“Stephen Dorff's Energetic Performance Cannot Compensate For The Minimalism Of The Plot”
"Brake" is a full-scale paranoid nightmare with back-to-back double-whammy endings.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
Dorff's mannered Bruce Willis affect seems as insincere as the script, which helplessly loses credibility as info accrues and the narrative unpeels.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
Talk about being boxed in: This thriller is half-"24," half-"Buried" and, despite a few twists, unable to move anywhere.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
Your mileage enjoying Brake may vary, but even if you spot the final destination coming, it's a pleasant enough joyride.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
It is amazing how much hair-raising action and fluid movement this film captures in the confined interior of a car trunk, or how many mood shifts Mr. Dorff conveys in a performance that can only be called multi-dimensional.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Brake may not be the kind of film that Dorff's thesp character in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere is pining for, but the actor fully commits to the arduous demands of the part.
Robert Koehler - Variety
The whole claustrophobic one-man show feels like we've been here before, and with better material.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
Gabe Toro - The Playlist
While the film is suspenseful for awhile, it ultimately becomes a let down because of a stretched out story and an absurd ending.
Jeff Beck - We Got This Covered
Most of it is a decent film despite it being stretched out, but most of it being good just doesn't cut it.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
It's a clever B-movie that has a number of fun twists up its sleeve.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
...a second-rate carbon-copy of Rodrigo Cortes' vastly superior Buried.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Over 95% of "Brake" takes place in the trunk of a car. But, despite the confines or perhaps because of them, it's a decent enough thriller.
Paul Chambers - CNNRadio
In a movie like this, almost everything depends on the lead actor -- and Stephen Dorff does not disappoint. He turns in a splended 'confined' performance here.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
There are simply too many manipulative gimmicks to generate any emotional investment in the outcome.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Dorff is stellar and the film builds some tension but a bit too much required suspension of disbelief, some plot holes, weak dialogue, and two increasingly silly twist endings ultimately sink the piece.
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
There are plenty of gripping moments, as well as a few silly ones - bees get involved at one point, presumably to please Wicker Man fans. And the ride as a whole is at the very least exciting to take part in.
Andrew Lapin - NPR
Dorff and Torres make a lot out of very little, always keeping the audience aware of the larger world outside the small, dark space in which they've trapped us.
Noel Murray - AV Club
an idea for a short extended far beyond its creative shelf life
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
Works as a budget suspense experience, reaching enough boiling points to entertain, but not enough to block out the ridiculous ending.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
If we're never drawn in far enough to wonder what we might do in a Plexiglass box at the end of the world, Dorff can sell stock action-hero lines with enough moody grit to hold our attention.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
The situation itself is simply too absurd for us to accept, right from the start. And the more it goes on, the harder it is to stay onboard.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
[Dorff] spends most of the movie confusing tough-guy stoicism with simple inertness, despite the occasional Jack Bauer-style yell.
Sam Adams - Time Out New York
Stephen Dorff's energetic performance cannot compensate for the minimalism of the plot.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Until its pair of ludicrous twist endings, which complicates its message and logistics in ways that make little sense, Gabe Torres's Brake plays like a more simplistic version of Buried tailored specifically to a hawkish right-wing crowd.
Andrew Schenker - Slant Magazine
It's never boring, and although some of this is flawed and kind of ridiculous, including the implausible ending, if you go along for the ride, there's fun as well as some suspense to be had here.
Neil Rosen - NY1-TV