Running Scared


Running Scared

Critics Consensus

This film runs with frenetic energy punctuated by gratuitous violence but sorely lacks in plot, character development and stylistic flair.



Reviews Counted: 130

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 135,367


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

A minor crook finds himself in major peril when a "hot" weapon goes missing in this violent crime thriller. Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) is a low-level "mechanic" in the Mafia who hopes to rise through the ranks by doing whatever is needed. One night, a drug deal goes very wrong when police show up and try to close down the operation; shots break out and a battle ensues, with a pair of of cops meeting a particularly violent fate at bad end of a gun barrel. Joey is given the gun that killed the policemen and is told to make it disappear so it can't be used as evidence; however, before he can do that, the weapon is stolen by Oleg (Cameron Bright), a friend of Joey's young son, who takes the pistol and uses it to shoot his abusive stepfather. Now that the gun is implicated in high profile crimes, it's vitally important that Joey find it as soon as possible, but his search for the firearm is complicated by the fact that Oleg's stepdad is affiliated with a rival gang of Russian mobsters, and that Rydell (Chazz Palminteri), a seriously corrupt police detective, is hot on Joey's trail. Joey's search for the gun takes him through the grim criminal netherworld of the city, where he must face off against nearly every sort of crook, con artist, and deviate that has ever walked the earth. Running Scared is from writer-director Wayne Kramer, who made a name for himself with the well-reviewed independent feature The Cooler. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Paul Walker
as Joey Gazelle
Cameron Bright
as Oleg Yugorsky
Vera Farmiga
as Teresa Gazelle
Karel Roden
as Anzor `Duke' Yugorsky
Johnny Messner
as Tommy `Tombs' Perello
Chazz Palminteri
as Detective Rydell
Alex Neuberger
as Nicky Gazelle
Michael Cudlitz
as Sal `Gummy Bear' Franzone
John Noble
as Ivan Yugorsky
David Warshofsky
as Pimp Lester
Maurice Lee
as Jamaican
Oakley Lehman
as Ski Mask
Jan Kohout
as Pops Gazelle
Jeffrey Smith
as Paramedic
Karen Cifarelli
as Police Officer 1
Brian Caspe
as Police Officer 2
Ryan James
as Orderly
Ellen Savaria
as Operating Room Nurse
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News & Interviews for Running Scared

Critic Reviews for Running Scared

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (39)

  • With audiences jaded by the usual sex and splatter, do the filmmakers have no qualms about juicing up proceedings with edgy but troubling material which clearly needs more conscientious handling? Apparently not.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Presumably patterned after Robert Rodriguez's Sin City, but substantially more graphic, there is surely an audience for this empty brutality, but you would not want to know anyone to whom this picture appeals.

    Mar 11, 2006 | Rating: D
  • No one in their right minds could call this a good film, but it's certainly unique.

    Mar 11, 2006 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Andrew Pulver

    Top Critic
  • The end result of all these cross-mob confrontations is an orgy of nihilistic violence that is curiously exhilarating, I am almost ashamed to say.

    Mar 1, 2006

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • It says something when the most sympathetic character is a kid who shoots his dad with a stolen pistol.

    Feb 28, 2006 | Rating: C

    Scott Tobias

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • It's ugly and it's vile and it's disgusting and it's creepy and it just got tiresome.

    Feb 27, 2006

Audience Reviews for Running Scared



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


19/12/2012 (MP4)

EightThirty .
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

One problem roles into a series of very unfortunate events in this thrilling Action movie. A grittier role than most of Walker's and one that suited him well. An evolving story, with some great visual effects from the camera shots. You don't have time to be bored!!!

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

A passionate and excellently made action film where writer/director Kramer invites you to interpret and engage with his hyper-reality. A tour through America's problems or a fairytale? His characters are grotesques and his world is simultaneously hilarious and painfully sad. I don't know why this isn't considered a modern day classic. Die Hard meets Fellini? No. But maybe.

Max Coombes
Max Coombes

Super Reviewer

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