A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Strong message against male chauvinism or assumption that men are stronger, more powerful, more important than women. Stands against sexual/violent predatory behavior toward women. Celebrates women who stand up for these issues; by the final stretch, they've hopefully changed the world for the better.
Positive Role Models
Cherie is largely a positive role model. She's determined to become a lawyer on her own, not work in a mindless job for a male boss. In the meantime, she must still do what her boss says, which is what leads to her situation, but when the time comes to fight and survive, she does everything she can, against impossible odds. Women are seen setting their differences aside and helping one another.
Main character is a strong, independent Black woman (played by Ella Balinska) who's a fighter and survivor and is determined to stand on her own feet. She's surrounded by other people of color and a trans woman. Main villain is a White man; White men in general are seen as immoral at best and wicked at worst.
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Violence & Scariness
Many characters are killed. Dead bodies shown; pools of blood. Character's neck bitten and head torn off (lots of blood). Other blood spatters. Bloody wounds, gash on forehead. Violent noises coming from behind door -- a woman then runs out, battered and bloody (it's assumed that a man attacked her). Man throws woman to ground, drags her by hair. Man drags woman, throws her against wall, bashes her head into mirror. Woman nailed to wall by wrists; man painfully yanks her hands free. Brutal car crash, with several dead, bloody bodies. Men threatening women. Men grope a woman's body on a public bus. Man hit in head with brick. Guns seen, gunshots heard. Monster stabbed with huge sword; blood spatter. Characters squeeze own bloody wounds to create more blood flow; bloody teeth, wringing out tampon. Person cleans wounds with bleach wipes, screaming in pain. Jump scares (barking dog, etc.). Character hit by car. Person's neck sliced. Character on fire, burning. Character tripping and falling on concrete. Violent monster sounds off-screen. Screaming.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Women shown bathing naked in sauna; bottoms and some breasts glimpsed, but it's shown through a strong red filter and not clearly visible. A kissing couple barge into a bathroom and enter a stall; a dress is then draped over the edge (suggested sex). Two people on a date, kissing, flirting.
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Uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "c--ktease," "shut the f--k up," "a--hole," "bitch," "goddamn," "d--k," "hell," "damn." Exclamatory use of "Jesus Christ," "oh God," and "oh my God." Middle-finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Nike hoodie on view in several scenes. Mention of CVS pharmacy.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink at dinner. Mention of Ambien. A character is asked, "Have you been drinking?"
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Run Sweetheart Run is a comedic/satirical horror movie about a woman who's trying to escape an abusive man after a business date. It's a strong, brisk movie, with a diverse cast and powerful women. Violence is graphic, with much of it aimed at women. They're dragged, thrown against walls, hung by nails through their wrists, assaulted, threatened, etc. There are many dead bodies, a head bitten and ripped off, lots of blood, scary noises and jump scares, a few guns, car crashes, and more. Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "c--ktease," "bitch," and more. There's some flirting and kissing and implied sex. Nude women are briefly shown in a sauna (bare bottoms and breasts), but they're filmed at a distance and through a red haze, so the scene isn't clearly visible. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While its message is spooned on a bit thick, this brisk, biting horror pic with notes of comedy offers many nifty, prickly shocks and surprises, despite some plot shortcuts. Director/co-writer Shana Feste, making her first foray into horror, sets up Run Sweetheart Run with an effective montage of conventionally attractive secretaries emptily serving their male bosses. Indeed, even the title "sweetheart" is a condescending term rather than an affectionate one. But we have hope for Cherie (Balinska gives the role her all). We root for her happiness. That's perhaps why the first big story turn, when her date goes bad, is all the more shocking. Feste chooses to show viewers only a door with an unholy ruckus going on behind it; the sequence ends with a disheveled Cherie bursting through it, and a single word pops up onscreen, in all caps: RUN!
A second twist, which is better left unsaid, is even more bizarre and shocking, although Feste once again uses the technique of looking away from the horror and giving us only the sounds of it, plus the look on Cherie's terrified face. Overall, Run Sweetheart Run does a wonderful job with its chase, Cherie doing her best to stay a couple jumps ahead and then having to outwit her foe when he unexpectedly turns up. It's a pity, then, when the movie takes shortcuts, like Cherie being rescued by a random character who had, moments before, been introduced as a threat. Perhaps most disappointing is the First Lady character (played by Shohreh Aghdashloo), who serves as a pretty typical deus ex machina. Perhaps if this section had been played more for comedy, it could have worked, but by this time, the movie's main focus is its message. Nonetheless, Run Sweetheart Run still crosses the finish line in a mostly satisfying way.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.