Breaking Away
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Bloomington Indiana is the site of this story about Dave Stohler (Dennis Christopher) and his three buddies. The derisive term used by the college kids for Dave's kind is "cutters," that is to say, children of the quarrymen who cut the stone for the university's buildings. In other college towns, they might simply go by the name "townies." The four lads have just graduated from high school and have no fixed destination beyond that. Dave is an exception, in that he is a dedicated bicycle racer. He persuades his friends Mike, Cyril and Moocher (Dennis Quaid, Daniel… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"There are a few moments when the picture's easygoing pace turns into wobbliness, but these are insignificant compared with its many moments of shrewd insight into the lives of amusingly shaded but very recognizable human beings."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"Displays the kind of unsentimental optimism that went out of fashion with Hawks."
‑ , Time Out
"Rousing bicycle race story is a family favorite."
‑ Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
"Christopher is so good in this quietly charming, Yates-drected tale of four high school graduates trying to decide what to do with their lives that it's a wonder he didn't achieve the heights of co-star Quaid."
‑ , Film4
"This charming comedy shows sensitivity to American peculiarities and eccentricties in spite (or may be because) of the fact that it was scripted by a writer of foreign descent and helmed by a Brit, Peter Yates."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Though its plot wins no points for originality, Breaking Away is a thoroughly delightful light comedy."
‑ , Variety
"Breaking Away is a wonderfully sunny, funny, goofy, intelligent movie that makes you feel about as good as any movie in a long time. It is, in fact, a treasure."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Breaking Away embraces the good old fashioned small town family values that would catapult Ronald Reagan to an enormously popular two term presidency. And still, I like it."
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"A delightful sleeper."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Despite a reasonably fun performance from Daniel Stern, Dennis Quaid earnest overacting sinks what could have been a quaint film about middle America."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Peter Yates, previously typed as an action director, lends the film a fine, unexpected limpidity, and the principals are mostly excellent."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Here is a movie so fresh and funny it didn't even need a big budget or a pedigree."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The triumphant ending teeters on twee, but feels warranted enough to give it a pass and enjoy the moment right along with him."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"The screenplay by Oscar-winner Steve Tesich sometimes turns a little precious, but the character and atmosphere is so firmly established that it all works out."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Dennis Christopher is unforgettable in his one big film role."
‑ Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly
More reviews for Breaking Away on Rotten Tomatoes