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Run Lola Run(Lola rennt)

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Germany · 1998
Rated R · 1h 21m
Director Tom Tykwer
Starring Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri
Genre Action, Drama, Thriller

Lola receives a call from her gangster boyfriend Manni, who tells her that he has accidentally left his boss’ payment on the subway, and he has only twenty minutes to come up with the cash. As time ticks away, Lola runs through the city, searching for 100,000 Deutschmark to save Manni’s life.

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What are people saying?

Billy Donoso Profile picture for Billy Donoso

Lola: "Die Tasche?" Manni: "Die Tasche." Lola: "Die Tasche." Manni: "Die Tasche." Lola: "Die Tasche." I'm in love with 'Run Lola Run.' It's a bizarre love that is so hard to explain, but what it comes down to is that Tykwer is so incredibly confident and in control with this movie that harnesses so many tools of cinema to their fullest. It is a thrillride, and the techno soundtrack is enough to make me feel like a Formula One driver when I blast it while driving down highways. The use of animation as a figural and literal dividing line between realities is as clever as it is charming, in all of its elementary-school drawing glory. The central conflict is melodramatic beyond perhaps anything I've ever seen before, and yet it is balanced by moments of unmatched groundedness. Lola's father first telling her that he never really raised her and abandoned both her and her lunatic mother was heartbreaking in how utterly subversive it is. Up until that point, it functions as an escapist thriller with glimpses of postmodernism in the form of snapshots into side characters' lives. This bank interaction embodies a kind of dramatic realism that multiple other scenes fit cleanly into as well: the pillow talks between Manni and Lola. They, too, are emotional fulcrums that balance out the thrill of the race against time and fate. They are brief interrogations into the concept of love rather than expressions of love, and frankly, we as the audience need that! Lola and Manni are so romantically obsessed with each other in the majority of the action of the movie that it would feel extremely over-exaggerated if there weren't any scenes that give them a basis to feel this strongly for each other. It is extremely welcome to see the laid-back, cigar-hazed, crimson glazed conversations in the bed where Tykwer takes a few minutes to explore and question if their pure emotional attachment stems from something real, from a purely rational angle. I think that gets at the kind of bizarre love I feel for this movie. As far as the pendulum swings towards thrilling cinematic pleasure we take from our characters' seemingly infinite capability and power, it also swings in the other direction towards cerebral and intellectually honest reflections of the limits of cinema and the limits of our characters. It engages my sense of curiosity just as much as it engages my primal craving of cinematic energy, which is no easy feat at all.

What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by

May be all Eurotrash flash, but it's not often that a film packs this much visceral punch.

90 by Gemma Files

The kind of thing Franz Kafka might have dreamed up, had he only had access to a daily dose of MTV.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

About as entertaining as a no-brainer can be--a lot more fun, for my money, than a cornball theme-park ride like "Speed," and every bit as fast moving. But don't expect much of an aftertaste.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

As essential in its own way as Anton Karas' celebrated zither work was to "The Third Man," Lola's music is perfectly suited to the film's aims and just about addictive in its throbbing, insinuating rhythms.


TV Guide Magazine by Maitland McDonagh

The film's extra-special trick, the one that kicks in under your radar because it's so busy with all the flash, is that it makes you care deeply for Lola and Manni.


San Francisco Chronicle by Peter Stack

The action is so fast that the viewer almost breaks out in a sweat...Ultimately vapid. Lola never does develop as a character, and the fuss seems ultimately pointless.

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