Breakdown

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  • R
  • 1997
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 7.0  (61,075)
  • 73

Breakdown is a gripping and intense thriller directed by Jonathan Mostow and released in 1997. The film stars Kurt Russell as Jeff Taylor, a successful businessman who, along with his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan), hits the road for a cross-country move from Massachusetts to California. As they drive through the desert of New Mexico, their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. After a seemingly friendly trucker named Red Barr (J.T. Walsh) offers to help, Amy joins him in his truck to the nearest town to get a tow truck, while Jeff stays behind to wait for their car to be repaired.

However, when Amy doesn't return and the locals seem to know nothing about her or the tow truck, Jeff realizes that something is very wrong. Desperate for answers and help, Jeff contacts the police, but they're no help, and he soon discovers that his wife's disappearance and the breakdown of their car may be part of a sinister plot.

With his world falling apart, Jeff must use all his wits and resources to find out what happened to his wife and who's behind it before it's too late.

The movie is a thrilling and suspenseful ride that keeps viewers on the edge of their seat. It builds tension steadily throughout the film, as Jeff's desperation and fear escalate, and he must confront his own limitations and weaknesses to save his wife.

Kurt Russell delivers a powerful performance as Jeff, capturing the character's vulnerability, determination, and everyman quality, making him a relatable and sympathetic protagonist. Kathleen Quinlan is also outstanding as Amy, particularly in her scenes with Red Barr, which are tinged with an unsettling sense of danger and impending doom.

However, it's J.T. Walsh's portrayal of Red Barr that steals the show. Walsh is excellent as the trucker, imbuing him with an air of menace, charm, and unpredictable violence that keeps viewers guessing throughout. His commanding presence, gravelly voice, and icy stare make him a memorable and terrifying antagonist.

In addition to the excellent cast, Breakdown boasts a tight and efficient script that keeps the story moving forward while still allowing time for character development and emotional connection. The pacing is perfect, with the right mix of action, suspense, and quiet moments that allow the tension to build organically.

The film's direction and cinematography are also noteworthy, with Mostow using the vast desert landscape to convey a sense of isolation, desperation, and danger. The shots of the empty roads, abandoned buildings, and desolate gas stations all contribute to the film's themes of helplessness and vulnerability.

Overall, Breakdown is a superb thriller that delivers on all fronts – suspense, action, character, and storytelling. Its themes of marriage, trust, and survival resonate long after the credits roll, and the film remains a classic of the genre. It's a must-watch for anyone who loves a great thriller and wants to see Kurt Russell and J.T. Walsh at the top of their game.

Breakdown is a 1997 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 73.

Breakdown
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Where to Watch Breakdown
Breakdown is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, FuboTV, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Breakdown for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
    1997
  • MPAA Rating
    R
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (61,075)
  • Metascore
    73