A Walk In The Woods (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Walk In The Woods (2015)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Amiable yet less compelling than any road trip movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte should be, A Walk in the Woods is ultimately a bit too pedestrian.

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Movie Info

In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson (Academy Award winner Robert Redford), instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife (Academy Award winner Emma Thompson), and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - 2,200 miles of America's most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long lost and former friend Katz (Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte), a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law - sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, "adventure". Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins. (C) Broad Green

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Cast

Robert Redford
as Bill Bryson
Emma Thompson
as Catherine Bryson
Kristen Schaal
as Mary Ellen
Nick Offerman
as REI Dave
R. Keith Harris
as Sam Bryson
Chrystee Pharris
as Ticket Agent
Derek Krantz
as Young Hiker #1
Sandra Ellis Lafferty
as Widow Deborah
Hayley H. Long
as Hiker in Bunk House
John Kap
as Bealuh's Husband
Fred Galle
as News Anchor
Katie Groshong
as Lesbian #1
Andrew Vogel
as Young Hiker #2
Alex Van
as Peter
Erick Wofford
as Day Hiker
Marcy Conway
as Hiker in Bunk House
Walter Hendrix, III
as Laundry Patron
Joel Rogers
as Funeral Director
Gaia Wise
as Becca
Tucker Meek
as Grandson
Chandler Head
as Granddaughter
Valentin Almendarez
as Funeral Guest
Danny Vinson
as Georgia Cab Driver
Valerie Payton
as Waitress Rayette
Stephanie Astalos-Jones
as Georgia Mountain Waitress
Kevin Harrison
as Southbound Hiker
Bridget Gethins
as Campground Jensine
Mimi Gould
as Jeannie's Mother
Rowan Bousard
as Rental Agent
Njema Williams
as Trail Head Taxi Driver
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News & Interviews for A Walk In The Woods

Critic Reviews for A Walk In The Woods

All Critics (157) | Top Critics (35)

A pleasant-enough account of two shambling old geezers taking on the grandeur of nature.

September 17, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Decides to go for - nay, strain for - antics. You can hear the brainstorming: What can we have happen to them?

September 4, 2015 | Full Review…

A Walk in the Woods is pleasant but inconsequential, a passing diversion rather than a worthy cinematic destination.

September 4, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

While older audiences will go for it, even viewers who haven't acquired the wisdom of age can learn something.

September 3, 2015 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Too much of the breezy humor that made the book a delight is stripped away, replaced with predictable jokes and broad slapstick, sitcom-quality encounters with women and bears and a pushy, grating sentimentality.

September 3, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A waste of stars, scenery, and setup.

September 3, 2015 | Rating: 0/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Walk In The Woods

½

Whether you have a film like Ex Machina winning the Oscar for best visual effects over films like Mad Max: Fury Road or The Hurt Locker taking precedence over behemoth's like Avatar for best picture, independent films have always had a way of winning over the hearts of many viewers. While not as widely viewed or praised, A Walk in the Woods is a very likeable indie gem that nobody really talks about. Sure, it received a shocking box office return, raking in almost $30,000,000.00, but the word of mouth never spread. This is a film that would attract an audience over the age of 50, but I myself found it quite enjoyable. A Walk in the Woods may not be deserving of high praise, but it's a harmless tale of reconnecting. Released in 2015, A Walk in the Woods follows Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), an elderly novelist who doesn't have much excitement left in his life. Wanting to hike a trail in his hometown, he seeks companionship as his wife wouldn't let him make the trek otherwise. Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte) is the man who seems up to the task, so the two of them venture out into the wilderness to find themselves. This truly is just a simple tale of reconnecting with old friends and exploring parts of yourself that you wish you had in the past. Sadly, there isn't enough substance here to call it a great film, but Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are so likeable as these characters that this average film becomes quite enjoyable. While watching this film, it's very hard to ignore the low-budget feel, especially if you are into filmmaking as much as I am. Some of the backgrounds are obviously on a sound stage to keep these actors protected and the locations in this film are slim to none. A Walk in the Woods is a very self-aware and contained film, as to what its limits hold. If I'm being completely honest, I found myself picking out the real scenery from the fake scenery, simply due to the fact that the dialogue felt so simple most of the time. Having said that, their dialogue feels extremely fresh at times, due to the commitment of these two very talented actors. This film may seem like a movie that is only full understood by someone over the age of 50, but anyone who enjoys likeable chemistry, a relaxing story, or slice-of-life storytelling, the you may just find yourself enjoying A Walk in the Woods quite a bit. Watching Redford and Nolte banter through the woods for a solid 90 minutes was well worth the watch on its own. This will never be a film that will be remembered as a classic, but it sure beats the old-age jokes from a film like Last Vegas, where actors like Morgan Freeman or Kevin Klein are just present for a good time and a paycheque. As simple as this story is, it's definitely worth a watch and doesn't deserve to be as forgotten as it has become over the past year or so. A Walk in the Woods shouldn't be criticized for its simplicity, which is what some critics have said about it, because a film like this can't really do much more than it does. It promises an enjoyable time through the woods with two old friends who need a little excitement in their old age, and it delivers just that. Nothing more and nothing less. This is a perfectly fine and disposable film for anyone who wants a quick smile on their face when they have nothing else to watch. Well-directed for the most part, very well-acted by these two veterans, and the script is as competent as it should be for this type of film. I didn't find myself jumping up and down and needing to recommend it to everyone, but for how likeable it is, it's sad that it hasn't been seen by many viewers. A Walk in the Woods is an enjoyable little flick.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

½

The consensus for this film says that a road trip movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte should be more compelling than this. And I definitely can see that, it's just not as interesting of a movie as it could've been given the leads. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are both really good in the film, but the writing doesn't really do them any favors. I just find the narrative to be far too broad, too concerned with appealing to a wider audience due to, I'm assuming, Robert's and Nick's ages, 79 and 75 respectively. The fact of the matter is that this type of movie doesn't really appeal to a young audience. I mean I'm 28, but I appreciate movies for what they offer, not cause I want to watch something that appeals specifically to me or my age group. But, this is not a movie that's gonna appeal to people who watch supehero movies casually. If your top five movies of all time are all part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then this film isn't gonna be to your liking, even if it ended up being good. And I'm not saying that that's the type of audience they wanted to get, but they were clearly shooting for lower than their demographic should've been, so it's a film that's somewhat stuck in a limbo as it comes to that. It wants to be introspective about getting old, how your life changes and how it's more about medicine and holding on to your youth, but it does so in a way that's not nearly as introspective these characters deserved. There's also one surprisingly mean spirited joke here, which really feels out of place in this context. It's not that the joke is bad in and of itself, well I mean it is, it just doesn't work in the type of movie that this clearly wants to be. And that's another thing, as far as a comedy film goes, this isn't exactly that funny. Redford and Nolte do have great chemistry with each other and they really are the best part of flick. And it's not like the journey on the Appalachian trail itself is really that amazing. I mean, it's just your regular road trip movie. The Way, from Emilio Estevez, offers an emotionally engaging experience. You don't really connect with any of the characters in this film and you're not really given any reason to, if I'm being completely honest. It is what it is, but I didn't find myself caring for either Katz or Bryson. It's not that I'm saying the movie is bad, because it's not, it just falls short of what it should've been. At best, this is an average movie and that's what the rating will reflect. But I'm honestly a little disappointed that this film played out the way it did, because it could've been, at the very least, a good movie, if not a great one, if more of an effort was put into putting together a stronger script with better character development. I can't recommend this, but you could do far worse. Though if you can find The Way, which I mentioned in this review, then watch that instead. It's considerably better than this film will ever be.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

½

In a film starring two once potent male presences, the women steal the movie. Each moment with the ladies is filled with life, in fact the only connect in the film. The larger part though, the parts featuring the guys, is like being trapped in an elevator with some schmuck telling you bad jokes: you keep looking at the doors, no matter how hard you try not to, hoping they'll open ... now! They decide to hike America. Why? No reason is given. It's almost as if all the items that would have made a connect were consciously discarded. Frustrating is all.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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