On the Road - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Road Reviews

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½ August 12, 2016
Though the film was a mess (as the book seems to be) the film did not let me down in the sense of keeping me watching. My biggest problem was the overload of character after character. It had some awkward moments and some confusing scenes for sure, but the screen adaption of On the Road is a whirlwind of events that manages to keep our mind tied up in a knot and let's it unwind by traveling the country, gleefully down a road that comes with its unexpected share full of people and adventures
April 1, 2016
I think this is a far cry from the Kerouac book, which I once tried to read and gave up due to it being a bit of a acid-soaked shambles. This is quite a straightforward story with some interesting cast members; not the fear and loathing + film I was expecting. Sam Riley shows his versatility once again, tip him to do a Tom Hardy. I was also surprised to see that Kristen Stewart had another string to her bow an all.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2016
Salles follows closely the heartbeat and structure of the iconic novel to capture the wild spirit of the Beat Generation, to which he is more than faithful, and so this is an exciting collection of road anecdotes revolving around the friendship between Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.
½ December 29, 2015
Definitely not the greatest film ever made, but not very deserving of the hate it received either. In truth, there were parts from the book that were sorely missed in the film adaptation. However, this was a beautifully shot, and beautifully acted so-close-almost-there masterpiece that deserves way more credit for what it was trying to accomplish. I was a fan of the book, and I am ultimately a fan of the film as well. In a world where every film is either a rehash, reboot, or sequel--It's nice to know some folks out there will give it there all to bring art to life. Walter Salles poured his heard and soul into this, and it shows.
November 11, 2015
I can't really compare it to the novel by Jack Kerouc since I haven't read it...but it was good, not more not less. The actors did a good job overall but the pacing at times seemed to be inconsistent. Kristen Stewart definitely plays a different role in this film! 6/10 or 3/5
Super Reviewer
September 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.
August 26, 2015
An excellent study of a condition known as burning human desire. The contrast of places where eager sufferers may find themselves.
One of those films that left me thinking about it long after the lights went off. And the more I did - the more I realized just how good it is.
½ August 23, 2015
A quite ambitious film adaptation of a supposedly unfilmmable novel (which I have not read yet). If it's lucky, this all-star cast road movie could become an ultimate travel guide for hippies, Aristocrats, and artists across the globe in the next few years (maybe decades, just as the novel became one of the American classics over a long period of time). I think I admire the film rather than like the film, and it can be tedious at times. But the performances are strong (Garret Hedlund and Kristen Stewart are sensational), the visuals are beautiful to look at, and the score is an aural treat at its best. On the Road has issues, but it's certainly not a failure. I may change my mind once I read the book, but for now I think it's a solid film.
½ August 11, 2015
This wasn't exactly like what I had imagined, but I feel it was a decent movie to watch, although it felt confusing in some areas.
½ August 3, 2015
Only because it's not possible to give minus stars.
½ June 29, 2015
film is slow and boring. i haven't read the book. and maybe that would have made me appreciate this more, but I've read a lot of negative reviews. many ffrom people who did read it. Cint=nematography is very good, though.
June 24, 2015
The fourth film I'm watching about the American Beat poets. But this one is not about them per se, but is based on Kerouac's novel, On The Road (which is more or less about him and his chums!) The leads really shine in their roles, ie. charismatic Dean Moriarty/Neal Cassady, gay friend and poet Carlo Marx/Ginsberg and MaryLou (acted by Kristen Stewart). Sal Paradise (Kerouac's equivalent) is portrayed as rather more introspective than I had expected. The movie takes us through many states in America with scenic road trips through endless farmland and features jazz originals by the versatile Gustavo Santaolalla!
June 13, 2015
On the Road is something beautiful to watch but rather long and boring to look at.
½ June 7, 2015
Why didn't this excite me? I think the narrative was both fragmented and poorly realised. Salles can do better - the original tale is fragmented, but beautifully written. This was hard to follow and really seemed pretty pointless most of the time. A disappointment.
½ April 15, 2015
Meh, it was alright. Not as interesting as I thought it would be. But neither really was Kerouac's book after a couple chapters. I didn't finish reading it but I'll probably give it another shot someday.
The acting in here is pretty good. Though the standout for me is really Kristen Stewart, who has been noticeably improving in this department since she's been taking more challenging roles.
There is a duality to these guys' life, particularly Dean's. The adventures are wild and crazy, sometimes even enviable. But it is debatable if Dean is ever actually really happy. Sal seems to have more of a balance. He knows how to have fun (if drugs and one-night stands are your thing) but he also knows how to adjust to regular society and be a decent human being. But that is probably why he, and everyone else, is so drawn to a guy like Dean. Dean has no limits and cares for no one really but himself, when it comes down to it. He comes and goes when he wants to. It's a good character study because you just wonder how Dean has made it all this time without contracting something. But I honestly didn't really care for these characters too much.
An okay road trip movie about a bunch of hedonistic 20-somethings.
April 13, 2015
This movie was pretty awful I'm surprised I even got through the whole thing.
½ April 7, 2015
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February 15, 2015
On The Road is an eccentric, offbeat, messy, beautiful, and compelling film all at the same time. For me, it was also an invigorating, engaging, and exciting film bursting at the seams with life as it ponders philosophies and existential thoughts about the times, where things are going, and who we are as people.

There's a lot going on in this film, and I was engaged so thoroughly that I couldn't leave my seat to either go get myself another drink or to use the bathroom because I was too into the film. I adore it and it is one of those rare films that makes me feel alive while watching it. It's not just a generational film of its time, but it still resonates deeply and emotionally.

The story begins in the late 1940's with a young writer named Sal Paradise, who is introduced to a young man named Dean Moriarty, a strange, free-spirited, promiscuous rebel, along with his 16-year-old wife, Marylou. From that first meeting, Sal's young life is turned completely upside down by Dean, even though Sal knows that he's being manipulated by Dean and even calls him a conman.

But, Dean's zest and vigor for life is something that Sal and his friends cannot stay away from, which over the course years takes them on a strange cross country journey meeting strange people, falling in and out of love, sex, drugs, jazz music, philosophical and existential discoveries, a rebellion against the social norms of the time, hopes, dreams, and everything in between.

The storyline is what really had me glued to my seat the whole time. I know that I'm really into a film when I can't even pause it to go take a piss, and this is one of those films that actually pulled off that feat. My description of the plot is far shorter than what the film actually presents, but it's something I feel you should watch and experience to absorb all the details, people, and places it shows the viewer.

It's a story about living life to the fullest and not giving a damn about how society dictates how you should live it, even if it means fiercely rebelling against it. It's also a wild ride that explores the ups, downs, ugly parts, and weird parts of life as young people try to grow up and find their place in the world. In a sense, it's not just about living life, but also about growing up. Hell, there are plenty of other themes to discover as well, if you look hard enough.

The acting is also pretty damn good, including by some performers I wasn't expecting to be any good, like Kristen Stewart, in her performance as Marylou. Hell, there's a whole cast of talented people this film managed to nab, all of whom deliver great performances.

But, the best performances go to Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty and Sam Riley as Sal Paradise. The two actors fully absorbed themselves into their characters, and these are performances that I'm unlikely to forget any time soon because I was so engrossed by their exhilarating performances. They made me believe and I couldn't help but become invested in the lives of their offbeat characters.

As far as entertainment goes, chances are you will hate this film, like most other people who have watched it due to its slow pacing and what some would describe as "too artsy" feel. It seems that everything people hated about this film, I loved about it. I found myself exhilarated by the characters' journey across America (And later on, to Mexico, as well) with all the beautiful sights to see, the people they met, the various cultural differences they encountered, their pondering of life, the sexual escapades, the drugs, the drama - I was absorbed from start to finish and I was also interested and excited to see where the strange characters would take me next. I never got bored and I loved every minute of the journey.

On The Road is a tremendously underrated indie art house flick. It's hard to recommend this to most people, as it is definitely not for everyone and will be too off-putting and slow for most. All I can say is, if you enjoy indie and art house films, at least give it a chance. I can't guarantee you'll derive enjoyment, even if you're into such films, but I think it's something I think should be seen at least once if you like such films. For me, it's an underrated masterpiece of superb storytelling, beautiful imagery, stunning acting, great music, and interesting themes and ideas that made it absolutely engrossing and enamoring to me.
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