Breakdown (1997) - Crime, Drama, Mystery

Hohum Score



A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.

IMDB: 6.9
Director: Jonathan Mostow
Stars: Kurt Russell, J.T. Walsh
Length: 93 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 16 out of 223 found boring (7.17%)

One-line Reviews (202)

The most notable case is Earl, who is dressed entirely in black but wears a cliché-defusing white cowboy hat.

The photography is equally engrossing.

This is far more thrilling than most thrillers Hollywood pumps out these days, definatley take a look.

A good job is done to keep the audience on the edge of their chairs as our hero,Kurt Russell battles to save his wife from the clutches from a gang of small time extortionists.

If you enjoy a taut, exciting thriller (and who doesn't?!

Minor points aside the only real problem is that the climactic ending is both overblown and predictable,not to mention implausible.

" Throw in some psychological tension a la Hitchcock and a breathtaking climax worthy of John Woo, and you've got yourself one brilliant, unforgettable nail-biter.

Action Packed Suspense Movie .

In fact, to use a phrase that is, admittedly, a Hollywood cliche, I was definitely on the edge of my seat for the entire running time of the picture.

Breakdown takes place in one of the most empty and deadly environments known to man, the desert.

Far fetched in many ways,but entertaining.

Once again Kurt proves that he can make the movie worth watching!

the suspense was intense, the plot believable, the scenery stunning, the bad guys frightening, the hero applaudable, and the movie the best thriller I've seen in a long time.

This an highly entertaining movie full of action and suspense.

Breakdown is a thrilling action thriller, that keeps the suspense on every second of the movie.

Good performances all around make this a tight entertaining watch that you will feel you have not wasted your almost 2 hours.

Mostow keeps the story simple with a unexpected breakdown which turns into a living nightmare.

It had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through and I would recommend this movie to anyone.

You will keep yourself on the edge of your seat the entire time and will not want to turn it off, even at the end.

The finish was so exciting and gut-wrenchingly nerve-wracking that I just have to recommend this movie to anyone who wants a high-octane thrill to the finish.

Does it even SLOW HIM DOWN?

This is in the style of another movie I've seen and thought was very suspenseful, Joy Ride or Road Kill as its known over here in the UK, in the sense that they're both plausible and you couldn't rule out either of them being believable.

This one deserves ten of ten for an exhaustingly great mix of emotion, fear, aggressive action and anger, that will set the movie goer on the edge of the seat!

He portrayed a man desperate and on the edge to find his missing wife that no one knows what happened to.


To say that Jonathan Mostow's "Breakdown" (1997) is suspenseful is a gross understatement.

But it was intriguing and got me thinking, yeah, what would I do if that happened to me?

I'll let u decide while u see this suspenseful thriller.

Still Breakdown is a very good movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Soon the movie becomes trivial and too cliche-riddled to really become very memorable.

Directed by Johathan Mostow (Terminator 3:Rise of the Machines, U-571) made an entertaining suspense-thriller with moments of excitement, dark humour and action.

However, Breakdown provides its audience with a very entertaining evening and a movie that stands up well to repeat viewings.

and yes, you immediately are reliving the finest thrilling moments of Spielberg's masterpiece "The Duel".

'Breakdown' is a very enjoyable, tense thriller that grabs your attention from the start and never lets it go.

Genuinely suspenseful and entertaining film is one of the great overlooked films of the action/thriller genre of the past few years.

Support is good from others including Quinlan, Linn, and Gainey but really the film belongs to a sweaty and frantic Russell who gives a good performance that avoids action-hero cliché or excesses and is more convincing for it.

The final showdown at Walsh's ranch builds in suspense until it finally erupts into all-out action as Russell and Quinlan attempt to escape from Walsh and his two goons in a thrilling highway chase, culminating in one of the most intense confrontations I've ever seen, with Russell and Walsh fighting on Walsh's semi-truck cab as it hangs precariously over the side of a bridge.

This is one of the most intense Kurt Russell films out there, at least without being silly or science fiction.

In my opinion this is one of the greatest, on the edge of your seat thrillers out there that gives us smart characters, a great story and plenty of suspense and mystery.

and even though some parts of the movie were predictable, the suspenseful nature of it kept me on the edge of my seat almost through the whole movie.

Loved it - highly recommended if you like fast-moving, terrifying, exciting films.

BOTTOM LINE: "Breakdown" is nothing deep, but it's an intense, engaging, realistic thriller along the lines of "Duel," albeit more eventful.

You can hardly call the plot original, but the film is so gripping and intensely made that it doesn't matter.

Worth watching.

However, he winds up engaging in all kinds of acrobatic derring-do, scrambling over rooftops and hanging onto truck undercarriages, and it's just not credible.

What happens after that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

An exciting, well paced and well written action mystery thriller from director Jonathan Mostow who co-wrote the film as it's a thrilling, edge of your seat suspenseful movie.

The sequence where he asks his son to protect his mother - JT Walsh's wife - although he is the real bad guy of the movie, protect his wife against the actual hero - Russel - is very unusual and also unpredictable.

See this movie for a lesson in how good actors can overcome a middle budget movie and make it well worth watching.

My favorite movies are suspenseful ones, and this is, no question for me, THE most suspenseful movie I've ever seen.

It's a rather neatly done and enjoyable thriller, as thrillers go.

It was quite boring the second time I saw it, and that is why I do not like it.

It is paced just right, has some of the most suspenseful car chases ever filmed, and the finale at the end comes as a complete surprise to anyone.

The suspense built up like a thunderstorm with a climactic ending, with some of the most thrilling sequences of car-chases ever filmed.

With shades of Duel, Deliverance, and the Vanishing, Breakdown offers a few exciting car chases, lonely desert locations, and one hell of an evil villain.

Breakdown is a formulaic, bad southwestern guys terrorize the nice suburban couple moving from Massachusetts to San Diego.

Even though most of this plot has been hashed and re-hashed before, the acting, tight suspense, and various new elements make it all the more exciting.

The acting was great and the story line was thrilling and intense.

This movie leaves you on the edge of your seat, so I'd suggest grabbing more than a few cans of drink before watching, so you don't have to take any breaks from this thriller.

A thrilling story.

Extremely exciting film involves the viewer with the couple's plight right away, and seldom goes wrong.

Brutally Suspenseful .

Too often, movies that start with an intriguing set-up disappoint when it gets to the pay-off as they either simply drift into sheer absurdity or else provide an explanation that lacks any kind of credibility.

Walsh is EVIL in this movie,and pretty much any movie with Walsh in it is worth watching.

The film has a good pace, the script throw's all sorts of difficult situations at Jeff & it's very entertaining & often fairly tense to see how he overcomes them.

Another is the unbelievable events that happen under the fast-moving semi.

Routine MOW + Kurt Russell + big dull stunts .

The first two-thirds of this movie build up a lot of suspense and tension, as city slicker Kurt Russell searches redneck country for his disappeared wife, finding only confusion and obfuscation every way he turns.

10/10 Outstanding and heavily underrated suspenseful thriller.

This is a passable moment, that will leave you on the edge of your seat) "Breakdown" is a highly reccomended movie, that will do for the South, what Jaws does to the water.

An unpredictable thriller that works.

Ruussell as a hero in this picture, is so much more grabbing because the movie paints a picture of what would happen in the real world in a situation like this, and it is actually feasible too, there may have been the odd scene which slipped on this but this movie is so gripping because for the hero, his fix and his choices certainly aren't cut & dry, things don't always go right, as they do for the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Clint Eastwood.

If you're into biting your nails and eating a bucket of popcorn at the same time while sitting on the edge of your seat, then this movie might be for you.

The villians are nasty, Russell is great as the hero and the truck chase is intense and exciting.

All around, an intense watch.

It is very exciting from start to finish, the staccato drum score is great, and above all J.

Walsh, make for entertaining adversaries in this relentlessly tense and lightning paced movie that delivers the thrills in a big way.

Good points : some tension ( even the second time ), ending ( and that it has an end )Bad points : it gets boring, acting?

Another thing thats ingenious about the script is the unexpected twists and turns coming thick and fast making it even more suspenseful.

It's full of élan and formulaic incidents.

All in all however, an action packed nail biter.

Good action drama set in the middle of the Arizona/Nevada desert with a gripping performance by Kurt Russell as a man driven from being peaceful and reasonable to a desperate and no holds bar individual.

Besides that, though, this movie is a fun suspenseful ride.

The action sequences are believable, gripping, and beautifully filmed.

It is suspenseful and exciting.

That's what I call a suspenseful thriller!!.

The plot is engaging and the direction keeps the suspense at a taut pitch throughout.

The story, while being a wee bit predictable in a couple of places, has enough twists and turns to keep your interest and to keep you guessing as to what will happen next for the most part.

This riveting suspense thriller is sadly one of the most unappreciated movies of '97.

But Mostow manages to pace the story so well, that you are constantly on the edge of your seat waiting for what happens next and how the heck Russell is going to get himself out of the next situation.

Breakdown is a excellent thrilling movie!

Great entertaining film, Enjoy.

Suspenseful action thriller .

This movie is very well paced and the last 20 minutes of the film are very thrilling.

That's pointless divagation you say, and you're right.

So all in all, it's pretty well done for the first hour, the scenery is beautiful, but it loses its mojo and goes unnecessarily action packed for the finale.

I found this movie mysterious and suspenseful, truly an edge of your seat action film!

Also, the ultimate climactic resolution is reached only by the protagonist negotiating through increasingly thrilling standoffs.

This movie held me to the edge of my seat due to the suspenseful plot.

Since I started reviewing movies, I only gave two movies a nine and this one is the second one that deserves these points cos it must be one of the most thrilling movies I have ever seen and never understood why this movie is so obscure.

Its entertaining stuff with JT Walsh stealing the show as the villain.

This is a pretty good action movie, which occassionally gets you sitting on the edge of your seat, will Jeff and/or Amy on as they try to escape the guys.

See this one and you will see how the 90s had great suspenseful films lacking today.

Russell and Walsh are making stunning performances, and the movie keeps you attracted for every second.

I enjoyed it.

Compelling action thriller .

Jonathon Mostow wrote and directed it and I give him full credit for creating a suspenseful masterpiece on only his third outing in those combined roles.

A Great Entertaining Film .

But if you're looking for a Saturday night thriller that's going to keep you on the edge of your seat and have your girlfriend clinging to your arm, look no further.

I was a wreck during the whole thing, it was so exciting and scary.

This movie which was released in the 90s is simply - breathtaking!!!

Certainly exciting is the road chase and climax.

Scary and suspenseful .

Fabulous writing and a fantastic gripping movie!

But this is an action movie, and writer/director Mostow was trying to emulate Duel and Deliverance rather than Vertigo or The Vanishing; but his premise is so compelling that I wish he had developed it in a more interesting and less formulaic direction.

Excellent, unsettling and suspenseful B movie thriller .

Tense, gripping thriller .

Later as they were driving in the empty desert their van broke-down.

This is a hugely entertaining little thrill ride from start to finish, hooking the viewer quickly and not letting up.

This is a great suspenseful edge of your seat film if you love these types of films than this is for you.

Russell has one of his best roles in this sometimes predictable but still exciting action thriller.

" Very enjoyable action thriller.

The very best action packed suspense dramatic thriller I have ever seen.

Yet the great acting from Kurt Russell combined with the non-stop thrill make this movie enjoyable.

While the mystery maintains interest, there are some pretentious scenes.

Gripping, skillful thriller from director Jonathan Mostow takes a simple premise and effectively expands it into an entertaining movie.

Breakdown is an enjoyable movie.

Exciting Movie.

I definitely recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys a good action, suspense, drama movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Entertaining thrill ride .

Breakdown is an intense ride.

Breakdown was very exciting from beginning to end and it was much better than I expected.

BUZZ WORDS THAT I'VE HEARD APPLIED TO OTHER MOVIES, WHICH GENERALLY DISAPPOINT, BUT ARE ACCURATE FOR THIS ONE:Breakdown is an edge of your seat, adrenaline pumping and heart stopping in your face cinematic thrill ride that will leave you breathless and begging for more pulse pounding, jaw dropping excitement; and then it delivers with a finale that will leave you teetering on the edge of eternity chewing on someone else's fingernails.

This sounds trivial and predictable, and in a way it is.

Does it keep you on the edge of your seat?

But all this aside, what Breakdown remains ten years after is a competent, un-pretentious thrill-ride where the dialog is never too heavy, the action is packed with real stunts and few special effects, and some of the brighter moments for Russell in recent years (or rather, the last ten).

It kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.

Banal .

Sharp, suspenseful, and believable, this is arguably one of Russell's best.

Those few criticisms aside, I must say, that I was on the edge of my seat for the entire film, and loved every minute of it!

i was on the edge of my seat quite a bit.

This film is so intense & keeps you on the edge of your seat so much that I had stomach cramps after I watched it the first time.

Entertaining Film.

The always engaging screen veteran Kurt Russell and his real-life good friend, the late, great J.

Breakdown is an adrenaline-pumping thriller.

Economically directed, pacy and set against some truly stunning scenery this is worth checking out.

Hero and heroine - in the form of Kurt Russell and Kathleen Quinlan - are the film's flaws, being bland and under-used respectively (she gets to kill Walsh in a silly, slightly unworthy final coda - which seems there only for her to do something significant).

This was probably another one of Holywoods mass produced movies, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Kurt Russell gives a riveting performance as the hero in search of his missing wife, and JT Walsh is a fine bad guy.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

Plus some of his dialogue is repetitive and clichéd.

This is, in my opinion, an incredible, intense movie.

gripping,edge of your seat thriller .

Had me right on the edge of my seat!

I don't really care about killing the driver, but the chase scene was a waste of time and the buildup to it was ten times better.

This movie had me on the edge of my seat throughout.

Hints of "Duel", "The Hitcher","The Vanishing" and even "Deliverance" are flung into the mix to create a compelling and genuinely exciting movie.

A fast paced thriller that hits the mark at every turn.

Enjoyable Thriller .

Gainey, gangly Jack Noseworthy, and grizzled blubberball Ritch Brinkley still scuzz it up something sweet as the evil leering hicks while familiar faces Rex Linn and Jack McGhee contribute cool bits as an earnest, but useless sheriff and a scruffy diner counterman, respectively), there are no dreary, dragged-out expository lulls to be found, and both the zippy pacing and grimy tension are finely honed to sharp, stinging points, thereby resulting in a neatly bracing and suspenseful medium budget thriller which became a surprise box office hit.

Kurt Russell is excellent in this taunt, thrilling, non-stop action film.

In his directorial debut, Jonathan Mostow has created a gripping, action-filled film that also comes across as a nifty morality play about the invidious dual evils of envy and showing off.

Has It's Faults, But Boredom Is Not One Of Them .

Other than that this is by far one of the most suspenseful thrillers i've seen in many years.

It sure does and I was thoroughly involved for much of this cinematic journey as the plot takes some sharp and exciting bends .

it is intense and powerful.

This movie is dark, it doesn't have much humor, its pure adrenaline pumping suspense.

Old story made riveting in better-than-average thriller.

Each time during my repeat viewings I'd look around to see how the crowd was reacting and each and every time they were on the edge of their seats in suspense.

with edits and commercial breaks, this was one of the most exciting films I've ever seen.

from confusion, to bewilderment, to panic, to anger, and to an awesome feeling of revenge at the end...

Fine thriller with believable plot twists, exciting climax .

I have watched this movie several times and it always has me on the edge of my seat!

Tense, exciting stuff, worth a look.

And that is despite the fact that it, unlike the bulk of movies in the genre, truly keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Breakdown wants so much to cash in on action sequences planted here and there in the storyline that stunts occur like the climax of those sequences, ridiculously closing an uninteresting boxing fight with a wrestling tour-de-force.

The Car Chase if anything, actually adds to the suspense and had me right on the edge of my seat.

The truck driver pretends to be a very nice loving man with a family and Billy plays the roll of a slow boy.

If you have never seen it, it really keeps you on the edge of your seat.

about 2 weeks later, i dragged my reluctant girlfriend to see it, (mainly because i wanted a reason to see it again) and low and behold, she also loved it.

Shoot 'em ups and high budget special effects movies are the ones that are boring to me.

The movie delivers a good script especially intense sequences like Jeff in the car with Earl after pulling out money when it's actually one dollar bills with 20s in front of them disguised as a thousand dollars then him stabbing Earl in the shoulder blade with a letter opener then tying him up with fix-it tape even to his neck to drive his vehicle to interrogate him to ask where his wife is.

When the movie does slowdown enough to take a breather, it's surgical in its ability to create truly suspenseful cinematic moments.

Gripping .

It has some great, if over the top, action and keeps a steady and exciting pace.

In conclusion, the movie - Breakdown - is a very suspenseful one.

this is one intense nail biting movie.

that will have you on the edge of your seat.

But if you flip off the film before the last five minutes, you're sure to have a wildly fun time; it's an intense thriller that leaves you gasping for air.

Russell, Quinlan, and Walsh do far more for the movie than it does for them; in fact, it's entertaining only because of their combined star power.

I must say that the purported message, if any, of this film is intriguing.

If you are bored with stereotyped thrillers with predictable ends, and up for a true one, this will not disappoint you.

It's a boring story !

I must admit that I liked the Vanishing a little bit better,but this one is also very intense and thrilling.

I quite like Kirt Russell as and actor: the movies that he appears in tend to be very entertaining.

The best segment is the first half hour: the setup is as effective and compelling as I've seen in any movie, thriller or otherwise.

Over all, the movie is worth watching.


So if you are looking for a intense thriller I advice you to rent this one or the Vanishing with Kiefer Sutherland.

Mostly entertaining revenge movie.

It was so intense.

The script also has a really good balance, there's some gripping & intriguing thriller elements, there's some nice action adventure scenes, there's a touch of mystery & just enough exposition without slowing things down too much.