The Indian Runner
The Indian Runner (1991)

The Indian Runner, Sean Penn's debut film as director (he also wrote the script, based on the Bruce Springsteen song "Highway Patrolman") is a brooding tale of two brothers -- one peaceful and sedate, the other violent and… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: June 1, 1991
DVD Release Date: December 11, 2001
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

Rambling, indulgent and joltingly raw at times, Sean Penn's first outing as a director takes a fair amount of patience to get through but has an integrity that intermittently serves it well.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Penn surrounds his brothers with supporting characters who are so well-realized, I'll remember them as long as I remember the leads.

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Cole Smithey

Muscular if overwrought drama with great performances.

Geoff Andrew
Time Out

Penn's first project as writer/director is a film out of time, drenched in an overbearing '60s world-view which veers between the dated and the dopey.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Penn is trying to get at gritty American ''truths'' about love, brutality, and blood ties. Somehow, though, it's all a bit pat: By now, even these stark themes have the ring of movie conventions.

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Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Probes the love/hate relationship between two brothers destined to follow different stars.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Loose, rambling and sometimes rudderless as it is, "The Indian Runner" has a fundamental honesty that gives it real substance.

Emanuel Levy

The film is slow and pretentious, but it's a feature debut and Sean Penn, a distinguished actor, is good with his cast.

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Penn's generosity to his actors is welcome, and Mortensen and Morse make the most of it with substantial performances, but a tighter reign might have livened up a film that at times becomes a little ponderous.

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More reviews for The Indian Runner

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
familiar stranger
Not sure but I guess that I may have been able to appreciate it more had I understood it more.
Leo L
A fantastic movie!
John Ballantine
I think it would be quite an interesting exercise to see what Sean Penn could have made of his career if he exclusively directed and didn't appear in front… More
Christopher Brown
Great Penn movie with two amazing actors doing some of their best work... oh yeah, and one God (Bronson) taking a hiatus from ass kicking to give an amazing… More