Review: No Running (Tribeca 2021)


An alien abduction mystery intertwined with themes of racial discrimination and injustice, No Running is a valiant effort at something unique that doesn’t quite take off.

When Jaylen Brown (Skylan Brooks) is the last person to see his classmate before she disappeared, he quickly becomes the primary suspect in a town that is overt about its prejudices and hiding secrets that could exonerate him. Brooks is joined by stars such as Shane West and Taryn Manning, each ultimately let down by a script that rides generic dialogue that overshadows its deeper intentions. While weaving in focus on race could have made No Running a standout, it relies on blunt comments from its characters to paint the picture of the town in an unconvincing manner. West himself has a strange sequence with his on-screen father that was simply bizarre and more confusing to the overall plot, deviating from racial undertones and instead highlighting that some of the players are simply not good people in general. No Running bites off more than it can chew.

In terms of a science fiction mystery, the film is satisfyingly tense, yet underdeveloped. Director Delmar Washington’s plot development happens rather quickly and seems to be missing a few steps in between. The audience’s interest remains, yet the investment is minimal with a less-than-satisfying payoff that is up for interpretation. 

No Running unfortunately buckles under its own weight, slowing sinking when it could have been swimming all the way to the top of the Tribeca heap. 

Rating: 2/5

Photo from Tribeca

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