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Running On Empty

In One Word



Action / Crime / Drama / Romance

Released By / Year

Warner Bros. / 1988


The Popes are a family who haven't been able to use their real identity for years. In the late sixties, the parents set a weapons lab afire in an effort to hinder the government's Vietnam war campaign. Ever since then, the Popes have been on the run with the authorities never far behind.
(The above plot description was taken from Movie Collector -

Quick Review

My relationship with this movie goes back to my late teens, where I found strength in its message of making a mark and being true to yourself. I’ve always held it close and watched it often through the years. Today, having a family of my own, it still moves me to tears often, even more so than earlier, and I find it to be an amazing, timeless movie, which works on so many levels.

The Popes have been running from the law for the past many years but reality is catching up with them, as their two sons get older and become aware of the world around them. With this setup, comes great tension and the choices of these two parents and their children are portrayed with great empathy.

Every single character is relateable and their actions are understandable, making the movie feel real. Even after so many years and multiple viewings, I find the movie fresh, engrossing and totally convincing. Everyone involved deliver amazing performances.

The atmosphere is just a perfect blend of melancholy, loss and hope, and it comes to life through these characters in a way that is seldom seen, as complex, deep feelings are brought to life on the screen. The movie has so much heart and I cannot recommend it enough.

And that last scene is total perfection.

Online: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Updated: Saturday, October 25, 2018 - Wrote a new review after a recent viewing