Review: Vaughn Stein’s Psychological Thriller EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE Starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan & Sam Claflin

4 out of 5 stars

Director Vaughn Stein (Terminal, Inheritance) has delivered a top-tier psychological thriller in Every Breath You Take. The film, which stars Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Claflin and Veronica Ferres is a twisty old-fashioned thriller – the type that Hollywood no longer makes. It has hints of genre masters Hitchcock and Polanski, offering up great performances and wonderful tension – making it the perfect film to watch on a Friday or Saturday night. 

Affleck and Monaghan are Philip and Grace, a couple whose lives have be blown apart by the death of their son in a car accident. Philp has thrown himself into his psychiatric work, but he gets another blow when a young patient named Daphne (Emily Alyn Lind) takes her own life. Things take a turn when Daphne’s brother James (Claflin) arrives at Philp’s house and when Grace invites him in for dinner, she lets in more than she anticipated. Soon James is working hard at dismantling the family by turning Grace and their daughter Lucy (Ferres) against Philip. 

A home invasion movie where the invasion is psychological rather than physical, Every Breath You Take has notes of classic Hollywood thrillers like Pacific Heights, Unlawful Entry and The Talented Mr Ripley. It’s a timepiece of a thriller, slowly being wound as the film progresses. 

Stein’s film has a core cast of four – Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Sam Claflin and Veronica Ferres – and they all deliver strong work. Affleck and Monaghan worked together so well in Ben Affleck’s Gone Baby Gone and they’re both great as the bereaved parents who have drifted apart. Claflin’s performance is filled with ice cold charm, a shark cutting through the narrative of the film. Meanwhile Ferres is very good as the teenage daughter who was a very dangerous rebellious streak.

Along with cinematographer Michael Merriman and production designer Jeremy Stanbridge, Vaughn Stein has made sure that Every Breath You Take looks fantastic, delivering an A-list looking thriller on a very modest budget. Movies like this are few and far between these days. 

Brilliant escapist entertainment, Every Breath You Take is a slick thriller with a stand out cast – what more do you want for a night’s entertainment?

Listen to the Movies In Focus interview with Every Breath You Take director Vaughn Stein