This film has the look and feel of a TV movie, and Major Dodson's heartfelt portrayal of a teen with autism is nearly undermined by other, less subtle performances, themes, and concepts. But ultimately Tyson's Run has enough heart and an uplifting story "inspired by a real boy" to balance out and offer a film that may speak especially to those with friends or family members on the spectrum.
Some fancy camerawork at the start of the movie (shot from inside a computer screen or football helmet) is mostly abandoned later and doesn't match the rest of the by-the-books filming.
The cast is a bit uneven here too, unfortunately. Abdi deserves more screen time, and his Aklilu comes across as both world-weary and wisely optimistic.
Smart and Cochrane overly dramatize their performances as Tyson's panicky mom and unhappy dad (Cochrane might not smile once this whole film).
But Dodson, billed as "on the spectrum" himself, puts in an affecting performance that gives viewers a character and journey to root for. This, in turn, makes the film's climactic ending moving despite its improbability.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.
Image courtesy of Collide Distribution.