Runaways – Review by Mark Snyder

The problem of children being tossed aside by uncaring and abusive parents has reached epidemic proportions in some parts of our country.  No politicians have taken up their mantel. Many end up addicted to drugs and turning “tricks” just to stay alive.

Brent Bambic has put together a brilliant film that powerfully illustrates the problems of runaways, through an interesting portrayal of kids who have fallen into the trap of abuse.

Austin O’Brien (“Promised Land”) plays Steve, a young man who is living a nightmare with his mom’s abusive and violent boyfriend John (menacing played by Rik Asemo) and his victim mom, who cares more about herself than her young children. Susan Johnston plays mom Cheryl Moore perfectly. You hate her.  You hate her for allowing the abuse of her children. You hate her for allowing herself to be abused, and most of all, you hate her for placing herself before her children.

Young Steve meets up with druggie burnout Andy (Esteban Powell); beautiful, but rejected young socialite Sally Donaldson (played by future star Arielle Paul); and nice guy Mike (Demetrius Navarro).  The movie illustrates how close we all are to being homeless.  It also shows how a small break and a lot of hard work can truly form miracles.

It is loosely based on the life of Steve Moore, from his own story.  Jack Forcinito is warm and wonderful as counselor Tony Perez, and the direction, production and photography are gritty and outstanding.

This movie is a winner and should be shown at every high school in America. Give it FOUR STARS.

“Charming, insightful indy film about a talented teenager, determined to make something of his life, after running away from his violent step-father and brushing with the Hollywood underworld. Takes you on a realistic tour of L.A.s down-and-outs and no-hopers, emerging with a fresh feeling of hope.” BBC

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