Not Easily Broken

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Not Easily Broken Movie Poster Image
Uneven family/marriage dramedy has some mature themes.
  • PG-13
  • 2009
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Though the lead characters seem to go astray, they exhibit an enormous amount of compassion and sympathy for one another's needs and troubles in the end. That said, a mother-in-law seems to be setting her daughter up for a failed marriage, and a wife fails to understand the importance of her husband's attempts to help young children through sports. He, in turn, begins stonewalling her. But overall, the good trumps the bad by the movie's end.


Some trash-talking and shoving on the basketball court -- one player throws a punch at another. A father threatens his son with a beating. A wife confronts a suspected mistress, with some shouting but no physical contact.


Plenty of sexual innuendo, but nothing too crude. A married man kisses a woman who isn't his wife. A wife dresses up in lingerie to entice her husband. Men discuss ogling women -- and indulge in doing so.


Mostly just mild swearing, including "ass" (which is uttered many times) and "damn."


Some signage and logos, including Cybex exercise machines, Jose Cuervo, and McDonald's.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some beer drinking in social situations.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this well-meaning but inconsistent dramedy has lots of heart and a worthwhile message: Figure out what matters most, make life meaningful, and keep the faith. But some themes -- including infidelity, husband-and-wife power struggles, and the death of a child -- are simply too mature for young audiences. There's also some swearing (mostly mild), social drinking, and a fair bit of sexual innuendo.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written bysallyangel32 November 27, 2011
Kid, 12 years old November 13, 2010

average movie worth checking out

no real concerns but yet no real highlights the worst thing there is sexual content and that is probably the only reason it is rated pg-13 and it has a great ca...

What's the story?

In this cinematic adaptation of T.D. Jakes' novel, upwardly mobile couple Dave (Morris Chestnut) and Clarisse (Taraji P. Henson) seem destined for a glittering life in Los Angeles. She aims to be a "real estate rainmaker"; he's going to be a baseball star. But then an injury sidelines Dave's dreams, and while Clarisse chases success, he becomes a contractor and channels his athletic aspirations -- and longing to become a parent, which Clarisse doesn't share -- into coaching Little League. They're soon on divergent paths, and their lives are further complicated by a car accident that turns Dave's meddling mother-in-law (Jenifer Lewis) into a daily presence and, more significantly, introduces a single mother (Maeve Quinlan) and her son into their lives.

Is it any good?

Funny, schmaltzy, and, it must be said, preachy, NOT EASILY BROKEN isn't as easy to appreciate as you wish it could be. Though it sets out to be a heartwarming, life-affirming drama, its meandering script, leaden storytelling, and shifting tone undercut its potential. (It's a hilarious buddy movie one minute, a tragic drama the next.) A plotline involving a child's death seems to exist only as a device to prompt the leads to do the requisite "taking stock" of their lives and seems like too sharp a turn to make.

So thank goodness for Henson and Lewis, who, when together onscreen, elevate each other's acting game to Olympian levels. (A scene in which daughter confronts mother about her inability to trust men is particularly effective.) Chestnut does a decent, if run-of-the-mill, job balancing vulnerability with toughness, and his easy rapport with his buddies feels believable. (As Dave's friend Tree, Kevin Hart gets all the hilarious lines, and makes the most of them.) Not Easily Broken is the sum of its parts ... too bad there are just too many incompatible ones.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what matters most to them as a family. A great discussion can be had about what makes life meaningful and the roles that faith and church play in the characters' marriage. Older teens can handle a discussion about how the film portrays marriage. Is it more or less realistic than what you've seen in other TV shows and movies? Why?

Movie details

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