On the Road (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

On the Road2012

On the Road (2012)



Critic Consensus: Beautiful to look at but a bit too respectfully crafted, On the Road doesn't capture the energy and inspiration of Jack Kerouac's novel.

On the Road Photos

Movie Info

Based on Jack Kerouc's beloved American novel, On The Road is the story of Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer, and Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly instantly upon meeting. Determined not to get locked in to a constricted life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves. -- (C) IFC

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Garrett Hedlund
as Dean MOriarty/Neal Cassady
Sam Riley
as Sal Paradise/Jack Kerouac
Kristen Stewart
as Marylou/LuAnne Henderson
Kirsten Dunst
as Camille/Carolyn Cassady
Viggo Mortensen
as Old Bull Lee/William S. Burroughs
Amy Adams
as Jane/Joan Vollmer
Tom Sturridge
as Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsberg
Alice Braga
as Terry/Bea Franco
Marie-Ginette Guay
as Ma Paradise
Elisabeth Moss
as Galatéa Dunkle/Helen Hinkle
Danny Morgan
as Ed Dunkle/Al Hinkle
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News & Interviews for On the Road

Critic Reviews for On the Road

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (55)

More an extended Urban Outfitters advertisement than an essay on, or into, the exciting experiments of Beat Cinema.

July 31, 2018 | Full Review…

It's not a wreck of a movie; it's not a sleek race car either. But there's heat to be felt here.

March 22, 2013 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Walter Salles's warm but strangely staid adaptation of a piece of literature that was never meant to be tamed as cinema.

March 22, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

"On the Road" is something of a sprawling mess, but then so is the novel.

March 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Against all odds, a surprisingly effective movie.

March 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

In Salles, screenwriter Jose Rivera and company's effort to get the details right, they only get so far. And it's not quite far enough.

March 21, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for On the Road

Salles follows closely the heartbeat and structure of the iconic novel to capture the wild spirit of the Beat Generation, to which he is more than faithful, and so this is an exciting collection of road anecdotes revolving around the friendship between Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Sal Paradise goes on the road with Dean Moriarty and company. This film is less than the sum of its parts. In his effort to get the feeling of the Beat Generation, director Walter Salles has some quick edits and some free-wheeling music and some of the lines lifted from Kerouac's novel - all cinematic tricks that should work, but yet there's still something staid about this film. Perhaps it's the gravelly voiced Garrett Hedlund, who seems more focused on the image of Sal than the character, or perhaps it's the hackneyed shoe-horn of a script. Or perhaps Kerouac was never meant to be adapted. Overall, it was worth a shot, but this is one book-to-film adaptation that missed the mark.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The best teacher is experience. Good movie! The cinematography is outstanding, and it is a sight to behold, beautiful landscapes, a smooth, delicate filmic texture. Overall, the film is light on plot. It's mostly character study and exposition. However, that's On the Road. The film is based on a Kerouac stream-of-consciousness novel. It's about his hero worship with Dean and the ultimate disillusionment he feels with him. The conflict and resolution isn't your typical climax and ending of a film. Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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