Now Playing: “Run All Night” provides thrills, nail-biting ride

Jackson French

Jackson French

‘‘Run All Night’’ immediately feels familiar. It’s another Liam Neeson-driven action movie in the vein of ‘Taken.’’ While there’s little novelty in ‘Run All Night,’ Neeson’s latest excursion is a satisfying showcase of gritty action.

Things are bleak from the get-go, with Jimmy (Neeson), a down-on-his-luck former hitman, having to beg his longtime employer’s son for money to get by. His estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), a limo driver, isn’t doing much better. Starting with a scummy pseudo-noir feel, ‘‘Run All Night’ quickly becomes a nail-biting ride.

When things get going, they don’t stop until the movie ends. As father and son evade the police and fight gangland thugs, tensions stay high. 


With its protagonists constantly on the run, the film never drags, and a strong sense of danger accompanies the viewer the whole way through. Gritty fight scenes fit the movie’s mood and provide thrilling doses of suspense along the way. 

In addition to engaging action, ‘‘Run All Night’ boasts some genuine emotional depth. The few times the movie gives viewers a chance to catch their breath are filled with some intriguing ideas about personal honor and moral codes in the criminal underworld. Jimmy and antagonist Shawn (Ed Harris) are friends turned enemies, and their relationship makes the conflict more complex than it seems. Though it’s not necessary in this kind of movie, characterization stretches beyond basic archetypes as a bonus. 

Nobody will ever accuse ‘‘Run All Night’ of being groundbreaking or harboring any surprises, but this dark and vicious thriller delivers enough tension and pulse-pounding action to keep you thoroughly entertained.