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Running With Scissors (2006)



Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 130
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 90

Despite a few great performances, the film lacks the sincerity and emotional edge of Burroughs' well-loved memoir.


Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 29

Despite a few great performances, the film lacks the sincerity and emotional edge of Burroughs' well-loved memoir.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 132,597


My Rating

Movie Info

This is a son's story of a bipolar-poet mother with delusions of grandeur who falls into the care of an unorthodox psychiatrist.


Drama, Comedy

Jul 29, 2003


Sony Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (138) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (90) | DVD (16)

In the real world, mental illness is a serious problem. In this film, it gives everyone a license to run around like characters in a Lewis Carroll story -- all of it set to predictable pop hits from the 1970s.

October 31, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper | Comments (2)
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As dysfunctional family movies go, this is one skip. It doesn't just run with the scissors, it falls on them.

October 29, 2006 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Running with Scissors looks great, and works fine when Bening is on screen; otherwise, it's off-balance, teetering where it should hold steady.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the book was deadpan, the movie is more -- or less -- dead.

October 27, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an Igby Goes Down without the laughs, a morbid miscalculation of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou size.

October 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film trips over its willy-nilly story line and falls on its own blade.

October 27, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Strictly for the Anderson-Baumbach crowd of privileged idiots

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Based on Augusten Burrough's memoir, "Running With Scissors" traverses the '70's American zeitgeist in eccentric personal terms when the American dream plummeted into horror with the aid of prescription drugs.

April 24, 2009 Full Review Source:

Running With Scissors is a schizophrenic film. It simply doesn't know what it wants to be %u2014 a witty and wacky satire, or a serious and heartfelt drama.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

For every aspect that is depressing, there something that is fresh and uplifting, and it is credit to writer director Ryan Murphy for capturing the mood of Burroughs' book so faithfully.

March 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

The excruciating display of bohemian spoils wears the word "delightful" in quotation marks, with a theatre accent.

March 15, 2007 Full Review

The first half rolls along like an excitable child hoping to entertain with each new stunt. But it loses the book's dark humour. Running with Scissors? More like a stumble.

February 2, 2007 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper

Running With Scissors has a great cast and an appropriately chaotic nature, but it never really adds up to anything and fails to hit its emotional targets.

February 1, 2007 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

In its attempt to capture Burroughs' wacky, often wrenching teen years, the film is unified mainly by an impulse toward overstatement.

January 31, 2007 Full Review Source: Reeler

Well-acted by the superb ensemble cast but there just isn't a likeable character amongst them to care about.

January 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Sadly fails to sustain its original interest.

January 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

I had hoped, I guess, that the film would do justice to the book, but sadly that is not the case. If I were you, go out and spend the money on the paperback, curl up and give yourself over to the wacky world Burroughs' creates. It'll be more fulfilling th

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Murphy's adaptation is bright, lively and fast-paced, but the movie is relentless in its outlandishness.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

We can really feel writer-director Murphy straining for both wacky hilarity and touching emotion. And never quite getting there.

November 25, 2006 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Running With Scissors is alternately grating and boring, as deadly a combo as one could imagine sitting through for two unendurable hours.

November 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

This may be Annette Bening's finest screen work ever.

November 6, 2006

This has been watered down to be more like Walking with Plastic Spoons.

November 4, 2006 Full Review Source:

It's a film about dreams, about gurus and disciples, about self-centered people destroying each other. Yes, it can make you laugh, but it breaks your heart at the same time.

November 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Annoyingly pretentious and self-pitying, despite the presence of an interesting cast.

October 31, 2006 Full Review Source:

Running With Scissors loses its edge because we want to see more of Baldwin and less of everyone else.

October 31, 2006 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Audience Reviews for Running With Scissors

Cast: Annette Bening, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jill Clayburgh, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood, Alec Baldwin, Vanessa Redgrave, Kristin Chenoweth, Colleen Camp, Patrick Wilson

Director: Ryan Murphy

Summary: When Deirdre Burroughs (Annette Bening) impulsively decides that her adolescent son Augusten (Joseph Cross) should be raised by her unconventional psychiatrist (Brian Cox), her choice to give him away changes the course of his life forever.

My Thoughts: "Haven't read the book (although I want to) so I am not sure if its the same in writing as it is on screen. It's such a crazy movie.. A good kind of crazy. I had wanted to see this movie for quite some time now, and I am glad I finally got the chance to. It was such a great movie. All the characters are all insane but sane at the same time. The Dr. was my favorite. The lines he gave had me laughing. If you haven't seen it I recommend you do."
June 6, 2011

Super Reviewer

30/07/2010 (TELEVISION)

This puts the "Drama" in "Dramatic" and makes it seem poetic. A very intense story with some major issues that weigh a ton, in madness.

It started off seemingly normal and interesting but as the story unfolds it takes a very shocking turn with crazy characters and a fiery story that burns with insanity, but still managing to maintain my interest.

Not my kind of flick but it's a nice change from my usual taste. A very hardcore drama indeed but a good check for those who are into "True Stories".
August 1, 2010

Super Reviewer

Very Strange! Joseph Cross has done better work in Jack Frost! What the hell was this?
January 25, 2010
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Running With Scissors walk a tightrope between being a complete autrocity and being a work of mesmorizing genuis. I read the book a couple weeks ago and liked it a lot. The book managed to relate the bizare events without giving a feeling of "Woe is Me". Perhaps more importantly, the book was also believable - whereas in the film everything appears fairly ludicrious. The movie certainly has its moments. In fact, several scenes were absolutely masterfull. Most of the acting was pretty decent-though Even Rachel Wood is among my favorites. I was also overjoyed to see Kristen Chenoweth. The sound track was also pretty damn amazing! Idk, I find myself fairly torn on this one. It did not completely win me over at all, but its just too close to being really good to say its bad =\
December 2, 2009
Jake ....

Super Reviewer

    1. Augusten Burroughs: I want rules... and boundaries... because... what I've learned is that... without them... all life is... is a series of surprises.
    – Submitted by Justin C (21 months ago)
    1. Dr. Finch: You can't come in here, this is my mastabatorium!
    – Submitted by Justin C (21 months ago)
    1. Augusten Burroughs: According to Hope, Freud died of kitty leukemia. According to me, Freud died of being trapped in a laundry basket for four days without food or water.
    – Submitted by Angela T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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