Riding the Bullet (2004)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  3 February 2005 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 7,147 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 70 user | 44 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

When a man finds out his mother is dying and tries to hitchike his way to the hospital, he is picked up by a stranger with a deadly secret.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Parker
George Staub
Jean Parker
Jessica Hadley
Julian Parker (as Barry Levy)
Jackson Warris ...
Alan - Age 6
Alan - Age 12 (as Jeff Ballard)
Mature Alan
Hector Passmore
Robin Nielsen ...
Archie Howard
Mr. Clarkson
Simon Webb ...
Danielle Dunn-Morris ...
Mrs. Janey McCurdy


A young man hitchhiking back home to visit his mother is picked up by a mysterious stranger. As the ride goes on, the young man uncovers a terrible secret about the stranger, and is given a choice by the stranger. A choice that can mean life or death. Written by Sarah

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The dead travel fast


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, drug use and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

3 February 2005 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's Riding the Bullet  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$101,107 (USA) (15 October 2004)


$101,107 (USA) (15 October 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Alan asks his mother how his father died, she says he was hit by a car while walking along side the road (while on his way to get gas for his car). On June 19, 1999, Stephen King was struck (and almost killed) while walking along Route 5, in Lovell, Maine. See more »


Enthusing over the concert, Hector exclaims "Radical!" in 1969. But this slang dates from the 1980s. See more »


Mature Alan: [voice over] Nothing seems to last. But the bullet. The bullet is constant. The bullet is always there. You wait in line, that's all. And when it's your turn to ride the bullet, maybe you ride, maybe you run. Either way it comes to the same thing. Fun is fun. And done is done. Nobody lives forever, but we all shine on.
See more »

Crazy Credits

FOR MOM, DAD, and CRAIG. See more »


Referenced in Unikal'noe pozdravlenie (2014) See more »


Time Has Come Today
Written by Joseph Chambers (as Joseph) & Willie Chambers
Performed by The Chambers Brothers
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

"For the dead travel fast."
1 May 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

It always intrigues me when a film virtually disappears at the box office and a few months later it's premiering on television. I think to myself "can it really be that bad?" and I must watch it. Well, Riding the Bullet wasn't that bad, but it didn't deserve a theatrical release, not even a limited one. Mick Garris (The Stand) has been directed in television for so long that his big screen efforts feel like TV movies. Riding the Bullet felt like it was made for the small screen. I have a feeling that if the source material had been longer, Garris would have tried to pull a mini-series out of it. Garris has had success and failure with adapting Stephen King's work and I have to say that this falls somewhere in the middle. This is a case where the parts are better than the whole. I really enjoyed the scene where George Staub has a flashback to his own death that's done as if we're watching a film within the film. And then I hate all of the "gotcha" moments where what's happening on screen is just in the main character's head. I suppose it's an attempt to trick the audience but it happens way too much. Virtually every 7 or 8 minutes this happens and, honestly, it takes me out of the movie. I have to disagree with Tobe Hooper. This is not the best Stephen King movie. Jonathan Jackson, David Arquette, and Barbara Hershey are leading the cast, while Cliff Robertson, Nicky Katt, and Matt Frewer put in some cameos. Let's wish Mick better luck with Desperation.

16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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