Breathe In 2013

Critics score:
55 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: 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. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: Top performances by Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones ... make the film emotionally rich. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The May-December romance is an overworked genre, but steady hands guide this one with intelligence to a sad but satisfactory conclusion. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: 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. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A breathy tale of a not-quite love affair, Drake Doremus' "Breathe In" is yet another skillfully acted indie drama that's never quite good enough to be memorable. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: There's low-key, and then there's limp. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: This indie drama by Drake Doremus impressed me with the amount of mileage it gets from the simple premise without the affair even being consummated. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Felicity Jones, who is actually 30, makes Sophie both irresistible and real, a somewhat open book of wonder and innate wisdom. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ Doremus' beautifully shot, naturalistic style means there are no soap-opera hysterics, and he gets strong performances from all involved...But it's hard to get over the fact that Jones, who was born in 1983, is far too old to play a high school student. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Every moment between stars Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones feels so much like an explosion about to go off that viewers may hesitate to so much as take a breath at the wrong time for fear of disturbing the film's delicate equilibrium. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: It's a maddening mix of realistic characters, fine performances, ponderous pacing and oppressive mood lighting, none of which serve to cover up one central, glaring problem: a romance that never feels real. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Despite its title's implied urge to relax, refresh, recharge, "Breathe In" remains just a little too calm - and ultimately airless. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Sometimes, when it comes to getting across specific themes or ideas, creating a mood can do even more than developing a story or writing dialogue. Read more

Stephen Holden, New York Times: "Breathe In" is a good enough movie that you wish the screenplay had further fleshed out its characters and relationships and emerged as more than a skillful sketch. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: The superb acting can't turn narrative lead into gold with this story about the attraction of a foreign-exchange student pianist to her married host and teacher. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: There's something flimsy and unformed at these characters' cores, something that no amount of jumpy close-ups, skittering sideways glances, and rainy music can make up for. Read more

Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle: Although Jones and Pearce are interesting when onscreen alone, their chemistry is slightly off. Read more

Jim Brunzell III, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Falters with a bland and predictable emotional connection. Read more

Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times: Breathe In is all simmer, no boil, despite an abrupt, overwrought, agonizing emotional climax that's too much, too late. Read more

Cath Clarke, Time Out: What swings it are irresistible performances from Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: 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 likely to resonate with middle-aged arthouse patrons. Read more

Sherilyn Connelly, Village Voice: Not that May-December romances can't be compelling, but it's hard to root for a guy in his forties to find the courage to make time with a barely legal girl, no matter how dissatisfied he is with his life. Read more