Scenic Route (2013) Poster


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Wow, this was impressive
Hendrik_Numiah25 July 2013
With a score of 6.1 when I started to watch, I wasn't expecting to much. Well, it's proved once more. Scores on IMDb can't be called trustworthy and they can bias your opinion.

Both Josh and Dan deliver some hilarious and profound acting! With a story not to far fetched and delivered at a steady pace, this movie was actually quite entertaining. It kept me interested throughout and had me on the edge of my seat. It's safe to assume you can easily empathize on what these guys have been through. Not to many plot holes and the ending was satisfying too. It makes you think about what one should do when you end up in a situation like this.

Also it reminded me of me and my best friend. There were quite some similarities. I will recommend this to friends, that's for sure.
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Scenic Route-- SXSW
jasonitkin10 March 2013
I saw Scenic Route during SXSW on Friday. I had no idea what to expect besides a mohawk. I was blown away. The acting, dialogue, and desert scenery combine to make this an awesome movie. The deeper meanings and plot twists will keep you thinking about the movie and its implications for days. The group I saw the movie with was still talking about script and interplay between the actors two days later. In fact, I want to see the movie again because I think there are subtle things I may have missed on the first viewing that may make me appreciate the film even more. It really is a unique film. If you are tired of movies that seem to copy old ideas, then this movie is for you. I highly recommend it.
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A fantastic movie that is very much worth seeing but won't get the audience that it deserves. I highly recommend. I say A-
cosmo_tiger15 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"You stage a breakdown in the middle of the desert so we can talk?!" Mitchell (Duhamel) and Carter (Fogler) are best friends we have started to drift apart when they decide to go for a ride. When the truck they are in breaks down in the middle of a desert they start to argue about the directions their lives have taken. The argument starts to escalate and their friendship is pushed to its limits. Before I start I have to admit that the plot doesn't seem exciting or interesting at all but this is a perfect example of you can't judge a book by it's cover. While the plot isn't all that intriguing the acting is so brilliant that it gives the movie a tenseness and excitement that the idea alone can not. You really begin to feel for the friends and are so invested in them that you find yourself living and dying with them with every passing minute. It's to talk to much about the events without giving something away because each event builds on the one before it but I will say that this was a pleasant surprise and I highly recommend this. Overall, one of the best "under the radar" movies I have seen in a long time and another movie that won't get the audience that it deserves. I give it an A-.
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A Compelling Journey through a Hellish Desert of Both Mind and Body.
JustCuriosity8 March 2013
I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of Scenic Route on the first night of Austin's SXSW Film Festival. This disturbingly powerful drama was very well-received by the crowd. The film was both well-written and well-acted. This is the story of two thirty-something guys who used to be close friends, but have drifted apart in recent years as they have struggled to find themselves as adults. Both men are evidently lost within themselves long before their truck breaks down in the desert. The story could easily have been clichéd, but instead their struggle to survive against the elements becomes a journey of self- exploration and rediscovery. They begin to turn on each other as they confront the uncomfortable demons within their own deeply troubled selves.

Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler show new depth as actors in this film. Kyle Killen's script is far better than his deeply flawed script for the The Beaver. The only major flaw appears to be one unnecessary flashback scene that takes the audience away from the stark dry desert that has in and of itself become a character in the film. Although, it is never stated where it is set, the credits reveal that it was filmed in California's Death Valley. The Q&A with cast makes clear just how difficult it was to film under conditions of wind and extreme temperatures in the desert. The dramatic journey of the Scenic Route is compelling and entrancing. While the film can be difficult to watch at times and will certainly be far too dark for some viewers, its journey through a physical and spiritual desert is overpowering. I recommend the film to all viewers who want to be challenged by a dark and disturbing journey. I really hope that Scenic Route gets wider distribution so that it can be viewed by a wider audience.
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This Movie is a Treat - I see why Duhamel is on the rise
Jboundas10 March 2013
Saw Scenic Route at Sxsw in Austin. So well written, the movie manages to pull off being by turns dark, funny, and suspenseful. The dialog is great and the story takes the relationship of these two buddies in the desert (a surprisingly captivating setting) to some really interesting places. There were scenes that were laugh out loud hilarious, and I wont give away any of them but the plot takes some turns I sure didn't see coming.

This movie is smart, very well done and most importantly a pleasure to watch. Actually want to see it again when it hits the theaters.

Really impressed with Josh Duhamel. I guess I wasn't aware that this guy has some serious talent. After watching him in Scenic Route, I can now see why his star is rising. He nails it.
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A "Scenic Route" to hell...
mossman13316 March 2013
The road-trip gone-wrong/ buddy movie starts with a slow burn -- biting, often hilarious dialog introduces us to two old friends who's benign friction escalates as their predicament gets worse.

The performances are engaging and absorbing--masterfully done as most of the movie rests on these two characters versus the elements (as well as the two actors versus difficult shooting conditions, according to the Q&A after the premiere I saw at SXSW).

For an indie thriller "Scenic Route" doesn't show any low budget limitations -- the cinematography in Death Valley is breathtaking and unforgiving, yet still haunting and beautiful.

Once the film grabs you, it doesn't let go. The movie, the imagery, stays with you long after you leave the theater.
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Will Provide A Different Experience For Each and Every Viewer
Simon_Says_Movies22 August 2013
Entombed by a nightmarish quality, Scenic Route finds two old friends stranded in Death Valley after their vehicle succumbs to the surroundings (and a misguided ploy by one of the duo). The strengths of this thriller, which embraces both psychological and more straightforward approaches to the genre, comes from many facets. Be it the potent performances from Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler, strong writing from scribe Kyle Killen and a well realized vision of the setting and situation, Scenic Route offers no clear answers but what it does better than most is provide multiple outcomes that are equally compelling across the board. Even what I suppose could be considered the less probable conclusions explore themes even more complex that those of the "reasonable" variety.

Scenic Route is penned by scribe Kyle Killen who gave us the prematurely cancelled television series Awake and the hugely underrated The Beaver with Mel Gibson in 2011. Though wildly different films, this effort caries a very similar feel – an off kilter, dreamlike vibe that services the ending to great effect. He is certainly no stranger to twisting narratives, a strength when coupled with his poignant, natural script culminates in a film that is both close to home and as far from day to day reality as one could fathom.

Some of the chief themes explored include those to do with the expectations and reality of the "American dream," how people change over time but also how at others they are unable, or unwilling to. Killen delves into the jealous underpinnings of a lost friendship and also how people react either to things actually going well in your life or failing to live up to what we dreamed as kids. Fogler's Carter poignantly states that if everyone followed the path of what we drew in elementary school as our future we would live in a world full of pro athletes and astronauts and that we need someone to clean the toilets. It's a rather harsh reality but so is the life or death situation these two face.

Unravelling as a two man show, Scenic Route certainly asks a lot of its leads and in the cases of both Duhamel and Fogler they deliver. Known mostly for playing the slovenly best friend or goofy sidekick to a more straight laced lead, Fogler owns his character who while still a screw- up (at least in the eyes of most) and a bit of a man child is played completely straight. He is as well developed as Duhamel's corporate "stooge" and individual not nearly as unhappy as he expresses. They share highs and lows and banter and fight with an honesty missing from most dramas. Some of what these characters have to say may hit closer to home than you would like to hear. Perhaps most importantly, despite not always being on the best of terms, these are not bad people and we certainly root for them to make it out OK.

Where Scenic Route stumbles from time to time is in the execution of the scuffles and arguments between these two friends as the situation escalates. Their eventual reconciliations certainly ring true given the stage that has been set but the rather volcanic nature of these feuds can be a tad over the top. Who am I to say how I would react if I was dealt the same hand but given the other interactions they ring more false. Additionally, how their missed opportunities for rescue are handled in a rather derivative manner and serve to be more infuriating in how they unravel, more than a soul crushing defeat – just another bump on the road to death. It's unfortunate given how well everything else works.

This brings us to the ending. Always being a positively thinking person, I have a fairly clear comprehension of my version of Scenic Route but more so than usual I actual found it to be more interesting and complex than the flip side. This again stems from ideas surrounding being able to except good things in your life and not always question the little things or that if something exceptional befalls you it must come with a catch. Whatever way someone ultimately view Scenic Route it's difficult to imagine them not leaving with at least something to mull over.

Those who require a clear cut wrap-up will find Scenic Route maddening but those who like their brain to keep firing after the end credits will find what this film has to offer quite compelling. How you view the conclusion will rely entirely on your outlook on life. Optimists, pessimists and everyone in between will have their own view on what transpired and because of it change how they perceive the preceding acts. Different symbolism and foreshadowing will make itself seen depending on what side you land upon and I'm sure repeat viewings will uncover even more subversive dynamics and themes.
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Damn good
preemptiveselfdefense24 July 2013
This was a great movie. Dan Fogler in a drama threw me but I've always liked the other guy, even though he usually does rom-com stuff that doesn't appeal to me. Very good all around. Plot summary bears some similarities to Gerry, I think it was called (Matt Damon, Casey Affleck) but waaaay less boring. A couple times during the film I thought I had sorta "figured it out" and decided I wasn't liking it, but w/in 10mins it changed my mind again. Being fundamentally a one-setting movie wasn't a problem/didn't get bored. The actors carry this thing very well and are very believable. I'm not one of those people (and damn, there's sooo many) that try and like "solve" movies while they're watching them. I don't wonder whether the butler did it or not because I'm still watching the movie and why spoil it for myself? I did slightly anticipate a few things but only a minute or two before events would unfold. It will trick you, shock you, impress you, do all the good things a good movie should. I did find the initial dialogue/argument that kicks things off slightly forced on Foglers part but oh well, didn't know the characters yet. Makes sense in retrospect. The ending was great for me. Thought it wasn't going to sit well but Josh Duhamel sells it just w/the look in his eyes (I feel somewhat lame saying that but it's true). Many who got all booty-hurt about Inception will pop up again after this but I think it ended just right, which is a rare enough thing these days (as is being well done and at times surprising. And a relatively fresh idea to boot). I feel that this movie wants you to get some perspective and appreciate your life and what you have, since many of us get stuck thinking about what we lack (quite natural given the pain in the posterior that life is for most people). You should watch it. Definitely worth your time
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Best Movie THIS YEAR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
qellawi211 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I like the fact that the ending left me wondering (but not really wondering too much.)

Having lived in the desert, I was originally going to give the film a lower rating than I wound up giving it. Why? Because, we are always taught to never, ever leave your vehicle if you break down while traveling through the desert. And, no water? You can live for a while without food, but you will die very quickly without water. Especially after all of the physical (and mental) trauma those two went through, the lack of water would have made the situation dire. The loss of blood alone would have screwed up rational thinking. So a rescue of any type, with them wandering around, would have been a true miracle.

So, when Mitchell's broken phone started ringing, at first I thought, "Well why the heck didn't they call for help before? Wait, that isn't a satellite phone. Where are the cell towers?" And, immediately realized that no, maybe they are hallucinating, which is what I expected them to start doing on the second day (if you have ever had to work outside when it is 110 out, you will know what I mean.)

Therefore, I think they died. Whatever you want to believe the outcome was, this was a very good movie.

I'd like to pose another question: Did Carter actually die the first time, and Mitchell only hallucinated that he wasn't actually dead?
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Duhammel can act!
joshuak531-907-77308916 March 2013
I saw this at SXSW on Friday and I was impressed. I didn't know anything about it and was a little worried when I realized 5 minutes in this was going to be a movie of 2 guys in a desert focused on dialogue rather than action (It's incredibly difficult to pull off). Duhammel is great though and carries you through the movie. I've seen him in other stuff but this is the first time I've really seen him stretch himself as an actor and I was really impressed (and I gotta say the mohawk was pretty cool too). The movie manages to put the right amount of tension and character insight throughout to make you feel the characters as people instead of random victims of circumstance. Overall I'd recommend this to others at the very least to see Duhammel push himself as an actor and prove his chops and cause it's an entertaining little picture.
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a-kislyakova18 August 2013
The movie left a very long and deep impression on me... And the very last scene is absolutely genius, in my opinion. I was struck and my hair stood on end.

Do you watch lots of movies with a very modest budget to impress you so much? With no special effects, no turning cars, no explosions, blood, shooting and computer-made reality? I think, not so many...

And this movie with basically one scene of action, with practically just two actors and a 30-year-old car in the dessert made a story, and even more - made us sympathize and be impressed in the end. That's what I call a good movie.

It's rather static bit at the same time it's dynamic. The actors are those who make it dynamic and alive. I did not check time while watching. Not a single time.

And I think the greatest thing about this movie is the ending... or endings... the way it all was wrapped and presented. Not a trivial way for a movie. So if you like thoughtful movies with a good acting, then this is a movie for you. And if you just want entertainment and fun, then don't bother, maybe you'll come back to this movie in a decade or so ;)
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Spoiler - what a great surprise!
laymonite-210 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
From descriptions what I expected was a comedy, something like 'The Hangover'.

In fact although this film is NOT a comedy I laughed out loud so many times, due to the brilliant black comedy of the situation - far more than any 'Hangover' style film.

What we have here is an actual plot/character driven film, brilliantly written, scripted and acted. It's gripping from the first to the last minute, when you'll be thinking 'what actually happened?'.

I'm so glad I chose to watch this outsider film from my list to watch.

DON'T read spoilers, just see it!
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Journey of idiots
tkell315 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I think there is a good idea in there, but the execution was so bad I couldn't get past it. Sure the survival genre makes for a powerful movie because it's based on a primitive survival instinct, but this was so bad it was comical.

Two Mutt and Jeff friends decide to travel through Death Valley with no water, in an old beat up truck, and apparently without telling anyone what they were doing. This is so stupid on so many levels if they were real people I would be happy to have them out of the gene pool. Mutt and Jeff have found the world is not the warm and cuddly place they thought it would be when they were in their late teens early twenties. Boo-hoo. Now ten or so years later, having taken divergent paths they have virtually nothing in common except for their history. We all probably have friends like this, people who if we passed on the street now we would go out of our way to avoid, and the story has been done twenty times before so they had to come up with a twist.

The whole movie is a series of stupid actions that wind up digging our duo a deeper and deeper hole. Rather than go through them all I will just highlight the really stupid ones not previously mentioned:

1. Drinking windshield wiper fluid because "it has water in it." 2. Not being able to talk coherently and acting like lunatics when an elderly lady stops to see what is wrong. Of course this plot device is necessary to keep them stranded and lead to them... 3. ...engaging in an extremely violent fight. Yes, clearly two life long friends are going to try to kill each other 4. Not being able to tell someone is still alive i.e. breathing and deciding to bury him in the desert. Of course this was another necessary plot device so.. 5. ..they could decide to sleep in the grave he dug instead of the truck and miss a patrol vehicle that would have saved them yet again.

After three days in 115 degree heat with no water I was just hoping they would die and the stupid movie would end. They do try and throw a twist in at the end where they manage to get to a place with cell coverage, but that turns out to be a delusion (how clever, that's never been done before to try and save a bad movie) and they are really dead out in the desert.
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Overrated, so he married a secretary
the_real_smile17 August 2014
What do "Buried", "Phone Booth", "Panic Room", "Misery", "The Mist", etc. etc. etc. have in common? Well, they are all one-room set movies, and they are all very entertaining. Scenic Route is also a one-room set movie. What not in common with the letter movies? That "Scenic route" is not entertaining, it's tedious and not worth the watch, it is nothing more then 82 minutes brambling about the same thing.

Reading the first 10 reviews I was quite excited to see this movie, but wow, a 82 minutes discussion about Michell married a secretary and how wrong Carter thinks that is, is just unbearable to watch. Fantastic desert scenes? Perhaps for those that have never visited a desert themselves, not only the movie was an el-cheap o production, the desert also. The only good thing about this movie was that it was not longer then 82 minutes.
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Darwinian selection at its best: two clods value bickering more than retaining life.
suite928 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens with Mitchell and Carter beating the nonsense out of each other. Mitchell prevails, and Carter looks either knocked out or possibly dead.

We jump back in time, and I'm quite ready to stop watching, given what I know will happen. So, in the real opening of the film, Mitchell is sleeping, and Carter is driving an old truck through Death Valley, California. The truck is old, and it breaks down; unfortunately, this turns out to be by design. At least they are not sweating initially. Mitchell has a broken foot and uses crutches. Neither of them has a cell phone signal. It's not that cool: one hundred and fifteen degrees.

They are in the middle of nowhere, sixty miles from the last town, one hundred miles to the next. Mitchell has a wife and child, but still thinks about another woman named Karen. Carter met Karen lately, and she wanted to talk about Mitchell. Mitchell is tall and athletic; Carter is middle height and heavy. From their consternation with each other, I do not see why they are ever doing anything together for a single moment.

There is a lot of talk which uncovers issues. These issues make the two characters angry at each other, and explains the violence shown in the opening sequence. One of the issues is that Carter sabotages every possibility of their getting rescued. This is mortally stupid. How can anyone care about such a character who betrays his friend to the point of death? How can anyone care about the friend who allows the betrayal?

The pile of incidences of bonehead stupidity mount. Carter talks Mitchell into getting a Mohawk haircut in the dark using a hand tool. They drink windshield wiper fluid because it's wet; later they are puking while possible help drives by. The next day, an elderly lady stops to see how they are doing, but drives away after seeing Mitchell's Mohawk with accompanying long cuts and blood stains. Carter gives him hell for scaring her away. A day or so later, they miss a tow truck that stopped next to the truck to render assistance.

If this is your cup of tea, be sure to watch the entire film. The pile continues to grow.


Cinematography: 2/10 The scenery is ugly, whereas Death Valley showed me a number of lovely sights in the short time I spent there. Looks like ugly by choice.

Sound: 8/10 Not bad.

Acting: 4/10 Josh Duhamel was OK, but not great. Dan Fogler was totally useless. I had never heard of him before; now he's on my deal-breaker list.

Screenplay: 0/10 Why would anyone care about either character in this two man film? They are painted as traitor and fool with nothing interesting about either of them.
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Gritty Stuff- This movie had me on the edge of my seat
serenafitchard11 March 2013
I got the chance to see Scenic Route at a recent viewing at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas. I always picture Josh Duhamel as the tall pretty boy from the TV show Las Vegas. His performance in Scenic Route was gritty and raw and I couldn't look away. This is not your typical "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" Josh Duhamel. The movie follows the two main actors as they struggle to survive while stranded on a desolate stretch of road in Death Valley. The movie was difficult to watch (in a good way) as the two friends start to break each other down.

I enjoyed the acting of both Duhamel and Fogler. The movie also had some pretty neat sound effects. The howling of the wind in the desert at night was almost unbearable (and awesome at the same time). If you get a chance to see this movie, I definitely recommend you do.
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When friendship breeds contempt
StevePulaski14 June 2013
The brothers Goetz - Kevin and Michael - have made one of the most enthralling, brutal, and deeply haunting one-setting pictures I've ever seen. Scenic Route is a terrifying picture, part road movie, part character drama, and part pot-boiling thriller, as it depicts two longtime friends who've keenly drifted apart further drift apart after their truck breaks down in the middle of the desert. Armed with hardly any food, water, or means of survival, they become increasingly furious at each other for dealing with each others' current life positions as a product to critique to make up for their own personal failures. The kind of film where, once you're done watching it, you want to silently, quietly walk and thoroughly contemplate everything you've seen. Don't be alarmed if you haven't had an experience like that - it's unfathomably rare.

The friends are Mitchell and Carter, played brilliantly by Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler, who both seem to be going through a more ambitious phase in their careers. Mitchell is a successful, yet unfulfilled office-worker with a second wife and kid, living a content life that pays the bills but lacks the charm and happiness he got from being an aspiring musician. Carter chose to follow his dreams with being a writer/novelist, which has left him broke and homeless in his early-thirties. He tells Mitchell that his new wife and child are nothing but things he gave himself because of his feelings of emptiness. He tells Carter that at least he's not a shallow, broke loser with no direction or guidance in life. These scenes are heartbreaking, even if we never saw Mitchell and Carter when they were the best of friends.

Not doubt the heat and the current situation breed a lot into the anger of the two men, however some of it seems to be authentic and true emotion. Time passes, and then more time passes, and the men try desperately to outlast the mercilessly hot days, the brutally cold nights, and the feelings of exhaustion, starvation, and dehydration while waiting on a stranded road, hoping in vein a car comes gracious enough to pick them up.

All I can say is the desert-land has scarcely been more haunting, lethal, and beautiful than it is in Scenic Route. It instantly reminded me of the photography and beauty Gus Van Sant's underrated Gerry had and the premise it occupied too. The film was about two men named Gerry who were stranded out in the desert, unable to find their car, and desperately walked for miles around the desert, sometimes talking, sometimes not, in hopes to find their car. It was a slow but sad film that was more concerned with tone and impressionistic routes. Scenic Route, on the other hand, focuses more on dialog and events all on a small-scale. Duhamel and Fogler give career-making performances as their sanity is tested and their mental capacity is strained in the remorseless desert. After partaking in the Nicholas Sparks' movie adaptation of Safe Haven, how will girls react to Duhamel adopting a Travis Bickle-esque Mohawk in this film? My guess is they won't care, for they probably won't even bother to see this or even hear about it. By the way, who is Travis Bickle? Ultimately, the film is a bold character study on two characters that are lost in translation long before the car even breaks down. Both of them are unhappy in their current life positions, but neither of them will admit it. Their anger isn't solving anything, or is it providing them a catalyst in their current position? Their venting could be equal parts healthy and therapeutic in the face of a dire problem. But when their bickering evolves into cold violence, then it becomes less therapeutic and more catastrophic to their mind and body.

The descent into madness and violence is wonderfully portrayed here, mainly because it shows the cause-and-effect verbal blows one right after another. Writer Kyle Killen (who also penned Jodie Foster's The Beaver) takes his time to give these characters humanity and depth before diving into the violence and the brutality. This makes the impending explosion that much more powerful and gripping. Needless to say, the fight they have is one of the most intense, depressing, and rigid battles between two friends I've seen lately.

But the key to the film's success as a whole is its humanity, its lengthy dialog-exchanges, and finally, the suspense of the characters awaiting rescue or searching for it on their own. In only eighty minutes, Scenic Route delivers what many two-hour long films can't accomplish, and it hits the ground running with its premise, wasting no time, talent, or tribulation in the face in its excursion. I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't see a film as raw or as potent as this one for the rest of the year.

Starring: Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler. Directed by: Kevin Goetz and Michael Goetz.
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Loved it!!
maleficarus23 September 2013
I just finished watching this movie and I also just finished reading the 3 pages of reviews here on IMDb. It is rare to read only one (1) negative bad review while the rest gave it positive here on IMDb. having said that, this leads me to the obvious question why is there only an average rating of 6 only? I gave this movie an 8 out of a possible 10. The ending was simply brilliant! The acting was top notch. Do you guys realize how hard it is in movies these days to fool the viewer? Most people can see the ending in the first 20 minutes...

Well, this movie will fool you. It fooled both me and my girlfriend. It was great, we both looked at each other and came up with the same thing at the same time, Priceless!! To the one single person that so far gave this movie a bad review, maybe you are just upset you got fooled by a movie?
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Guys were too womanish
flemur1301329 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was forced and unrealistic, mainly because the two guys were like two women, an impression created at the start when one fakes a broken engine so they can "talk": manipulative and weak. Then they talked about womanly subjects - relationships, etc. - that guys almost never talk about. And they talked too much.

They were both were pretty stupid, too, leaving the truck with the hood down and no note on the window, so passers-by just passed by; and one couldn't tell if the other was dead or alive? He didn't know how to take a pulse, or what? Jeez. The ending, with the guy staring at the ceiling and wondering if their little adventure really happened was pointless and overly melodramatic.
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Low budget waste of time.
cjed-708-94511529 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After viewing, I wish I had the time back that I used to watch this extremely low budget movie with hardly no entertainment value at all. There were times during the movie I almost quit watching and should have... Had to watch what could be considered the only good part of the movie twice because of the way it was presented. This turned out to be a great decision for whoever decided to edit it this way because that scene was the only thing that intrigued me enough to keep watching. The ending, well, was as bad as the rest of the movie. Directors, Producers or whoever make the decision on how the film ends should pick an ending, film it, and Live with it. This one was so wide open, I hope it's not for a sequel, Don't Bother.
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Strangely addictive
mattmatza11 March 2013
I was fortunate to get a ticket to the premiere at SXSW and was blown away by the script's ability to continually pull the audience into the depths of Mitchell and Carter's relationship. Duhamel continues to establish himself as a Hollywood star deserving of roles beyond the typical good looking lead in a romantic comedy, and Fogler is a talent worth keeping an eye on. The dialogue heavy script was a refreshing change of pace and the questions it raises require introspection about the evolution of one's own relationships. The desert backdrop was both eerie and necessary to provide the juxtaposition of between the comfort of old relationships and nature's ability to morph them. Excellent.
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Surprisingly cool start to SXSW
greytistofalltyme11 March 2013
Saw Scenic Route at SXSW in Austin, which is cool in itself of course. I think a lot of people are going to really enjoy this film. Say what you want about the story in general (which I give a B grade to), but I will gladly pay $12 (or whatever it costs to go the movies nowadays) to get hit with this type of feeling, emotion, whatever you want to call it for an hour and a half. Sure I like the good comedy, action, drama, etc that is turned out, but I cant recall being as engaged as I was with Duhamel and Fogler's outing. You know its a good one when you lay down in bed that night thinking of how a movie relates to your own life. I love the "what-if's" kind of movies and this does a good one. The ending I am still up in the air about. And poor Duhamel, he was really, really good in this, but the production guys just still couldn't cast him without him dropping some panties in the flick.
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toby-brace21 September 2013
I had no expectations of this movie and began to think halfway in that I knew how it was going to turn out. Boy was I wrong. Past that point it became impossible not to continue to the end. I needed to know what would happen. I could never have predicted it. It left me feeling stunned. A really great piece of film making. The acting is also superb Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler carry the whole movie on the back of their conversation and it never drags. You'll find that you can empathize and identify with much of what is said I fear. The photography of the bleak desert is also very beautiful and you really do get a spooky feeling of what it would be like to be stuck out there. But it's the ending that puts the star on top of it all. What a stroke of genius. Gives me chills thinking about it. Must see. Kevin Goetz, Michael Goetz and Kyle Killen. Three names to watch.
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bob-rutzel-16 December 2013
Mitchell (Josh Duhmel) and Carter (Dan Fogler) are life-long friends who take a "scenic route" through a desert in a old pick-up. Carter chose the road so he and Mitchell can catch up on things because they haven't talked much since Mitchell got married. Then the pick-up dies and things get hostile between them. And, to make matters worse they seem to be the only ones on this road. Carter does mention, later on, that the road may have been closed, but he wasn't too sure about that.

This isn't for everyone. There is no CGI, explosions, shootings or a large cast. Just the two of them arguing, for the most part, but they pull it off. You are not bored. You are riveted to your seat to see how this plays out and , of course, you hope for the best. The writing. pacing and the acting performances hold you because you don't know what will come next from either one.

They argue about life decisions that each has against the other because they know each other so well since they were kids. Each continues to argue and expound on what the other should have done in the first place. Then they come to blows. Hey, it was just a matter of time.

And, yes, there is the possibility that one or both may die on that lonely road. They have nothing to eat or drink and there are no cell phone bars. It just doesn't look good.

All in all, Josh Duhmel and Dan Fogler do outstanding and believable jobs. Kudos. Oscars? Hmmm……………

Again, this is not for everyone, and there is a surprise ending. (7/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: Yes, briefly in flashbacks. Language: Yes, not too much though.
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a real pleasure to watch
quitwhileyouareahead11 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
What an interesting movie. I agree with the good reviews and understand the bad ones. It was well acted, certainly realistic in dialogue and highly unpredictable. Unpredictable in that it doesn't wrap things up neatly so the ending is up to you to interpret. Sure, the guys do dumb things but under the circumstances what would you really do? Sitting in our comfortable chairs, how can we truly understand what the physical punishment, they endure, would do to our decision making? Also, the relationship issues will ring true to most viewers.

Bottom line, I enjoyed it throughout and didn't waste my time second guessing what they do. I wanted them to survive and was moved by the way it developed whether it was real or a dream.
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