A vital film about a bunch of youngsters who view break-dancing as a way out of their dead end lifestyle. For what is essentially a musical exploitation film, Breakin' is surprisingly filled with more human moments and dance scenes than violence or sexuality. [08 June 1984, p.12]
Though Breakin' follows the Flashdance formula as if it were blazed in concrete, working from a script that would make a 12-year-old snicker, it is so exuberant and lighthearted that it works. [09 May 1984, p.B5]
On a plot level, concoction is too derivative of Flashdance for its own good, as the premise once again is untrained, but highly skilled and imaginative, street dancers versus the stuffy, inflexible dance establishment. Aside from the fainthearted choices, however, film is quite satisfactory and breezily entertaining on its own terms.
Sweet and high-spirited and with three dancers who are so good they deserve a better screenplay. This is really two movies: A stiff and awkward story, interrupted by dance sequences of astonishing grace and power.