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Road House (1989)



Average Rating: 4.1/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 8

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 59,340

My Rating

Movie Info

Join us for a beer tasting before a screening of ROAD HOUSE! Sample three beers before selecting your favorite for a pint to enjoy during the film. Also includes snacks from the Torpedo Room, trivia with Squirrel, and more! Patrick Swayze. More roundhouse kicks than a Taekwondo tournament. Sam Elliot. Monster trucks. Self stitches. Horrible one-liners. Lots of mullets. ROAD HOUSE has it all. Dalton (Swayze) is a true gentleman with a degree in philosophy from NYU. He also has a flip side - he's


Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance

Feb 4, 2003

United Artists - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Road House

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The "Fast and the Furious" director plans to direct a remake of the late '80s Swayze hit.
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All Critics (30) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (18) | DVD (18)

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

June 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

April 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mindless entertainment of the highest order.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An immensely enjoyable slice of romanticised fisticuffs, this is a Western in every respect except the stetsons and six guns.

April 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Good-natured enough, but essentially an excuse for lots of mindless violence perpetrated by one-dimensional characters.

April 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Swayze kicks some serious ass

March 23, 2008

Swayze is up to a part that requires him merely to show his muscles and dexterity, but Gazzara is trapped in his hopelessly evil caricature, leaving Sam Elliott (in a too-limited role) to provide the film's only real charm.

January 8, 2008 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Badass brawls, broken beer bottles, booming beats, big boobs and bad blood.

July 27, 2006 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

Road House is the mother of all stop signs for channel surfers everywhere.

July 22, 2006 Full Review Source:

'Road House' is a terrible movie, and by 'terrible' I mean 'awesome.'

July 14, 2006 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star's hard to go wrong with a film that features such choice bits of dialogue as "nobody ever wins a fight," "be nice until it's time to not be nice," and, of course, "pain don't hurt."

July 11, 2006 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

the gayest thing next to a gladiator movie

May 31, 2006 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

Very cool, Very fast, and more action than the L.A Freeway. Perfect Popcorn Entertainment.

May 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Moviehole

I hated this movie as a teen. Haven't seen it since.

July 25, 2005 | Comments (2)
Juicy Cerebellum

A forgettable fist-flinging fable that's as ridiculously raucous as it is relevant. Swayze flexes his movie muscles needlessly in this dingy and disjointed drama

May 23, 2003

Road House is rootin' tootin' moo-vee makin' at its best. Hats off for working not one but two huge explosions into a movie about bar-fights.

February 5, 2003 Full Review Source:

Road House gets by on dingbat charm.

February 4, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

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.
July 6, 2013

Super Reviewer

File under 'You could only get away with this kind of thing in the 80s'. Honestly, in the 80s you could get away with murder just as long as nobody saw it. It's incredibly cheesy but with a brilliant cast including Patrick Swayze, Sam Elliott and Ben Gazzara it's hard not to like it. As I get older I am becoming more and more pleased that I haven't seen all these old 80s films, it's like rediscovering and enjoying a decade all over again each time I catch up with one. RIP Mr. Swayze and RIP Ben Gazzara too, I had no idea he had passed away :o(
September 26, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Elizabeth "Doc" Clay: You know, for that line of work I thought you'd be bigger.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Morgan: You know, I heard you had balls big enough to come in a dump truck, but you don't look like much to me.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Wade Garrett: You got a skinny little runt named Dalton working here?
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Wade Garrett: A man puts a gun in yer face, you got two choices - stand there 'n die or kill the motherfucker!
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Tilghman: It's a good night. Nobody died.
    2. Dalton: It'll get worse before it gets better.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
    1. Dalton: You're too stupid to have a good time.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (19 months ago)
View all quotes (27)

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