It's not a wreck of a movie; it's not a sleek race car either. But there's heat to be felt here.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2013-03-22
"On the Road" is something of a sprawling mess, but then so is the novel.
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2013-03-21
It took more than half a century, but Jack Kerouac's autobiographical cult novel of bohemian youth in postwar America has reached the screen in wonderful form.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2013-03-21
Against all odds, a surprisingly effective movie.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2013-03-21
Director Walter Salles' film is fairly faithful to the source material. It's not going to start a movement, though.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, 2013-03-21
Notwithstanding the characters' spiritual camaraderie, Salles' emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal's story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process.
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2013-03-21
While Kerouac's odyssey lacks conventional narrative or novelistic beats (though it comes with plenty of the other kind), the restlessness of the prose has its own cinematic allure.
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 2013-03-21
A pleasant but undistinguished adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel about himself and his Beat friends in the late forties.
David Denby, New Yorker, 2013-01-14
What's best about the film are its quick jumps from one depravity to the next as jazz rambles on the soundtrack: Youth is a candle to be burned at both ends, with (as it was once said about Bob Dylan) a blowtorch in the middle.
Kyle Smith, New York Post, 2012-12-21
Salles has made an admirable effort, which - while no roman candle - can be appreciated for its honest ambitions.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News, 2012-12-20
Walter Salles's warm but strangely staid adaptation of a piece of literature that was never meant to be tamed as cinema.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 2013-03-22
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.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-03-21
Although Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" has been praised as a milestone in American literature, this film version brings into question how much of a story it really offers.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2013-03-21
Sorry, On the Road just doesn't travel well.
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail, 2013-01-18
The film is a handsomely photographed and competently cast work that does justice to Kerouac's concept of "the purity of the road." Yet there's still something maddeningly lacking about it.
Peter Howell, Toronto Star, 2013-01-17
Well-intentioned and well-made but self-indulgent exercise tries really hard but falls short.
Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com, 2013-01-04
If there were an On the Road museum, this could be the elaborate diorama at its center.
Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine, 2012-12-24
It's neither the first nor the best road trip that Mr. Salles has brought to the screen.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2012-12-21
It's all rather exhausting, as opposed to exhilarating.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2012-12-21
There's no madness here, no burning, no desperate search for transcendence, no sense of characters on a heroic, continent-crossing quest. Just another sticky, stinky story of boys, being boys. And refusing to become men.
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger, 2012-12-21