Sunday, June 4, 2023


October 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It is ironic that one of the best-reviewed movies of the year — Gravity — is opening at the same time as one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year — 20th Century Fox’s Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake. Sadly for Affleck it comes after he was drenched in praise for his directing prowess in Argo and was fending off criticism for being cast as the next Batman. “Remember the old Ben Affleck, the one who made 28 consecutive bad movies before he turned out to be a pretty good director?” asks Kyle Smith in the New York Post. “He’s back! Behold, the second coming of … Badfleck.” Actually, he’s not being lambasted as he was when he starred with Jennifer Lopez in Gigli ten years ago. Mick LaSalle writes in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Affleck relishes the chance to play the bad guy, and his pleasure is contagious, but sooner or later the story and the script have to kick in, and they never do, at least not in a good way.” As for Timberlake, Bruce DeMara writes in the Toronto Star that “while he’s got a likable stage and screen presence, he is very nearly a cipher in the role of Furst.” And Ann Hornaday writes in the Washington Post that “he takes on the by-the-numbers blandness of his formulaic surroundings.” And how’s this for coincidence? Ty Burr in the Boston Globe begins his review by asking, “How blandly by-the-numbers is Runner Runner?”