(2012)

Critic Reviews

56

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
If there's one thing that wounds On the Road, it's that the film is full of things -- having sex, doing drugs, being free -- that are far more enjoyably experienced by one's self as opposed to watching other people enjoy them on screen.
70
Stewart, selected for Marylou five years ago on the basis of her striking debut in "Into the Wild," is perfect in the role, takes off her clothes more than once and nearly always seems to be breaking a sweat, which kicks the sexiness quotient up high.
60
A decent, well-cast and mounted adaptation that hits all the right notes but plays them in a respectful, muted monotone.
60
It may lose its way on occasions, but thanks to a committed cast and a script that captures the Kerouac vibe, Salles' adaptation never ends up on the road to nowhere.
60
Variety
Evocatively lensed, skillfully made and duly attentive to the mercurial qualities of its daunting source material, Walter Salles' picture pulses with youthful energy but feels overly calculated in its bid for spontaneity, attesting to the difficulty and perhaps futility of trying to reproduce Kerouac's literary lightning onscreen.
50
Boxoffice Magazine
On the Road is rich with evocative period atmosphere and anchored by a trio of compellingly lived-in performances from Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, and Kristen Stewart. Nevertheless, it's another staid adaptation that misses the forest for the trees and confuses people into thinking that some novels truly are "unfilmmable."
50
Slant Magazine
The lack of a strong expository voice further simplifies the wealth of explicit sex Walter Salles dramatizes, much of it drawn from juicy swathes of Jack Kerouac's only recently published original scroll.
50
Rolling Stone
A dash of Tarantino might have juiced up Walter Salles' wrongheadedly well-mannered take on Jack Kerouac's 1957 Beat Generation landmark. Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel comes to the screen looking good but feeling shallow.
40
The Guardian
On the Road does, ultimately, have a touching kind of sadness in showing how poor Dean is becoming just raw material for fiction, destined to be left behind as Sal becomes a New York big-shot. But this real sadness can't pierce or dissipate this movie's tiresome glow of self-congratulation.
40
Best is Viggo Mortensen's William S. Burroughs proxy Old Bull Lee, holed up in a perspiration-saturated Louisiana mansion with a shell-shocked Amy Adams and a gas-huffing chamber at the ready.

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