Running on Empty ★★★★★

Powerful and moving film from Sidney Lumet about a fugitive family. On the surface a political film about a radical couple from the 1960s fleeing the FBI with their two sons, it is more about the bonds between parents and children, holding on and letting go and a young man's coming-of-age story.

Once again, it's hard to watch the talent and promise of young River Phoenix, while knowing of his tragic early death. He truly shines in the role of the eldest son, and his first love with young Martha Plimpton (his real life partner) is touchingly portrayed. Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti play the parents and are perfect in their roles. A highlight of the film is a restaurant scene where Lahti meets her father (Steven Hill) whom she hasn't seen in 14 years, where their conflict, regret, hurt and loss all are on display. One of Lumet's best films, although less well-known than his big hits.

I saw this on the Watch TCM app, and it's still available to stream for the next few days.