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Better Start Running (2018)

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An eclectic band of misfits becomes an unlikely family as they take a wild journey in the name of love while on the run from an overzealous FBI duo who wants them dead or alive - preferably dead.


Brett Simon
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Credited cast:
Analeigh Tipton ... Stephanie
Maria Bello ... Agent McFadden
Jeremy Irons ... Garrison
Jane Seymour
Karan Soni ... Nelson
Edi Gathegi ... Fitz Paradise
Alex Sharp ... Harley
Chad Faust ... Dale Hankey
Megan Chelf Fisher ... Shopper
Chloe Catherine Kim
Carly Tamborski ... Flea Market Shopper
Emily Fitz ... Kendra
Sandhya Chandel ... Amo Inn Owner
Anita Farmer Bergman ... Flea Market Shopper
Jay Santiago ... Rodrigo


In BETTER START RUNNING, an unexpected series of events turns everyday store clerk Harley [Alex Sharp] into a wanted man - and even more unexpectedly, he finds himself on the run with the girl of his dreams (Analeigh Tipton). FBI Agent McFadden [Maria Bello] is determined to crush him and wants to teach her rookie partner [Karan Soni] how it's done. But while the agents pursue their culprit, our hero has loftier pursuits. He kidnaps his Vietnam vet grandfather [Jeremy Irons] to reunite him with the love of his life, picks up a try-hard beatnik hitchhiker [Edi Gathegi] with a secret of his own, and against all common sense follows a roadside attractions map with a mysterious history. As the agents get closer and closer with every stop, this eclectic band of misfits becomes an unlikely family, because sometimes a running start - can be a better start.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some journeys are more MonuMental than others


Action | Comedy

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

28 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monumental See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisville, Kentucky, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Charming indie road-trip with a few flaws.
13 October 2018 | by zoeparry-94573See all my reviews

You've already read the synopsis and watched the trailer so I won't bore you with yet another summary of the plot. If you haven't watched the trailer I highly recommend you do so right now to get an idea of the pace and characterisation; if you don't like the trailer or it doesn't intrigue you on any level I'm quite sure you won't enjoy this movie.

Professional critics have not been particularly kind to Better Start Running but their complaints of a lack of story arc and focus were levelled at Lost in Translation too. Now, to be clear, this movie is not in the same league as Sofia Coppola's masterclass in loneliness, but it shares many of the same attributes - the characters don't fit into the world around them and they feel like they've failed for a multitude of reasons.

BSR is a slow-burn road-trip to sites of vintage Americana and yet it never fetishizes or puts rose-tinted glasses on a past that never really existed. Only one of the main characters is desperate to visit the 'World's Largest Cigarette Lighter' or the 'World's Biggest Can of Hork' but stick with it and you'll find out why. Stick with it and you'll find out all you need to know about everyone. Jeremy Irons is superb as a mobility impaired Marine Vietnam veteran and steals most of the best lines but the stand-out performance here is from Analeigh Tipton who needs to be wanted, needs to be a mother, wants to have a perfect family and drags along an anchor that can only ultimately be lifted by Alex Sharp. All of the film's characters start off very broken and end up, ultimately, with closure. That's the arc, Mr. Professional Critic, that's the arc you all missed with your cursory dismissal. It does stumble from time to time, most notably with a very cartoon-villain FBI agent chasing our main characters, but I could forgive the odd slip as I watched small-town America slide by from a beat up minivan with superb cinematography and excellent sound-mixing.

The sound track is sonic perfection, mixing styles and genres to match the mood; this is slow-burn indie movie-making cooked up and served exactly how some of us like it.

This leads me on to the main question - do I recommend it? My guess is this movie is going to split audiences down the middle and will probably garner 8/9 reviews and 3/4 reviews with very little in the middle leading to an aggregate of about 6. If you like Lost in Translation, you'll probably settle comfortably into this one. If you didn't, or have no interest in seeing Lost, then Better Start Running is probably not for you too.

Me? I loved it. It didn't make me snort though my nose with laughter or cry buckets but it made me smile all the way through. My tip: Don't see this at a theatre - get it on VOD and watch it with a glass of wine on a rainy night as I did. It's too personal to share with a bunch of phone-gazing, packet-rustling, popcorn-munching strangers.

7/10. Fantastic, melancholy, yet strangely uplifting indie road trip with subtle humour that focuses as much on the human condition as it does on the glorious landscape of faded America. As they say when you buy a car, though, your mileage may vary.

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