Somewhere inside of Breaking and Entering is a great movie. The central conceit is full of wonderful moral stickiness. Jude Law’s character, Will, has his laptop stolen. (Jude Law the actor also has many scenes stolen. Ravi Gafron, memorable too in the second season of Rome is great as the acrobatic young thief; Vera Farmiga is great as the talkative neighborhood prostitute.) The kid who stole it, when breaking into Will architecture firm a second time, returns some photos of Will’s family. But when Will tracks him down, the boy’s mother will do anything to save the boy, including sleeping with Will. It all leads to what should’ve been a climactic scene of mediated confrontation.
The movie could’ve been strengthened immensely just by omitting the coincidence scene with the towel, the cheesy montage and all the therapy scenes. The moral conundra at the heart of the story are what make it fascinating: what is the debt that society is owed by a criminal, what is the debt the victim of the crime is owed?