On the Road

Watch On the Road

"The best teacher is experience."
  • R
  • 2012
  • 2 hr 4 min
  • 6.0  (43,051)
  • 56

On the Road is a 2012 film directed by Walter Salles based on the novel of the same name by Jack Kerouac. The movie follows Sal Paradise, a young writer played by Sam Riley, who is drawn into the wild and daring life of his friend and hero, Dean Moriarty, portrayed by Garrett Hedlund. The two embark on a road trip across America, searching for meaning, purpose, and adventure.

The film is set in the late 1940s and early 1950s and captures the spirit of the Beat Generation, a group of writers and artists who challenged conventional society and embraced individualism, spontaneity, and experimentation. On their journey, Sal and Dean meet a variety of characters, including Carlo Marx (Tom Sturridge), a poet based on Kerouac's friend Allen Ginsberg, and Marylou (Kristen Stewart), Dean's free-spirited wife.

The movie is shot in a documentary style that captures the energy, intensity, and unpredictability of the characters and their travels. The camera follows the characters closely, often in close-ups, conveying their emotions and reactions to each other and the world around them. The film also features stunning landscapes and natural scenery, capturing the beauty and majesty of America's highways, mountains, and deserts.

One of the central themes of the film is the tension between freedom and responsibility. Sal and Dean are constantly pushing the boundaries of social norms, seeking new experiences and connections, but their pursuit of hedonism and instant gratification often leaves them feeling lost and unfulfilled. Sal struggles to find his own voice as a writer, torn between the desire to express himself authentically and the fear of being rejected or misunderstood.

On the Road also explores the complexities of love and relationships. Marylou initially joins Sal and Dean on their journey, but her volatile and unpredictable behavior, coupled with Dean's infidelity, threatens to tear the group apart. Sal becomes involved with Terry (Alice Braga), a Mexican girl who is dealing with her own challenges and conflicts. Through these relationships, the film delves into the joys and sorrows of intimacy, passion, and companionship.

The performances of the three leads are outstanding, with Sam Riley bringing depth and sensitivity to the conflicted and introspective Sal, Garrett Hedlund embodying Dean's charisma, charm, and vulnerability, and Kristen Stewart shedding her Twilight fame to give a nuanced and raw performance as Marylou. The chemistry between the actors is palpable, and their interactions feel authentic and genuine.

The film's soundtrack is also a standout feature, featuring a mix of jazz, blues, rock, and folk music that captures the eclectic and adventurous spirit of the Beat Generation. The movie includes songs from iconic artists like Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, and Tom Waits as well as original compositions by Gustavo Santaolalla.

Overall, On the Road is a captivating and powerful film that explores the complexities of youth, identity, freedom, and creativity. It is a testament to the enduring influence and legacy of Jack Kerouac's groundbreaking novel and the Beat Generation as a whole.

On the Road is a 2012 adventure movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 56.

On the Road
Where to Watch On the Road
On the Road is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent On the Road for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 4 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.0  (43,051)
  • Metascore