Red Road - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Red Road Reviews

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½ September 5, 2017
This film is very grim and realistic looking in portrayal of Scottish life. The weak point of this movie is that its strongest part is visuals since the story loses its early mystery quality towards the middle part of the movie when it becomes obvious that the man she is following has done something wrong to Jackie. But in overall it's a good thriller; sometimes it's necessary to solve the problems of the past to go on with your life.
½ June 19, 2017
What thought might be a grim slice of Ken Loach-style social realism, or even [rec]-style horror, actually turns out be a deeply moving study of grief, loss and regret. Superb film.
½ May 27, 2016
A film to think about it
March 15, 2016
Andrea Arnold's first film, very good though not great like her follow-up, Fish Tank. I liked how Red Road plays with our expectations of heroes and villains.
Super Reviewer
½ May 29, 2015
A closed-circuit city monitor spots a man she has an undefined connection with from her past - and that's all we are explicitly told for over an hour as she follows him first by remote camera, and later shadowing him in person. Who is he and why is she obsessed with following him? That's what's supposed to keep us afloat through long stretches of silence and extreme closeups, a tall order for any movie to be really effective, and Red Road eventually sags under its own protraction. Made big waves at 2007 Cannes by claiming the top Jury Prize, I preferred the director's Academy Award-winning live action 2003 short film called Wasp included on the DVD. Andrea Arnold has got an observant eye for working-class lifestyles and the fraying urban societal fabric but her screenplays could use tightening.
March 1, 2015
Gritty, ugly but an overall satisfying thriller
October 28, 2014
Very slow, but once it gets to the point, pretty good message. Vengeance is useless.
June 29, 2014
Red Road is quite an interesting, and well executed film because it only gradually reveals the plot, the characters, and their motivations as the movie progresses.
½ May 29, 2014
Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006)

On one hand, Red Road?a movie about a woman who becomes obsessed with revenge and goes undercover to deliver some vigilante justice?is a film you've seen a thousand times. On the other hand, while there isn't anything in here you haven't seen before, it's the way in which Andrea Arnold puts all the pieces together that make it feel like it is, at least in part, something you have never seen before. That is the tightrope makers of genre film walk, and Arnold?helped along in her pursuit by some very big names?walks it pretty well. The end result is not perfect by any means, but given a director working on her first feature and having a lot to measure up to, Red Road is better than it has any right to be.

Plot: Jackie (Outcast's Kate Dickie) is a security guard whose entire job involves watching CCTV cameras trained on the Red Road housing estate in Glasgow. She is the quintessential character with no life outside her job, and eventually we realize why when she spies a familiar face on one of her cameras. This is someone who should not be where he is at the time he is, and Jackie soon becomes obsessed with getting revenge for a long-ago act that shattered her life.

Those names I mentioned? This is the first of a series of three films (the second is Morag McKinnon's 2010 effort Donkeys) proposed by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier (Antichrist) and featuring characters created by fellow Danes Lone Scherfig (Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself) and Anders Thomas Jensen (The Green Butchers). In America, that's kind of the equivalent of Steven Spielberg calling you up and saying ?hey, I've got this collection of characters who were created by Jon Jost and Ricardo Islas, and I want you and two of your buddies to write scripts around them.? How much pressure would you be feeling? Still, while Arnold is building tension, this movie works quite well. It is a quiet thriller, but it is a thriller nonetheless, and there is a great deal to be said for Arnold's script spending time to establish the parallel between Jackie becoming obsessed with her prey and getting less socially awkward around others. Where things fall apart is when the action begins in the third act. Obviously it would be difficult to talk about how things go down without spoiler alerts, but it felt to me like a bait-and-switch. Arnold has set us up to be expecting one kind of movie and we ended up getting another. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is likely to put some viewers off. With me, the jury is still out. I liked it, albeit cautiously, and I would recommend you take a look. Go into it without expectations and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised. ** ½
March 8, 2014
A lot of the subtle, ambiguous tension is squandered in some of the later scenes. But the first two acts are good enough that it didn't completely ruin the experience and it remained a quality film overall. I think my DVD had a problem with its sound though (intense, annoying clipping/compression artefacts that I thought at first were an intentional part of the sound design), so I wouldn't mind re-watching this.
½ December 28, 2013
Edgy, brooding, powerful, oddly elegant--Rawness, despair and resurrection in Glasgow!!
October 21, 2013
Great film. Well acted and brooding plot that slowly unveils and gets better and better as the film progresses. The eventual reveal was rather good too. Recommended.
October 16, 2013
Not really a thriller, but it feels like one due to cleverly constructed plot that keeps the audience puzzled. The movie is crafted exceptionally well, with top-notch direction, acting, and cinematography. The story, unfortunately, ends up being somewhat unsatisfying, but getting there was still well worth it.
September 6, 2013
it's a perfect movie. the end.
June 29, 2013
I rarely get caught by a twist in the plot of a movie where you have enough time to think about it, but I did! Excellente réalisation.
½ June 14, 2013
The mystery is a great, slow build. But as the mystery ends the story flails, and the mystery ends way too soon.
June 12, 2013
Not a lot of plot stretched over a lot of film, Arnold's quiet, deliberate style concentrates the mind, taking the audience through one woman's confrontation with revenge. Unfortunately, the leads and the dialogue are not inspiring, and with no music, the few beautiful shots dispersed through the film are barely reward enough for sitting through the film. Interesting, if...well, a bit boring.
½ April 28, 2013
Can not hold your attention for long enough to tell you its story, after a point you simply get bored and miss the whole story
½ April 27, 2013
The plot unravels slowly with little hints as to its central theme dotted about sensitively. It has you asking the question, what has happened to Jackie? How does this figure Clyde she has recognised and recoiled from on the CCTV monitors at work impacted on her lonely and monochrome life ? The answers come quite slowly as she puts her head into the lion's jaws of proximity to this danger man. A bit like the pantomime responses I felt like saying, " No, don't go any closer,he's behind you; you'll be recognised.", failing to recognise myself that something in her wants exactly that. In fact she receives from him perversely, what no viewer might possibly expect, but then she has us asking, is this payback time ?

The raw,down-at-heel, desperate, littered, high rise and windy Glasgow streets and housing estates as the backdrop. Ordinary everyday people get on with their lives oblivious of the drama being enacted in Jackie's life and culminating in an protracted showdown. But this is not the end. No, for all the unresolved grief, anger, erotic fascination and damaged lives, there remains a hope born of the unlikely. The film leads you away from the possibility, but ultimately there is life after death in Red Road. No cheering music soundtrack intrudes to romanticise what cannot possibly yield to only to the mawkish. There is just silence, sounds of the street, machinery, public transport and some well chosen tracks to create mood when required. This is what the vintage among us identify as continental cinema, no wonder they loved it at Cannes. This is not a film for audiences to remain detached from; the sheer intimacy of the camera work and the evolving personal destinies involved get you involved too, uncomfortably. A home grown vignette of humanity wrestling with the s..t that regularly happens !
April 3, 2013
Subtle yet superb performances, the Director puts on a clinic in meticulous character development. Develops slowly but packs a pretty good emotional punch at its climax. I love these types of stories where the line between protagonist and antagonist are blurred, this one kept my gears turning long after the credits. Reminded me a lot of 2009's Fish Tank. Very well done. Only complaint may have been a couple small plot holes, but nothing major.
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