See How They Run (2022) Review – Saoirse Ronan + Sam Rockwell delight in a farcical whodunit

See How They Run Movie

Most people know Agatha Christie for her detective novels and there seems to be a resurgence for them in the movies lately with Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot movies, Murder On The Orient Express and Death On The Nile. Christie didn’t just write novels, she also wrote a murder mystery play The Mousetrap, the world’s longest-running live theater which debuted on the West End in 1952.

That very play is at the very center of See How They Run when the theater celebrates its 100th performance. I’ve always had an affinity with plays within a movie and here Hollywood collides with the London theater world when bigshot Tinseltown director Leo Köpernick (Adrien Brody) wants to make the film version. He gets drunk at the party, flirts with the play’s female lead, and gets into a fight with her husband, young Richard Attenborough (Harris Dickinson). When a bloodied dead person ends up on the stage, Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) is called to investigate, paired with an experienced Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) in the investigation.


This is Tom George‘s feature directorial debut as he’s known for his comedic British series Defending the Guilty, This Country, among others. The first thing I notice is the obvious Wes Anderson-esque style in his direction, from the general quirky vibe to the symmetry camera angles. George also uses the split screen format frequently which works pretty well here. I’m a big fan of theater and I enjoy seeing the play-within-a-movie premise, and the droll comedic tone of this movie reminds me a bit of British series The Goes Wrong Show, where an amateur dramatic society performs a series of half-hour plays for TV, all of which go terribly wrong. Some of the scenarios are quite ludicrous and over the top, but the excellent cast keeps me engaged throughout.

See How They Run - Sam Rockwell - Saoirse Ronan

The pairing of Rockwell and Ronan is a delight. Both clearly have comedic chops but you rarely see them get to use them in their roles. Rockwell’s British accent is decent though it’s not always consistent, but I love that Ronan gets to use her native Irish brogue which just sounds adorable! Ronan is undoubtedly the scene stealer here, she has the funniest lines and her delivery is perfect. Rockwell’s comic timing is served by his often-exasperated expression as Stoppard is often overwhelmed by his overly-enthusiastic Stalker.

See How They Run - Saoirse Ronan

Many of the talented actors here rarely do comedic roles, so it’s so fun that they get to do them. In particular, it’s a hoot to see David Oyelowo relishes his funny bone playing an overrated playwright who’s a bit of a prima donna. I’ve never seen Ruth Wilson in a comedic role before either, but she’s obviously a versatile performer. The rest of the supporting cast, Reece Shearsmith, Shirley Henderson, and Harris Dickinson are all pretty good as well playing real people involved in the production. Dickinson is particularly amusing as young Richard “Dickie” Attenborough (yes the one most people know from Jurassic Park) who often greeted people as “darling” if he forgot someone’s name. Classic film fans would likely dig the references to Hollywood Golden Age. Shearsmith’s character John Woolf actually produced The African Queen and Ronan gets to do an impersonation of Katharine Hepburn here.


Now, it makes me wish I could see The Mousetrap play on stage. Can’t believe it’s been playing in London for over 70 years! Here’s a bit of trivia per IMDb, apparently a film adaptation of the play by United Artists studio was announced in 1959, which was to star Tyrone Power and Maria Schell, but the film was never made.

Whodunit movies are usually pretty popular, I mean Rian Johnson’s got a bonafide hit with Knives Out which is practically a franchise for Netflix now that its sequel Glass Onion was well-received at TIFF recently. I do like a good mystery mixed with a little whimsy. This one is deliberately more farcical with plenty of slapstick scenes, bolstered by Mark Chappell‘s whimsical script and Daniel Pemberton‘s lively score. See How They Run doesn’t take itself too seriously but the committed cast sure has a lot of fun with their roles, which makes it pretty darn entertaining.

3.5/5 Reels

Have you seen See How They Run? What did you think?

4 thoughts on “See How They Run (2022) Review – Saoirse Ronan + Sam Rockwell delight in a farcical whodunit

  1. Pingback: Alliance Lately: Issue No. 64 – The Minnesota Film Critics Alliance

  2. Pingback: September 2022 Recap + Movie of the Month – FLIXCHATTER FILM BLOG

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