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Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Vince Vaughn
Jennifer Aniston
Jon Favreau
Jason Bateman
Joey Lauren Adams
Cole Hauser
John Michael Higgins.
Peyton Reed.
Jeremy Garelick
Jay Lavender.
Running Time
105 minutes

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My Darling Clementine
5 Star Empire Rating
Third Man, The
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5 Star Empire Rating

The Break-Up
Uncomfortably perceptive but amusing relationship stuff from Aniston and Vaughn

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When a couple (Vaughn and Aniston) split up, they both realise that neither of them wants to leave their home, and so begin behaving badly to force the other out.

The Break-Up

You can almost see the heads of the studio’s marketing department passing out with glee. Media superhero Jennifer Aniston stars in a movie called The Break-Up at the exact moment her real-life break-up from movie heartthrob Brad Pitt is pulling the maximum amount of column inches. Laugh? Actually, not so much…

Despite its comfortably familiar rom-com trailer, the film’s more bitter than a first wife without a pre-nup. Gary and Brooke engage relentlessly in no-holds-barred brawls that leave both their co-stars and audience squirming uncomfortably, and there’s a gripping realness about Aniston and Vaughn’s raw performances.
The Break-Up inevitably starts with The Get-Together. A chance meeting at a baseball game dissolves into a relationship photo-montage of Jen and Vince that, if they were real, tabloids would happily blow their yearly budget on. As if the dissolution of the human monolith that was Brad & Jen wasn’t enough, the alleged off-screen relationship between its co-stars has made this otherwise modest little movie as talked-about as a Harry Potter release.

Which is why much has been made of the on-screen chemistry between its co-stars, scandal pundits gravely looking for signs that prove once and for all that the pair are a bona fide couple. If you’re looking for simple on-screen chemistry, however, there’s plenty to be found: between Vaughn and his former Swingers/Made co-star Jon Favreau. Favreau plays best buddy and, opportunely, bar owner Johnny O, and it’s when they’re bantering together that you’re reminded that somewhere down the line, The Break-Up was conceived as a comedy.

When Gary’s oafish ways lead to the couple calling it quits, traditional romantic comedy takes a back-seat as the couple haul each other over the coals and dare to tell it like it is. It’s funny, but the comedy turns dark as their world implodes and their friends take sides. Here, director Peyton Reed — who brought us the Kirsten Dunst cheerleading comedy Bring It On and period Ewan McGregor rom-com Down With Love — clearly gave Vaughn free reign to improvise, and few can shoot their mouth off quite as effectively.

Aniston too is no slouch, and hearing the former butter-wouldn’t-melt sitcom star cuss and swear and hold her own against the barrage of abuse — as well as reveal that finely aerobicized rear-end every heat magazine reader knows so much about — may be worth the ticket entry alone.


Break-Up, The Break-Up, The
Released: 13 November 1999
The commentary’s rather sprightly, but the deleted scenes are not worth bothering with and the outtakes are oddly laboured. The alternative ending is a definitively different way to close the movie, but they stuck with the right one.

The Break-Up doesn’t turn the rom-com on its head, but with its focus on the darker side of love manages to gently tip it on its side.

Reviewed by Tony Horkins

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for The Break-Up
Empire Star Rating

The Break-Up

Mostly run of the mill and not unenjoyable but there's something quite real in there somewhere which actually sets it apart. I almost feel like I should apologise for having enjoyed it. But I did. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by qualidad at 23:22, 01 March 2007 | Report This Post

Not Vaughns best

I went to see this film expecting something in line with the Wedding Crashers or Dodgeball but The Break-Up has a totally different feel. Some scenes (especially one involving singing!) are excruciating to watch and I understand why some people have disliked watching the intimate arguments of a couple splitting up. It is also difficult to empathise with either character as they both contribute equally to the breakdown of their relationship. However, Vaughn is as brilliant as ever with hi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vikingvampireparrot at 14:07, 24 August 2006 | Report This Post

It Broke Me Up

Being a human of the male persuasion, and having a fairly healthy aversion to most rom-com/chick-flick fayre, I have to say that I wasn't expecting to like this film and had been putting it off. But having made my girlfriend sit through Hostel, I owed her this one - and I have to say I thought it was not only better than expected, but genuinely funny/moving/thought-provoking stuff. Well-acted, not only by the always watchable Vaughan and Aniston, but with a great cast of US comedy favourites l... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jon Duckworth at 22:36, 21 August 2006 | Report This Post

Love alone would not keep any Relationship Alive

From it's trailer, I thought I be in for a wacky time in the theatre watching The Break Up. On the contrary and to my surprise, I sort of learnt something, about relationship, from the movie. Well, many things have been said that any couple have to work together to maintain their relationship. But the movie has depicted, as if giving you a slap on the face, that living together, as a couple, is never a fairy tale. From daily chores of cleaning up the house to putting up with habits (bad or go... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by britney at 19:46, 19 August 2006 | Report This Post

Great Premise, But alas.........

As films go, it is ok...Aniston and Vaughn do have chemistry between them which does make the relationship real...HOWEVER.....instead of the script dealing with REAL EVENTS AND DARK AND DESPERATE MOMENTS THAT CAN BE DARKLY strayed into a sugar coated should've would've territory, and the squabbles between the two are so pathetic...except for the (games night fight)...all in all it is not dark enough or desperate enough...although I think ANISTON will eventually find a role worthy o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by omarx at 15:12, 06 August 2006 | Report This Post

Empire Please!

When a couple (Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston) split up, they both realise that neither of them wants to leave their home, and so begin behaving badly to force the other out. I went to see this with a firend because I have dragged her along to far to many Sci-fi/action films and oh my... This is the worst film I have seen in years! Even the actors seemed to know how bad it was and almost seem embarrased to be in the film. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against rom-com/chick-flicks in gen... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pokeikov at 19:48, 02 August 2006 | Report This Post

Empire Please!

When a couple (Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston) split up, they both realise that neither of them wants to leave their home, and so begin behaving badly to force the other out. I went to see this with a firend because I have dragged her along to far to many Sci-fi/action films and oh my... This is the worst film I have seen in years! Even the actors seemed to know how bad it was and almost seem embarrased to be in the film. Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against rom-com/chick-flicks in gen... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Pokeikov at 19:47, 02 August 2006 | Report This Post

RE: The Break-Up

nbsp;  I have to admit to a certain bias here - I'm not a big fan of romcoms/chick flicks, and normally avoid them.  But sometimes I have to make sacrifices on behalf of film-going friends, so last night I went to see The Break-Up.t=arial] Ironically enough, up until the titular event, the movie is fine.  The dinner party and aforementioned verbal sparring that follows is startlingly real, and will connect with many people.  After the event, however, the movie sags not... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by pettsy at 20:22, 30 July 2006 | Report This Post

RE: The Break-Up

Not all of us can claim to have crashed weddings, hosted a sorority in our house or entered a Dodgeball tournament, but it’s probably fair to say most of us have gone through a break-up of some sort. The harsh words yelled in anger, the resulting fallout and the awkward attempts at reconciliation that follow; not exactly the best concept for a comedy you might think, and you’d be right. Don’t get me wrong, The Break-Up is indeed very funny, but it’s also bang on the nose in its wry analysis of ... More

Posted by Ali Baba at 12:17, 30 July 2006 | Report This Post

Not a date movie but I did enjoy it! Not that funny but it's worth a viewing and the cinema addmission. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tired_geek86 at 01:18, 30 July 2006 | Report This Post

Is it a rom or a com? Who cares?

For someone not particularly bothered who Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston are sleeping with (they both seem like very nice people and I wish them all the best, but I’m just not that nosy), The Break Up arrives carrying only two bits of baggage: one, will Aniston every make a movie worthy of her talents? And two, how cool is Vince Vaughn? And, although it does well regarding these two points – Aniston turns in a great performance that has very little of Rachel in it; and Vaughn is n... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by britesparc at 22:43, 26 July 2006 | Report This Post


ed it, didnt think I would but I did, but full marks to a ending that didn't feel typically Hollywood and there were some good laughs. Vaughn was great as per usual and it was good to see him and Faverau on screen together again, just not enough Jason Bateman which was a real damn shame. ... More

Posted by Bruce Wayne at 22:36, 25 July 2006 | Report This Post

RE: The Break Up - Exceeded my expectations

I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't a typical Rom Com in that there was a lot of arguements, which as Empire said, make the audience feel a little uncomfortable. But I also think this was the films downfall because I never really enjoyed watching it all that much. It was kind of depressing. Vaughn and Faverau provided a few laughs ("Band Of should rent it sometime") but not enough to drag me from the gloom I felt watching the fights and arguements. 2/5 ... More

Posted by Castor Troy at 17:18, 25 July 2006 | Report This Post

The Break Up - Exceeded my expectations

After reading most reviews about this film, I had low expectations of what the film was going to be like I expected it to be a typical romantic comedy but with arguments involved but it was refreshing and new to watch. For starters Aniston is absolutely brilliant she was the one who stole the film for me, I like most of her films anyway (with the exception of Along Came Polly) but in this she really does shine. I just totally felt her pain and there were times when I had to pull out a hankie. V... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Sugar Kowalczyk at 18:55, 24 July 2006 | Report This Post

RE: On the Rocks

I have to say I went in with low expectations having read a couple of reviews suggesting that this was a disappointment and maybe it was my low expectations that lead me to actually really enjoy this film. The two leads were good in their roles, Vince Vaughn back to much better (If not his best) form after the appauling Wedding Crashers and Jennifer Aniston in a less sweetie type of role, although I still find it difficult not to think of her as "Rachel from Friends" I mean I found it rea... More

Posted by Marvel_79 at 10:40, 24 July 2006 | Report This Post

The Break-Up

You don't see many mainstream films taking risks these days. With such massive sums and stars' profiles on the line, most filmmakers elect to stick to the tried and tested rules, and to churn out films which fit neatly into their assigned genres. So it's hats off toeak-Upying to do something a little bit different to the standard romantic comedy; instead of a couple falling in love, we get a couple falling apart; and it's a film which aspires to the acerbic, tit-for-tat fun of something like o... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Philconcannon at 21:10, 23 July 2006 | Report This Post

A big disappointment. The only jokes in the film I'd already seen on the adverts and it was really serious. Jon Favreau was great as usual, though and girls i think will get more out of it than boys. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by cluesy at 19:49, 23 July 2006 | Report This Post

The Break Up

I saw this film the other day and really want to see it again! It had some really hilarious moments in it! But it was also really sad in places. I think it work really well, its a good chick flick and worth watching! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by sarahlea16 at 12:27, 22 July 2006 | Report This Post


Does it even matter how good (or crap as I've heard from some people) this film is? It's going to make loads of money because of the two leads off screen romance (hmm, I wonder if they finally announce their love for each other AFTER the film is released). Personally, it looks like a drab modern version of War of the Roses without the sadistic and black comic edge. ... More

Posted by Desperate Teenager at 13:59, 21 July 2006 | Report This Post

The film was OK, but a bit of a disappointment, the main problem being that it never seemed sure if it wanted to be an out and out comedy or a drama with a comedic undertone. The fact it was a 12A didn't help either, it would probably have worked better as a more adult black comedy somewhere along the line of The War Of The Roses. As it is the ending seemed to be an attempt to update Annie Hall for modern times, but following what had gone before I felt it didn't really work all that well, ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Indio at 22:30, 20 July 2006 | Report This Post

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