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The Runaways: movie review

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning step into harder-edged roles in this teen-band biopic, ‘The Runaways.’

By Peter RainerFilm critic / April 2, 2010

In this publicity image, Dakota Fanning, left, and Riley Keough are shown in a scene from 'The Runaways.'

David Moir/Apparition Films/AP

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The all-girl 1970s teenage rock band The Runaways is the subject of a new film called – what else? – “The Runaways.” It stars Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, the group’s two most charismatic – i.e., screwed up – members.

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If, like me, you didn’t follow this cult band, the film, based on Currie’s autobiography and written and directed by rock video artist Floria Sigismondi, will probably seem fresher than it would to people who already know the lyrics to, say, “Cherry Bomb.”

Sigismondi was clearly attempting to avoid the usual rock-movie glitz-and-glory tropes, and she perhaps does too good a job. Much of “The Runaways” plays out in the key of dreary. But there’s a flinty integrity in this movie’s look at the rock grind, and Stewart and Fanning are intensely watchable. Grade: B (Rated R for language, drug use, and sexual content – all involving teens.)

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