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Three young people on a road trip from Colorado to New Jersey talk to a trucker on their CB radio, then must escape when he turns out to be a psychotic killer.


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3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny (Lewis's Roommate)
Car Salesman
Officer Keeney
Salt Lake City Police Desk Clerk
McKenzie Satterthwaite ...
Asst. Salt Lake City Police Desk Clerk
Gas Station Mechanic
Kenneth White ...
Luis Cortés ...
Night Manager (as Luis Cortes)
Officer Akins
Sheriff Ritter
Gas Station Manager


College student Lewis decides to drive across the country to see Venna, a friend who doesn't know that Lewis is interested in her romantically. Unfortunately for his plans, Lewis gets saddled with his raucous-spirited older brother, Fuller, whose on-the-road pranks get the brothers and Venna sucked into a nightmare when a psychotic truckdriver takes offense. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It started as a joke. Now the joke is on them. See more »


Mystery | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence/terror and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Candy Cane  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$7,347,259 (USA) (5 October 2001)


$21,973,182 (USA) (4 January 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although Ted Levine provides Rusty Nail's voice, he actually wasn't brought in until post-production, and, physically, Rusty Nail is played by the hulking actor Matthew Kimbrough. See more »


Because of re-shoots, the dates are inconsistent. The insert of Lewis's plane ticket shows he purchased it 12 DEC 99 for a 12 APR (2000) flight, yet when Fuller signs for the release of his effects, he has dated the form "6-6-99". See more »


Fuller Thomas: Do what I do. Just remind yourself that in a hundred years you're gonna be dead. It's the closest thing I've got to a philosophy.
See more »


Referenced in Amber Alert (2012) See more »


When I Get Home
Written by Joe Reineke
Performed by Alien Crime Syndicate
Courtesy of Lakeshore Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Black Sheep and Mama's Boy vs. Rusty Nail!
22 December 2005 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Gripping, white-knuckler of a film was one of the best thrillers of its year!

Brothers driving across the American west play a prank on a truck driver, who then seeks some harsh vengeance.

Joy Ride may recall a lot of road thrillers, such as Duel (1971), Road Games (1981), or The Hitcher (1986), but it's a film that firmly stands out among the genre. The story is genuinely engrossing, with plenty of well-time shocks, suspenseful build up, and intense action sequences. Joy Ride also has a good share of eerie sequences to help it sustain a hair-raising atmosphere and the feeling that doom could be around any turn in the road. This comes off especially effective as our heroes are likable characters. It all builds to a loud, dramatic conclusion. The direction is well done, the cinematography is nicely captured, there's plenty of scenic filming locations, and a moody music score.

The films stars are one of its biggest highlights. Paul Walker makes for a decent good-guy. The lovely Leelee Sobieski is perfect as Walker's head-strong girlfriend. But greatest of all is Steve Zahn as Walker's no-account big brother. Zahn's performance is great and he adds more than a few moments of good comic relief to the film. Ted Levine, who does the voice of our villain, is perfectly frightening.

Road thrillers certainly aren't anything new, but this film is one of the best of them! For thriller fans, Joy Ride lives up to its title.

*** 1/2 out of ****

8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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