Canned from a 20-year job as roadie for Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy is broke and desperate. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to Forest Hills, Queens to visit his aging mother, where a wild night with some hard-partying high school friends shows him that some things never change. From director Michael Cuesta, Roadie features powerful performances from Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy and a refreshingly eclectic 70s hard rock soundtrack. -- (C) Magnolia
as Don Muller
as Marilyn Muller
as Hispanic Store Owner
as Male Cop
as Female Cop
as Wes, Motel Clerk
as Korean Man in Liquor...
as Taxi Driver
as Young Jimmy
as Young Nikki
Related News & Features
Critics Consensus: Guess The Devil Inside's Tomatometer
– Rotten Tomatoes
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Roadie
Eldard makes you feel for this broken-down rock and roll creep. That feeling might be that he needs a good slap in the face, but Eldard doesn't want to be loved here and he doesn't flinch in the process.
It's rare that an acting performance can carry a movie, but Ron Eldard gets a lot more out of his role than was on the page. Eldard invests his character with palpable vulnerability.
A lot of what takes place in "Roadie" feels overly familiar, and the film could have been a wallow in pathos except for the performances, especially that of Eldard.
Provides a touching look at a man whose life is in a period of transition.
The hugely sympathetic Eldard ("Super 8") gives this slim movie a real, beating heart.
Imagine The Wrestler if Mickey Rourke had just wrangled spandex instead of earning his status as a has-been. This is why this movie never feels completely original or moving.
While the excellent cast does its level, honest best with the material, the material itself feels secondhand throughout.
"Roadie" is short on narrative momentum, but it's a perfectly attuned character study of this rock relic and his middle-aged sorrows.
An appealing mood of discomfort that's marvelously executed by the cast, hitting a few persuasive beats of disappointment and resignation that keeps the story grounded in an intriguing, lived-in reality.
Roadie has the stench of freshman-year mandatory creative writing all over it, from its cribs of Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller to an ending that's embarrassingly, clangingly metaphorical.
Ron Eldard gives a sweet, moving performance as a 40-ish guy suddenly un-tethered in time.
Mr. Eldard, who brings layers of complication to his character, makes Jimmy's vulnerability palpable, while Ms. Hennessy shows you her character's carelessness and opportunism.
Rare is the film that refuses to judge its flawed characters, or that grasps the ache of nostalgia while remaining clear-eyed in the face of reality.
Aside from the entertaining specificity about its setting and its protagonist's profession, Roadie is as disappointingly rote as its standard setup suggests.
Terrific contemporary drama about a veteran Queens, New York roadie who's been sacked after decades hauling equipment for Blue Oyster Cult is a gripping portrait of a flawed loser that allows Ron Eldard to shine
Shows the unglamorous side of rock n' roll - the lies and denial, the sadness, and the regret of dreams long gone.
Roadie takes its characters' suffering seriously without ever properly justifying said misery as enlightening or unique.
Eldard, with eyes projecting adolescent vulnerability and a body lost to awkward midlife chub, is enough to redeem Cuesta's indie commonplaces.
Audience Reviews for Roadie
The story of a 'could have been' rock star, that ended up as a roadie for 20 years. Not a very eventful film. A little on the slow side. All in all, not much to write home about.....More
The movie starts with Jimmy(Ron Eldard), a 42-year old roadie, being unceremoniously left behind by his employers somewhere in Michigan. Unable to land a gig anywhere, he goes to the only place where he might be welcome which is his mother's(Lois Smith) home in Forest Hills, NY, but is so distracted by talking on his cell phone that he forgets his bag in the cab. To console him, his mother promises to make him a tuna melt with peppers and provolone but lacks the necessary butter. So, instead of calling the cab company about his missing bag, Jimmy goes to the corner store but not before he goes to a bar where he encounters Randy(Bobby Cannavale) and Nikki(Jill Hennessy, laying on the Queens accent a little too thick), herself an aspiring musician, former high school classmates of his and now married to each other.
"Roadie" is an underwhelming character study that is solely content to think of its lead character as a deluded fool and simply leave it at that, taking note of all not accomplished in his life. But life is not something to keep a running score of. While the life of a roadie probably contains more than its share of odd hours, back breaking work, long bus rides, greasy food and sub-par drugs, it should also give someone who has been around as long as Jimmy more than his share of stories to tell, none of which he is apparently willing to share with friends and family, including the reason for his being fired. What did he do? Pass a drug test?
Ron Eldard, Jill Hennessy, and Bobby Cannavale's performances are the best reason to check out this film. They shine here. The film kind of feels like a stage play. The film does have some great music in the film. Lois Smith and David Margulies also offer solid supporting work here. My problem with the film was the pacing, which was off here. The film begins really well and takes off, then slows down and then gets back on, and then slows down. If they would have fixed the pacing, then it would have been a much better film. Still the film is worth checking out, especially for the performance.More
An indie drama with a familiar story that adequately hits all of its emotional beats, but never goes past that. Ron Eldard is fine in his role, but isn't given a lot to work with, as the script is seemingly unfocused, and the film itself really doesn't get into much depth. As derivative as it is, the film is always watchable, and does a few interesting things with Eldard's character that make it worth checking out.More
Discuss Roadie on our Movie forum!