On the Road - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Road Reviews

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Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 17, 2013
The film is a handsomely photographed and competently cast work that does justice to Kerouac's concept of "the purity of the road." Yet there's still something maddeningly lacking about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 15, 2013
This 2+ hour adaptation (by Jose Rivera) spends most of its time on two things: sex, with various participants, and a lot of driving to and from various parts of the American landscape.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Marshall Fine
Hollywood & Fine
January 15, 2013
A film that should beguile anyone with even the slightest tendency toward being a seeker - and any fan of the book who wants a figurative translation to the here and now.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
January 14, 2013
A pleasant but undistinguished adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel about himself and his Beat friends in the late forties.
Eugene Novikov
Film Blather
January 12, 2013
The protagonists' aimless drug- and sex-fuelled adventures have neither a seductive pull nor the weight of tragedy. They're just grimy and a little boring.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Susan Granger
SSG Syndicate
January 7, 2013
Tiresome and relentlessly feverish, it never captures the spontaneous exuberance or rhapsodic wanderlust of the Beat Generation.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
January 6, 2013
Riley eventually somewhat grows into his role, but Hedlund grabs us and never lets go.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
January 4, 2013
Well-intentioned and well-made but self-indulgent exercise tries really hard but falls short.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
January 1, 2013
It is a bunch of big, long, emotional, messy road trips.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
December 24, 2012
Desperately in awe of its source material, and does not attempt to turn it into an interesting, enjoyable, or even functional narrative drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 24, 2012
If there were an On the Road museum, this could be the elaborate diorama at its center.
Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin's Picks
December 23, 2012
Salles tries to capture the immediacy and spontaneous nature of the book, using long takes and even allowing the camera to drift out of focus when a character moves about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.3/4
Gabrielle Lipton
Paste Magazine
December 21, 2012
To Kerouac fans: proceed with caution. The authenticity of the film's Beat flavor is mild at best. To everyone else: don't look too deep, and the sexy surface will entertain marvelously for a couple of hours.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.6/10
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 21, 2012
It's all rather exhausting, as opposed to exhilarating.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Ethan Alter
Television Without Pity
December 21, 2012
[The film] often feels stuck in second gear dramatically, remaining watchable without ever becoming truly compelling.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 21, 2012
There's no madness here, no burning, no desperate search for transcendence, no sense of characters on a heroic, continent-crossing quest. Just another sticky, stinky story of boys, being boys. And refusing to become men.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Matt Singer
ScreenCrush
December 21, 2012
Kerouac's On the Road influenced generations of writers and artists. Don't expect this film to do the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
December 21, 2012
What's best about the film are its quick jumps from one depravity to the next as jazz rambles on the soundtrack: Youth is a candle to be burned at both ends, with (as it was once said about Bob Dylan) a blowtorch in the middle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Chris Barsanti
PopMatters
December 21, 2012
...a movie that's raging and serene, always looking over the horizon while grooving on the beauty of the here and now.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 20, 2012
Salles has made an admirable effort, which - while no roman candle - can be appreciated for its honest ambitions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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