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The Runaways Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Female trouble Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Twilight starlets on a rock roller coaster. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

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

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The most entertaining thing about The Runaways, a highly watchable if mostly run-of-the-mill group biopic, is that its writer-director, Floria Sigismondi, has a sixth sense for how the Runaways were bad-angel icons first and a rock & roll band second.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The vigor and pace is electric, and the movie features three showy performances by Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's an artistic and authentic evocation of an era but a rather surface-skimming story of the '70s all-girl rock band fronted by Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. If anything, it just makes you want to know more about Jett's back story and Currie's subsequent life.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Its interest comes from Shannon's fierce and sadistic training scenes as Kim Fowley, and from the intrinsic qualities of the performances by Stewart and Fanning, who bring more to their characters than the script provides.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    A rich and surprisingly old-fashioned musical biopic, The Runaways has neither the bloat nor the blather of your average Hollywood treatment of stars on the rise.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Runaways reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Sex, drugs, and glam rock in '70s teen band biopic.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this music biopic is way too mature for Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning's young teen Twilight fans.It's full of drinking, drugging, and high-heeled swaggering, as well asplenty of sexy stuff, including kissing between teen girls and sexscenes between teen girls and young men. Substances are mostly limitedto alcohol, but teens also snort cocaine. Parents should be preparedfor teens to fantasize about running off and starting a band after seeing thismovie.

  • Families can talk about the teens using drugs and alcoholin the movie. Why do you think there's such a link between drugs androck-n-roll? Did the up-and-coming musicians have to drink and usedrugs to be part of that community, or could they have made differentchoices?
  • What do you think about the way Cherie's sexuality was portrayed in the movie? Was it realistic? How can teens explore their sexuality while staying safe?
  • What was it about The Runaways' music that connected with audiences? What made it seem fresh and new?
  • What did Joan and Cherie get out of the band? Out of music? What didFowley get out of pushing the band members in such an insistent,abusive manner?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The message that making music and being cool goes hand-in-hand withbroken lives, risky sex, and substance use is definitely on displayhere. But that's mixed with the message the band members embody onstage-- they’re intense and passionate and unwilling to go gently into achauvinistic industry’s good night.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Parents are MIA, teens are lost, and the only grown-up who seems tocare is a relentless bully. But he does care, at least about theirmusic, and about their dreams.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A band manager yells expletive-ridden insults at his protégés totoughen them up. He throws garbage at them, and gets others to do so aswell. A girl throws a heavy object at a glass window, breaking it.Characters have loud arguments with each other. Older men menace abunch of young girls and threaten them with bodily harm.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Girls make out, with both boys and girls. A couple seem to be havingsex in a bathroom, with the guy positioned between the girl’s legs,though very little is seen. A teenager struts around in lingerie andhigh heels on-stage, as part of her act. A man is shown pantsless,having sex with a teen girl, though no body parts are visible. Acharacter poses for suggestive photos. Frank talk about masturbation.

  • language false4

    Language: Plenty of swearing, from “ass” to “s--t” to “f--k.”

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Signage for fast food restaurants. Name-dropping of various bands.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Plenty of drinking by teens and adults, and some pill-popping and cocaine snorting by teens too.