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Roger Ebert's Journal

The Runaways A somewhat fictionalized version of the life and times of the 1975-77 teenage girl rock band best known for Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning). No members were over 16 when they were packaged as "jailbait rock" by snaky producer Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon). They dressed like hookers and dominatrixes, they idolized the Sex Pistols, but they were also insecure and immature young girls. Currie almost went down in flames, and the movie is based on her autobiography, Neon Angel.

Joan Jett still tours today, and is an intact survivor. The movie reproduces the Runaways' actual music, which is no better that you might expect, but the acting is very convincing. Kristen Stewart proves once again that she's a rising star, and Dakota Fanning is such a fine actress that I, for one, almost believed I'd always heard her using the f-word. As for Michael Shannon, is he the most unheralded force in acting today, or what?