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Parents' Guide to

Running with Scissors

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dysfunctional-family memoir wallows in smug humor.

Movie R 2006 120 minutes
Running with Scissors Poster Image

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Kids say (2 ):

More absurd than insightful, Running with Scissors treats its dangerously self-deluded characters as broadly comic figures. Director Ryan Murphy's film grapples with mature themes -- including child sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, and mental illness -- but loses its way thanks to its episodic structure and flat-footed humor.

Organized by assorted traumas, the film seems dated and smug (think The World According to Garp). With its outsized, wannabe Oscar-bait performances, the movie careens from scene to scene, dropping in Deirdre's lesbianism as yet more evidence of her delirious search for "herself." By the time Augusten makes his escape, you're way ahead of him.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 20, 2006
  • On DVD or streaming: February 6, 2007
  • Cast: Annette Bening , Brian Cox , Joseph Cross
  • Director: Ryan Murphy
  • Inclusion Information: Gay directors
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 120 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: for strong language and elements of sexuality, violence and substance abuse.
  • Last updated: April 1, 2022

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