See How They Run – Movie Review


Graphic by Raya Isenstein

A still from See How They Run of Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan.

Warning: This article contains minor spoilers.

When the first trailer for Tom George’s, See How They Run dropped, I was immediately drawn in. A mystery comedy starring Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan sounded almost too good to be true. The film is a satire that follows a murder mystery play in 1950s London when one of their crew members ends up murdered. The cast is stellar, with Saorise Ronan playing an eager constable and Sam Rockwell playing the lazy inspector. It also features Adrien Brody as the dead future film director, David Oyelowo as the disgruntled writer, Fleabag’s Sian Clifford as a sleepy actress, and Where The Crawdads Sing breakout Harris Dickinson as the star of the play.

Being a murder mystery, the biggest compliment I can give the movie is that I was guessing who the murderer was until the reveal. With Constable Stalker (Ronan)’s constantly jumping to conclusions, the audience does too. George masterfully writes plot twists and character flaws, giving the viewer reason to believe anyone in the cast had done it at one point. Within the mystery genre, See How They Run also thrives off of making fun of the genre. While Oyelowo’s character is explaining the plot of the play and Brody’s character is explaining what he doesn’t want in the movie, the film follows those same tropes. The most annoying man dies. First, there are more than enough flashbacks (which Oywelowo was very much against), there are time title cards, and Dickinson’s character in the play mimics Sam Rockwell’s limp. Most satires fall into the problem of trying to pull every joke and becoming unbearable, but See How They Run never does, it remains funny throughout the film and, despite poking fun at the genre, still feels like a mystery movie.

As for performances, the ensemble focuses on Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan. Ronan, usually a dramatic actress, takes a comedy turn that works for her. Most of the laughs in the film are from her and Rockwell’s dynamic. He couldn’t care less; she couldn’t care more about the mystery. With the incredible ensemble, casting director Yesi Ramirez deserves credit. The movie didn’t have too many A-list names and focused on the chemistry between the actors to make it feel authentic. Not many people in the ensemble get a lot to do. Adrien Brody is fun for the 10 minutes he’s alive, David Oywelowo has a few laughs, and a few cast members get fun and recurring gags.

The technical aspects are very nice. It has one of my favorite scores of the year and incredibly fun and snappy editing. The set design is gorgeous, the theatre is glamorous, and 1950s London is beautifully recreated. Another standout is the costume design. They all feel historically accurate and create such a lush environment between glamorous party gowns, police uniforms, and stage costumes.

If I had any criticisms, it would be that the first act was a little slow, a few jokes didn’t hit, and the ending felt rushed.

If you’re a fan of mysteries or any cast, this is one to check out. It won’t be something for everybody, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

SCORE: 7/10