Reservation Road (2007)



Critic Consensus: While the performances are fine, Reservation Road quickly adopts an excessively maudlin tone along with highly improbable plot turns.

Reservation Road Videos

Reservation Road Photos

Movie Info

A tale of anger, revenge, and great courage, the film follows two fathers as their families and lives converge. On a warm September evening, college professor Ethan Learner, his wife Grace, and their daughter Emma are attending a recital. Their 10-year-old son Josh is playing cello--beautifully, as usual. His younger sister looks up to him, and his parents are proud of their son. On the way home, they all stop at a gas station on Reservation Road. There, in one terrible instant, he is taken from them forever. On a warm September evening, law associate Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son Lucas are attending a baseball game. Their favorite team, the Red Sox, is playing--and, hopefully, heading for the World Series. Dwight cherishes his time spent with Lucas. Driving his son back to his ex-wife, Lucas' mother Ruth Wheldon, Dwight heads towards his fateful encounter at Reservation Road. The accident happens so fast that Lucas is all but unaware, while Ethan--the only witness--is all too aware, as a panicked Dwight speeds away. The police are called, and an investigation begins. Haunted by the tragedy, both fathers react in unexpected ways, as do Grace and Emma. As a reckoning looms, the two fathers are forced to make the hardest choices of their lives.
R (for language and some disturbing images)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


Joaquin Phoenix
as Ethan Learner
Mark Ruffalo
as Dwight Arno
Jennifer Connelly
as Grace Learner
Mira Sorvino
as Ruth Wheldon
Elle Fanning
as Emma Learner
Sean Curley
as Josh Learner
Susan Powell
as Elegant Parent
Linda Dano
as Grandmother
Samuel Ryan Finn
as Cello Player
Eddie Alderson
as Lucas Arno
Cordell Clyde
as Jimmy McBride
Antoni Corone
as Sergeant Burke
Kevin Herbst
as Driving Trooper
Gary Kohn
as Norris Wheldon
John Rothman
as Minister
Brett Haley
as Brett
Sinead Daly
as American Girl
Armin Amiri
as Rashid
Americk Lewis
as African American Student
Danny Johnson
as Investigating Trooper
Bill Camp
as Desk Trooper
as Gerry
Julian Rebolledo
as News Announcer
Peter Pamela Rose
as News Announcer
Kathryn Markey
as News Announcer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Reservation Road

Critic Reviews for Reservation Road

All Critics (111) | Top Critics (37)

Despite its contrivances, Reservation Road is moving at times, and that's largely due to the skill of its cast.

October 26, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

It starts with devastation and closes, after a few reels of narrative dithering, with a climax of hairpin emotional turns and indisputable power.

Full Review… | October 26, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

A film of distinguished performances that rise above a coincidence-riddled and perfunctory screenplay -- without redeeming it.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Reservation Road is a car wreck of a movie about an auto accident. It's designed as a psychological suspense film, but every character development and plot twist can be seen far in advance. It's a mystery with no guessing.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

An exercise in frustration and wasted opportunities.

Full Review… | October 25, 2007
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

This is kind of a terrible movie with some really talented people.

October 22, 2007
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Reservation Road


This psychological thriller paints the darkest picture: what if your child was killed in a hit and run? How far would you go to hunt the culprit? The movie, even though moving slowly, can rely on outstanding acting by the two leading men and Jennifer Connelly. While her reaction is solitude and deep sadness her husband Phoenix is angry and wants revenge. The fact that the man he is looking for ends up being his lawyer is maybe a tad much, like a couple of more coincidences throughout the plot. You can't help but wonder how it's all gonna end, though. As the noose tightens around Ruffalo's neck the viewers can't help but ask themselves how they'd react on both sides of this tragedy. Thankfully, the solution seems to find the only possible salvation.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

A film that manages to capture thoughts and raw emotions of all envolved after a tragic accident, in one tragic moments, changes the lives of everyone envolved. I've not seen Joaquin Phoenix display a serious performance like this before and felt it came across well, as did Mark Ruffalo.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


Decent story concerning a father's anger of losing his son to a hit and run accident while the driver is suffering an enormous amount of guilt. Sometimes it feels like its stealing aspects from "In the Bedroom", a far better depiction concerning a father's need to avenge his son's death. Other times, this is compelling stuff, with Phoenix and Ruffalo giving outstanding performances. Some of the scenes are very overdone though, with enough yelling and tears to last a lifetime. The end lacks closure big time.

Dan Schultz
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Reservation Road Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss Reservation Road on our Movie forum!

News & Features