The Indian Runner Reviews

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Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Penn's first project as writer/director is a film out of time, drenched in an overbearing '60s world-view which veers between the dated and the dopey.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
February 28, 2002
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily
September 8, 2005
| Original Score: 2/5
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
July 29, 2002
| Original Score: 1/5
Emanuel Levy
June 26, 2005
| Original Score: 2/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 23, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
Penn surrounds his brothers with supporting characters who are so well-realized, I'll remember them as long as I remember the leads.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Michael Szymanski
June 20, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Cole Smithey
October 5, 2006
Muscular if overwrought drama with great performances.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
Rambling, indulgent and joltingly raw at times, Sean Penn's first outing as a director takes a fair amount of patience to get through but has an integrity that intermittently serves it well.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
July 18, 2003
Probes the love/hate relationship between two brothers destined to follow different stars.
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Bill Craske
Senses of Cinema
June 27, 2001
Although the camera always gives precedence to the actor, Penn is not just merely a manipulator of theatrics. He conjures up superb images rivalling anything in modern American moviemaking.
Edward Johnson-Ott
NUVO Newsweekly
March 12, 2003
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
Loose, rambling and sometimes rudderless as it is, "The Indian Runner" has a fundamental honesty that gives it real substance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
November 10, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 1, 1991
Penn is trying to get at gritty American ''truths'' about love, brutality, and blood ties. Somehow, though, it's all a bit pat: By now, even these stark themes have the ring of movie conventions.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Emanuel Levy
April 29, 2011
The film is slow and pretentious, but it's a feature debut and Sean Penn, a distinguished actor, is good with his cast.
Full Review | Original Score: C+

May 24, 2003
Penn's generosity to his actors is welcome, and Mortensen and Morse make the most of it with substantial performances, but a tighter reign might have livened up a film that at times becomes a little ponderous.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
May 26, 2006
Dragan Antulov
May 13, 2003
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