Out of all the mystery crime films I’ve seen recently including the likes of Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Death on the Nile (2022), and Knives Out (2019), See How They Run is surprisingly, the worst out of the bunch by a mile. Despite the film’s big names like Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, and David Oyelowo, the story is unapologetically bland and dull. Failing to produce any suspense or genuine engagement with the plot, this is one mystery murder film I would’ve been okay with missing out on. I’ve read many reviews on this film and it seems to have gotten a generally favourable reception, so my negative review here might be the odd one out.

My biggest criticism with See How They Run is the unexpectedly poor storytelling. The movie failed to draw me in by any means, and it couldn’t even service the characters in making them likable. I was honestly bored throughout most of the film (particularly the middle section), which is an accomplishment in its own right given I’m usually actively searching for clues or hints in these types of films. The storytelling felt flimsy at best, failing to bring interest to its lead detectives, Inspector Stoppard and Constable Stalker, while also unable to piece together a compelling, worthwhile mystery.

Sadly, one thing I really disliked about this film is the protagonists themselves. I didn’t like the dynamic between Stoppard and Stalker, who were played by Rockwell and Ronan, and for two highly acclaimed and talented actors, I was very disappointed with their performances (although I mostly blame the writing for making their characters so dull). My big question to the writers is: why would you make Stoppard seem like such a disinterested, unmotivated detective and make Stalker such an obnoxiously clumsy partner? There was just something very off about their dynamic overall and they hardly felt like the “heroes” of the story. It barely felt like they put in much effort at all in solving the case. For mystery movies, I personally find an incredibly intelligent and charismatic detective at the center of the story to be what’s so charming about these types of films, but unfortunately, See How They Run completely lacks that.

One aspect of See How They Run that I did enjoy though was the opening monologue performed by Adrien Brody as Leo Kopernick. It was one of the few scenes that actually generated excitement and interest from me, and as the opening sequence to this film, I was hopeful. A seemingly universally hated guy murdered by some mysterious man out for vengeance? Okay, I can behind this story – there’s something to work with here. However, my intrigue quickly dissolved once the pacing of See How They Run just seemed to wallow on without much development or suspense. A lot of the film seems to be stuck at the same place; there’s not much progress being made. The movie just moved way too slowly for my liking and I’m pretty sure I already started losing interest within the first 30 minutes.

And although it does seem like the writers and director were going for a silly, dramatic, and somewhat comedic conclusion, it really didn’t hit the mark for me. It felt incredibly unsatisfying and that callback to Leo’s storyboard ending coming true didn’t make it feel any more fulfilling. Compared to the intense and satisfyingly dramatic monologue from Benoit Blanc in Knives Out‘s conclusion, Stoppard seems so irrelevant and lackluster in comparison. He was hardly the hero at the end of the day, and honestly, it made me wonder how much help Stoppard and Stalker really were and if they were at all necessary. It all just felt too messy.

Without a compelling murder mystery plot and without any likable or relatable characters, See How They Run personally hit the wrong chord for me. Maybe I’m just the wrong demographic for this movie, but there seemed to be so many more negatives than positives by the time I reached the end of the film. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a terrible movie, it definitely sits on the lower end of “okay”. And with that deduction in mind, I’m going to have to give See How They Run a 4.5/10. The film did receive a much higher Rotten Tomatoes score (74%) than what I’m giving it, so it could just be a personal miss for me. In all honesty, I just didn’t enjoy the film much at all and struggled to follow along with its mediocre storyline.