The Car

1977

The Car

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

27%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 15

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,992
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Movie Info

A killer car, fueled by demonic power, runs amok through the Detroit streets in this horror film.

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Critic Reviews for The Car

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (11)

  • There's nothing under the surface either, no pattern or primitive fear mechanism guiding the car. What you see is what you get, and it deserves to be thrown back.

    Dec 21, 2015 | Full Review…
  • As silly as it sounds, but strangely dull.

    May 6, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Interminably drawn out, with some good special effects but its characters hauled straight out of the cracker-barrel, it has nowhere near the same minatory charge as Spielberg's Duel.

    Jun 24, 2006

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The performances are terrible -- thin and overwrought in the manner of actors trying to improvise without an idea in their heads.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 1/5
  • A fun, entertaining, schlocky seventies horror film...

    May 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • The film eventually grows tedious, and the climactic showdown is truly awful.

    Dec 26, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Car

  • Oct 27, 2015
    It took three screenwriters (Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack and Lane Slate) to postulate the malevolent sentience of a motor vehicle? Anyway, The Car is a subglacial, moronic jalopy that doesn't benefit from turgid family squabbles. Stephen King's Christine knew that the sinister car itself wasn't especially scary. It was the insidious seduction of Keith Gordon that was frightening. The POV of the car is basically a series of tawny color filters. The bridge massacre of two bicyclists is achieved to minimal suspense and overt stupidity. James Brolin, father of the burly Josh, is the chief deputy who obnoxiously tussles with Lauren (Kathleen Lloyd) after an evening of unwedded revelry. Speaking of which, the gregarious domestic scenes with Brolin, Lloyd and his two daughters are unbearably schmaltzy. It might be lax to omit character drama but an abused wife, a recovering alcoholic and a single parent, are all clay pigeons for further bloodshed. The kitchen-sink approach is utilized by Elliot Silverstein to capture the inexorable dread of the Lincoln Continental Mark III's spree (ex. The camera is mounted low near the tire when it screeches to a halt). Regardless, when the sheriff is impaled by the titular car, it looks like he was paralyzed with fear and collapsed instead of collided with. Those who desire hermetic explanations will be chagrined that the car's possessed powers can be chalked up to Satanic manifestation. Of course, that is a vague assumption since no concrete reason is proposed other than an opening quote by Anton LeVay and the fact that is can't trespass on consecrated ground. Lloyd's taunts at the Lincoln are wildly unfunny ("Why don't you get out of that upside-down bathtub?"). The one consolation is the Hal Needham-like stuntwork such as when the car leaps through a residential house's window.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2012
    The Car was an OK movie but I know it's not something I'd watch too often (Maybe never again?) It wasn't all that bad (I guess) but it wasn't all that great either.It did get boring at times & I just wanted to give up & turn it off but I didn't because I was curious to see how it would end.The ending was kinda corny & made me chuckle.It reminded me of something off of a 1950's Sci Fi flick or something.If nothing else is on & you need something to watch, check out The Car
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 27, 2012
    One of the most bizarre films I've ever seen dialogue-wise. The Car is a bit of a take on the killer car genre, which includes Duel and later Christine. It's halfway decent, if not incredibly boring at times. More time is spent by the characters sitting around trying to figure out what to do and grieving the victims of the killer car than actually building up story, although an attempt IS actually made to do that. It just doesn't work all that successfully. The cutting is quite good when it comes to the action sequences involving the car itself, but most of the time it feels light on excitement. The dialogue itself is just flat out weird and feels out of place constantly. I'm not quite sure what they were going for here or whether they were even aware that the dialogue was odd in the first place, but it IS odd and it sticks out like a sore thumb. The film is scare of blood and gore, but there is some light mayhem, and if you're patient enough to sit through it, you'll find some nice moments and fun action.
    Tim S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2012
    After watching the History Channel the other night and seeing the pilot for the cool new series entitled Canadian Restoration, where a customer bought a Lincoln Mark III and wanted the guys at the shop to literally transform it into the car from The Car, i immediatly re-watched the movie as i havent seen this one since i was in my teens quite some time ago. I had my 12 year old son watch it with me and he sighed thinking it was yet another one of my 70's cheesy movies. It didn't take him long to get right into this as i had told him it's not your average 70's movie, in fact it's actually quite good and suspenseful. He ended up enjoying it just as much as i did upon seeing it when i was around his age. James Brolin is the sheriff of a small western town that gets a visiter in the form of a huge boat of a car with red tinted windows. This car after picking off a couple of the townsfolk starts a cat and mouse game with Sheriff Wade (Brolin) After seeing with his own eyes that this car is indeed pretty much doing the impossible and hearing from an old indian woman that there was no driver inside, the boys of the Sheriff's dept learn very quickly that this car could be possessed by an evil spirit?? I know it sounds hoky but you have to check this one out if you get chance cause it's an actuall dandy of a thriller!
    Lee K Super Reviewer

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