In On the Road, Walter Salles’ reverent, almost painfully literal adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s birth-of-the-Beat-spirit novel, the characters keep getting high on one thing or another: drugs, twisty jazz dancing, unbridled sex, poetic streams of language. On a car ride to nowhere, Sal (Sam Riley), the Kerouac figure, gets naked with Dean (Garrett Hedlund), the life-force stud narcissist modeled after Neal Cassady, and Marylou (Kristen Stewart), Dean’s naively game ex-wife. The odd thing about the movie, which is set in the late ’40s and ’50s, is that even as we’re observing all of this mad sensual activity, it’s staged with a kind of museum-piece diligence. The best thing here is Hedlund’s wildly cracked acting as Dean, whose hunger for life — erotic, insatiable, destructive — kindles a fire that will light the way to a new era. Yet what Salles doesn’t conjure is the rapture of Kerouac’s bohemian romanticism. Wthout it, On the Road is a remote experience, all reason and no rhyme. B-
'ROAD' TRIP Jack Kerouac's novel finally comes to life in this star-studded film
Genre: Drama; Starring: Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, Garrett Hedlund, Viggo Mortensen, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Terrence Howard, Elisabeth Moss; Director: Walter Salles; Release Date Wide: 12/21/2012; Runtime (in minutes): 123; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: MK2
Posted January 9 2013 — 12:00 AM EST
- Aaron Tveit, Daniel Sunjata sum up 'Graceland' in 30 seconds
- 'Hannibal' boss previews series finale, considers cannibalism
- 'Suicide Squad' wrap photo is like a 'Where's Waldo?'
- Lionsgate planning movie based on 'Borderlands' video game
- What it was like inside Lady Gaga's blood-red 'American Horror Story' pool party
- Spoiler Room: Scoop on 'Blacklist,' 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'The Flash' and more
- How well do you know The Weeknd's lyrics?
- 'American Horror Story: Hotel' First Look: 11 EW exclusive photos
- 17 photos of people you forgot hung out at the VMAs
- 24 Movies With Great Opening Scenes
- 'Survivor: Cambodia—Second Chance' Cast Photos Revealed!
- Where is the cast of 'Can't Hardly Wait' now?
- Céline Dion, Aaron Paul, Kate & Hayden and More!