"Broken" is not an easily categorized movie. It begins with a scene of intense violence as we are introduced to the three suburban families whose lives will be altered (for worse and better) as the result of what follows.
What follows, in short, are interwoven tales of love (found and lost, romantic and familial), suspicion, doubt, teenage bullying, illness, health, trust, faith, loss and hope (really). These are wrapped around events in the sphere of pre-teen "Skunk". Skunk meticulously tracks her blood test readings as she manages her Type I diabetes and prepares to move into her first year of middle school.
Among those in her orbit are a young adult neighbor (Rick) with indeterminate psychological issues, the Cunningham family (whose three daughters taunt Rick mercilessly) and a first-time boyfriend. Skunk's family is rounded out by single father Archie (whose wife has left), her older brother and a live-in nanny, Kasia (whose fiance is about to begin a teaching stint at Skunk's school).
This is a rich plot for mature audiences. Two brief scenes are overtly sexual, and there are multiple instances of actual and implied violence. None are sensational or gratuitous, and all serve to effectively advance the plot.
To reveal many plot details would be to invite spoilers. Just watch this movie in its entirety, because many of its characters act in surprising ways (with good and bad results). And just when director Rufus Norris has you convinced that the only heartache and bleakness are the outcome of these events, he pulls us back from the ledge.
A nice break from films centered around formulas and selling toys.
Note: This is part of the Film Movement subscription series; Film Movement provided this DVD for review purposes.