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In spite of a promising premise and a roundly talented cast, The Runner is a disappointing outing to be viewed by only the staunchest of Nicolas Cage completists.
All Critics (36)
| Top Critics (17)
| Fresh (9)
| Rotten (27)
Everyone loves Nicolas Cage the bug-eyed lunatic. Nicolas Cage the serious actor, that's a tougher sell.
The Runner never approaches the keen insight and social satire of political films such as The Candidate, Primary Colors or Bulworth.
Stark repeatedly squanders the decent supporting cast, revealing scant backstory that would enhance the often vague character motivation on display.
These plot elements, and the actors, have all the makings of a truly juicy and thought-provoking political melodrama. So it's dispiriting to see filmmaker Stark create such a weird, jagged hash out of them.
Cage's performance is as fuzzy as his character's sense of bearings.
A hollow, listless political drama that could have been a contender.
There's no need to run away from this underachieving movie; if you walk away from it at a normal pace, it will never catch up with you.
There really is no point in wasting your time with this movie unless you have some goal of self-punishment to witness every Nicolas Cage performance
Despite its potentially juicy political premise and Nic Cage's relatively solid performance - more on that later - Austin Stark's The Runner ends up being a poor-man's version of politically-charged TV shows such as House of Cards and Scandal.
Although first-time writer/director Austin Stark has his heart in the right place and Cage eschews his trademark zaniness, it's only watchable rather than gripping.
Slow-moving political drama has strong language, some sex.
Equal parts Big Oil message movie and melodramatic character study, The Runner gets so close to depth that it's weirdly frustrating to see it fail.
So boring. Full disclosure, I watched like only 20 minutes of this and holy shit I started falling asleep. I expect Nic Cage's films, whether they're good or bad (mostly the latter these days, but that's neither here nor there) to be entertaining. I wouldn't call this a bad film, although I might have ended up feeling that way had I watched the whole thing. It just doesn't do a good job of keeping your interest.
A thought-provoking political drama, The Runner explores the allures of power and corruption. Nicolas Cage stars as a Louisiana congressman who champions the recovery efforts after the 2010 BP oil spill, but he's soon brought down by a sex scandal and must struggle to rebuild his life. While it's an interesting character study, the plot's fairly mundane and predictable. Also, the pacing is rather slow and doesn't really build any tension. Yet despite the film's weaknesses, The Runner provides an intriguing look at the nature of politics.
As far as Nicholas Cage movies go this one instantly becomes one of his best. Not stellar by any means but far better than most he has put out recently. This movie could be the start of a long lost resurgence for Nicholas Cage and about time too.
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