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Running Scared
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Reviews & Ratings for
Running Scared More at IMDbPro »

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234 out of 308 people found the following review useful:

A two hour thrill ride that doesn't relent for a minute.

10/10
Author: Corey Shuman (cshuman@goldrushexpeditions.com) from Draper, Utah
6 March 2006

This was an extremely graphically violent film with some gratuitous nudity. A lot of extremely well played roles. characters were simple with complex backgrounds. It kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire film wondering what was next. I left feeling like I had just had a two hour seizure. Every time you thought you had it figured out it threw a curve at you. From beginning to end it was fabulous and realistic. Paul Walker gave an excellent performance and you really got into his skin. The supporting cast was excellent, development of the characters rolled out in a believable manner with out a bunch of unnecessary revelations. I will buy this movie when it comes out on DVD. If you enjoyed Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction you will probably really enjoy this film.

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219 out of 305 people found the following review useful:

You'll be hooked within seconds

10/10
Author: Joseph Stachler from Chicago, Il
4 March 2006

I was a big fan of Tarantino after seeing "Resevoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction". "Running Scared" is certainly in that same vein, and it also reminds me of John Woo's "The Killer". But where this film lacks the dialog of a Tarantino film, it is a lot more visually stylish than anything QT has ever done. There are great transitions, effective dynamic time warping (speed up or slow down a shot, like a bullet flying through the air), and if you thought Maynard, Zed, and the Gimp were bizarre in "Pulp Fiction", wait until you meet the creepy married couple who through their sick hobby make every other evil character in this film look like Buddhist Monks. It's a fast, furiously-paced film, certainly aptly titled. A great cast, beginning with Paul Walker and Vera Farmiga. And certainly the main kids stand their ground, especially Cameron Bright. Also worth mentioning is the end title sequence animated by Gary Hebert. Bottom line, if you were disappointed by films like "Kill Bill" and "Sin City", films you really wanted to like but found them too cartoonishly clichéd, you'll be more than satisfied with "Running Scared". It's sharp and engaging.

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171 out of 239 people found the following review useful:

Keep me in suspense

9/10
Author: thekid1015 from United States
10 March 2006

This movie is definitely more violent than the ones I normally go to (I'm a woman in her 50's)but I really enjoyed this one. It kept me on the edge of my seat through the whole movie. A couple of times I even jumped in my seat. Paul Walker was great - he seemed perfect for the part. I hadn't seen him in movies before but I'm definitely a fan now. The story has a definite twist which kept me interested. If you can get past the violence and some nudity, I'd really recommend it. Lot of action and suspense and a good story line. The theater was full when I went and the audience clapped for the movie at the end - which means most of them enjoyed it too.

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163 out of 228 people found the following review useful:

A massive surprise.

8/10
Author: drapertron from United Kingdom
10 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nobody makes movies like Running Scared any more. Five years ago, this film would've been toned down by whichever studio released it in order for it to receive the lowest certificate possible. Bravo, then, to writer/director Wayne Kramer for sticking to his guns and delivering one of the most uncompromising, memorable and downright brutal thrillers in recent memory.

Joey (Paul Walker) is a small-time mobster hired to dispose of 'hot' guns for his bosses. One of these weapons (with particular value over all the others) falls into the hands of his son's best friend and is used to startling effect. Here is where the real fun starts. Joey can find neither the child nor the weapon in question, and he has only 18 hours before either the police, the Russian mafia or his own employers catch up with him.

Walker is surprisingly impressive considering the strictly one-dimensional roles he played in movies such as The Fast And The Furious and Into The Blue. Here he plays Joey as someone well aware of his impending death should he fail, and throughout he is totally watchable and believable. No more will audiences giggle to themselves every time he delivers a dud of a line.

The story occasionally flags, particularly in the middle of the film, but Kramer is not afraid to play with the camera-work to keep the audience's attention - whip-pans, CSI-style extreme close-ups, super slow-motion, sepia filters and colour bleaching are all used to give the film a gritty and somewhat unique look - take, for instance, the kitchen shooting about half an hour into the film, played from multiple viewpoints in both forward and reverse.

The film's charcoal-dark tone may be too relentless for some viewers, and the paedophilia subplot could be considered as taking things one step too far, but as long as you've got a strong stomach and can face hearing lashings of creative swearing, there's a lot of enjoyment to be found here. Unbearably tense, visually inventive and superbly acted from start to finish, Running Scared is the first real surprise of 2006 - it pulls no punches and thrills from its excessively bloody opening to its foul-mouthed conclusion.

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137 out of 193 people found the following review useful:

Grand Guignol done with flair

10/10
Author: somf from United States
4 March 2006

Those who dismiss this classic film, and it really is destined to be a cult classic are perhaps properly outraged by the characters that Wayne Kramer populates this film with. Drug addicts, hookers, mobsters, wife beaters, pedophiles, crooked cops and pimps cross the path of Oleg and Joey as they run through the city looking to stay alive. Tarantino comparisons will abound as with any clever and violent film these days, but Wayne Kramer imprints Running Scared with his own wonderful style. I watched Richard Roeper give this a thumbs down by saying that Kramer throws in everything but the kitchen sink, I wholeheartedly agree but consider that a compliment. The climactic finale that takes place in a hockey rink starts off reminding me of one of my favorite scenes from another cult classic Philip Kaufman's "The Wanderers" which was derived from "The Hustler", but it only starts off there, and then it becomes perhaps the best all out violent mess that has ever been filmed.

I can't say enough about this film. I even thought Paul Walker was terrific. He shows promise that he has never shown before by eschewing the pretty boy shtick.

I just watched the film a second time upon it's DVD release which is something I seldom do, and I realized that Kramer views the film as a fairy tale. The evil characters are so over the top. They are the creatures of the night that populate our nightmares as opposed to the evil actually populating the streets. The film is about legends and myth. If the bad guys are the ones portrayed in the film, the good guys are John Wayne. If this sounds a little strange just watch the ending credits carefully.

People will discover this film. It is pure testosterone. But it sure kicks ass. I liked Wayne Kramer's the Cooler a lot as a simple character piece. I also enjoyed Mindhunters more than most, but now I anxiously await his next film. I think Wayne Kramer is going to create a great body of work over the next few years.

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122 out of 192 people found the following review useful:

Loved this movie

9/10
Author: sylore-1 from United States
7 March 2006

This movie is probably one of the best I've seen in a long while. The action scenes were in your face and looked pretty damn realistic. The special effects were freaking awesome and the director did some really cool stuff which will blow you away. The acting was very believable and the plot worked very well. It reminded me of Training Day the way the story unfolded while we went along for the ride. The plot is freaking awesome and I can't wait to get the DVD. An AWESOME movie!! Definitely must watch this again. The thing to remember when you watch this movie is that it's a ride just sit and enjoy it. I've never felt a need to promote a movie but this one is too good to let others miss it. It is painful to watch in some scenes and at times you're actually totally disgusted once you figure out what's going on. It's crazy the emotions that this movie brings out.

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105 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

Good action, with surprising content

10/10
Author: shambat from Ames, IA
5 March 2006

When I saw the trailer for this movie on TV, I thought it looked interesting. The way the movie was shot and the effects were showed off somewhat, and that's what appealed to me the most about the trailer.

I thought I was going to see a gangster flick, great, but I got something else, which turned out to be better. I would call it an odd mix of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Go, Goodfellas, and Kill Bill. Based on content, cinematography and story. I was enticed throughout the entire movie, and it kept me from yawning. I loved the story, the characters, and the twists and turns this movie provided.

The acting was quite good and believable. Paul Walker impressed me in this one, and I ate up the gangster and cop stereotypical roles as well. The kids did well also, except the main character's son is a bit annoying simply because he never listens to his parents, but this is not due to his acting but the character he plays.

I went to see the movie last night, and the theater was completely empty! Either people don't see movies on Saturday nights anymore, or people didn't feel that they wanted to see this film. I have no idea why. It's a shame, like most other reviewers have pointed out, that this movie did not do better at the box office.

Go see this if you like action movies with an interesting plot.

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68 out of 95 people found the following review useful:

Pleasantly Surprised

9/10
Author: Eckobone72 from Oregon
7 March 2006

I wasn't expecting much from this movie with Paul Walker as the star attraction, but this movie was thoroughly entertaining and I would highly recommend seeing it.Paul Walker gives a good performance although Cameron Bright steals the show even though I've always saw the kid as creepy after seeing him in The Butterfly Effect. The action in this movie is non-stop and it keeps you guessing up to the very end. I enjoyed how the movie was shot with New Jersey as a backdrop, the movie covered a lot of ground and used various locations that added to the intrigue. This movie provides a nice twist on modern day mob movies. I do agree with a review that I read that said that the gun floating around served as a maguffin (not sure if I spelled that correct) the action provides a high level of entertainment and excitement.

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89 out of 150 people found the following review useful:

A highly enjoyable, though very mixed-up, action film.

7/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
8 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'll admit I knew absolutely nothing of this film until I walked into the cinema. I saw no ads on TV or blurbs on the internet. And as far as I knew it was a remake of the movie with Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines. Well, it's not! It's actually a rather bizarre actioner. I'll get to that in a minute.

First of all, if you are kind of annoyed at the lack of good, old-fashioned R-rated action movies these days then this film will definitely set the balance straight. There are many, many, MANY gory, and even sometimes shocking, deaths in this film that make A History of Violence look like an episode of Sesame Street.

It plays like one of Robert Altman's multi-story character dramas. At the very beginning we are treated to a bloody gunfight in a motel room after a drug deal goes sour. Head thug Tommy 'Tombs' Perello (Johnny Messner) instructs henchman Joey (Paul Walker) to dispose of his gun. He was going to right after dinner but the battered kid next door nicks it to shoot his abusive father and legs it across Brooklyn. Joey must then find him and make up a story to prevent a zillion plot threads (involving crooked cops, rival Mafia families, evil pimps, child rapists/killers) from snapping.

The gun itself is a curious MacGuffin. It passes through the hands of many people who's lives all connect. There doesn't seem to be any main story as the film spends equal amounts of time developing every one and although it seems interesting it also feels like loads of different films crammed together. It's constantly meandering and going in another direction and revealing twist after twist. Yes, it keeps the film interesting but by the time the main twist comes at the end you're too exhilarated too care. Running Scared is probably one of those films that improves upon repeat viewings.

Besides the schizophrenic story, what really brings the film down to a slightly above-average experience is the fact that director Wayne Kramer uses every editing technique he can think of despite whether they are appropriate or not. They may be technically impressive but they lack class and pull the film into a kind of Michael Bay-Area, where it doesn't belong.

I was also kind of weary of the fact that it headlines Paul Walker. I've never liked any of the teen-oriented movies he's been mugging in but I have to say that this is definitely his most demanding role yet and he tries really, really hard to convince. But I'm still undecided about him. If he can pull off this kind of this kind of role again and ditch the pretty-boy image I'll forgive him for previous crimes.

But the highlight of the movie is Cameron Bright who plays Oleg, the abused kid. He's a way better child-actor than Dakota Fanning and can express loads of different emotions even with a blank face. The amount of nasty stuff his character goes through is probably unfamiliar and difficult for a child-actor to understand but he handles it extremely well and his scenes with Paul Walker are faultless.

Don't put the lack of publicity for this film put you off. It's not perfect but it's far from being a failure. Like I said, it'll probably be better on a second viewing but the first one will still be a thrilling experience.

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47 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

Way BETTER than expected!

9/10
Author: herrickheather from United States
1 March 2006

This movie was non-stop. It was full of action. It was intense, and at times surprising. I can see Paul Walker is trying to shed his pretty boy image. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It reminded me of a cross between Pulp Fiction and A history of violence with a twist. There were some moments that down right shocked me. This movie is not for anyone under the age of 17. And if this is your first date with someone...this is not the right choice...it could lead to some awkwardness. The acting was good. I wonder if the studios are gearing Paul Walker for something more. He just might be our next Matthew McConaughey. If you like gritty movies...than you are gonna enjoy this.

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