Movie Review – Midnight Runner

TL;DR – A competent film from first-time filmmakers that shows that struggles of trying to start your life again     

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Midnight Runner. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.


All filmmakers have to start somewhere, a place where they can get their feet wet, practice their crafts, and work on telling stories. Today we are looking at a film from John Mathis & Jared Sprouse, which is the first feature film from them as both directors and writers, and it is clear this was a bit of a passion project. However, like all first-time filmmakers, while there is a promise, there is also room from improvement.

So to set the scene, Ian (Ben Weinswig) arrives at his Aunt Renee’s (Dawn O’Donoghue) house to come live. While we don’t know what happened in his past life, it is clear from the way people act that something significant happened with him and his parents. Ian is trying to stay out of trouble and restart his life, however, life is not fair and he gets drawn back into a world of violence where you can’t go to the cops because they are in on it.

Midnight Runner. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.
Ben Weinswig brings strength to the role of Ian, which is one of the film’s strong suits. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.

While not all of the film works, there are some moments that make it stand out. While the film is focusing on Ian and his story it works really well. I think part of that is that Ben Weinswig is a quite compelling actor so he brings chemistry to the role even when it is not quite working in other contexts. This is helped by narration from his perspective at the start of the film that really situates the conflict. As well as this, everything is really well lit, with the filmmakers using techniques like coloured lights to make contrasts more apparent. 

However, there are a number of areas where the film just didn’t quite work, and I think many of these points are possibly due to the small budget they had to work with. From a story perspective, it just felt odd that he would be immediately dragged into this world again with people he only met yesterday. If he was coming back home, it would have made sense, but here it is just jarring. I think this is also exemplified by the lack of any real connecting tissue when it comes to the story. Most of the cast are either one-note characters, or they exist with only a couple of features to hang on. Like Terry (Noah Crandell) who is the obligatory person who likes film cameras and art-house cinemas. This becomes a problem because of the film’s content is dealing with casual violence, including several instances of domestic abuse, so this lack of characterisation really affects the tone and dialogue. Thus the dialogue becomes the weakest part of the film, which is not good for a drama.     

Midnight Runner. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.
I wish more time was spent of fleshing out the characters. Image Credit: Global Digital Releasing.

In the end, do we recommend Midnight Runner? Well, if you are interested in seeing a filmmaker’s first work, then I think there is a lot to see here that might interest you. If you are just looking forward to watching a film for a bit, then I think the issues with the story make this a maybe not.

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Midnight Runner?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.

Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Midnight Runner
Directed by
– John Mathis & Jared Sprouse
Written by – John Mathis & Jared Sprouse
Music by – Jason Obermeier     
Cinematography by – John Mathis
Edited by – Jared Sprouse
Production/Distribution Companies –Global Digital Releasing
– Ben Weinswig, Mekhai Lee, Julia Crytser, Noah Crandell, Tavis L. Baker, Dylan Bougis, Tris Orin, Art Parsells, Connor Mull, Colby Joyner, Dawn O’Donoghue, Boris ‘Bluz’ Rogers, Dawn Giovanni, Rachel Shoemaker & Jahseyne Eccleston
Rating – Around an Australia: MA15+;

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