Trucker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Trucker Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 1, 2011
The only flaw of the film is that halfway through, you already know the ending. Still, by knowing, the film is so well made that it pulls you in and makes you want to stick around and await the inevitable ending. Michelle Monaghan pulls off an Oscar-Worthy performance as "Diane Ford", and the rest of the solid cast help keep this movie on it's high octane cylinders of brilliant storytelling. Trucker is a must see drama!
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2010
This film has at its core a really overused plot - the estranged young son forced to re-unite with a parent, who then, after a bumpy ride, learn to love each other. But by its gritty, low down tone, somehow the film manages to keep from becomming overy maudlin.

What keeps Trucker afloat is indeed the portrayal of a female trucker and all that signifies - the yearning for independance and being your own person, beholden to no-one but yourself. This is what makes this film rise above a throwaway, as though, yes, you've seen this plot before, but never in this way.

Michelle Monaghan is very solid and carries the film well and the child actor does an adequit job of portraying the bitterness and false bravado necessary of the role.

But... a few things I found disconcerting. First, there's an overly long scene at the VFW with Monaghan and her neighbor dancing - ok, we get the message, now move on - no reason for a 5 minute segment showing the two having some fun - could have had the same effect in 1-2 minutes tops. Certainly a "filler" moment for me.

Then there is the constant reference to Monaghan's "beauty" - including a bit of dialog about her chest. To each their own I suppose, but she's certainly not chesty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so it didn't do the film any favors to keep harping on it. Besides, the film would be making a much better statement if it would have allowed that Monaghan's charactor was catnip because she was such a free spirit instead of some kind of beauty queen. It would have fit the flavor of the film much, much better; I'm just saying...
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
A good indy film, nothing more, so say it has a slow star, I say it's slow throughout. Good acting and good story line just can't go any higher the 3 staqsr
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2010
Man am I a sucker for movies that revolve around kids. This movie was right up my alley. Wonderfully done, with really wonderful actors. I LOVE A GREAT ENDING!! and this movie had an awesome one.
Super Reviewer
½ September 19, 2009
CAST: Michelle Monaghan, Nathan Fillion, Jimmy Bennett, Benjamin Bratt, Joey Lauren Adams

DIRECTED BY: James Mottern

SUMMARY: Michelle Monaghan stars as a self-reliant trucker forced to take on the responsibility of caring for her 11-year-old son when his father (Benjamin Bratt) ends up in the hospital.

MY THOUGHTS: I enjoyed the slow pace of this movie. It made every bit of it feel more real. But if not for the great cast and their performances, this could have went really wrong. But thankfully everyone was great in this film. Especially Michelle Monaghan. She really did a fantatic job at making her character real and relatable. Jimmy Bennett as the son was great. He really held his own in this film. Nathan Fillion brought some comedy releif, which was needed in this drama. Benjamin Bratt just breaks my heart in the last scene he is in with Jimmy Bennett. Just a really great movie. Hope more see it.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2010
I was totally rooting for Michelle Monaghan to succeed in this. I think I've seen her in exactly two movies, one of which I hated, but she's against Hollywood type and has a certain demure, intelligent appeal. That makes it all the more upsetting to say that she's one of the big problems in Trucker, often not able to get around the ridiculously hokey script she's served. I can't imagine her taking the script for any reason other to challenge herself, and though her bravery is appreciated, the performance is inconsistent. Watching her spit out "man" after "dude" in her scratchy faux-roughness is an almost painful experience. I think she has the tools to do better work than this, even in the context of similar subject matter, as she seems to have a fairly impressive command of physicality and facial expression; watching her storm across the street in her underwear to beat up a couple of punks who bullied her son is one of the movie's indelible highlights. Scattered moments like those are what kept me plowing through the movie's pervasive mediocrity - neither looking nor sounding particularly interesting, and not putting anything new on the table in any of its subgenres ("Hard-Luck Woman", "Reunited With Child"), Trucker finds itself teetering on the edge of the forgotten indie flicks abyss. Monaghan's support is generally good, with a reliable performance from Nathan Fillion in his wheel house. How many times has he given us this angle before? When Castle is the biggest stretch of character on your IMDB page, there's a definite problem afoot. Benjamin Bratt is effective in his sparse few scenes, and Jimmy Bennett is a surprise. The kid's a total shit, and the movie's lack of clarity as to why makes it difficult to find sympathy for him, but at least he works his assignment convincingly.

Actually, that ambiguity is one of Trucker's strengths. The characters may be a little broad at times, but James Mottern never lets on as to why these people behave like they do, or what brought them to their current circumstances. Considering the rest of the movie's expository heaviness, the unusual mysteries behind Diane and her son are basically what propel the movie into watchability. Ultimately I was a little disappointed with Trucker, as it's a lot more conventional than I would have hoped for, and not quite the star-making turn from Monaghan that people like Ebert had trumpeted. Still, it's not terrible, and if you're interested in the subject matter then a watch can't hurt.
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2010
It's pretty slow throughout, but I already expected that and to be honest, that's my kind of film. Michelle Monaghan was excellent and Jimmy Bennett was just lovable as her son. Nathan Fillion didn't disappoint either. All of these performances pulled this film together.

Michelle Monaghan plays Diane, a trucker who lives life by her rules until one unexpected day her 11-year old son, Peter, gets dropped off because his father (Benjamin Bratt) has cancer and is in the hospital.
Super Reviewer
½ December 16, 2010
"Trucker" starts with Diane(Michelle Monaghan) taking a short break from her job as a truck driver by having sex in a motel room before resuming her drive home to California. While there, she hangs out with her married friend Runner(Nathan Fillion) who she drops off drunkenly on his front porch before walking the rest of the way home. When she gets there, she is unpleasantly surprised to find Jenny(Joey Lauren Adams), the wife of her ex-husband Len(Benjamin Bratt), who tells her that due to his illness and her prior commitments, she cannot take care of Len and Diane's 11-year old son Peter(Jimmy Bennett, of "No Ordinary Family") and leaves him with a very reluctant Diane. Not having anywhere else to turn, she takes him on a run to Oklahoma City to which he responds with the amount of enthusiasm one would expect.

Aided by an emotionally raw performance from Michelle Monaghan, "Trucker" is a low-key character study that is thankfully not a referendum on whether women can drive trucks, since of course they can. Throughout the film, we are informed of her past in bits and pieces, becoming quite clear how tough she has gotten out of necessity over the years while not judging her. As much as she wants to control the timetable of her life, Diane has to remember that nobody is ever fully in control of their destiny. So, it is a good thing that she is never as totally alone as she thinks she is.
Super Reviewer
March 6, 2011
Michelle Monaghan's performance is the best reason to watch this film. She is amazing and it is one of her best performances that she has given so far. She should have gotten an Oscar nomination for it. The film kind of like reminded me of the film, Transamerica, especially about the mother/son bonding type of film.

Monaghan had a good chemistry with Jimmy Bennett who played her son in the film. Nathan Fillion, Benjamin Bratt, and Joey Lauren Adams provide solid supporting work. The only negative is that the pacing is off. However, cause of the acting being really good, I didn't mind the pacing being off like I normally would. I definitely recommend this film, especially to catch Monaghan's performance.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2010
For first time director James Mottern's first endeavor, he takes what ever Indy director dreams of and makes it a reality: Success.
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2010
Trucker, was about a tough trucker Diane played by Michelle Monaghan , who had live her life free, driving her truck from state to state.Now she must face Peter, her child, who she abandoned 11 years ago. Peter's father played by Benjamin Bratt, was diagnosed with cancer, and had little time to live, so he sent the child to Diane.The movie dealt mainly with Diane and Peter reconnecting and the change that happened in both their lives.Diane's maternal instincts did kick in at some point as she tried to get closer to her son, and she also came to realize she needed to make changes regarding her love life and her lifestyle.
November 22, 2015
Ironically as the film is meant to showcase Michelle Monaghan I was most impressed with Nathan Fillion; the man who made Captain Mal Reynolds, Captain Hammer and Mayor of Mars on Thrilling Adventure Hour takes it down to playing just an average 'Jack of All Trades' and makes him vulnerable and likable and torn between his wife (who we dont see much of) and Monaghan. An admirable little movie marred by predictability.
January 23, 2013
Oh Lordy, I cried so much during this film. It's like my generation's Terms of Endearment. I could not get a grip on myself until towards the end.

The disconnection of the mother, the fact that she had the ability to leave her baby son. I could not stand the character Diane on one level because she is obviously unbelievably selfish and self-destructive. Yet, on another level, I felt great compassion for her. All mothers whether they admit to it or not, fear being unable to establish meaningful connections with their children. This is the story of a mother who not only did not connect with her child, but abandoned him. Michelle Monaghan's character is a big drinker and uses men to fill her emptiness, which made it even more difficult to watch but at the same time made it even more riveting. As I was watching, I wanted to see myself as different than Diane, but there are self-destructive parts of her every woman struggles to face. Even though I have made much different decisions than Diane, this film made me feel I could not judge the character or her decisions. In my opinion, we are all just a few twists of fate from despair and brokenness though we will do most anything not to acknowledge that.

I was shocked to see this is the first film by director James Mottern. I am looking forward to seeing what other movies he has coming up. He obviously directed the pants off Michelle Monaghan (I had never heard of her before this film and when I looked her up saw she had mostly played forgettable supporting roles). I am a big Nathan Fiillion fan and really enjoyed his scenes. I do wish he had had a bigger role. Overall, I highly recommend this film but make sure you have kleenex on hand.
½ April 12, 2012
This is one of those movies where not a whole lot happens, to be honest. It's more about the progression from how a character is at the beginning to how they are at the end. Unfortunately, this film doesn't show you enough of what they're like in the beginning for the end to be as emotionally resonant as it should have been. Otherwise, it has some strong acting and powerful moments, amongst a lot of typical independent film components.
½ January 8, 2010
It is great that Winthrop, Iowa native, Michelle Monaghan, has gotten another starring/lead role in a movie after years of finding herself as a supporting player in many Hollywood films. Trucker is Monaghan's first feature as a stand-alone star as we have already seen her as the "second-half" of some film duos -- she was paired with Shia LaBeouf in Eagle Eye and Patrick Dempsey in Made of Honor. She has given fine support in North Country, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Unfaithful, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Gone Baby Gone, Mission: Impossible III, The Heartbreak Kid and It Runs In the Family (see -- lots of supporting roles). The not-so-great aspect for Monaghan is that Trucker isn't an excellent movie one would be overly proud of (it isn't gawd-awful; but it isn't superlative by any means). Trucker is a "been there/done that" film in EVERY possible way ... having a female trucker (wow -- how very original!) isn't enough to set the film apart. Monaghan gives a satisfactory performance but it doesn't make the film recommendation-worthy -- it (the performance) isn't strong enough to make any kind of impact on the viewer (Monaghan is another pretty face with decent acting chops; but I am still waiting to be blown-away by her a la Charlize Theron in Monster or Jennifer Connelly in Requiem for a Dream [and her subsequent films]). She is immensely likable but I want more from her. Trucker is about Diane (Monaghan), a trucker who lives a content life on the road that consists of random hook-ups, on-time delivery bonuses and enjoyable nights out at the bar with her best friend whenever she finds herself in town (the best friend is played by Captain Malcolm Reynolds himself of Firefly/Serenity-fame, the uber-cool Nathan Fillion). The story starts into motion when Diane returns home one day to find people on her front step awaiting her return. Joey Lauren Adams is dropping off Diane's estranged son, Peter, for an indefinite amount of time because her boyfriend (Monaghan's ex played by Benjamin Bratt) is in the hospital after having been diagnosed with colon cancer. The reluctant mother has little choice and the film gives us the fractured relationship as it slowly tries to repair itself (with much help coming from Diane's best friend). With the addition of Peter, Diane's life is changed and she must overcome and re-analyze where her life is leading. As I have said, it's all been done before and there are no genuine surprises here. It is far from being a terrible movie; but it is very "so-what?" because it did so very-little for me.
½ July 30, 2011
#Trucker /B/ Predictable from basically the first frame, but it's still a pretty good film. Nice performances from the three leads.
½ August 20, 2009
A generic and formulaic story with so-so performances. Tugs on the heartstrings with too much melodrama, which seems so out of place for a movie that is clearly trying to be a minimalist, low budget character drama. I really like the two leads in principle, but neither gives anywhere near their best performance here.
½ October 12, 2010
Good acting, but kind of slow and an unsurprising ending. In defense of that, though, they do take an unusual route to get there, which is kinda nice.
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