Road House (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

Road House (1989)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Dalton (Swayze) is a true gentleman with a degree in philosophy from NYU. He also has a flip side - he's the best bar bouncer in the business. When Dalton's brought in to clean up the Double Deuce, a popular establishment that become particularly rowdy, his calm is put to the test by the town bully.more
Rating: R
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: David Lee Henry, Hilary Henkin
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 4, 2003
United Artists - Official Site


Sam Elliott
as Wade Garrett
Ben Gazzara
as Brad Wesley
Red West
as Red Webster
Kevin Tighe
as Tilghman
John Doe
as Pat McGurn
Kathleen Wilhoite
as Carrie Ann Nash
Terry Funk
as Morgan
Michael Rider
as O'Connor
John Young
as Tinker
Joe Unger
as Karpis
Tiny Ron
as Mountain
Jon Paul Jones
as Stroudenmire
Keith David
as Ernie Bass
John Oldach
as Bandstand Tough Guy
Joey Plewa
as Bandstand Tough Guy
Susan Lentini
as Bandstand Babe
Tony Marsico
as Cruzado
Patricia Tallman
as Bandstand Babe
Mike Fisher
as Bandstand Bouncer
Bob A. Jennings
as Bandstand Bouncer
Dawn Ciccone
as Steve's Girl
Julie Royer
as Steve's Girl
Frank Noon
as Barfly
Cristopher Collins
as Sharing Husband
Cheryl Baker
as Well-Endowed Wife
Tom Finnegan
as Chief of Police
Lisa Axelrod
as Party Girl
Lisa Westman
as Party Girl
Kymberly Herrin
as Party Girl
Kym Malin
as Party Girl
Heidi Paine
as Party Girl
Jacklyn Palmer
as Party Girl
Meg Thayer
as Party Girl
Laura Albert
as Strip Joint Girl
Michele Burger
as Strip Joint Girl
Pamela Jackson
as Strip Joint Girl
Daryl Marsh
as Strip Joint Bartende...
Christina Veronica
as Strip Joint Girl
Bill Dunnam
as Car Salesman
Terrance Scott
as Loudmouth
Sylvia Lee Baker
as Table Dancer
Dennis Ott
as Bar Character
Ancel Cook
as Grillman
Joseph Rockman
as Member of Cody's Ban...
Thomas Stephen
as Member of Cody's Ban...
Terri Lynn Doss
as Cody's Girlfriend (u...
as Strip Joint Girl
Bob Jennings
as Bandstand Bouncer
Christopher Collins
as Sharing Husband
Daryl Sandy Marsh
as Strip Joint Bartende...
Terry Nemeroff
as Loudmouth
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Road House

Critic Reviews for Road House

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9)

Road House is startling because of the intensity of its violence and because of Swayze's mindless posturing.

Full Review… | June 25, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

All Road House amounts to is a botched southern, and it's not worth a detour.

Full Review… | June 12, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Eventually it mutates into a paranoid revenge plot that might be called Walking Short.

Full Review… | April 30, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Its vigilante justice, lawlessness and wanton violence feel ludicrous in a modern setting.

Full Review… | January 8, 2008
Top Critic

Mindless entertainment of the highest order.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Road House is much funnier than most comedies, until it turns vile instead of just stupid.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Road House

No matter what you're expecting, this film is beyond expectations, and that is not a good thing. Veiled in the guise of a simple film about a man who cleans up a bar while working as a cooler (head bouncer), this film takes a lot of strange twists and turns and becomes something altogether ugly and laughably horrible. The lead character is relentlessly hypocritical, having a PhD of unclear origins, a glossed over love of Tai Chi, and yet an obsession with cutting up bad guys and vagrants alike. Dalton (Swayze) comes to a small town in Kansas, teaches some bouncers what to do, and then helps starts a yuppie blues bar. There is a villain to this story, and he is the most hedonistic, disgusting, devilish man to be on screen since the age of the fifties' B-movie. He kills, tortures, and maims, threatens everyone even associated with the bar, and yet doesn't get caught for his actions because he has "ties with the police." The things he gets away with are tantamount to a drug kingpin with a small rebel army, and yet he only has several crooks. Most of this heavy-handed and far too long film revolves around Dalton fighting bad guys, avenging friends and co-workers, and falling in love with, and awkwardly making love to, a local doctor. They literally meet one time, and the next meeting they have one of the most strange love scenes, comparable only to "Showgirls". This shifts to a revenge flick as the man controlling the entire town (Gazzara) starts a vendetta against this Dalton, who isn't the owner of the bar, doesn't have much control over how the town is run, and though starts dating this villain's crush, doesn't throw it in his face. The last thirty minutes is all out violence, murder, arson, and senseless baiting by the villain. It devolves quickly, and it easily earns its reputation as a movie that is harsh to watch, and simple to make fun of.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Some might call Road House one of the worst movies ever made, and they would be both right and wrong in that estimation. The movie is a conundrum, because it's entertaining on the most basic of levels but yet you still want to hate on it. It's actually got all the classic 80's ingredients (big hair, strippers, monster trucks, etc) and it's got a sort of western vibe with the hero coming to town to save it from an evil overlord, but it just doesn't really work all that well... but yet it does. I can't say that it's amazing or a classic, but it's definitely an interesting watch - and somewhat entertaining.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Patrick Swayze kicks serious ass in this movie where he plays a cooler at the Double Deuce, Dalton. Awesome 80s music and and awesome cast consisting of Kelly Lynch, as Elizabeth Clay who Dalton falls in love with and Sam Elliott who plays Wade Garrett, Dalton's best friend who works at the old bar he used to work at, Band Stand. Among them there are also Red Webster (played by Red West) and Emmett (played by Sunshine Parker). Then there's Ben Gazzara who plays the villein Brad Wesley, a money hungry man who's out to destroy Dalton's life. A great movie, with a very revengeful ending, Road House is definitely a movie that you want to see! :) :) :)

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Road House Quotes

– Submitted by Kelly E (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Kelly E (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Kelly E (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Kelly E (2 years ago)

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