On DVD & Blu-Ray: January 7, 2014


Runner Runner is a film that would seemingly be posed as a well-received thriller-infused drama about the high stakes world of online gaming, the billions of dollars in revenue it provides and the dirty schemes the people who run these sites use to cheat schmoes sitting in their living or dorm rooms and betting their life savings. It would seem that way, it certainly has all of the components. Both of its leading actors, Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck, have careers as hot as they've ever been at the moment and director Brad Furman's previous film was The Lincoln Lawyer, a gritty legal drama with a slick persona at the center that didn't necessarily break any barriers, but played to its strengths and began the career renaissance Matthew McConaughey is now experiencing. So why, with all this potential, all these favorable facets coming into play as well as the added bonus of having a script penned by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the guys that also wrote Rounders and Ocean's Thirteen, end up being little more than a slog of tedious and boring beats we've seen a million times before with little more to offer than pretty scenery via Costa Rica? While that script is certainly one of the major culprits it seems as much as there are good things working for this film there are just as many if not more negative aspects working against it. I hate to rag on a film that clearly is trying for a certain style and has a clear intent of what it would like to be and the kind of quota it is trying to fill as far as entertainment value goes because Runner Runner clearly knows what it is and how far it can go, but even within these limitations it fails to meet the most basic rules of being a movie and that is first and foremost to be entertaining. There is nothing to keep us invested, no characters to sympathize with or plot twists to intrigue us further. From the moment we are introduced to Timberlake's character and presented with his dilemma and then subsequently presented with Affleck's position in the whole thing we can see where things are heading and thus, they do. Full review here. D

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