New to Disney+: ‘See How They Run’ Review

in Movies & TV

Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in 'See How They Run'. Credit: Searchlight Pictures

Credit: Searchlight Pictures

See How They Run (2022)

Director: Tom George

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Harris Dickinson, David Oyelowo, Ruth Wilson, Adrien Brody, Reece Shearsmith

Synopsis: In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered.

New to Disney+ UK, See How They Run is a fun, breezy murder mystery romp through 1950s theaterland in London. When a production member is murdered in the theatre presenting Agatha Christie’s “The Mouse Trap”, it falls on Sam Rockwell’s world weary Inspector Stoppard and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) to find the killer.

(From L-R): Ruth WIlson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson, Sian Clifford, Pearl Chanda, Jacob Fortune Lloyd, David Oyelowo and Ania Marson in the film SEE HOW THEY RUN. Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

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A mystery thriller revolving around a mystery stage show, written by one of the world’s most famous mystery writers. If you hadn’t guessed, this is a meta tale of theater impresarios, double-entendres, and farcical investigations, with a packed cast of stars. Ruth Wilson puts in an engagingly fearsome turn as the producer; David Oyelowo, a lofty playwright.

(From L-R): Pearl Chanda, Sam Rockwell, Harris Dickinson, and Saoirse Ronan the film SEE HOW THEY RUN. Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

Rising star Harris Dickinson even plays Sir Richard Attenborough, who starred in the stage show in real life (it still runs today in London’s West End). His turn is a particular highlight, both a loving homage to the man and an oblivious flirt who is confident his charisma can see him through.

That’s just a small snippet of a wider ensemble though, who often struggle to have a great deal of screen time jostling within the refreshingly nippy 90 minutes or so. Some, such as Fleabag standout Sian Clifford, only get a couple of scenes in which to showcase their comedy chops. But that’s a nice problem to have.

Saoirse Ronan in the film SEE HOW THEY RUN. Photo courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

And to have allocated more time to them would have denied us more with the film’s central pairing of Rockwell and Ronan, who have a natural chemistry. Director Tom George makes the most of their innate affable charm to make the odd-couple dynamic really sing while they solve the murder plot.

There are moments of pathos lodged in amongst the street chases and bumbling interrogations, but the movie works best when it lets this central pair bounce off one another’s energy.

Adrien Brody and David Oyelowo in the film SEE HOW THEY RUN. Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved
Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

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As a mystery, there are also plenty of red herrings and self-referential moments too: it might be set in the 1950s, but it has a very 2022 sensibility when it comes to addressing the genre it operates in. At one point, a character proclaims how they detest flashbacks before the movie promptly sends us into one.

In all honesty, the movie itself feels like something of a marvel; a rare standalone treat, loaded with talent and digestible at well under two hours. It should sit well on Disney+ as a perfect watch-at-home movie for a Sunday afternoon murder mystery.

A light farce through the bright lights of London’s West End, See How They Run is the perfect antidote for the long nights and wintery afternoons and a particular treat for fans of the mystery genre. 3.5/5

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