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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.


3,151 ( 303)
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny (Lewis's Roommate)
Car Salesman
Brian Leckner ...
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


How much fun can you have... when the joke is on you? 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?


For the nighttime chase scenes, the headlights of the trucks and cars were replaced by aircraft landing lights for extra brightness. This helped to bring down the exposure enough to keep the sky consistently black even at early dawn. See more »


In the climax, a crew member's hand-held two-way radio with red and green lights is sitting on top of an abandoned box/crate Lewis retrieves to rescue Fuller off the fence. See more »


Local in Nebraska Bar: [to Lewis] I said, is this your bitch? Cause if it is your bitch, you better shut your bitch up.
Fuller Thomas: [running towards them] Bitch, are you mouthing off again? I'm sorry man, it's just so hard to keep them in line now'a'days.
See more »


Featured in The Making of 'Joy Ride' (2002) See more »


If You're Gonna Leave Me
Written and Performed by John Bohlinger
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best thriller in a long time!
1 November 2001 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

This film was absolutely incredible! It was SO unbelievably exciting and suspenseful! I found myself shaking in my seat throughout most of the film!

Paul Walker and Steve Zahn were excellent as Lewis and Fuller Thomas! Leelee Sobieski's character (Venna Wilcox) doesn't really do anything until about 45 minutes into the movie, but she still did a great job! She has proven, several times, that she is one of the best actresses in Hollywood today! Ted Levine was brilliantly menacing as the faceless 'Rusty Nail'.

John Dahl creates a world that is so frighteningly real, that it's hard NOT to get scared! This is one movie that you will not take your eyes off of! It basically keeps you 'nailed' to your seat. If you have not seen JOY RIDE, I highly (with a capital H) recommend that you do!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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