Revolutionary Road

Critics Consensus

Brilliantly acted and emotionally powerful, Revolutionary Road is a handsome adaptation of Richard Yates' celebrated novel.



Total Count: 210


Audience Score

User Ratings: 106,823
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Movie Info

Titanic shipmates Kathy Bates, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kate Winslet step onboard for director Sam Mendes' tale of suburban malaise in 1950s-era Connecticut. Adapted from the classic 1961 novel by author Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road tells the tale of a young Connecticut couple whose once-idealistic relationship steadily deteriorates into a ceaseless cycle of petty jealousy and bickering as they strive to retain their independence in the conformity-obsessed world of picket fences and perfectly manicured lawns. Ever since they first met, Frank (DiCaprio) and April (Winslet) saw themselves as special and different. They strive to form their relationship around higher ideals, though upon moving into their new home on Revolutionary Road, the defiant couple pledges never to be confined by the social conventions of the era. As time passes, however, Frank and April gradually become the very thing that they both feared most -- a typical suburban family complete with abandoned dreams and faded hopes. Frank loses his nerve after taking a comfortable job with a reliable salary, and April morphs into an unsatisfied homemaker desperate for passion and excitement. But April's independent spirit hasn't been suffocated just yet, and when she hatches a plan to head for Paris, her need to escape at all costs stands in direct contrast to Frank's desire to hold on to what they already have. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Revolutionary Road

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (141) | Rotten (69)

  • Mendes has made a troubling film that wrestles with big themes and touchy subjects, even if it is set in an overly familiar milieu.

    Aug 23, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Bolstered by Thomas Newman's score, spot-on set design and the brilliant source material, "Revolutionary Road" is a darkly effective portrait of an Eisenhower-era couple who fall tragically short of reaching Camelot.

    Feb 8, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a sobering, well-observed film that doesn't fully hit the mark but sets up enough pleasing ideas to chew on regarding ambition, marriage and ideals of how to live one's life, individually and as a couple.

    Jan 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

    Dave Calhoun

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Ultimately, the performances are (rightly) more involving than the story. By the same token, the actors are more involving than the film.

    Jan 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A deeply felt, moving and genuinely tragic study of a marriage tearing itself apart.

    Jan 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It leaves you feeling voyeuristically sullied; scrubbing the blood out of your mental carpet, privy to something simultaneously indulgent and inconsequential.

    Jan 30, 2009 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Revolutionary Road

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Revolutionary Road has a good premise and strong actors that perform well enough. What is missing? It feels like it ought to be a better movie but somehow does not come together. I have to say the storytelling and editing are off. There is something about the flow of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" that is missing in Revolutionary Road (though it does have its moments). Still, it is not a bad film and I recommend to fans of the actors.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2013
    Heartbreaking. Great to see Leo and Kate together again, they're chemistry is still as strong as ever.
    Beth M Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2013
    Not much can be said for a film involving its main characters screaming at each other for a majority of the run-time, but at least with "Revolutionary Road" is picked some of the most talented and attractive actors to do the screaming. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet are reunited as man and wife in this 60's novel adaptation about a couple that would just as much torment one another with constant fights than to live a meaningful and separate life. The leads are powerful, with Winslet looking the best she's ever been, while DiCaprio rides the fine line between the amazing actor he will become and the childish, tween star we knew from "Titanic" and "Catch Me If You Can". Kathy Bates also delivers a fine performance, but it's the Academy Award nominated Michael Shannon that steals the show in the very short time that he graces the screen. A huge fan of Shannon's, I found his character immensely fleshed out and realized for someone barely involved in the plot and his portion becomes the most memorable moments of the film (apart from the dark conclusion and constant yelling). There's a poetry somewhere immersed in "Revolutionary Road" and Sam Mendes, along with Roger Deakins, do their best to emphasis that, but when you dislike both characters and their motives, or lack thereof, it becomes really hard to invest. As epic a drama as it is, the film falls short of being a classic.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Mar 13, 2013
    A signature piece for the married couple that does all of society's "right things" but still does not find itself happy. I am convinced that everyone envies people in other positions in life to a certain degree. Here we see the natural progression towards a declaration of war on society's norms.
    John B Super Reviewer

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