MOVIE OF THE WEEK August 26, 2022: BREAKING

A U.S. Marine veteran pushed to the limits of his patience after being treated poorly by the Department of Veterans Affairs goes to extreme lengths to make sure his story is heard in Abi Damaris Corbin’s tense drama Breaking. John Boyega gives a riveting performance in the film, which is based on the heartbreaking true story of Lance Corporal Brian Brown-Easley, who threatened to blow up a bank in 2017 unless the V.A. gave him the $892 he was owed.

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BREAKING – Review by Loren King

Breaking is a spare and lean film with a stellar, racially diverse cast that gives the film’s depiction of working people authenticity. John Boyega is flat-out terrific as beaten down war veteran Brian Brown-Easley who, in an act of desperation, holds two women employees hostage in an Atlanta bank as he demands that the VA funds that are owed to him are paid.

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BREAKING – Review by Leslie Combemale

Director Abi Damaris Corbin’s feature film Breaking, based on the true story of Marine war veteran Brian Easley and the series of events that left him at the brink of homelessness, leading him to walk into a Wells Fargo Bank in Atlanta, declare he had a bomb, and hold two women hostage for three hours. This tension-filled gut-wrenching tale unfolds with the intimacy of a chamber drama. It is as much an indictment of the Veterans Administration and its failure to support veterans, the lack of services for the mentally ill in this country, and the dangers of being a Black American, as it is a story of one man’s struggle and pain.

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BREAKING – Review by Liz Whittemore

Director Abi Damaris Corbin brings to life the true story of Brian Brown-Easley. John Boyega plays the real-life ex-Marine who, in a last-ditch effort to get the money the VA owes him, threatens to blow up a Wells Fargo Bank with two female managers he’s holding hostage. Breaking is an intense thriller that keeps your heart in your throat from beginning to end. It is one of the most extraordinary stories of principle I’ve ever seen. The final minutes of the film will rattle your soul.

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BREAKING – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Filmmaker Abi Damaris Corbin’s Breaking is a military take on 1975’s Dog Day Afternoon. In that film, Al Pacino’s bank robber committed a crime so he could pay for his male lover’s sex-change operation, which back in that era felt rather farcical given that LBTQ community was not exactly embraced back then. That stick-up job was based on a true story and so is this one. But the mood here is different — as it portrays how war vets aren’t given support they need to resume life as a civilian.

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892 (Sundance FF 2022) – Review by Leslie Combemale

Premiering at Sundance is director Abi Damaris Corbin’s feature film 892, based on the true story of Marine war veteran Brian Easley and the series of events that left him at the brink of homelessness, leading him to walk into a Wells Fargo in Atlanta, declare he had a bomb, and hold two women hostage for 3 hours. This tension-filled gut-wrenching tale unfolds with the intimacy of a chamber drama. It is as much an indictment of the Veterans Administration and its failure to support veterans, the lack of services for the mentally ill in this country, and the dangers of being a Black American, as it is a story of one man’s struggle and pain.

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