Back Roads

1981

Back Roads

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

44%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9
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Movie Info

For his follow-up to 1979's Academy Award-winning Norma Rae, director Martin Ritt re-teams with that film's star, Sally Field, for this gritty romantic road comedy. Reportedly Ritt's homage to Frank Capra's films of the 1930s, Back Roads stars Field as Amy Post, a no-nonsense prostitute in the deep South struggling with the fact that she gave up her only child for adoption. When Amy first encounters the recently unemployed Elmore Pratt (Tommy Lee Jones), she is anything but fond of the drifter. But after taking to the road together with dreams of California, the two societal misfits find themselves falling for each other. Ritt and Field would team together once again four years later in another romantic comedy set in the South, Murphy's Romance.

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Critic Reviews for Back Roads

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

  • You come out of "Back Roads" feeling more familiar with the configuration of Sally Field's spinal column and chestbone than the character she's struggling to embody.

    May 10, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Very good on local colour but a bit sugary in its attitude to the central relationship, it would have been better taking a bleaker cue from Tommy Lee Jones' admirably dry performance.

    Jan 26, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • If the movie had been willing to deal honestly with the plight of its characters, it wouldn't need to be clutterted up with eccentrics and hearts of gold.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Less a movie than an extended sketch, and it's to the credit of Mr. Ritt, his stars and Gary Devore, the screenwriter, that the movie is so much fun.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's a surprise to discover that this hackneyed, relatively dull road picture is the work of director Martin Ritt.

    Jan 11, 2008 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A quiet and unassuming little comedy, a dual-gendered character study mixed with a low-key "road trip" adventure.

    Apr 24, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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