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Red Road (2007)


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 86
Fresh: 76
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Red Road director Andrea Arnold skillfully parses out just enough plot details at a time to keep the audience engrossed in this seductive thriller.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 24
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: Red Road director Andrea Arnold skillfully parses out just enough plot details at a time to keep the audience engrossed in this seductive thriller.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,048


Movie Info

A woman paid to watch others begins stalking one of the men she's been trailing in this thriller from Scotland. Jackie (Kate Dickie) is a woman who has buried herself in her work with a security company since the death of her husband and child. Jackie's work involves monitoring a crime-ridden corner of North Glasgow with a bank of closed circuit television cameras; after her shift is over, she either goes home or has an occasional assignation with a friend from work who isn't happy with his … More

Drama , Art House & International , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Andrea Arnold
In Theaters:
Aug 28, 2007
Tartan USA - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Red Road

All Critics (89) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (76) | Rotten (10) | DVD (9)

Unfortunately, its superb performances and assured camerawork are overwhelmed by dubious psychology and a clichéd climax.

Full Review… | October 26, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Like the Peeping Tom-paranoia of similar recent films Disturbia and Civic Duty, this finely crafted debut feature by Scottish writer/director Andrea Arnold packs a wallop.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Though it's paced as a thriller, the film ultimately emerges as a haunting exploration of how grief can weigh on us, and the depths to which it can drive us.

Full Review… | June 22, 2007
Seattle Times
Top Critic

A must for movie lovers who want to see how so much drama, mystery and emotion can be created from so little.

Full Review… | June 16, 2007
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

For a voyeuristic medium, this tale of a voyeur does a poor job of prying into its own protagonist's life.

Full Review… | June 1, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

With assured performers, handheld cameras and natural lighting -- the ABCs of the Dogme method -- [Andrea] Arnold has given this ambitious undertaking a provocative start.

Full Review… | May 25, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Despite some elemental flaws in logic and plausibility, this is a tense and potent film at times that hints at the sort of greatness that we can find to a greater degree in Ms. Arnold's other works, Wasp and Fish Tank.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012

No drab stone is left unturned

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Sets a chilling downer mood that gets under your skin like few films ever do.

Full Review… | January 14, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Ancorado pelas performances complexas de Dickie e Curran, o filme traz a diretora estreante Andrea Arnold como uma revelação a ser observada com atenção nos próximos anos.

January 8, 2008
Cinema em Cena

A brilliantly conceived thriller that keeps us guessing right up to the very end, Red Road intrigues but frustrates by its slow development and often incomprehensible Scottish dialogue

Full Review… | October 5, 2007
Urban Cinefile

A strange sort of map of the city [is] spread across these fragmented cubes of visual information. And there's also the metaphorical map of the characters' lives, where they're coming from and where they're going.

September 20, 2007
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

I like that you're never sure where this road is going to lead.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007

Red Road is an atmospheric little thriller made up of equal parts paranoia, loneliness and anxiety.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
Jam! Movies

The glacially paced film is tersely episodic, and scenes are thrown onto the screen like jagged bits of raw meat that have been torn from a bone.

Full Review… | June 28, 2007
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

It's a jarring sensation, for a thriller not to be about the chase, or the mysterious force of evil lurking in the shadows, but about an intangible gulf dividing two people occupying the same room.

Full Review… | June 27, 2007
Zertinet Movies

An impressive debut that is orchestrated with a deep, underlying tension that never lets us guess what will come.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

I couldn't get this film's quiet power out of my mind.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)

It should be noted that Red Road contains one extremely graphic sex scene. But like much else that transpires in Red Road, what is seen is not always what it looks like on the surface.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007
Austin Chronicle

some may find the denouement a tad sentimental, but it is a long, dark and twisted journey that takes us there, scrutinising the shadier contours of human loss and guilt like a grainy face on a screen.

Full Review… | June 13, 2007

Jackie's story extends beyond her control, no matter what she sees, thinks she sees, or tries to see.

Full Review… | May 30, 2007

Audience Reviews for Red Road

A very good movie about a women seeking revenge for the death of her husband when she see's the man responsible for his death and her daughters death back on the streets. A thriller and drama with many twist and turns. 4 stars 7-3-12

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer


Voyeurism, revenge, loss and healing - Age old issues brilliantly brought to life in this intense and suspenseful thriller. Kate Dickie's performance is brutally real as is the film itself, unsurprising really as this is part of a challenge from Dogme director Lars Von Trier as part of his The Advance Party manifesto. The intrigue is almost unbearable (In the best possible way). I've been a big fan of Andrea Arnold for many years, although not always as a director, I fell in love with her as a young boy when she was in No 73 on Saturday mornings. Anyway - She's a great director now and this is a brilliant film, criminally overlooked it seems. Looking forward to seeing Fish Tank and to seeing the next of three The Advance Party films, starting with Morag McKinnon's Donkeys, if only I could find it. Great stuff!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

There's something very appealing about withholding the full story from an audience until the end. If it's done right. With Red Road, it's not done very well. What the folks involved in this project wanted to do, I'm sure, is create suspense. Mission not accomplished. By the time you understand the whole story, you really don't care.

Lanning : )

Super Reviewer

A tough, surprising movie that is nonetheless limned with "I've Loved You So Long Syndrome" - that is, the obfuscation of the plot to extend an ultimately thin story to feature length. What makes this tough narrative conceit work in Red Road is that Jackie is obviously such a broken, lonely woman that there's really no need to exhume her personal tragedies. She has no tangible support system to discuss her past with, short of some passively hostile and generally removed in-laws. Where Kristin Scott Thomas was surrounded by people who cared about her in I've Loved You So Long, and was completely unable to conjure up why she was imprisoned for them, the main character here has no real reason to share. This movie is also superbly controlled, vaguely peppered with disturbing themes like voyeurism and abuse, not as an immediate concern of the plot but merely to enhance our view of Jackie's situation. Her position as a City Guard watchperson, as I understand it, empowers her in a way that she probably never got to experience in her past, not to mention the escapist thrills it provides by looking into someone else's life. I don't know if they were intentional or not, but there are some really thoughtful questions that Jackie's choice of profession brings up; how reliable are a human's hands in a position like this? She seems to be good at her job, but utterly fallible when confronted with a reminder of her horrifying past, which reveals itself to have consequences. It really made me wonder about the moral and political ramifications of placing cameras all over a city under the guise of "protecting its citizens," which I do not have to contend with in America but am still curious as to the reactions of those who do.

Whether this subtext is just me making things up or Andrea Arnold being exceptionally insightful in a quiet sort of way, it really speaks to Red Road's non-linearity and thematic freedom. Jackie, in herself, is so complex and unusual that she seems liable to do just about anything; the movie feels like it could go anywhere at any time. Kate Dickie's performance is commendable. She reminded me of a filtration of Tilda Swinton's Julia (two years her predecessor, anyway), more rigid morally but just as miserable and against-the-wall enough that her options are limitless. What more does she have to lose? Dickie is a wisp, sad and ephemeral, and her presence is like a hook in the viewer's gut. Her efforts in the movie's final scenes are shattering. This is not to discredit the fantastic work of her supporting cast, including Tony Curran as her scene partner in one of the most lucid, surprising scenes of "intimacy" I've seen. It is clear that Arnold, in participating in this experiment (Lars von Trier challenged three directors to make different movies with the same cast of characters and this is the first result), had a clear vision of what she wanted to do with her characters and how specifically to embody them. The actors she selected are perfect in what they project.

Drew Smith

Super Reviewer

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