Running With Scissors Reviews

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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Time Out
January 25, 2007
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 31, 2006
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.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 29, 2006
As dysfunctional family movies go, this is one skip. It doesn't just run with the scissors, it falls on them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 28, 2006
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 27, 2006
Running with Scissors looks great, and works fine when Bening is on screen; otherwise, it's off-balance, teetering where it should hold steady.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 27, 2006
If the book was deadpan, the movie is more -- or less -- dead.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 27, 2006
This is an Igby Goes Down without the laughs, a morbid miscalculation of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou size.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
October 27, 2006
The film trips over its willy-nilly story line and falls on its own blade.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 27, 2006
Anyone who has watched 10 minutes of Nip/Tuck knows [director] Murphy is adept at cramming all sorts of weirdness into a couple of hours, but in Running With Scissors he turns out to be inexplicably squeamish.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
October 27, 2006
It's one of the most clear-headed -- and twistedly entertaining -- views of drug dependency and insanity I've ever seen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 27, 2006
Just as the title implies, Running with Scissors falls down and impales itself at nearly every turn. It's one big uh-oh and ouch of a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 27, 2006
Running with Scissors feels like nothing more than one of the many current TV series that appeal to viewers looking for edgy entertainment.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
October 27, 2006
Someday Annette Bening may find a movie that precisely matches the performance she gives. Unfortunately, Running With Scissors isn't that movie.
| Original Score: C+
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
October 27, 2006
A mood-swinging, often amusing version of Augusten Burroughs' tart, best-selling memoir.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
October 27, 2006
Sadly, the movie version is a dull-edged instrument that struggles to conjure the book's piercing internal voice.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 27, 2006
Maybe all this really happened, but I didn't believe a second of it as portrayed.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 27, 2006
The book has had its darkest, least-forgiving details sanded off for the multiplex.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 27, 2006
The movie lacks the immediacy of other tales of suburban dysfunction, such as American Beauty, but the performances carry it along swiftly.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
October 26, 2006
When Bening is all wound up and blowing the rafters off as the demented, repulsive/charming, self-deluded Dierdre, the movie has an engine. You may not approve, but the great Bening is so captivating you cannot look away.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
October 26, 2006
Every beat of the picture has the ring of pushy inauthenticity, and despite all the outre eccentricities, a plodding lack of uniqueness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 26, 2006
A blunt-edged, disappointing adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' best-selling (albeit embellished) memoir about growing up among mad people in the 1970s.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
October 24, 2006
Ultimately, the outlandishness of this life seems just too much to bear -- if not for Augusten himself, who miraculously comes out stronger, then certainly for the audience.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 23, 2006
Ryan Murphy's jaunty screen version of Running With Scissors proves that nothing consecrates one's depiction of a narcissistic mother like having her embodied by Annette Bening.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 23, 2006
By turns cruel, self-pitying, and mordantly witty, [Bening] makes living with a delusional psychotic seem like the adventure of a lifetime.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 21, 2006
It's Baldwin, in a relatively small role, who nearly blows the whole movie apart.
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
October 20, 2006
Running With Scissors is full of horrible people doing horrible things.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 20, 2006
Despite actors who give their all, it lies there waiting for an animating force that never comes.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
October 20, 2006
The film is more a sideshow than a satire, and while it has a certain morbid allure, it doesn't succeed in replicating the charm of the novel.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 20, 2006
Less than ideally focused but with terrific performances -- especially by the Oscar-baiting Annette Bening as a monster mom -- this is a compulsively watchable movie best enjoyed by forgetting that it's supposedly based on actual events...
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
October 20, 2006
Running With Scissors is a reasonable facsimile of a perversely funny book whose odd characters are given life by a terrific cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
October 20, 2006
The perception gap between an author's words on the printed page and how they translate to the screen has never yawned so widely as it does for Running With Scissors, a black comedy more likely to provoke upchucks than yuks.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Kate Taylor
Globe and Mail
October 20, 2006
This comedy, adapted by writer and director Ryan Murphy from the real Augusten Burroughs' apparently truthful memoir of the same title, wears a deep and sophisticated shade of black and is also very, very sad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
October 20, 2006
The cast works hard to keep up the momentum of Running With Scissors. Its flaws are (director Ryan) Murphy's fault. He flails around seeking the right tone and never quite finds it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Joanne Kaufman
Wall Street Journal
October 19, 2006
The laughter elicited by Running with Scissors tends to be of the embarrassed sort, the impact of its neglected child horror story blunted. Blame it on the movie's high-camp gloss; it trivializes what is far from trivial.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
October 19, 2006
What is lost in the translation from book to movie is emotional subtlety and pathos, which, to be fair, were in short supply to start.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
October 19, 2006
It's an oddly drab and disconnected experience, neither as raucously funny nor as moving as it wants us to think it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 19, 2006
The problem is that the efforts of the actors don't add up to much more than a series of uncomfortable, funny-horrible vignettes in a scattered, shapeless movie.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
October 19, 2006
The director seems to buy the author's fond auto-enshrinement wholesale and everyone gets hurt.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 19, 2006
Commendably at pains to avoid whining self-pity, the movie reaches for black comedy and comes up empty of anything more than strained burlesque.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 18, 2006
The experience is unusual - zany, even - but not nearly as dangerous or exhilarating as one would hope from the recklessness the title implies.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 18, 2006
One of the funniest movies I have seen this year.
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Rob Nelson
Village Voice
October 18, 2006
Tone is everything in a dark-comic farce, and Murphy pulls it off. Like the book, this deadpan celebration of neurosis makes a valiant effort to repress its comedy -- which of course makes it funnier.
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
October 16, 2006
Too outlandish to be fully convincing, this adaptation of the best-selling memoir sacrifices subtlety for broad laughs.
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Justin Chang
Variety
October 14, 2006
The royally screwed-up adolescence of Augusten Burroughs has made it to the bigscreen with several nips, tucks and a noticeably duller edge in Running With Scissors.