Teens Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) become the frontwomen for the now-legendary band that paved the way for future generations of female rockers.
" A well-acted and vivid re-creation of a dark, downbeat era when "girls don't play electric guitar," and you had to be someone pretty tough and pretty special to try it. "
" Because the movie captures the period so well and argues so convincingly that the Runaways' very existence was revolutionary, it doesn't have to exaggerate the highs and lows to create a more salable story. "
" Excess is abundant in photographer and music-video director Floria Sigismondi's energetic debut. "
" Fanning and Stewart are the deserving stars of the film, nailing every last look and lick, holding their own even as Shannon savvily attempts to nick every scene. "
" Fine work from Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning in this conventional but solid look at the chick-punk teen band from the 1970s. "
" Floria Sigismondi has created a movie that's more interesting than the band that it's about. "
" It may be, as Fowley says near the end of the film, that the Runaways "were a conceptual rock project that failed." But as a film about a certain time and place in rock history, The Runaways largely succeeds. "
" Jett, Currie, and the others are teen outcasts in Me Generation Los Angeles, aching to break out of their lives. You can feel their frustration, their need to make an unholy racket. "
" The movie may be a little too tame in the end, but at its best it is just wild enough. "
" The result is an entertaining mess: lively and stylish, but frustratingly inconsequential. "
" There's a flinty integrity in this movie's look at the rock grind, and Stewart and Fanning are intensely watchable. "
" While Jett and Currie emerge as blurry, half-formed characters, Shannon's Fowley brings the contradictions the Runaways embodied into sharp, biting focus. "
" ... the film breathlessly unreels snapshots of a trip that's so swift there's no stopping for deep-dish exploration, or even sufficient time for the band's 'noise' to work its black magic. It's an oddly old-fashioned movie... "
" Aside from following the cliched (if real) storyline, The Runaways is plagued by something of a split personality, thanks to its two young stars. "
" The band's few hits, like "Cherry Bomb" and "Queens of Noise," are all over the soundtrack, but the music, much like the people who made it, feels like an afterthought. "
" The beats the movie hits are predictable enough that, after a rousing, raunchy opening act, the story of the group's fast rise and spectacular flameout begins to feel like an exceptionally dirty-mouthed after-school special. "
" The movie avoids many of the usual musical biopic cliches, but replaces them with an equally tired depiction of an innocent consumed by the wilderness she helped create, arriving at a muted, lethargic finale -- the antithesis of raucous rock 'n' roll. "
" The Runaways is cool, but the Runaways were just so much cooler. "
The Runaways, a girl rock 'n' roll drama starring Twilight star Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, doesn't open in wide release until March 19th. But it was screened at Sundance, providing this handful of early reviews.
"...a rousing portrait of the eponymous 1970's teenage band [that takes] a hard look at life on the road at a time when most girls with bands were groupies."
— David D'Arcy, ScreenDaily.com
"...bursts with energy, youth, excess, female empowerment, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. It's an instant hit worldwide with its cast of young stars, but is it any good? Surprisingly, yes. It just must be met on its own terms."
— Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"...proves a conventionally enjoyable making-and-breaking-of-the-band saga."
— Dennis Harvey, Variety
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