Box art for Running Scared

Running Scared

action & adventure, drama, thrillers


Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Grim tale of revenge and fear. Not for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is absolutely not for kids. It's determinedly violent and disturbing. Characters include gangsters, drug dealers, junkies, an abusive stepfather, a prostitute and pimp, and a couple who kidnap children to film in pornographic situations: all are explicitly indicated, if not shown on screen; one scene has characters in a strip bar, where a dancer appears in a brief full frontal nudity shot. Murders and abuses are committed with a variety of weapons, including guns, knives, and hockey pucks; characters appear in various states of undress; language is excessive (over 300 uses of "f--k").

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the extreme violence here -- is it necessary? Is it here to make a point, or just to shock? They can also talk about the film's stereotyping of gangsters, bad cops, prostitutes, pimps: Though the movie exaggerates for sensational effect, how might stereotypes reinforce viewer prejudices and narrow-mindedness?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 27
    see all Running Scared reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: There's clearly supposed to be tension between Joey's good and bad sides. Sure, he's a mobster, but he's also a family man, which makes him... gray. (Not black and white = very sophisticated.)

- Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune, Friday, February 24, 2006

Fresh: The end result of all these cross-mob confrontations is an orgy of nihilistic violence that is curiously exhilarating, I am almost ashamed to say.

- Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, Wednesday, March 1, 2006


- Brett Michel, Boston Phoenix, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

A passionate and excellently made action film where writer/director Kramer invites you to interpret and engage with his hyper-reality. A tour through America's problems or a fairytale? His characters are grotesques and his world is simultaneously hilarious and painfully sad. I don't know why this isn't considered a modern day classic. Die Hard meets Fellini? No. But maybe.

- fb1028803305, Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 stars

Ready. Aim. Run. Good movie, lots of action, bullets flying around all the time, people getting killed, if that's the type of movie you want plus a little twist at the end, this is the movie for you. I saw some action scenes which were new to me and that was kinda good. The acting was pretty decent nothing bad to say or overwhelming. Joey Gazelle is a low level mob flanker who gets told to dispose of a gun used for killing some dirty cops. Joey however, hides the gun in the drywall of his basement instead of tossing them in the river. When Joey's 10 year-old son and his best friend, Oleg, witness Joey hiding some guns from a botched drug deal, Oleg steals the gun -- a snub-nosed .38 -- and shoots his abusive stepfather with it. Things would be bad enough if the stepfather didn't happen to be the nephew of a psychotic Russian mob boss... who happens to be in business with Joey's crew on a gasoline scam. But now Joey's also got the surviving dirty cop from the botched drug deal on his case... and that hot .38 out there on the street, changing hands in an underworld of freaks, pimps, hookers and pedophiles. As well as Oleg, who can connect Joey to the gun. And even if Joey can make it through the night, he's still got to answer to his wife...

- MANUGINO, Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3 stars

Running Scared has got to be one of Paul Walker's best films. Considering that I don't like a lot of his work, for the exception of this film, Joy Ride and his brief role in Flags Of Our Fathers, he is a pretty bad actor. Running Scared however is a film that surprised me. It's should be a surprise that Paul Walker has made yet another watchable film, because as I've just said, nearly all his films suck. Running Scared though is an interesting and well crafted mob thriller where two kids get their hands on a gun that was used by the mob to shoot a cop. What follows is a desperate attempt to find the gun before the mob do. Running Scared is a fairly good film with a fairly interesting story. But the film also has a few things that could have been improved on. Paul Walker gives actually a decent enough performance here and so does most of the cast. But with this film expect something average and you won't be disappointed. The film could have had a slightly better cast at hand, and I think that the best actress in the film in terms of acting quality is Vera Farminga, everything she does is terrific and well done. I can't say that Running Scared is an excellent film, but what I can say is that it's a fairly good film with enough of a decent story to keep you entertained. Considering that this is for the most part a Paul Walker film, the film delivers enough thrills and good action to appeal to the viewer. However I do think that there was plenty of room for improvement. Director Wayne Kramer doesn't hold back at delivering a film that bold, brutal and violent. Kramer doesn't shy away from violent content and he plunges the viewer in world that makes you feel uncomfortable and creeped out. Running Scared is a good film that could have been something great, but never quit gets there in terms of astounding storytelling and good acting. The acting and story are good but aren't exactly excellent material. The viewer is presented with a crime thriller that delivers something that almost delivers everything to thrill, but never gets there.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, May 15, 2011