'On the Road' Critic Reviews

77%
MovieWeb:   1 reviews
45%
Rotten Tomatoes:   129 reviews
  • Owen Gleiberman Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    What he doesn't give us - and what makes the book work - is Kerouac's bedazzled bohemian swoon. Without it, On the Road is a curiously remote experience, all reason and no rhyme.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Stephen Holden New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    It all seems - dare I say it? - of little consequence.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    Salles, an intelligent director whose films include "The Motorcycle Diaries," doesn't invest "On the Road" with the wildness it needs for its visual style, narrative approach and leads.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    40
    The characters heroically swig from bottles, smoke joints, have sex and become narcissistic, flatulent and boring in a way that isn't entirely intentional.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Ann Hornaday Washington Post (Top Critic)
    50
    Walter Salles's warm but strangely staid adaptation of a piece of literature that was never meant to be tamed as cinema.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    Against all odds, a surprisingly effective movie.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Nick Pinkerton Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Another "primitive" postwar antique repurposed for boutique sale.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    60
    Salles has made an admirable effort, which - while no roman candle - can be appreciated for its honest ambitions.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    It's neither the first nor the best road trip that Mr. Salles has brought to the screen.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    60
    This, and a certain lack of what one could call narrative thrust, makes 'On the Road' a strange, diffuse experience, offering occasional glimpses of genuine beauty ...
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top Critic)
    A pleasant but undistinguished adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel about himself and his Beat friends in the late forties.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    50
    Although Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" has been praised as a milestone in American literature, this film version brings into question how much of a story it really offers.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    While Kerouac's odyssey lacks conventional narrative or novelistic beats (though it comes with plenty of the other kind), the restlessness of the prose has its own cinematic allure.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    In Salles, screenwriter Jose Rivera and company's effort to get the details right, they only get so far. And it's not quite far enough.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    It took more than half a century, but Jack Kerouac's autobiographical cult novel of bohemian youth in postwar America has reached the screen in wonderful form.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    67
    It's not a wreck of a movie; it's not a sleek race car either. But there's heat to be felt here.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    60
    Director Walter Salles' film is fairly faithful to the source material. It's not going to start a movement, though.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    Despite the high level of craft here, it's an inadequate substitute for the thrilling, sustaining intelligence of Kerouac's voice.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    What's best about the film are its quick jumps from one depravity to the next as jazz rambles on the soundtrack: Youth is a candle to be burned at both ends, with (as it was once said about Bob Dylan) a blowtorch in the middle.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    50
    The film is a handsomely photographed and competently cast work that does justice to Kerouac's concept of "the purity of the road." Yet there's still something maddeningly lacking about it.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jordan Hoffman Film.com (Top Critic)
    75
    a respectful, tuned-in approach
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Rick Groen Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    50
    Sorry, On the Road just doesn't travel well.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Haglund Slate (Top Critic)
    On the Road is not a great movie, but it's a pretty interesting work of literary criticism.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    While the film's dramatic impact is variable, visually and aurally it is a constant pleasure.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Jake Coyle Associated Press (Top Critic)
    50
    In the end, ''On the Road'' remains paved over.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
AVG. RATING 3.8 GREAT
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13 people have rated On the Road
  • 5 Star:
    5
    39%
  • 4 Star:
    2
    16%
  • 3
    24%
  • 2 Star:
    2
    16%
  • 1 Star:
    0%
  • 0 Star:
    1
    8%
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