On the Road Reviews

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Christopher Lloyd
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
May 2, 2013

A booze-soaked, drug-riddled, sex-filled escapade with no real point about young people casting off whatever yokes chain them and seeing what's out there. It captures the pure exhilaration of freedom for its own sake.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
April 22, 2013

The movie version of "On the Road" won't have the impact on a person that the book ever did. But it does go some way to explaining why the book did.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Eric Melin
April 15, 2013

At just over two hours, its challenging to stay invested in the movie and its choppy, rambling storyline. As a filmic experience, however, it serves as an interesting companion piece to the similarly challenging 'The Master.'

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
David Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan
April 6, 2013

Not a film for the masses....the story is laced with sex, drugs and nudity, but it is a capable character study of a group of young friends who could be part of any generation.

Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
March 26, 2013

Salles aims to do for Jack Kerouac what he did for Che Guevara, i.e., to make him and his pals rock stars.

Roger Moore
Movie Nation
March 22, 2013

What Salles gets just right is the sense of speed - of lives lived too fast, of the blacktop passing before their windshield in a blur.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Verniere
Boston Herald
March 22, 2013

The film has a dreamy nocturnal lyricism, especially in scenes of Moriarty's streamlined 1949 Hudson Commodore hurtling across America's lamp-lit highways.

Full Review | Original Score: B plus
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
March 22, 2013

It's not a wreck of a movie; it's not a sleek race car either. But there's heat to be felt here.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

"On the Road" is something of a sprawling mess, but then so is the novel.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

It took more than half a century, but Jack Kerouac's autobiographical cult novel of bohemian youth in postwar America has reached the screen in wonderful form.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

Against all odds, a surprisingly effective movie.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

Director Walter Salles' film is fairly faithful to the source material. It's not going to start a movement, though.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

Notwithstanding the characters' spiritual camaraderie, Salles' emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal's story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Marc Mohan
March 21, 2013

Even if Salles' film can't possibly capture the impact of its source, it's intriguing enough to rate a place in the ever-expanding mythology of "the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live."

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
March 21, 2013

It's not entirely successful, but it has many beautiful moments.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
March 21, 2013

While Kerouac's odyssey lacks conventional narrative or novelistic beats (though it comes with plenty of the other kind), the restlessness of the prose has its own cinematic allure.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dave White
March 18, 2013

They did what they wanted, even if it wasn't always that much, and they did it stylishly. While on drugs.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine
January 15, 2013

A film that should beguile anyone with even the slightest tendency toward being a seeker - and any fan of the book who wants a figurative translation to the here and now.

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
January 14, 2013

A pleasant but undistinguished adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel about himself and his Beat friends in the late forties.

Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin's Picks
December 23, 2012

Salles tries to capture the immediacy and spontaneous nature of the book, using long takes and even allowing the camera to drift out of focus when a character moves about.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.3/4
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
December 21, 2012

It's neither the first nor the best road trip that Mr. Salles has brought to the screen.

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