Review – Don’t Break Down “A Film About Jawbreaker” @ The Vista Theater in LA

I didn’t grow up with The Smiths, but I had Jawbreaker. I have been following the production of this documentary for awhile.  I was beyond hyped to see this.


I went to The Vista Theater in LA with my dad, wife, and a couple friends.  If you live in LA and have never been to The Vista, please go.  It is the best movie theater in LA.  The night started with a Q&A with Blake, Adam, the Editor, and Producer of the documentary.  The Q&A was ok.  Jawbreaker confirmed they will play more shows and more specifically play in LA.  Then the movie started.


Jawbreaker was nuanced, creative, emotive, raw, energetic, and most of all real band.  This film did not capture any of that.  I do not want to go into every detail because the list is long.  They got the history right but that is about it.  The biggest problem with the film is that it lacked any true human emotion.  It was a mediocre cookie cutter behind the music special.  The documentary is a fanboy film made by fanboys (I assume) for fanboys.  I actually walked out of the theater really bummed.  I really wanted to like it.


I now know the disappointment people felt when they first heard “Dear You”, but unlike that album I doubt that this record will age well.  If you are a Jawbreaker fan maybe watch it.


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I (Michael Mahaffie) am a documentary film editor by day and obsessive record collector by night. I also program documentaries for the Slamdance Film Festival. I have 2 dogs and a cat. I live in Echo Park. I like eating new foods and riding my bike. I also just learned how to juggle.

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