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Runner Runner Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Fall down, skin knee, die there. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    What's actually up onscreen in this vaguely ambitious but tawdry melodrama falls into an in-between no-man's-land that endows it with no distinction whatsoever, a work lacking both style and insight into the netherworld it seeks to reveal.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Variety Andrew Barker

    Runner Runner’s appeal increases dramatically whenever Affleck enters the frame.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    One of the film's biggest problems is that Richie is an unsympathetic and rather dim character. The badly drawn role does the likable Timberlake no favors.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Various subplots are given short shrift and the whole thing feels more like a Cliff's Notes version of a longer piece than an actual finished motion picture.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    After an intriguing setup, “Runner Runner” devolves into a by-the-books thriller.

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  • See all Runner Runner reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Don't bet on dumb gambling thriller; some language, sex.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Runner Runner is a thriller starring Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck that takes place in the world of online gambling. There are some violent images, such as characters being chased, abducted, and beaten up, as well as a character being fed to crocodiles (not much blood is shown). Women are scantily clad throughout and treated as sex objects; viewers briefly see a fairly graphic sex tape on a TV screen, and the main character and the female lead kiss passionately in one shot (the implication is that it's foreplay). Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t" and "p---y." Consumerism is celebrated, with lots of money spent; characters are often seen drinking beer (or harder drinks) at parties or other celebrations, with no consequences. Timberlake might attract some teen fans to this movie, but word of mouth might just as quickly turn them off.

  • Families can talk about what it means to "make a deal with the devil." Would you be able to resist such a deal? Why are tales with this kind of plot known as "Faustian stories"?
  • Does the world of gambling seem like a violent one? How does Runner Runner present the violence and danger? Is it scary or thrilling?
  • How does the movie portray drinking? Do the characters drink too much? What would some realistic consequences of their behavior be?
  • How does this movie view women? Are they stereotypes? Are any of the women in the movie valued for anything other than their looks?
  • What messages does the movie have regarding online privacy? How can you keep your personal information safe online?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: This is a Faustian story in which a supposedly "good" character makes a deal with "the devil" ... except here he doesn't even hesitate, and he ends up rich at the end, despite all the things he's done wrong. Consumerism is also celebrated, drinking occurs without consequences, and women are treated as sex objects.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The main character is supposed to be a smart Princeton student, but his questionable logic and behavior make him anything but a role model (though at least he comes to understand that he's made a mistake and works to correct it). No other characters qualify as positive role models, either.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The main character gets beaten up by a group of thugs, and a little trickle of blood is shown on his face. He's also abducted and tossed in a truck with a bag pulled over his head. In another scene, he's chased by a car and briefly assaulted. Two minor characters are fed to crocodiles, but only one is eaten (the other is fished out in time).

  • sex false3

    Sex: Viewers briefly see a black-and-white sex tape on a TV screen, which shows a minor male character and two women in bed. Sex is fairly visible. Otherwise, all of the women in the movie are scantily clad and treated as sex objects. (One male character slaps a woman's bottom and describes her as "first class, not coach.") The main male and female characters are shown passionately kissing up against a wall; it's clearly foreplay, but no sex scene follows. The other male lead kisses her on the neck in one scene.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k." Other words include "s--t," "p---y," "hell," "ass," "a--hole," "blow job," "prick," "bastard," and "oh God" (as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The character drinks a Bud Light in one scene; the XOJet logo is shown prominently. The movie is mainly about making -- and spending -- tons of money.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult characters are often shown drinking beers at parties or out celebrating, but no one ever appears drunk or has a drinking problem (or consequences of any kind, really). Characters occasionally drink stronger things like scotch or vodka. Drugs are planted in a character's belongings as part of a set-up. Characters are seen smoking cigars.