Breaking In Parent Guide
The movie attempts to challenge typical stereotypes – although this has been done by various films before.
Parent Movie Review
I call this movie template “Mother Bear”. Gabrielle Union plays Shaun Russell, a focused and resourceful woman who gets trapped in a situation where four bad dudes have her children locked inside a home. While she doesn’t have any formal fight training, she manages to make use of a few objects she finds lying around, along with her toned body and desperate determination to eventually make these guys wish they would have picked another house to rob. Needless to say, parental concerns here are all about violence, with lots of fist-to-fist and feet-to-face sparring that results in a few bloody moments and fatalities.
When her estranged father (Damien Leake) is brutally hit and killed in a motor vehicle accident during his morning run (which we see in detail), Shaun makes her first visit in years to his estate in the country. In tow are her daughter Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and younger son Glover (Seth Carr). After their long road trip, the trio is happy to meander through the sprawling mansion and are mildly surprised to discover it comes with a formidable security system and bulletproof windows.
What the mom doesn’t know is, they are not alone. Lurking in the house is Eddie (Billy Burke), a thief who is convinced he can find a stash of cash leftover from the homeowner’s previous illicit activities. Assisting him with the heist are Duncan, Sam, and Peter (Richard Cabral, Levi Meaden and Mark Furze). Not long after the family’s unexpected arrival, the thugs manage to capture the two kids while Shaun is making a call to her husband (Jason George) outside. When she realizes what is happening, the frantic parent is forced to figure out how to get back into the fortress so she can rescue her children.
The script flips the usual scenario of having a cast of innocent characters available to be picked off, one by one, by the menacing antagonist. Instead this quartet provides the targets for an enraged woman who will stop at nothing to get her kids back. Rising to the occasion, Shaun begins to put together a strategy that turns the extended conflict into one of mouse versus cats.
Included with the aforementioned violence are gun and weapon threats, another murder with a character’s throat slit, a second vehicle run-down and a stabbing using a glass shard. Profanities include a single sexual expletive, with some scatological terms and profanities. Finally, sexual content is limited to a teen girl in slightly revealing clothing and a brief moment when a man forcibly holds her down with the intent of sexually assault.
Pitting a Black female against a group of mostly White bad guys, Breaking In attempts to challenge the typical stereotype – although it has been met various films before. On this level, it reasonably succeeds. After all, what viewer wouldn’t root for a mother trying to protect her little ones, even if the concept isn’t breaking new ground?Directed by James McTeigue. Starring Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral. Running time: 88 minutes. Theatrical release May 11, 2018. Updated May 15, 2018
Rating & Content Info
Why is Breaking In rated PG-13? Breaking In is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, menace, bloody images, sexual references, and brief strong language.
Violence: Characters are in peril throughout this movie where a gang of robbers attempt to harm an kill a mother and her children. Detailed and often bloody violence is depicted. Hand-to-hand conflict, beating, chocking and eye gouging are shown. Weapons (knives, guns, baseball bats, etc.) are used to threaten and kill. Characters are shot, stabbed and impaled on screen. A character’s throat is slit off screen. Blood effects, injuries and corpses are seen. Characters are bound and gagged. Property damage occurs and arson is threatened. A male character makes remarks about sexually assaulting a teen girl, and attempts to restrain her. Characters fall and hit their heads (sound effects are added). Characters are hit by moving vehicles. A character stomps on the head of an injured man – death is implied.
Sexual Content: A sexual expletive is used in a non-sexual context. Mild and moderate profanities, scatological slang, slurs and terms of deity are heard.
Profanity: Mild sexual references are made. A slang term for sex is used. A menacing character makes veiled remarks about sexual assault.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character drinks a glass of wine to unwind after a stressful day.
Page last updated May 15, 2018
More parents' guide for Breaking In after the break...
Breaking In Parents' Guide
What do you think is meant when the leader of the group of thieves says he is comfortable using fear to control the mother, but is worried once she becomes desperate that her behavior will become unpredictable. How can fear paralyze your actions? Why might it be liberating to know you have nothing to lose? How does trying to protect her children influence the decisions Shaun makes? Does she behave differently once she is convinced the crooks will kill her family whether or not they corporate with them? Even if you never face such extreme circumstances, what can you learn about fear and desperation that might be used to create positive motivation?