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: 18 out of 265 found boring (6.79%)

One-line Reviews (235)

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

A thrilling story.

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.

this is one intense nail biting movie.

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

Does it even SLOW HIM DOWN?

Fabulous writing and a fantastic gripping movie!

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

Breakdown is an enjoyable movie.

Suspenseful action thriller .

Fine thriller with believable plot twists, exciting climax .

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

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

Without a big production but with a good cast and a suspenseful story, Breakdown will get you on the edge of your seat.

Worth watching.

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.

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

This movie was very fast paced which I loved.

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

Had me right on the edge of my seat!

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

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


Breakdown is a excellent thrilling movie!

Brilliant tenseful movie n pretty much unpredictable.

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

Tense, exciting stuff, worth a look.

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

Wild, intense ride .

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.

Certainly exciting is the road chase and climax.

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

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

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

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

Enthralling and entertaining, it's totally worthy of your time.

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

Action packed, edge of your seat, sweaty palm inducing, adrenaline fueled thrill ride.

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

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

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).

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.

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

This film "Breakdown" is well worth watching.

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

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

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

Adrenaline-fueled action thriller.

All in all however, an action packed nail biter.

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.

Banal .

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

Brutally Suspenseful .

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

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.

This has no ideas above its station, and as the heat gets turned up bit by bit, come the thrilling finale you may find it's time to breath easy again...

Since I've always been a big Kurt Russell fan, I really enjoyed it.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

It was so intense.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Entertaining thrill ride .

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

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

It was perfectly constructed to take me as a viewer along with him, slowly transitioning from worry, to fear, to confusion, and finally to anger.

Mostly entertaining revenge movie.

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

The movie is short and very entertaining.

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

Far fetched in many ways,but entertaining.

The photography is equally engrossing.

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.

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

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

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

It's a boring story !

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

I enjoyed it.

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.

Excellent, fast-moving action thriller .

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

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.

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

Enjoyable Thriller .

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

Entertaining Film.

Plus some of his dialogue is repetitive and clichéd.

Scary and suspenseful .

Over all, the movie is worth watching.

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

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.

" Very enjoyable action thriller.

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

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.

It has perfect pacing, building from an intriguing mystery, into a somewhat over-the-top, but nevertheless really exciting finale, with a few cleverly designed plot twists to keep the storyline entertainingly unpredictable.

Routine MOW + Kurt Russell + big dull stunts .

Compelling action thriller .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

gripping,edge of your seat thriller .

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.

Breakdown is an intense ride.

Otherwise, this movie was a total adrenaline rush of fun, and one that will definitely be added to my collection soon.

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

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

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.

First time I watched, was in the same years of release (1997), watched it with my parents, I was just 9 yrs old and I still remember it because this movie makes you to stay focus and concentrate the whole movie, one of the best thriller movies for me, a lot of suspense, action, adrenaline, and finally satisfaction.

Oddly riveting .

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

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

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

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.

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

it is intense and powerful.

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.

Breakdown is an adrenaline-pumping thriller.

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

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

Poorly acted and generally a waste of time.

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.

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).

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

It was totally waste of time!

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

Breakdown is one of those films that's so intense and so well done it just gets under your skin and drills itself into your psyche.

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

Does it keep you on the edge of your seat?

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

It is suspenseful and exciting.

It eventually becomes evident that the villains of the piece have no intention of letting either Jeff or Amy live, and the scene is set for an exciting showdown.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Intense high speed action.

Solid entertaining thriller.

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.

Great Intense 90s Thriller.

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.

that will have you on the edge of your seat.

It's full of élan and formulaic incidents.

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

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

" 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.

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.

All around, an intense watch.

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.

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

Gripping .

That's my only complaint about this otherwise very enjoyable thriller starring Kurt Russell as Jeff Taylor, irresponsible husband of Amy (Kathleen Quinlan), who accepts a lift to a nearby diner with trucker Red Barr (J.

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

Very suspenseful, dark and edge of your seat almost the whole time.

10/10 Outstanding and heavily underrated suspenseful thriller.

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

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

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

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.

Exciting Movie .

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.

It seemed like an exciting premise and Kurt Russel always has that x factor.

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.

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

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.

Tense, gripping thriller .

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

A Great Entertaining Film .

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

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.

Action Packed Suspense Movie .

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.

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

An unpredictable thriller that works.

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

Excellent, unsettling and suspenseful B movie thriller .

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.

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

It is pretty tacky but oddly riveting.

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!

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.

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.

I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

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

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.

Great entertaining film, Enjoy.

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

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

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


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

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

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

Exciting Movie.

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!

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

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

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.

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.

Definitely worth the watch if you're surfing for a flick to get your action fix.

Whatever, highly recommended if you fancy a knuckle dusting on the edge of your seats piece of action, this one delivers.

king waste of time .