On the Road


On the Road

Critics Consensus

Beautiful to look at but a bit too respectfully crafted, On the Road doesn't capture the energy and inspiration of Jack Kerouac's novel.



Total Count: 151


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,912
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Movie Info

Based on Jack Kerouc's beloved American novel, On The Road is the story of Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer, and Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly instantly upon meeting. Determined not to get locked in to a constricted life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves. -- (C) IFC


Garrett Hedlund
as Dean MOriarty/Neal Cassady
Sam Riley
as Sal Paradise/Jack Kerouac
Kristen Stewart
as Marylou/LuAnne Henderson
Kirsten Dunst
as Camille/Carolyn Cassady
Viggo Mortensen
as Old Bull Lee/William S. Burroughs
Amy Adams
as Jane/Joan Vollmer
Tom Sturridge
as Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsberg
Alice Braga
as Terry/Bea Franco
Marie-Ginette Guay
as Ma Paradise
Elisabeth Moss
as Galatéa Dunkle/Helen Hinkle
Danny Morgan
as Ed Dunkle/Al Hinkle
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Critic Reviews for On the Road

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (84)

Audience Reviews for On the Road

  • Sep 28, 2015
    Sal Paradise goes on the road with Dean Moriarty and company. This film is less than the sum of its parts. In his effort to get the feeling of the Beat Generation, director Walter Salles has some quick edits and some free-wheeling music and some of the lines lifted from Kerouac's novel - all cinematic tricks that should work, but yet there's still something staid about this film. Perhaps it's the gravelly voiced Garrett Hedlund, who seems more focused on the image of Sal than the character, or perhaps it's the hackneyed shoe-horn of a script. Or perhaps Kerouac was never meant to be adapted. Overall, it was worth a shot, but this is one book-to-film adaptation that missed the mark.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 06, 2013
    The best teacher is experience. Good movie! The cinematography is outstanding, and it is a sight to behold, beautiful landscapes, a smooth, delicate filmic texture. Overall, the film is light on plot. It's mostly character study and exposition. However, that's On the Road. The film is based on a Kerouac stream-of-consciousness novel. It's about his hero worship with Dean and the ultimate disillusionment he feels with him. The conflict and resolution isn't your typical climax and ending of a film. Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives.
    Manu G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2013
    At least the film doesn't bombard the audience with a series of obvious juxtapositions (the beatniks vs. shocked normal people), but it lacks a soul. Even without emotional investment in the story, I feel like I should point out how great Garrett Hedlund is as Dean Moriarty. He stands head and shoulders above the rest.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2013
    Ugh! Mopey people being miserable. That's not entertainment.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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