Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Laughter through tears is director Bill Duke's M.O., and he hits the bull's-eye of that modest target.
  2. The film is likable. Its messages, many of them Lord-oriented, are all equally heartfelt.
  3. 63
    For most of Not Easily Broken, I wondered why the movie wasn't worse. Then I remembered it was directed by the veteran Bill Duke, who applies ample TLC.
  4. The actors do what they can with the cards they're dealt but can't overcome the nakedness of the dialogue or the characters' actions. Duke does ensure that the production flows smoothly though. And those frequent injections of comedy do wonders.
  5. Reviewed by: Justin Berton
    Unfortunately, for those who do not subscribe to the notion that God's dust smooths a marriage's rough patches, but rather hard work by people do, the message rings hollow.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Well-acted and involving.
  7. 50
    The whole thrust of the movie is to warn black women against emasculating their men.
  8. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    Coupled with decent acting but average cinematography and editing, Not Easily Broken hums more fittingly to the tune of a LifeTime television event.
  9. Director Bill Duke may believe the message but he never invests himself in the characters or their story, which becomes an illustrated lesson with reflective interludes and comic relief.
  10. Reviewed by: Glenn Whipp
    The movie may be preaching to the choir -- and every inch of it feels like a sermon -- but it's a pretty decent homily, heartfelt and strongly delivered by a committed cast.
  11. 50
    Mr. Duke’s filmmaking is functional at best, and the extreme shifts in emotional tone -- especially a late and disastrous swerve into tragedy -- are handled clumsily in Brian Bird’s script. Yet Not Easily Broken is not easily dismissed. For one thing, the cast is excellent, and for another, its intentions are serious and generous.
  12. 50
    Exerts an unmistakable appeal, thanks to an absorbing story and fine performances from Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson.
  13. Based on the novel by T.D. Jakes, this is a queasy mix of comedy, melodrama, and self-help spirituality; it's meant to be uplifting, but its profamily message is undercut by its virulently misogynistic treatment of the realtor and her mother (Jenifer Lewis), both too shrewish and controlling to be believed.
  14. 40
    These resourceful actors -- to say nothing of the audience -- deserve better.
  15. 38
    As bland as the Kenny G-style smooth jazz its hero listens to in moments of distress.
  16. Reviewed by: Theresa Everline
    It's fascinating how an innocuous film can suddenly flare up into offensive claptrap.
  17. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    Those looking for genuine drama should probably look elsewhere.
  18. 25
    For a film shamelessly trumpeting the importance of staying together through the hard times, Broken makes a disconcertingly convincing case for divorce.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. dooziedreal
    Feb 2, 2009
    The movie was fantastico. I enjoyed every scene of the movie. excellent perfecto. It's motivated me to by the book. I goota get it. It captured al audiences, It wasn't just black. Full Review »
  2. JadeInTheATL
    Jan 13, 2009
    One might expect preachy, but instead just life affirming. With the exception of the Mother-In-Law the characters are realistically written. The script creaks a bit as some scenes don't flow from the narrative but drop in like they were cut and pasted. It could have benefited from a few more re-writes. Bill Duke's direction is a bit choppy at times, but mostly well paced and thankfully unobstrusive. In a way an anti-soap opera, in that characters are not above temptation but are capable of resisting it. A Spanglish-lite. Full Review »