Traveller (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Traveller (1997)

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Critic Consensus: Though it may not explore its core issues as deeply as some may like, Traveller is nevertheless a smart and funny portrait of a relatively unfamiliar subculture with some strong performances.

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Movie Info

Actor Bill Paxton produced this unusual film about a clan of Irish-American con artists practicing in the American South. They live in a secluded compound and have their own time-honored customs. Pat (Mark Wahlberg) is returning to the hideout for the funeral of his father, who irked the clan by marrying an outsider. Because his mother is not Irish, the compound's boss, Jack Costello (Luke Askew), tells him that he's no longer welcome there. But Bokky, played by Paxton, takes the younger man under his wing and teaches him the clan's trade. Bokky specializes in cheating homeowners by charging them to apply driveway or roof sealant, then leaving before they discover that it's only black oil. He also buys and resells shoddy mobile homes. Pat soon proves more nervy and creative than his boss. They try to scam a bartender, Jean (Julianna Margulies), but Bokky falls in love with her. Jean needs cash to pay for an operation for her hearing-impaired daughter, so Bokky finally agrees to work for a cowboy con artist named Double D (James Gammon), who has been trying to recruit him for a big job in Nashville. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

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Cast

James Gammon
as Double D
Luke Askew
as Boss Jack
Robert Peters
as Farmer's Son
Vincent Chase
as Joe Bimbo
Jean Speegle Howard
as Bokky's Grandmother
Roberts Peters
as Farmer's Son
John Paxton
as Financial Planner
Jo Ann Pflug
as Boss Jack's Wife
John Bennes
as Hearse Driver
Barbara Rowan
as Pregnant Wife
Trent McDevitt
as Pregnant Wife's Husband
Jim Flowers
as Bar Regular No. 1
Frederick E. Dann
as Bar Regular No. 2
Joanne Pankow
as Elderly Woman
Chuck Kinlaw
as Elderly Woman's Son
Blaque Fowler
as Gas Station Owner
Ted Manson
as First Trailer Buyer
Kerry Maher
as Bartender
John Easterbrook
as Trailer Salesman
Paddy Keenan
as Traveller Musician
John Williams (XV)
as Traveller Musician
Nigel Stevens
as Traveller Musician
Jackie Moran
as Traveller Musician
Mary K. Heneghan
as Traveller Camp Dancer
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News & Interviews for Traveller

Critic Reviews for Traveller

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (9)

This fresh and interesting story about a tight-knit clan of Irish grifters in the rural South who make their living scamming is a ''con men on the road'' picture all the more welcome during a season of junky action thrillers...

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Eastwood's longtime lenser Jack Green makes a decent feature debut with a well-acted comedy-adventure that in its good moments recalls such classics as The Sting and The Grifters.

Full Review… | January 4, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

Though competently directed by Clint Eastwood's camerman Jack Green, matters unravel when the film ratchets up the tension and become entirely implausible at the close.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

This is a film about people who get by depending on antisocial skills and outlaw wit, and Green and writer Jim McGlynn clearly empathize with their independent spirit and lifestyle, even if they don't completely approve.

Full Review… | January 22, 2002
Washington Post
Top Critic

The film is just there on screen, better than watching a clock, better than contemplating mortality, an OK experience. There are movies like this. No sense in pretending otherwise.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Like Paper Moon, this mostly easygoing comedy-drama has its charms, despite promoting a dubious morality that finds amusement in ripped-off victims.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Traveller

Traveller does a number of things well, with some funny scenes, strong performances, and a unique overall take on the "con game" subculture. At the same time, I did find the script to be at parts underwritten, and at parts overwritten. We never quite fully appreciate the clan, or how it impacted Wahlberg's father, making many of the character motivations murky. The ending also lost its way, with so many twists that the believability factor that the film had most of its run grew thin. The flaws are ultimately outweighed though, by the film's world building; the subculture, though not entirely fleshed out, feels real, the cons they play (predominately), feel oddly tired but effective. The world the film creates feels equally tragic, funny, and fascinating. 3/5 Stars

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

I found this indie drama captivating. I enjoy Paxton, Wahlberg and Margulies separately, and together they meshed very well. The lifestyle of the Irish gypsies was interesting, however the movie could have delved into the subject a little more deeply. The cons run by the family were believable; the big swindle not so much. Knew how it was going to end though. Better than average, especially for an indie.

Don Schick
Don Schick
½

Really cool smooth drama about a swindling gypsy (Bill Paxson) named Bokky Sherlock, that is the head swindler in the family of Irish clan who works for (Luke Askew) Boss Jack Costello. In turns for loyalty to the clan whatever they collect out of their swildlings, a percentage must be returned to care for the clan as well as protection for kinfolk. Sure as it turns out, a young man (Mark Wahlberg) Pat O'Hara comes home to bury his father only to find resentment from the same folks that gave him a livelihood. Boss Jack Costello is against Pat O'Hara's staying because his father turned his back on the family, to find his true love outside the brood. Before matters can get any worse, Bokky steps in to take Pat in under his wing to show him the way of the clan, against Boss Jack's advised wishes. This movie really holds you in as the deeper the scams get the more interesting the story unravels...into an untimely, yet bloody ending. Timelessly interesting..with a catchy beginning "King Of The Road" tune. See this, it is not that bad!

Fascade Fiveoneeight
Fascade Fiveoneeight

Super Reviewer

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