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610 Ratings

Breaking Away

Directed by Peter Yates
United States, 1979
Sport, Drama


Best friends Dave, Mike, Cyril and Moocher have just graduated from high school. Living in the college town of Bloomington, Indiana, they are considered “cutters”: the working class of the town so named since most of the parents worked at the local limestone quarry.

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Breaking Away Directed by Peter Yates

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1980 | Winner: Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

1980 | 4 nominations including: Best Picture

National Board of Review

1979 | 2 wins including: Best Supporting Actor

BAFTA Awards

1980 | Winner: Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Role

Directors Guild of America

1980 | Nominee: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

Critics reviews

It’s no surprise that Breaking Away so authentically captures its sun-dappled after-school suburban aimlessness, since director Peter Yates is a master of milieu (his The Friends of Eddie Coyle is so transporting a depiction of the grungy outskirts of Beantown that it convinces me I must have had a former life as a Greater Boston bank robber).
May 14, 2012
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What are people saying?

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Breaking Away

    If you liked this film, you'll worship Arthur Penn's 'Four Friends' (1981). Simply because both movies were written by Steve Tesich, one of the best American screenwriters of the early 80's. Tesich, a Yugoslavian immigrant, speaks about integration and social classes in the USA. His screenplays are fascinating.

  • Ethan's rating of the film Breaking Away

    This is a beautiful coming of age film that features some good early performances from Christopher, Haley, D. Quaid, and Stern and from Paul Dooley who is a riot as the dad who doesn't understand his son but still tries despite his resistance. With all the ups and downs of life this is a solid film that captures that feeling of small town life and the magnetism that keeps you there.

  • John Matrix's rating of the film Breaking Away

    Uplifting without trying too hard. Nothing feels forced or dramatic for the sake of being dramatic. A group of friends struggle with adulthood, fail, get back up, & win a bike race. Plentiful humor and a focus on naturally developed characters are BREAKING AWAY's greatest assets. Also there's a beautiful sense of community that's suggested by hundreds of little interactions between the residents of Bloomington, IN.

  • Mcpeer's rating of the film Breaking Away

    Wonderful. Richard Linklater referred to this film as one of his prime influences while making Everybody Wants Some and it's easy to see why. This is so many great things: a fantastic coming of age story, a riveting sports drama, and a great college flick all rolled into one fantastic package. It's a love letter to Indiana and a remarkable time-capsule of the late 70's. A must watch for anyone making a period pieces.

  • SpacePirate's rating of the film Breaking Away

    Yates best film. Hadnt seen this one since high school sociology class lol but checked it out again recently and still holds up. A minor classic, in an era where a film could still gain a cult following and not need a major studio push. Sadly those days are long gone and the era of blockbusters with mindless explosion after explosion is here to stay. Great story, great performances, funny, moving, everything you want

  • Jonuk Who's rating of the film Breaking Away

    I love this film for its eccentricity, and the fact that it was filmed in my home state of Indiana, wonderful and witty! and Paul Dooley was never better as the long suffering father!

  • Muraki's rating of the film Breaking Away

    an Instant favorite! i already wanna watch it again! it's a movie that puts the one in a good mood & it talks wisely about how we come to out choices in life and how we learn from it! everybody cheats, man!

  • Django's rating of the film Breaking Away

    Few films capture insecurity and adolescent identity crisis better than this one. While it hits all the standard youth film tropes, it still feels fresh and original and the gags work despite their silliness. I could give the movie a fourth star just for Paul Dooley who plays loving but befuddled dads better than anyone.

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