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Running Scared (1986)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 8,210

My Rating

Movie Info

Distinguished by a sharp, witty dialogue between its two cop protagonists, Ray and Danny (Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal), this entertaining crime drama is well worth a visit. Ray and Danny are nearly blown away by super bad guy Julio (Jimmy Smits), and their boss is peeved at them as usual. So the two are given a holiday from their beat in Chicago and travel to the sunny shores of Key West. They like it enough to retire from police work and open a business there. But when the duo returns to


Action & Adventure, Comedy

Oct 2, 2001

MGM Home Entertainment

Watch It Now


Latest News on Running Scared

June 12, 2014:
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It's been used and abused so many times that by all rights, it should long ago have been exhausted...
October 19, 2005:
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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (8) | DVD (4)

"Running Scared" tries to be a light comedy in a violent, comic-book world. That's a difficult juggling act, and director Peter Hyams doesn't pull it off.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A functional 1986 actioner about two wisecracking Chicago cops (Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal) and their vendetta against a Latino crime lord (Jimmy Smits).

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No more original or eventful than an average police TV show, so it must sink or swim on the moment-by-moment cleverness of the dialog and the behavioral talents of Hines and Crystal. Fortunately, these elements prove formidable.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crystal and Hines do flavour the film with genuine warmth, and despite some cheap gags, work well together to produce some truly funny moments.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Another, thoroughly depressing demonstration of the extent to which television now dictates the style and the manners of so many of the movies we see in theaters.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This genre is so overpopulated that it hardly seems like we need one more example, and yet "Running Scared" transcends its dreary roots and turns out to be a lot of fun.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wisecracking their way through tough situations and bickering like an old married couple, Hines and Crystal succeed in creating a new buddy team that ranks with the likes of Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

May 27, 2014 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Has all the logic and transitional ease of a Pokémon-style card game played by 5-year-olds who don't understand the rules, so they make up their own as they go.

February 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

A breezily entertaining buddy-cop movie with too much cutesy shtick for its own good. Gregory Hines is OK, but Billy Crystal is never believable as a Chicago cop.

October 20, 2005
Fantastica Daily

If you're sure there's nothing else to do.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4

Pre-Lethal Weapon mid-80s buddy flick before

February 18, 2003
Henderson Home News (Henderson, NV)

Relentlessly competent in a TBS Saturday afternoon kind of way.

January 24, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

Crystal and Hines are a great double act. Laughs aplenty.

September 18, 2002

The most appealing thing about this movie is the charisma and good humour delivered by the two leads.

November 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Running Scared

This buddy cop crime comedy/drama is good, I liked it.
January 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

When two hotshot Chicago detectives have a brush with their own mortality, they decide to buy a bar and retire to Key West after cracking one last case. Running Scared is the kind of film that at least on paper, looks like a pig. The plot is the usual mix of cliched characters and by the numbers plot devices (particularly the inevitable man-boy pleasing finale), and the cast hardly screams A-list. But what this film gets right is the sense of fun; it's tongue is firmly in its cheek and the great comic chemistry between Crystal and Hines is backed up by a constant stream of consistently funny jokes (my personal highlights include the police line-up and Hines' battle of the bird with a ten year old!) It's definitely a matter of taste, but for me Running Scared is at least as good as contemporary Beverly Hills Cop and ranks alongside the likes of Back To The Future, Ghostbusters and Die Hard as my cinematic comfort food, and will forever be one of my favourite guilty pleasures.
January 8, 2010
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

30 days to clean up Chicago before they retire to Paradise... Losing their police car, their suspect and having their cover blown is a real bad start.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

    1. Danny Costanzo: We're going to be tender-cop-vittles.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Danny Costanzo: I'm allergic to machine guns.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Danny Costanzo: I mean retire--quit-be a regular person.
    2. Ray Hughes: Regular people suck.
    3. Danny Costanzo: Maybe, but they don't get shot.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Danny Costanzo: Is this what I really want to do when I grow up?
    2. Ray Hughes: What else is there?
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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