After a botched money delivery, Lola has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks.

Editing: Mathilde Bonnefoy
Reinhold Heil, Johnny Kilmek, Tom Tykwer

Cast:  Frank Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Krol, Ludger Pistor, Suzanne von Borsody, Sebastian Schipper, Julia Lindig, Lars Rudolph

Directors: Tom Tykwer
Writers: Tom Tykwer
Cinematography: Frank Griebe

Run Lola Run is a film that doesn’t waste your time and has a blistering pace. I’ll try to match that here. 

Lola (Franka Potente) receives a call from her upset boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). He’s lost 100,000 Deutsche Marks that belong to a ruthless and easily bitter gangster. Manni believes he’s dead; there’s no way he can make that money; not in the twenty minutes, he has to pack and be ready for retrieval. Lola insists she’ll be able to help get the money and meet him where he is in twenty minutes. Manni agrees he’ll wait, but once the time is up, he’ll be walking across the store to rob a supermarket in a last-ditch effort to get the money he needs. 

Lola races down the straight, bumping into a lady with a pram, a man attempting to sell a bike, a car pulling out of a driveway. As she does, we see Polaroid photograph moments of their future. When Lola reaches Manni, things don’t go to plan, but she’s within a moment back on the phone with him and then racing out of her parents home to attempt to reach him again. 

Run Lola Run isn’t a sci-fi film interested in explaining the time-loop used here. Because the film’s characters are on such a tight schedule, Lola never stops questioning what’s happening, even if it is clear she’s aware of what’s happening. Well, as far as you can understand, something like a time-loop occurring. All she cares about is saving Manni, and it’s clear she truly loves and cares for him. 


  • Commentary with Director Tom Tykwer and Franka Potente

  • ‘Still Running’ Featurette

  • Trailer

A lot of Run Lola Run is Lola running down streets, and these frantic races are kept interesting each loop (I won’t spoil how many) by manic and pop editing and soundtrack. That’s not to say the editing and style of the film is a substance only. There’s a surprising amount of things happening in every moment of the film, and writer and director Tom Tykwer plan enough seeds that almost require an immediate rewatch. The time-loop is used to put the characters through tests and examine them and their lives repeatedly. This includes those minor characters on the streets I mentioned before, whose future visions we see change each loop, almost as if what Lola affects the lives around her, even in ways she can’t understand. The film’s high ending is earned, but it’s the heartfelt minutes in the lead-up that reveal the film’s true heart, a story told in the background that is easy to miss. 

A fifteen-minute feature and commentary with Director Tom Tykwer and star Franka Potente are all the extra material on the disc here, which is a little light, but they’re both quality behind-the-scenes content. This release saves you the choice of having to listen to the previously released English dub and instead only includes original German-language audio with subtitles. 

I’ve forever seen the poster and box art for the VHS/DVD of Run Lola Run growing up. The local video rental store owner must have loved the film because there was a poster on the wall for years. Understandably, it’s a unique film, even if the time-loop mechanic has been used and explored a bunch in the years since this is an art-pop piece of European film history and well worth watching. 

Film Score

Blu-Ray Score