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Big Sur (2013)

tomatometer

40

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

39

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 996

My Rating

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,

Drama, Special Interest

Jack Kerouac

Jan 14, 2014

$35.9k

Ketchup Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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

There's a strange heft to its hollowness.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Sometimes feels like a beautiful illustration, rather than an adaptation, of Kerouac's prose.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
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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.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 30, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...works 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.

December 5, 2013 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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.

November 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Shockya.com
Shockya.com

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.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: The Playlist
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.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

A strangely tepid experience for such searing psychological material.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com

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

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Madison Movie
Madison Movie

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

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
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.

October 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

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

October 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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

January 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

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