Reservation Road (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

Reservation Road (2007)



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

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 them forever. On a warm September evening, law associate Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son Lucas are attending a baseball game. Their favorite team, the Red Sox, is playing--and, hopefully, heading for the World Series. Dwight cherishes his time spent with Lucas. Driving his son back to his ex-wife, Lucas' mother Ruth Wheldon, Dwight heads towards his fateful encounter at Reservation Road. The accident happens so fast that Lucas is all but unaware, while Ethan--the only witness--is all too aware, as a panicked Dwight speeds away. The police are called, and an investigation begins. Haunted by the tragedy, both fathers react in unexpected ways, as do Grace and Emma. As a reckoning looms, the two fathers are forced to make the hardest choices of their lives.more
Rating: R (for language and some disturbing images)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Burnham Schwartz, Terry George
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 8, 2008
Focus Features - Official Site


Joaquin Phoenix
as Ethan Learner
Mark Ruffalo
as Dwight Arno
Jennifer Connelly
as Grace Learner
Mira Sorvino
as Ruth Wheldon
Elle Fanning
as Emma Learner
Sean Curley
as Josh Learner
Susan Powell
as Elegant Parent
Linda Dano
as Grandmother
Samuel Ryan Finn
as Cello Player
Eddie Alderson
as Lucas Arno
Cordell Clyde
as Jimmy McBride
Antoni Corone
as Sergeant Burke
Kevin Herbst
as Driving Trooper
Gary Kohn
as Norris Wheldon
John Rothman
as Minister
Sinead Daly
as American Girl
Americk Lewis
as African American Stu...
Danny Johnson
as Investigating Troope...
Bill Camp
as Desk Trooper
as Gerry
Julian Rebolledo
as News Announcer
Peter Pamela Rose
as News Announcer
Kathryn Markey
as News Announcer
Julian Rebolledo
as News Announcer
Peter Pamela Rose
as News Announcer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Reservation Road

Critic Reviews for Reservation Road

All Critics (116) | Top Critics (39)

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

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.

Full Review… | April 28, 2011
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.

Full Review… | August 26, 2008

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.

Full Review… | August 3, 2008
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.

Full Review… | May 1, 2008

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

Full Review… | March 28, 2008
Cinema em Cena

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.

Jens S.

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.

Lady D'arbanville

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.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Reservation Road Quotes

Grace Learner: How do I get you back, Ethan?
– Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
Emma Learner: Can you hear music if you're in heaven?
– Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)
Grace Learner: I told him to let them go!
– Submitted by Frances H (21 months ago)

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