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Riding the Bullet (2004)

tomatometer

13

Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

34

liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 7,762

My Rating

Movie Info

A young man who has flirted with death is forced to come to terms with mortality in this tale of terror based on a story by Stephen King. Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) is a college student studying art at the University of Maine in 1969. Cursed with an over-active imagination, Alan constantly obsesses over the worst outcome of any situation, and when he begins to suspect his girlfriend, Jessica (Erika Christensen), is thinking of leaving him, it drives him to the brink of suicide. Shortly after

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Apr 19, 2005

$0.1M

LionsGate Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (15) | DVD (15)

A ponderous, incoherent horror mishmash that turns King's short story into utter nonsense.

October 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is so glum and flat-footed there's no reason to care.

October 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Both the anticipation factor and writer-director Mick Garris' slick adaptation fail to live up to the old hype.

October 19, 2004
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A better name for the film would be Taking the Bullet, because that's what sitting through this dopey, pretentious mess feels like.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a navel-gazing meditation on death smothered under excess and ham-handed direction, better suited for late-night cable.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The ending of which, both on the page and, now, on the screen, lands with an overly elegiac thud. Still, the journey is often fine.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...wholly ineffective...

May 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

As obras de Stephen King já renderam alguns ótimos filmes, mas também muitos péssimos. Infelizmente, Riding the Bullet se encaixa nesta última categoria.

March 28, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Imagine a feature-length version of the "Large Marge" sequence from Pee-wee's Big Adventure and you won't be too far off, only that was scarier.

February 3, 2005 Full Review Source: LYTRules.com
LYTRules.com

An incoherent melange of horror movie gimmicks that's genuinely laughable when it strives for profundity. It induces more tedium than terror.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

There are lots of cheap scares and mind games that detract from the main attraction: the interesting family drama.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Overall it doesn't amount to much more than a goofy campfire tale.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Goes beyond simply being a bad movie, to the point where it becomes one that insults your intelligence.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

Yet another reason to think twice before thumbing a ride, kids.

October 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

As good as any Stephen King movie. Not the profound classics ... and not the classy thrillers... but certainly on par with any effective supernatural tale.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

A fairly middle of the road fright film that treads dangerously close to being silly.

October 14, 2004 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

...a nifty supernatural drama that features some truly terrifying scenarios, while also offering up a bit of well-placed humor and poignancy.

October 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Horror.com
Horror.com

Flaws and all, it works pretty well.

August 10, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Riding the Bullet

Riding the Bullet was Stephen Kings "depressed phase" work I assume. lol
December 19, 2009
ScoopOnline
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

I liked this Stephen King adaptation of his short story taken from 'Everything's Eventual', the author's most recent collection. Mick Garris ('The Stand', 'The Shining (TV)') has not strayed too far from the path with this macabre tale of a hitchhiker who is offered rides from a handful of weird and wonderful characters one Halloween night.

The year is 1969 and Alan Parker (Jonathan Jackson) learns that his mother (Barbara Hershey) is dying of cancer, so instead of going to see Lennon and McCartney, the troubled teenager is forced to hitchhike back to his hometown. He is eventually offered a ride by a young man with a sinister secret. Parker is then forced to confront all the demons from his past if he is to survive what could be the last ride of his life.

Like the original story, the film has all the makings of a campfire tale. There are lonely stretches of highway flanked by tall pine trees - roads that are interspersed with graveyards and other dark places one shouldn't venture into after the sun sets. There are carnivals and rollercoasters. There are plenty of laughs as well as scenes that will chill your soul to the bone. Even Death himself makes an appearance.

Terrifyingly entertaining, 'Riding the Bullet' will also make you question what really is important in life.

Also stars David Arquette and Cliff Robertson.
July 27, 2009
matertenebraum

Super Reviewer

Adapting Stephen King's internet released novel shows that anything King will be adapted. Riding the Bullet is a bit like The Dead Zone, in that it has a very episodic narrative. Jackson goes hitchhikes from car to car, with each driver being weird and creepy. Each driver also makes Jackson confront a part of himself. It's a repetitive formula that gets tiresome. It also has the last driver being David Arquette who goes a bit too crazy and borders on comical. Robertson is the best, he's slightly peculiar and unsettling. It's the only real time that the enclosed space and lack of real escape becomes scary. Decent enough, but should have been shorter.
April 18, 2009
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

Just watched it for the second time and remembered exactly how much I loved this movie. It's a kind of different take on death with a dark edge to it. Can't say I'm a King fan - book wise, but this movie definitely enticed me to pick up one of his books sometime.

It does a good job of reminding us of our own humanity and just how valuable our lives really are.

I recommend it to anyone, it's a rather interesting film!
February 3, 2007

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