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Road To Nowhere (2011)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 916

My Rating

Movie Info

There's a murky, tenuous balance between reality and fiction...particularly when it involves a beautiful young woman, murder, a powerful politico, a missing fortune, and suicide. A passionate filmmaker creating a film based upon a true crime casts an unknown mysterious young woman bearing a disturbing resemblance to the femme fatale in the story. Unsuspectingly, he finds himself drawn into a complex web of haunting intrigue: he becomes obsessed with the woman, the crime, her possibly notorious


Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

Steven Gaydos

Aug 22, 2011


Monterey Media - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (5) | DVD (2)

The final scene offers clarity, at least, if not a satisfying payoff.

August 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Road to Nowhere" plays like an exercise in frustrating audiences.

August 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, the film gets too clever and confusing for its own good, while the slow pacing zaps momentum from the story (and the story within the story).

July 21, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A rabbit hole of enigmatic characters and swampy motives...Shot by shot, the film has a burnished, beautiful sheen.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Road to Nowhere" is a beautifully made, glorious mess.

June 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A stylish, shimmering neo-noir with a multi-layered narrative for which the director's longtime collaborator Steven Gaydos has written an exceedingly elliptical and challenging script.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Without succumbing to any romance about the magic of motion pictures, Hellman imbues Road to Nowhere with a haunted yet hallowed quality.

July 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Becomes less clever the more clever it gets.

September 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film is a series of carefully composed, painterly tableaux that may stay in your mind long after its "story" has been forgotten.

August 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Seven Days
Seven Days

A return to form. But it still has the power to leave audiences disoriented, just as Hellman's best films Ride in the Whirlwind, The Shooting, Two-Lane Blacktop, and Cockfighter once did.

July 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The sort of movie that goes down so many wormholes that, at the end, there's room for debate about what was real and what wasn't.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The first feature film from Monte Hellman in 21 years is a quirky and self-reflexive film-within-a-film mystery that whiplashes viewers with audacious inventiveness; it's both more and less than it seems.

June 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Cult icon Hellman has no pity on the faint of heart in this complex time-warped epic of a film noir.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Part of the pleasure of the film is trying to parse the reality from the fiction as Hellman weaves everything sinuously together.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Hellman's placid long shots belie the film's elaborate tease: Big, pretty swaths of film stitched into an increasingly perverse, unresolved design.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Movieline

Audience Reviews for Road To Nowhere

Hard to believe "Road to Nowhere" is what lured director Monte Hellman back to feature films after a 22-year break. This film-within-a-film aims to be a David Lynch-like puzzle in which alter-ego director Mitchell Haven (Tygh Runyan) casts troubled novice Laurel Graham (Shannyn Sossamon) in his erratic dramatization of a true story about a doomed, con-artist couple. Scenes occur both inside and outside the fictional film without adequate warning, and this arty ambiguity is as about as far as the movie's pleasures go. Well, unless you count Sossamon's stunningly photogenic face. As shooting continues, Mitchell and Laurel becomes lovers and this compromises the project -- smitten Mitchell begins skewing scenes toward his lady, much to the dismay of the screenwriter and other cast members (Cliff De Young plays her older co-star). Meanwhile, a story consultant and insurance investigator (Waylon Payne) is equally fixated on Laurel, and believes she is secretly portraying herself after switching identities to avoid capture. It's all quite confusing, and not interesting enough to worry about. "Road to Nowhere" could be enjoyable if -- like Lynch -- Hellman was a more stylized filmmaker, but this conspicuously flat work not only lacks striking camera movement but doesn't even have a musical score. Overlong at 121 minutes (at the very least, those indulgent excerpts from "The Lady Eve," "The Seventh Seal" and "Spirit of the Beehive" could be cut), this film will thoroughly exhaust most viewers' patience.
April 28, 2012
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

Most of the supporting performances are pretty weak but I respect what Monte Hellman is trying to do here. The seamless weaving in and out of the present, the past, and the film the characters are making suggests a world where there are no physical boundaries to separate our reality and ones that we create. Its the kind of story David Lynch would tell, but Hellman uses realism instead of the surreal, so its easy to get lost. By the end even the characters seem unsure of where they are.
October 16, 2011
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

Horrific. I couldn't all the way through this one. The acting was awful and the story (from what I saw) was going nowhere, so the title was very apt.
October 6, 2011

Super Reviewer

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