The Breakfast Club - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Breakfast Club Reviews

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May 7, 2019
This is the definitive high school movie for good reason, it's undeniably great. The writing, direction and acting is fantastic and the clever use of some memorable songs helps to cement the film's iconic status. For some people Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) is their favorite John Hughes movie but to me this is his magnum opus as he manages to understand the fears and concerns of teenagers with alarming accuracy and writes a film that feels like an entertaining character study instead of an anthropological dissection. As a teenager I feel a special connection to this film that an adult may not feel but in my experience this is a film that can be appreciated by all.

Five teenagers, each from different socials group, attend detention on a Saturday at Shermer High School in Illinois. Claire Standish, Molly Ringwald, is the pretty, popular girl, Allison Reynolds, Ally Sheedy, is the outcast, Andrew Clark, Emilio Estevez, is the jock under immense pressure from his father, Brian Johnson, Anthony Michael Hall, is the depressed nerd and John Bender, Judd Nelson, is the philosophical bad boy who pushes the others to open up to one another. Principal Vernon, Paul Gleeson, is the main antagonist that the teenagers are able to unite against and the friendly janitor Carl Reed, John Kapelos, encourages them to bond.

Each character is immediately introduced as exactly what most people see them as. In just a couple of seconds Hughes shows that Claire is a spoilt brat who usually spends her Saturday elsewhere and Bender is a delinquent with a wild streak. We make these assumptions, which Hughes plays on later, because these introductions are so specific and so identifiable in everyday life that we look at people in our own high schools or workplaces in the same way. I immediately felt myself leaning towards being an Allison but as Claire revealed her backstory I also began to relate to her, much like The Wages of Fear (1953) this film proves that nobody is just anything. Everything about them, from their dialogue to the way they dress feels so right to how we imagine a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal.

The idea of teenagers projecting different images to who they really are seems obvious now but films about teenagers before this film don't seem able to articulate this idea in the same way. Yes, we hear about Brian's suicide attempt and the physical abuse that Bender faces in the same scene and one by one they all make their confessions but it is written to feel natural and the teenagers speak with character so you ignore the exposition. Everyone can relate to one of these characters to some degree, I relate to Allison, which makes the film universally engaging and the treatment of them as more than just stereotypes prevents the film from feeling as though it is pandering to a certain audience.

The final scene of Bender and Claire kissing is one that gives me all of the feels as the combination of "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds playing and the imagery of Claire's earring in Bender's glove is meaningful in a strange way. The idea of two opposites attracting is naturally romantic but Bender taking something from Claire that goes against his tough guy persona so completely shows just how crazy about her he is. The reading of the letter and fist pump after this are also deservedly iconic but almost every section of this film is near perfect in execution. Even the shots of the five of them smoking marijuana in the library feel as though they have been very specifically staged by Hughes to represent the shifting allegiances of the characters. His attention to detail creates these beautiful moments and suggestions of development in these kids who are simply looking for themselves in a world that doesn't support them.

I really love this film and I think I will feel the same way in twenty or thirty years just for different reasons. Despite being 34 years old the film is still more in touch with youths than any of the high school films being released today and it is a wonderful testament to Hughes' ability that he was able to direct a timeless classic.
May 4, 2019
'85 was good year for movies, think Blobbo.
April 18, 2019
Every teenager in every generation should watch this. It's a rite of passage. Love it....
February 28, 2019
This movie is so relatable as I was growing up in the 80s. From bullies to being different. I think it's even relevant now. A a parent now I see what my kids have to go through
½ February 27, 2019
I felt this movie had no real story line and no real insight into the actual lives of teenagers. Although the acting was great and I found myself shipping Allison and Andrew as a couple it just wasn't enough to make me fall in love with the movie itself.
February 26, 2019
If John Hughes decided to add a more diverse cast the movie would have had something extra to make it great , with me right now the movie stands as good . However it does offer a lot of diversity in terms of characteristics of each teenagers . I like the total focus on dialogue and close-ups. The movie is contained which gives room for one of the best character development I have seen .
February 9, 2019
‚The Breakfast Club‚? released in 1985 follows five high schoolers with nothing in common who find themselves spending a Saturday in detention together. The film made me feel nostalgic for the simpler times of high school when the only thing to worry about was others‚(TM) perceptions. It made me think that we should maybe instill better ideals in our youth to not have their focus be on what ‚group‚? they fit into. This narrative, like a lot of John Hughes‚(TM) films really paved the way for the teen coming of age dramedy. I don‚(TM)t wish that they did anything differently, as the film is such a professional classic. In terms of the writing, my favorite scene was when all five of the kids start whistling with each other. It‚(TM)s really the first time that the characters start to come together and work together. Directing-wise, I loved everyone‚(TM)s entrances into the library. The way that the each carry themselves when they‚(TM)re walking in is so telling of who their characters are but also their relationships with each other and very appropriately sets up the story and dynamic. In regard to editing, I loved when Bender reenacts his idea of what everyone‚(TM)s home lives are. There are more reaction shots when he describes Brian‚(TM)s home life, but the editor makes the decision to solely stay on him when he is describing his home life. This choice by the editor makes the story that Bender tells and the impact of it more effective. My absolute favorite actor in the film was Ally Sheedy‚(TM)s as Allison. She has so many great facial expressions that I just love and that makes her character so enjoyable to watch. I like when her and Andrew are walking down the hallway to get some water and she stares him down, her hair covering her face. I also enjoyed how she slurps her coke from the table as it spills. Overall, the cinematography was wonderful. To me, the best shots that will always be my favorite are when the gang is running through the hallways trying to avoid the teacher. They‚(TM)re all always well-framed in the shot and the color palette is very vibrant and energetic. The sound design is also another incredible aspect of the film. I especially love the opening credits when the iconic ‚Don‚(TM)t You Forget About Me‚? plays and then the glass shatters to reveal the high school. The production value is impeccable, creating the iconic film that we know and still love today.
February 5, 2019
A sweet but realistic look at the lives of five teenagers, obviously representing all teenagers, though a plot device that would lend itself perfectly to a stage play and allows for an almost total focus on dialogue and close-ups. Certainly a bit hokey at times, particularly the treatment of the teacher and the parents, but still a very good film.
½ February 5, 2019
A diverse group finds common ground during detention. A good movie.
½ February 5, 2019
I have watched this movie more times through my adolescence and it still resonates with its theme of finding commonality even in our differences
February 3, 2019
This movie was and is so important to the children of the 80's. John Hughes was spot on with relating to generation x. This is one of the best written and acted movies of that time. Brilliant.
A naked blond walks into a bar.....
½ February 2, 2019
A perfect mix of comedy and serious issues, the movie is driven by its really strong leads and is deserving of its status as a classic.
January 19, 2019
I really can‚(TM)t see what the buzz about this film is I‚(TM)ve wanted to watch if for a long time after lots of references in films and tv shows I‚(TM)ve seen. It appeared to be an iconic film so tonight we finally sat and watched it I was ready to give in after 30 minutes but persevered and I assumed something wonderful would happen at some point to make me love it well I‚(TM)m still awaiting that moment and the film ended 10 minutes ago
½ January 17, 2019
An iconic 80's film, and a great 'coming of age' film to watch. I love the character development in it also.
January 13, 2019
A wildly inventive mix of comedy,drama and fun. the breakfast club is possibly the height of teen films of all time.
½ January 13, 2019
Aside from St. Elmo's Fire and Pretty In Pink, this formed the triumvirate of the must-watch teen flick from the 80's. And like the other older films I've watched recently, this is my first time to see this. This was a slow brew but kinda picked up towards the end. Each of the leads had their own unique charm, which is definitely the reason why many people look back to this decade and have this film as a must-see.
January 9, 2019
This is so deep and so relatable. Its crazy !
January 5, 2019
amazing. used to be my favorite movie until i saw infinity war.
January 4, 2019
this movie was so amazing at showing teens true feelings. it makes you realize that teens go through a lot of stuff that they just keep in and don‚(TM)t do anything about. i had never seen this movie tulle now and i only heard good things about it. now i understand why
December 11, 2018
One of the best teen movies coming of age films, and one of the best 80s films, the Breakfast Club digs deep into a life of an american teen's hard life
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