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Joy Ride

Joy Ride (2001)

tomatometer

73

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 113
Fresh: 83 | Rotten: 30

A well-constructed B-movie thriller, Joy Ride keeps up the necessary level of tension and chills. Critics also liked Zahn's performance as the goofball older brother.

80

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 6

A well-constructed B-movie thriller, Joy Ride keeps up the necessary level of tension and chills. Critics also liked Zahn's performance as the goofball older brother.

audience

65

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 62,906

My Rating

Movie Info

After forays into film noir, thrillers, dramas, and even documentaries, director John Dahl tries the teen horror genre on for size. Paul Walker stars as Lewis Thomas, a college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller (Steve Zahn), a practical joker who uses the car's CB radio to play a cruel prank on a lonely trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail. The victim of

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Action & Adventure

J.J. Abrams, Clay Tarver

Mar 12, 2002

$21.3M

20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (134) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (83) | Rotten (30) | DVD (27)

If you're looking to have your nerves fried and your pulse pounded, this is your ticket to ride.

October 29, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dahl works the audience like the dial of a car radio, testing out all manner of squeals and static and all-out, high-pitched terror.

October 12, 2001 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Climb into this rig and you'll be sweating bullets.

October 5, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's encouraging to see more than passing attention paid to character development.

October 5, 2001
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Expertly toys with the fear any carbon-based life-form feels when one of those Peterbilt express trains comes rolling by with a thundercrack of vibration at about 240 mph, gently urging us to move right or die crushed and bleeding.

October 5, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It attains its modest ambitions with dispatch and wit, and without ever lifting its foot from the pedal.

October 5, 2001 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a dumb movie.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

...boasts a number of genuinely exhilarating sequences and set-pieces.

October 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Will convince you that you'd be better off taking the train.

April 8, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

America's dark and lonely back roads are the prime location for stories about relentless, psychotic stalkers preying on the youth.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Nothing special -- it just devotedly does its job to give the audience a string of suspense scenarios.

January 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Maybe it's a wonderful inside joke - a suspenseless suspense film.

October 30, 2002 Full Review
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The popcorn thriller manages to keep the viewer's disbelief at bay, while offering a deceptively smooth ride through some frequently bumpy territory.

August 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence Journal-World

It's a scary film; an atmospheric, unrelenting, character-rich thriller that includes one of the most jolting shock-moments I can remember.

August 22, 2002 Full Review

Things are pushed over the top rather successfully, but breaking momentum is a pretty big mistake for movie that wants to wow us with ruthless efficiency.

August 18, 2002

It's what we don't see that terrifies us in Roadkill, a blistering good thriller that keeps us uneasy and perched on the edge of our seats.

July 18, 2002 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Well done thriller just when we need it most.

July 9, 2002 Full Review
Supercala.com

A thriller driven by considerable suspense before taking a wrong exit somewhere near the end.

June 18, 2002 Full Review
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

This is a drive-in movie supreme, a suspense saga with several wicked shocks and at least as many hearty laughs.

June 9, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Paul Walker has all the acting ability of a length of pine board.

April 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

...a galvanizing amusement-park ride that only occasionally steps over the bounds of common sense.

March 12, 2002
Movie Metropolis

You'll feel like you're an unwilling passenger along for a bumpy trip in John Dahl's road rage thriller Joy Ride -- Dahl dresses up this fuel-injected spectacle with silly-minded edge-of-your-seat fury

March 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Movie Eye
Movie Eye

One of those rare movies that I know I shouldn't like, but... I cannot help but enjoy it.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Premium entertainment of the genre variety.

December 9, 2001 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

98 minutes of pure, unadulterated exhilaration.

October 19, 2001
Matt's Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Joy Ride

All college student Lewis wants to do for his summer break is travel cross country to pick up his girlfriend Venna. In tow is his recently paroled practical joke pulling brother Fuller. Their trip goes from banal to scary when a prank of Fuller's using a CB radio on a lonely trucker known as Rusty Nail goes horribly awry in this tense thriller heavily inspired by Spielberg's masterpiece Duel.

Admittedly, Fuller's prank is cruel, but when it turns out that Rusty is a psychopath that can't take a joke, the boys find themselves in a real world of trouble. You kinda pity them, and feel for them, even if Fuller does deserve to get some sort of comeuppance.

One of the best parts of the film, arguably, is the use of Ted Levine as the voice of Rusty Nail. His delivery and demeanor are creepy and really make your skin crawl, and really help elevate this basic, semi-derivative material into a pretty solid and intense thriller.

Paul Walker is decent as Lewis, and Steve Zahn is fine as Fuller. As Venna, we get Leelee Sobieski, who, to me at least, is a bit of a treat, even if she probably looks at this movie as just a paycheck. But as decent as they are, none of them steal the show quite like Levine does, and he's just using his voice, so that says something.

The film is a bit out there, and not the most realistic, but if you want a movie that delivers the thrills (as well as some visceral stuff), then yeah, give this a look. It's a lot better than it seems it should be.
February 25, 2014
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

This movie is both trilling and fun at the same time, mixing laughs, spooky moments, and just plain cheesiness in almost every scene. Paul Walker and Steve Zahn play great brothers together, and their chemistry is very believable. Sure, the premise is simple, and one thing just kind of leads to another, seeing as something had to happen in order for the next to follow. I found myself laughing even in the thrilling moments, but that was okay, because the character were so zany that it was okay to chuckle. Some moments will make you role your eyes, and the script may be predictable for the most part, but J.J. Abrams clearly had his hand in the script, because the few twists really do work. The ending left me disappointed, but it's still a fun movie!
January 18, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Like a bigger, dumber version of Spielberg's "Duel" with excellent production values.
October 7, 2012
harrycaul

Super Reviewer

For me, this was one of the better teen Horrors, with lots of suspense, corny - Yes! Cliched - Yes, but definitely more watchable than most.

A guilty pleasure for me.
March 12, 2011
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Joy Ride

    1. Rusty Nail: You know you should get that fixed.
    2. Fuller Thomas: Get what fixed?
    3. Rusty Nail: Your tail light.
    – Submitted by John P (4 months ago)
    1. Rusty Nail: I like the rain-keeps everyone inside, washes everything clean.
    – Submitted by John P (4 months ago)
    1. Venna: How scared am I supposed to be?
    – Submitted by Kayla P (18 months ago)
    1. Rusty Nail: You really outta get that fixed...
    – Submitted by Kayla P (18 months ago)
    1. Fuller Thomas: Yeah, we're fine not that we're not murdered.
    – Submitted by Kayla P (18 months ago)
View all quotes (5)

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