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On the Road

Adventure . Drama

Dean and Sal are the portrait of the Beat Generation. Their search for "It" results in a fast paced, energetic roller coaster ride with highs and lows throughout the U.S.

Actors: Kristen Stewart , Garrett Hedlund , Sam Riley , Kirsten Dunst , Tom Sturridge , Viggo Mortensen , Amy Adams , Alice Braga , Steve Buscemi , Danny Morgan
Directors: Walter Salles
Release: 2012-05-23
More Info:
  • Joe Williams

    Notwithstanding the characters’ spiritual camaraderie, Salles’ emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal’s story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process. When he reaches a crossroads choice between down-and-out Dean and his own rising career, Sal senses that except for the words on a typewritten scroll, his life on the road is gone, real gone.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Salles hasn't reinvented On the Road, but rather turned it into a rambling, beautiful, and occasionally even heartbreaking museum piece.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    Salles has lovingly crafted a poetic, sensitive, achingly romantic version of the Kerouac book that captures the evanescence of its characters' existence and the purity of their rebellious hunger for the essence of life.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    The result is a movie that, like the book, is episodic and has dips in energy but has more than its share of glory and illumination.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    On the Road is an honorable homage to the bennies-and-booze-and-bebop-driven hegiras undertaken by the fiercely dedicated anti-establishment duo. But in Salles, screenwriter Jose Rivera and company's effort to get the details right, they only get so far. And it's not quite far enough.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    A straightforward and rather sane version of the events described in the book and, against all odds, a surprisingly effective movie.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Call it a successful failure. Some movies worth seeing are like that.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    What's best about the film are its quick jumps from one depravity to the next as jazz rambles on the soundtrack: Youth is a candle to be burned at both ends, with (as it was once said about Bob Dylan) a blowtorch in the middle.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Overlong and unfocused in parts, Salles' adaptation nonetheless holds together about as well a movie can when the odds are so heavily stacked against it.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    If there's one thing that wounds On the Road, it's that the film is full of things -- having sex, doing drugs, being free -- that are far more enjoyably experienced by one's self as opposed to watching other people enjoy them on screen.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Stewart, selected for Marylou five years ago on the basis of her striking debut in "Into the Wild," is perfect in the role, takes off her clothes more than once and nearly always seems to be breaking a sweat, which kicks the sexiness quotient up high.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Even if Salles' film can't possibly capture the impact of its source, it's intriguing enough to rate a place in the ever-expanding mythology of "the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live."

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    What Salles doesn't conjure is the rapture of Kerouac's bohemian romanticism. Without it, On the Road is a remote experience, all reason and no rhyme.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    It’s engaging at times and wonderful to look at, but feels like it’s on the cusp of something bigger. But whatever that bigger thing is, it never arrives.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    Salles has made an admirable effort, which - while no roman candle - can be appreciated for its honest ambitions.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Damon Wise

    A decent, well-cast and mounted adaptation that hits all the right notes but plays them in a respectful, muted monotone.

    Empire Full Review
  • James Mottram

    It may lose its way on occasions, but thanks to a committed cast and a script that captures the Kerouac vibe, Salles' adaptation never ends up on the road to nowhere.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    Evocatively lensed, skillfully made and duly attentive to the mercurial qualities of its daunting source material, Walter Salles' picture pulses with youthful energy but feels overly calculated in its bid for spontaneity, attesting to the difficulty and perhaps futility of trying to reproduce Kerouac's literary lightning onscreen.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Although Jack Kerouac's On the Road has been praised as a milestone in American literature, this film version brings into question how much of a story it really offers.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Director Walter Salles, who knows a thing or two about picaresque journeys – in "The MotorcycleDiaries," even in "Central Station" – does make an honest effort here.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    It's all rather exhausting, as opposed to exhilirating.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    The archivist's meticulousness with which this movie was assembled defeats the starving-hysterical-naked urgency of its source material. Could the old Hollywood pharisees have been right? Maybe On the Road is unfilmable.

    Time Full Review
  • Noel Murray

    Since there's no plot, just a series of anecdotes, much of the meaning in the movie version of On The Road is meta-textual, relying on the viewers' knowledge of who Kerouac was, and how the novel's vision of America differed from how most of the rest of popular culture documented the '50s.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Nick Pinkerton

    Here is one glimmer of truth in what's otherwise a deliberately unfinished fraud - another "primitive" postwar antique repurposed for boutique sale.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    A dash of Tarantino might have juiced up Walter Salles' wrongheadedly well-mannered take on Jack Kerouac's 1957 Beat Generation landmark. Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel comes to the screen looking good but feeling shallow.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Joseph Jon Lanthier

    The lack of a strong expository voice further simplifies the wealth of explicit sex Walter Salles dramatizes, much of it drawn from juicy swathes of Jack Kerouac's only recently published original scroll.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    On the Road is rich with evocative period atmosphere and anchored by a trio of compellingly lived-in performances from Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart. Nevertheless, it's another staid adaptation that misses the forest for the trees and confuses people into thinking that some novels truly are "unfilmmable."

    Boxoffice Magazine Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    It all seems - dare I say it? - of little consequence.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The narrative lacks a strong heartbeat; you keep wondering why the spectacle isn't as affecting as it is picturesque.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    Best is Viggo Mortensen's William S. Burroughs proxy Old Bull Lee, holed up in a perspiration-saturated Louisiana mansion with a shell-shocked Amy Adams and a gas-huffing chamber at the ready.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    On the Road does, ultimately, have a touching kind of sadness in showing how poor Dean is becoming just raw material for fiction, destined to be left behind as Sal becomes a New York big-shot. But this real sadness can't pierce or dissipate this movie's tiresome glow of self-congratulation.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • David Denby

    On the Road is always on the verge of imparting some great truth, but it never arrives. [14 Jan. 2013, p.79]

    The New Yorker Full Review
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