Family flees FBI in tense drama; OK for teens.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Family members lie and destroy property in attempts to evade the law, but they're innocent of any crimes and lead otherwise moral lives with some positive family messages.


Black-and-white flashbacks to a murder scene with some blood. Threats of violence. FBI agents carry guns.


Some teenage dating, mildly provocative clothing, adult flirting.


Some profanity, like "ass" and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this series details the life of a family running from the law. Though innocent of any crime, the Raders must lie and destroy property to evade capture. The show can be tense and a little scary when the Raders narrowly escape the police and hide from the unknown person who has threatened the children's lives. Younger viewers may find this theme too much to bear, and some yelling and flashbacks to a bloody body might also be upsetting.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

In the action-drama RUNAWAY, the Rader family is on the run from the FBI. They've assumed new identities and new looks and have left their wealthy suburban lifestyle behind for a small town in Iowa. Donnie Wahlberg stars as Paul Rader, a lawyer unjustly accused of murdering his secretary who is now frantically trying to clear his name while also evading the real criminal who's threatened his family's lives. Meanwhile, resentment brews between family members: Teenage Henry (Dustin Milligan) misses his girlfriend, younger sister Hannah (Sarah Ramos) reinvents herself, and 8-year-old Tommy (Nathan Gamble) has difficulty remembering his new identity. And as the Raders struggle to be inconspicuous, the FBI hunts them down, piecing together evidence that brings the family closer to capture.

Is it any good?


Though the glimpses of the FBI's work add to the tension on the show, the agents' roles seem too thin to be compelling. Wahlberg's acting, meanwhile, is a bit one-dimensional and flashbacks showing him as a suited lawyer are hard to believe. But overall, the show works and pursues several interesting directions. As a lawyer, Paul was a workaholic and his family saw little of him, but in his new blue-collar role, Paul's increased presence adds a new dynamic to the family. Also, the teens get the chance to shed their previous labels of jock and nerd and try out new roles.

Teens may find the high school dynamics compelling, and Milligan's Harry is a potential heart-throb. O?ting for suspense over violence and bloodshed, Runaway is a mostly unobjectionable, decently entertaining hour that teens and their parents may both enjoy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about identity. What would it be like to have to transform completely? What would you miss about your current life? What would you be happy to leave behind? How would you change your looks? What are the positive things that happen to the Raders because of their new lifestyle? What's hardest for them to get used to?

TV details

Cast:Donnie Wahlberg, Dustin Milligan, Leslie Hope
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Runaway was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass