This weekend Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart will show the world that they can be more than just teen movie stars with their latest film. The Runaways hits theaters tomorrow, and we’ve gathered reviews from critics and compiled them into one helpful article. It appears that this movie has love it or hate it written all over it, which can be good because it stirs controversy, which leads to conversation that eventually puts asses in the seats.

Take a look at what the top dogs are saying about The Runaways...

The Story:

  • [The Runaways is] pungent and quick on its feet, capturing the clubs, the shag-heavy interiors and the Farrah-haired vibe of mid-1970s Los Angeles in look and spirit. [Chicago Tribune]
  • So this isn’t an in-depth biopic, even though it’s based on Currie’s 1989 autobiography. It’s more of a quick overview of the creation, rise and fall of the Runaways, with slim character development, no extended dialogue scenes, and a whole lot of rock ‘n’ roll. [Robert Ebert]
  • The film delivers some high velocity punches mainly due to a number of great performances (especially by the magnificent Michael Shannon) but overall doesn’t have the kick it needs to be worthy of the music. The film lacks the brutal honesty of reality and in attempting to sugar coat it, it makes you think you’re watching kiddie porn instead of a group of lost girls discovering themselves. [ScreenCrave]

The Acting:

  • Kristen Stewart, as Joan Jett, channels all of her weird, fidgety Twilight energy into a compelling, tomboyish figure of a girl/woman who just wants to rock as hard—or harder—as her male counterparts (Ms. Jett also served as an executive producer on the film). And Dakota Fanning, all grown up from her Dr. Seuss days, is believable as jail-bait Cheri Currie—half David Bowie, half Brigit Bardot, picked by Svengali-like producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) for her looks and style before even going through the trouble of finding out whether she could sing. [The New York Observer]
  • Stewart and Fanning handle the vocals admirably, their live performances blending seamlessly with actual Runaways recordings on the soundtrack. Whatever else you might say about The Runaways, it’s a movie that definitely loves rock ‘n’ roll. [Associated Press]
  • Shannon looks scary and stops the show with his rants, but he’s too endearingly damaged, too nice, to convey the real Fowley’s otherworldly creepiness. [New York Magazine]


  • Making her feature debut, Sigismondi conjures up a cheapo New World Pictures vibe that’s utterly persuasive. [Chicago Reader]
  • Writer-director Floria Sigismondi has worked in photography, sculpture and music videos, and she gets behind the eyes and into the nervous systems of her subjects, without turning them into instruments of easy pathos. [Chicago Tribune]
  • [Sigismondi] makes an impressive feature-film directing debut, crafting a brisk, engaging portrait, the story making up for its lack of insight into teen rebel Jett and her bandmates with driving, infectious rhythm. [Associated Press]


  • The soundtrack (which includes numerous other artists of the era) rocks, naturally. [Variety]

Check out our early review of The Runways from Sundance.

Will you be watching The Runways this weekend?