Parents' Guide to


By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Feel-good romance tackles serious themes, disability rights.

Movie PG-13 2017 117 minutes
Breathe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

Almost perfect except the end about euthanasia

Wonderful ode to life and courage during three quarters of the movie. A very disturbing end that requires a lot of talk with the children. Parents wanted to recommend this movie must watch the end of the movie beforehand.
age 10+

Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy are cinematic gold

I have seen ‘Breathe’ approximately 7 times, and every time I find something different. Andrew Garfield plays Robin Cavendish, a disabled polio patient who ends up on a respirator; unable to move from the neck down. This film is beautiful, with great music, scenery, and splendid acting. Robin and his wife Diana (Foy) show what it means to get through overpowering obstacles in life and keep on living despite them. There is little to worry about in this film, other than one use of “shitty”, a single “hell”, and a muffled “dick”. There is also spurts of blood from Robin’s condition that could be scary to younger children. In the end, it’s uplifting, and emotional and is one of the best films that I’ve ever seen. 5 Stars! “And the Oscar goes to...."

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (6):

In his directorial debut, Serkis keeps the focus tightly on the characters -- and reaps the rewards, especially from Foy's superb performance as Diana. She simply won't allow Robin to give up on life. For starters, she helps relieve his depression by doing the then-unthinkable: taking him out of the hospital to live at home. Garfield, Hollander, and Bonneville also impress in their roles. Director Serkis is known, of course, as the world's premier performance-capture artist (Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, the titular ape in King Kong, Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes movies). But just as, all along, his work in that area has really been about acting, here he keeps the cinematic tricks to a minimum in order to let the performances ... breathe. His direction and William Nicholson's script move with admirable economy, conveying the passage of time and important moments smoothly, without paying short shrift to emotional resonances.

And now back to Foy, whose performance is rich, detailed, and alive to every nuance of the movie. She's soulful and reactive without overplaying her hand. When she learns how serious Robin's condition is, you can see layers within her: the proper Englishwoman, staying strong in the moment; the devastated young wife and lover; the mother-to-be realizing how different her future is going to be than what she had thought just moments ago. She's also full of life, finding the love and joy in the family's world, post-diagnosis. Her Diana is strong and extremely capable, brave without being invulnerable. The entire cast is responsible for believably populating the world that Serkis creates, but Foy's Diana is clearly the glue holding it all together. And for those wondering about the film's accuracy: Yes, it's a pretty clean view of a long struggle, but for what it's worth, the Cavendishes' son, Jonathan, is one of the producers.

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