This week At the Movies, an anticipated rock biopic arrives — The Runaways , the story of the teenage girl punk band that exploded onto the music scene in the early 1970s, starring New Moon‘s Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, respectively (read more about the movie here). While Stewart is the marquee name, the film — based on Currie’s memoir Neon Angel — puts Fanning in the spotlight, and she shines brightly as the Runaways’ lead singer.
Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers says the cast is the best part of this film, and Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Shannon also portrays Manager Kim Fowley brilliantly. And while there is much to like about The Runaways, Travers says, “There’s a lot of stuff that’s not quite good.” The problem lies in that, despite being Rated R, the relative young age of its actresses — Stewart turns 20 in April, Fanning is 16 — forces the film itself to play safe, watering down the actual events into a bunch of rock movie clichés that audiences have seen a million times before.
Two more big ticket flicks hit theaters this week — Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler in the unfunny The Bounty Hunter and Jude Law in the futuristically icky Repo Men — but Travers recommends you seek out the Swedish version of the best-selling book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . Yes, the book will soon be adapted by Hollywood for all us English speakers, but in the meantime Travers insists you see the mysterious Dragon Tattoo if only for the performance of its young lead actress, Noomi Rapace.