Parents' Guide to

Run This Town

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Drama based on politician's scandal; cursing, drugs.

Movie R 2020 99 minutes
Run This Town Poster Image

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This movie is delivered in unnecessarily jumpy chronology, with split screens and 360-degree camera turns that add nothing to the narrative or visual excitement. These decisions made by Run This Town's first-time writer-director Ricky Tollman don't in any way clarify or set a useful tone in this story about government corruption. And the journalism world he creates bears no likeness to actual journalism or the decision-making processes that go on in newsrooms. We're introduced to graduating senior Bram, played by Platt, as he delivers a powerful, sneering, glib put-down to someone explaining that he's missed the registration deadline for receiving his degree at his college's commencement. He dresses down the bureaucrat bitingly, with clever, quick-witted repartee. But that verbal agility, nerve, and boldness never make another appearance. Through the rest of the action he's self pitying and self absorbed, and utterly hopeless as an investigative reporter.

Massoud as Kamal is an undeveloped character whose only identifying features are his condescension and cynical willingness to completely give up his moral obligations. Lewis' portrayal of the mayor may be spot on, but his words seem to be emanating from behind a rubber Halloween mask. The makeup job makes him look something other than human.

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