Everyone loves Nicolas Cage the bug-eyed lunatic. Nicolas Cage the serious actor, that's a tougher sell.
The Runner never approaches the keen insight and social satire of political films such as The Candidate, Primary Colors or Bulworth.
Stark repeatedly squanders the decent supporting cast, revealing scant backstory that would enhance the often vague character motivation on display.
These plot elements, and the actors, have all the makings of a truly juicy and thought-provoking political melodrama. So it's dispiriting to see filmmaker Stark create such a weird, jagged hash out of them.
Cage's performance is as fuzzy as his character's sense of bearings.
A hollow, listless political drama that could have been a contender.
This brand of political soap opera is being done better on television by shows like "Scandal," where this story would be little more than a secondary plotline.
The Runner is a well-meaning character study with an admirably cynical ending, but it's too cold to ever fully draw you in.
Most of the time, the movie just lies flat.