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Breaking In

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Starring: , , ,

Breaking In (2018) is a smarter thriller than people want to give it credit for. As an isolated in the woods story pitting fierce mom against deadly robbers, there are a lot of places this movie could have gone wrong. With the pairing of Gabrielle Union and Billy Burke, we have two people who still stop at nothing to reach their own end games.

Shaun (Gabrielle Union) is headed out to her late father’s estate to settle a few things and take what she wants before the liquidators arrive. Her father was something of a self-made man, emphasis on the made and the authorities were closing in before he was suddenly killed. On a gorgeous piece of land in the middle of Wisconsin, the house she and her two kids Jasmin (Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr) settle briefly into is both idyllic and menacing. With an elaborate security system that is well-beyond safety and dipping a tow into paranoia, they could count on feeling safe while friends and more family promise to join them over the weekend.

They weren’t counting on the house already being occupied by men who want what her father (Damien Leake) may have had hidden behind all of those cameras. Shawn literally finds herself on the outside looking in as Eddie (Billy Burke), Duncan (Richard Cabral), and Sam (Levi Meaden) lockdown the house with the kids inside. Shaun has to find a way to rescue her kids from a fortress guarded by men who will kill for vast sums of money they know is somewhere in the house.

Breaking In runs nearly in real time, concurrent with the plot point of 90 minutes from the time the phone are cut until the police arrive. Other than a few deliberate holes in someone’s peripheral vision, the action and suspense flow naturally without vast leaps of disbelief. No one is attempting death-defying heroics or scaling skyscrapers. The kids are smart and brave, Shaun is clever, the villains are ruthless, and everyone almost has everyone else figured out – until of course, they don’t. For a small ensemble cast, everyone has a strong performance here and it’s so nice to watch a movie that doesn’t rely on coincidences or ghosts in the machine to save the day. It’s certainly not the strongest thriller you’ll see all year, but it’s absolutely worth your time.

I did love the dynamic of Billy Burke and Gabrielle Union. It really was kinda hot.

I was pleasantly surprised with how it all unfolded, and I’m happy to recommend it.

Breaking In (2108) is rated PG 13 for people getting stabbed, people getting shot, people getting hit, people getting run over, implied violence against children, mild swears, crazy eyes, and a few more broken necks than you may want to see in a PG-13 movie.

Breaking In is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

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