Garfield and Foy do standout jobs of bringing honesty and realism to their roles, but "Breathe" often suffers from sucking in too much air.
Breathe has moments of emotional resonance but the overall experience feels flat and familiar.
This is a film that rises above the doldrums. It inspires in the best way, in large part because it's based on a true story.
Thirty minutes in, we're pretty sure we know how the movie is going to turn out - even if we're unfamiliar with Robin's remarkable journey and his lasting impact. That doesn't mean Breathe isn't worth seeing.
If its subject were around to see this film, would he appreciate the tender care that his son obviously took in making it? Or might he be annoyed to have so little attention paid to what he himself was thinking?
Sadly, "Breathe" runs out of air long before the final credits.
"Breathe" is obvious Oscar bait, but its engaging story and appealing cast make that agenda easy to excuse.
Too much of this based-on-truth drama relies on sentiment, manipulation, a bruising soundtrack, and lax storytelling.
The sentiment may run high in spots. But it also feels undeniably heartfelt and warm, with a particularly engaging turn by Andrew Garfield as Robin.