The Runner

This well-meaning morality tale is strangely inert

An idealistic but disgraced Louisiana politician now lawyering for the victims of the BP oil spill struggles to get his professional and personal life back on track without having to resort to moneyed interests.

While it’s good to see Nicolas Cage in a film where his head isn’t on fire; this slim, mildly compelling, and well-meaning morality tale, for all its token topicality, is glum and strangely inert. Nic’s role at least has dignity, but we are not made to care either way about him.

Good cast includes Peter Fonda, Sarah Paulson, and Connie Nielsen. And New Orleans makes for some nice backgrounds. Japanese title: Contender. (90 min)