The Breakfast Club (1985)

breakfast club poster 1985 movie cast
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

Strong acting in a dialogue heavy movie

Somewhat dated

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Breakfast Club

Studio: Universal Studios

Genre(s): Comedy/Drama

Release Date(s): February 15, 1985

MPAA Rating: R


So…anyone know how to play euchre?

Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez), Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall), John Bender (Judd Nelson), Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald), and Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) all have Saturday detention under Richard Vernon (Paul Gleason) at Shermer High.  They all got there a different way, but are about to discover that eight hours can change the way they see each other.

Directed by John Hughes, The Breakfast Club is a teen coming-of-age film.  The influential film was released to strong reviews and has become a cult classic over the years.  It is often listed as one of the quintessential films of the ‘80s.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #905).

The Breakfast Club deserves this distinction.  John Hughes really had a feel for the teens at the time, and the movie falls into his Shermer, Illinois series.  It went through a lot of casting changes.  Estevez wanted to be Bender and John Cusack even was cast as Bender for a while before Nelson was brought in.  Rick Moranis was going to be the janitor Carl but was replaced by John Kapelos.  The movie was a success and is still considered one of the best (if not the best) high school movie.


That’s right…I’m a no good punk…my family’s made up of no good punks…don’t you feel just punkier next to me? I thought so.

The strength in The Breakfast Club is the cast since there isn’t much action in the movie, and the movie is full of dialogue.  The dialogue is witty and smart, but unlike a Kevin Smith or Diablo Cody type dialogue, it is reasonable that most of the characters could talk like their characters (except maybe Nelson).  Judd Nelson carries a lot of the movie as the instigator in the group and does a nice job forcing them to talk.  Nelson was almost fired from the movie because it is said he wouldn’t break character and continuously harassed Molly Ringwald even off camera.

The Breakfast Club’s weaknesses are that it has become a bit dated.  It would be interesting to see how young kids perceive this movie now and if they think any of the characters would even be considered “cool”.  The dialogue always had some questionable parts (especially how the kids throw around insults when it seems there would be more swearing involved on some of their parts).  Plus the entire picture is a bit melodramatic, but for kids in high school, even getting a drink at a drinking fountain can become melodramatic, so I can’t hold that against it.


Um…Can you do that thing with your lipstick again?

It is interesting to watch The Breakfast Club as its 25th Anniversary edition is available and realize how much comedies have changed.  It is kind of sad how far directors have to go to get a laugh (and yes I know that other movies at the time pushed the envelope, but it was fewer).  The cast and crew original perceived sequels that would reunite the cast as they aged, but it never happened and now seems doubtful…It was already a stretch to think of Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy as high schoolers since they were all in their twenties already (Estevez and Nelson already graduated college in the other Brat Pack classic St. Elmo’s Fire).  The movie is good still however and can be enjoyed again if you haven’t seen it in years.  One question still linger however…What type of a high school did they go to that had that giant of a library?

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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