Running Scared


Running Scared

Critics Consensus

Running Scared struggles to strike a consistent balance between violent action and humor, but the chemistry between its well-matched leads keeps things entertaining.



Total Count: 20


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,358
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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 the Windy City, Julio is about to pull off a big drug deal and retirement may not be such a good idea.


Gregory Hines
as Ray Hughes
Billy Crystal
as Danny Costanzo
Jimmy Smits
as Julio Gonzales
Steven Bauer
as Det. Frank Sigliano
Darlanne Fluegel
as Anna Costanzo
Dan Hedaya
as Capt. Logan
Tracy Reed
as Maryann
Don Calfa
as Women's Room Lawyer
Robert Lesser
as Supoena Lawyer
Betty Carvalho
as Apartment Manager
Ron Cummins
as Paging Officer
John LaMotta
as Evidence officer
Richard Kuss
as Desk officer
Jeff Silverman
as Property Officer
Jaime Alba
as Tatoo Customer (sic)
Fred Buch
as Bank Manager
Richardo Gutierrez
as Sgt. Garcia
Ernest Perry Jr.
as Adam Robertson
Etel Billig
as Aunt Sophie
Deanna Dunagan
as Sister Rebecca
Mike Bacarella
as TV Box Loader
Jim Ortlieb
as Lab Technician
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Critic Reviews for Running Scared

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (8)

  • "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…
  • 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…
  • 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…

    Variety Staff

    Top 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.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Steve Goldman

    Time Out
    Top 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
  • 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.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Running Scared

  • Apr 01, 2011
    Gregory Hines (Ray) and Billy Crystal (Danny) are two hard boiled Chicago cops hot on the trail of a drug lord Julio played by Jimmy Smits who are willing to sacrifice their own lives and maybe even their own jobs thanks to their reckless ways and their rule-breaking tactics. Their Captain orders them out of Chicago after they accidentally screw up an undercover DEA drug bust. The guys take time off to regroup leaving the wintry Chicago and end up in Key West, Florida. After spending nearly two weeks in the sun filled, bikini paradise, the two decide to retire their positions and open a bar in the Keys but ultimately they just can't let unfinished business lie. Against their better judgment, they return to the fast-paced violent streets of Chicago to finish the one job they've still got to complete.... the capture of their long-time nemesis Julio Gonzalez but the shenanigans turn truly deadly as Julio kidnaps Danny's ex-wife. Will they survive the two weeks and make it back to the Keys or will the Windy City save two of Chicago's finest from themselves? Smits was very good as the villain while the chemistry between the lead actors in the film is fantastic, I love the way they play off of each other; their comedic dialogue is impeccably timed. My favorite scene would be the car chase on the train tracks. Good to see Joe Pantoliano up to his usual bad guy mischief as well.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    This buddy cop crime comedy/drama is good, I liked it.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2010
    What a piece of shit. I like just about everybody in it, but it tries too hard to be funny (which it's not) to be a true action comedy and it's not funny enough to be a good comedy. Hines and Crystal are probably the two least believably cops ever (except for Adam Sandler, maybe). True 80's entertainment...if you're actually entertained by it.
    Derek D Super Reviewer
  • Dec 15, 2009
    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.
    Wahida K Super Reviewer

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