Parents' Guide to

Running on Empty

By Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Wraps around your heart and squeezes.

Movie PG-13 1988 116 minutes
Running on Empty Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Perfect Drama for Teens and Adults

I thought it was a good movie. 3/5. Only thing parents should watch out for is in one scene he says the F word about 7 times :)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

RUNNING ON EMPTY starts off pretty slow, but once you accept the characters and their particular situation, the movie starts coming fully to life, wrapping itself around your heart and squeezing. Hard. Sure they're fleeing the law, but the Popes do it cleverly, peacefully, and ultimately with their lads' best interests in mind. The performances are good and the story a compelling and original one, but the characters take a while to warm up to. Sydney Lumet's tale of a boy who must choose between his family and a life of his own builds slowly to something passionate, admirable, and refreshingly original.

The film's greatest strength comes from the thoroughly believable relationship between Danny and Lorna. Phoenix was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Danny. All of the FBI and activism stuff is just frosting and rosettes; these two are the real cake of the movie. College-bound teens will identify with Danny, a strong central character who, on a grander scale, is experiencing something we all go through in the course of growing up: making life-changing decisions.

Movie Details

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