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Reservation Road (2007)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 112
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 72

While the performances are fine, Reservation Road quickly adopts an excessively maudlin tone along with highly improbable plot turns.


Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 38
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 28

While the performances are fine, Reservation Road quickly adopts an excessively maudlin tone along with highly improbable plot turns.



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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 14,333

My Rating

Movie Info

A tale of anger, revenge, and great courage, the film follows two fathers as their families and lives converge. On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello--beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

John Burnham Schwartz, Terry George

Apr 8, 2008

Focus Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (72) | DVD (7)

Despite its contrivances, Reservation Road is moving at times, and that's largely due to the skill of its cast.

October 26, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It starts with devastation and closes, after a few reels of narrative dithering, with a climax of hairpin emotional turns and indisputable power.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A film of distinguished performances that rise above a coincidence-riddled and perfunctory screenplay -- without redeeming it.

October 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reservation Road is a car wreck of a movie about an auto accident. It's designed as a psychological suspense film, but every character development and plot twist can be seen far in advance. It's a mystery with no guessing.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An exercise in frustration and wasted opportunities.

October 25, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What did we do to deserve these grief-counselor filmmakers? They seem to think they can express something that we cannot, and they're so persistent. It's enough to make us want to run away from home.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Ultimately devolves into a Crime and Punishment-esque moral exercise, with heavy-handed social commentaries and a rough ending that left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

August 26, 2008 Full Review Source:

Reservation Road, where the event central to this story takes place, is a symbolic crossroads for two families in this engaging drama about a hit and run accident and its aftermath.

August 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Would-be screenwriters are advised to catch Reservation Road on cable as it provides an object lesson of three awful script clichés that are to be avoided at all costs.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC

Um drama barato e maniqueísta que apela para truques narrativos rasos a fim de arrancar lágrimas do espectador e, assim, comprovar o próprio valor.

March 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

The filmmaker, whether in Rwanda or here at home, admirably weighs the difficult convictions and facile frailties of human nature, and those conflicting impulses towards cowardice and revenge or a far more arduous courage and honor, on a troubled planet.

January 26, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

prospathei na piasei ligo ap' ola, alla kataligei na min ehei kanenan sygkekrimeno stoho katholoy, i toylahiston kanenan sygkekrimeno poy na mporei na moirastei olokliromena mazi soy

January 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

George's thriller reveals itself to be nothing more than a by the numbers melodrama that's only saved by the excellent performances...

January 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A disappointing drama featuring paper thin female characters is rescued only by a superb performance from Mark Ruffalo.

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

George sustains this lightweight soap opera with the predictable pap of a Lifetime channel movie...this particular Road is certainly under construction.

December 6, 2007 Full Review
Movie Eye

It's a gripping enough subject matter that isn't exactly given an engaging or focused enough screenplay to be as powerful as it so desperately strives for.

December 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Bronsonfive

A good psychological and moral drama.

November 30, 2007 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

The pileup of coincidences makes this film inevitably seem like a car wreck... .

November 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

fodder more suitable for a moralistic made-for-TV "after school special"

November 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

What starts as a sensitive, involving drama about grief and guilt annoyingly degenerates into a trite thriller.

November 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

In Reservation Road, a clanking melodrama in which men suffer loss, grief, and guilt.

November 14, 2007 Full Review Source: PopMatters

With a cast like Phoenix, Ruffalo and Connelly, you know you're in for, at the very least, some compelling performances -- a fact that thankfully saves Reservation Road from utter banality.

November 2, 2007 Full Review Source:

The bulk of the movie rings false.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Rather than just another one-dimensional they-made-me-a-vigilante movie, this is, um, just another two-dimensional trudge of solemnity, delicately extracted from only the best stock of irritatingly respectable literary fiction.

October 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Adds nothing new or fresh to our understanding of how individuals cope with the sudden and tragic death of a loved one.

October 28, 2007 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Reservation Road

This psychological thriller paints the darkest picture: what if your child was killed in a hit and run? How far would you go to hunt the culprit? The movie, even though moving slowly, can rely on outstanding acting by the two leading men and Jennifer Connelly. While her reaction is solitude and deep sadness her husband Phoenix is angry and wants revenge. The fact that the man he is looking for ends up being his lawyer is maybe a tad much, like a couple of more coincidences throughout the plot. You can't help but wonder how it's all gonna end, though. As the noose tightens around Ruffalo's neck the viewers can't help but ask themselves how they'd react on both sides of this tragedy. Thankfully, the solution seems to find the only possible salvation.
July 5, 2012

Super Reviewer

A film that manages to capture thoughts and raw emotions of all envolved after a tragic accident, in one tragic moments, changes the lives of everyone envolved.

I've not seen Joaquin Phoenix display a serious performance like this before and felt it came across well, as did Mark Ruffalo.
December 15, 2010

Super Reviewer

Decent story concerning a father's anger of losing his son to a hit and run accident while the driver is suffering an enormous amount of guilt. Sometimes it feels like its stealing aspects from "In the Bedroom", a far better depiction concerning a father's need to avenge his son's death. Other times, this is compelling stuff, with Phoenix and Ruffalo giving outstanding performances. Some of the scenes are very overdone though, with enough yelling and tears to last a lifetime. The end lacks closure big time.
March 31, 2009
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

This was dull. Didn't move me at all, and just felt like a waste of time. The acting is all good and the cast, but just went nowhere.
March 28, 2009

Super Reviewer

    1. Grace Learner: How do I get you back, Ethan?
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 days ago)
    1. Emma Learner: Can you hear music if you're in heaven?
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 days ago)
    1. Grace Learner: I told him to let them go!
    – Submitted by Frances H (20 days ago)
View all quotes (3)

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