feature from British theater director Rufus Norris deftly mixes gritty realism and lyrical impressionism, though its five-car pileup of a climax ultimately makes the film feel less a Greek tragedy than a miniseries in miniature.
  9. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    Jul 14, 2013
    60
    If its script is a little unwieldy and overwrought at times, Broken is still a work of delightful moments and strong promise for many of those involved. Norris works hard to inject some joy and wonder into what could easily be a much more dark and miserable experience.
  10. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Jul 14, 2013
    60
    Believably charts a girl’s coming of age but is eventually capsized by lurid melodrama.
  11. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Jul 14, 2013
    60
    There are simply too many characters jostling for attention and too many competing plot strands in a not-quite-seamless marriage of hard-edged social realism with a lyrical novelistic overlay. That said, the film is rich in poignant moments and negotiates its frequent shifts from violence to gentleness to sorrow with sensitivity.
  12. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 18, 2013
    50
    A couple of heavyweight actors — Tim Roth and Cillian Murphy — get top billing, but this British drama belongs to young Eloise Laurence, memorable as Skunk, the diabetic daughter of Roth’s kindly solicitor.
  13. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jul 18, 2013
    50
    At a certain point, Mr. Norris forsakes realism for theatricalized fantasy, and Broken ultimately loses its stylistic cohesion, if not its humanity.
  14. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Jul 16, 2013
    50
    Unfortunately, Broken lives up to its mawkish title, and the slice-of-life tragedies of the film's first half devolve into manipulative melodrama in the latter part. When society breaks, the spell does, too.
  15. Reviewed by: Charles Grant
    Jul 14, 2013
    50
    Norris’ film does find a beating heart, if not exactly a focus, in the tender father-daughter relationship between Archie and Skunk, nicely underplayed by Roth and Laurence.
  16. Reviewed by: David Gritten
    Jul 14, 2013
    40
    Norris and his director of photography Rob Hardy have shot it with stylish confidence, but Mark O’Rowe’s script (adapted from Daniel Clay’s novel) feels cramped and over-schematic.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Jul 14, 2013
    40
    There are some good ideas, strong moments and a blue-chip cast in Broken, the feature-film debut from award-winning theatre and opera director Rufus Norris. But they somehow don't come together successfully.
  18. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Jul 18, 2013
    25
    Broken simply can't get it together on any level, delivering a tedious drama, that for all the characters and over-emoting, doesn't have much to say.
  19. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 16, 2013
    25
    Awkward music cues and choppy camera work add baggage to a film so overwrought that its excesses seem more unintentionally silly than bleakly disturbing.

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