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Big Sur (2013)


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 6

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,005


Movie Info

An adaptation of American literary icon Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name, BIG SUR focuses on a moment in Kerouac's life when, overwhelmed by the success of his opus On the Road and struggling to battle inner demons, he seeks respite in three brief sojourns to a cabin in the small, coastal California town of Big Sur. Michael Polish's film is at once a poetic meditation and a love-letter to the work of an author who defined the Beat Generation. (c) Ketchup

R (for some sexuality, nudity and language)
Drama , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
Jack Kerouac
In Theaters:
Jan 14, 2014
Box Office:
Ketchup Entertainment - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Big Sur

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (11)

There's a strange heft to its hollowness.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

"Big Sur" cracks the code of how to adapt Jack Kerouac for the screen.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Sometimes feels like a beautiful illustration, rather than an adaptation, of Kerouac's prose.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

With Kerouac declaring that "the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind," we're still left waiting for the filmmaker who can take us there.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Nobody's given the opportunity to do much more than brood prettily and occasionally shout carpe diembromides into the pounding surf.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
AV Club
Top Critic

Don't worry if you don't connect. There's nothing to connect to. The characters are never developed, and nothing ever happens.

Full Review… | October 30, 2013
New York Observer
Top Critic as a kind of tone poem, drenching the senses in beautifully sad imagery, as Kerouac's poetry and prose sound over images of the sparkling Pacific.

Full Review… | December 5, 2013
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Clearly edited to evoke a feeling of slipstream, stream-of-consciousness connection, but little more than a rolling delivery service of smugness, self-destruction, hedonism and pretentiousness.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013

Big Sur rises and fades, shifts and moves, through movements and melodies, singing a beautifully sad song for an era and a man who lost his way.

Full Review… | November 7, 2013
The Playlist

Competent adaptation of Jack Kerouac's swan song. Those expecting a groovy good time should look elsewhere since this is a movie about a nervous breakdown.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013

A strangely tepid experience for such searing psychological material.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013

It feels like we get closer to the real Kerouac here, the man behind the book, unable to escape its shadow.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
Madison Movie

Polish's agonizingly dull adaptation of Jack Kerouac's Big Sur unwittingly illustrates why movies continue to be the Beats' Kryptonite.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
The Dissolve

Some of the performances -- Mitchell, Fischler and especially Lucas -- are lively, but Barr never gets under Kerouac's skin to show the pain of an artist who can't hold his life together.

Full Review… | October 30, 2013

The viewer is informed of a world of chaos, obsession, and irresolution, but has no cinematic means of accessing or understanding it.

Full Review… | October 28, 2013
Slant Magazine

Big Sur achieves one of the trickier challenges in cinema, dramatising the inner demons of a character awash in melancholy and addiction.

Full Review… | January 24, 2013
Screen International

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