Back Roads (2018) Poster

(2018)

User Reviews

Review this title
39 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
A tense study in repressed emotion
palovyper16 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This Shakespearian-like social realism-tragedy is very well made. It would be strange to call it an entertaining film but it is engaging and superbly acted. Alex Pettyfer shows great depth as an actor here; and Juliette Lewis is exceptional as well. Her presence on screen leaves one with a lingering feeling of unease and sympathy. Thematically this piece of work is tough and hard to swallow at times (issues if child abuse, repressed anger and sexual urges, as well as poverty) but it is always watchable. Recommended.
18 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
This movie is awsome
f-rabit13 December 2018
I loved this movie in all it's aspects. The acting is very good, especially the main actor, who is superb showing the right emotions (or lack of them) after his life is shaken by traumatic incidents. The plot is very well writen and the timing and pace describs the right predict interest line. The story is always actual as it shows a hard and very hidden reality. And yes, there is some atrocity, cause the reality sometimes (more than we wanted) is also atrocious! I didn't find it slow. But if you think that it is, what's that suppose to mean? Aren't "Paris Texas", "2001 Space Odyssey"; "Fargo"; "There will be blood"; or even "The Godfather" awesome slow paced movies? Also I love Julliet Lewis. So good to watch her again in a movie. Love it.
17 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
One of the best movies I've seen this year
liamscheath12 March 2019
Great movie. Not sure why people are suggesting its not. Heart wrenching, difficult to watch at times. Clearly didn't have the pressures of a big studio dictating the plot.

Give it a go and you won't be disappointed.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
It had me until the end...
the_nephilim7129 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I thought the acting was phenomenal and the story was interesting yet, heartbreaking. Pettyfer made a great director for this, especially since it was his first time. The biggest problem I had with the movie was the ending. I kept hoping things would work out for Harley and that the police couldn't possibly believe he actually killed his lover. I was sorely disappointed with the ending because Harley ends up in prison and his baby sister is stuck living with their uncle and two psychotic killer sisters. Even if Harley did feel guilty about the incest, he wouldn't have let Jody live with those other two psycho sisters. I don't believe for a moment that he would take the blame for the murder his sister commited after he criticized his mother for doing the same thing. That's just not logical.
15 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Can't Turn Away
herrbrugger11 March 2019
Back Roads is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. It's the car accident on the side of the freeway at which you can't help but stare. Bad family situations and dysfunction grow progressively worse as more and more buried facts and emotions are revealed. So sad, it is on the scale of a Greek tragedy, except our hero is not to at all blame, making this a true drama/melodrama. Direction and acting are superb. This is not your typical action/horror/superhero bubble gum fare. This is for intelligent and sensitive adults with patience and appreciation for human suffering. One could argue it is heavy handed, with all the layers upon layers of misfortune and dysfunction, yet that clearly is the intent of the story. Our hero is so admirable and relatable, charged with the responsibility of raising, protecting, and otherwise caring for his three younger sisters, but in many ways, he is still a child himself, and a scarred one at that. Living in this impossibly chaotic and crazy situation on a day to day basis makes a predictable, restrained life in an asylum or penitentiary seem to be a step up. Now I want to read the novel.
8 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Good drama
deloudelouvain6 January 2019
I see some reviewers thought this movie was too slow but to me it was made at the right pace as this is a story that is slowly evolving, from a dramatic beginning to a disturbing climax. The acting was faultless with all the actors and actresses giving a special touch to their characters. The main character Harley Altmyer is played by Alex Pettyfer and he definitely makes this movie worth watching. A traumatized young adult with huge responsabilities discovers the other gender for the first time and that while coping with the things that are haunting him from the past and present. For a drama it was better than I expected.
9 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Seriously its A Fantastic Drama
mail-subinsmail26 December 2018
Don't know why some users states its a bad movie., May be because of some insest contents? Then they are very wrong., Childhood abuse led some kids to a unusual state of mind which turns their life upside down. Each of the character is brilliant, Acting is so real.. Nothing is wrong, Direction is amazing, Alex pettyfer and nicola peltz steal the whole show, Its a Good watch., You may get some "hangover" even after watching this,..
10 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Too much bad stuff for one family
phd_travel9 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
There is just too much awfulness heaped on these white trash characters. Murder incest abuse you name it this family has had it. What a melodrama. Almost an insult to white trash.

Alex Pettyfer plays an older brother looking after his 3 sisters after his mom goes to prison for shooting his abusive dad. He has to do a lot of crying. Nicola Peltz plays the wild sister.

The ending makes no sense. If the girl is a homicidal maniac she should be sent to an institution instead of her mother and brother covering for her.
11 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Hoping for much more
djsaccany20 May 2019
Very disappointing, tough lead role and even tougher directorial debut, sadly he fell short on both.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Absolutely Fantastic
SirTalyn7 March 2019
Not much more I can say. This movie hits all the right notes for a dysfunctional family drama. Stellar script, acting, and just the right amount of tittilation to keep it it thoroughly engaging.
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Takes a while
mitaabhi11 January 2019
It's a super slow burn. Most people won't get it. Those who do will love it
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Sleeper - Sleeper - Excellent Movie
fredfinklemeyer26 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
02/25/2019 Dark, foreboding, desperation all words that describe the feeling throughout this movie of hardship. The foundation is a family murder, a mother incarcerated and hidden family incest, all intertwined. The movie is the unfolding of all that is hidden. An excellent movie. Bon Appetit
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Excellent movie
torroutedipz25 March 2019
I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I started this movie, but it didn't disappoint. Between rentals and streaming, I watch a movie every night, so with such a prolific quantity many are either sub-par or very similar to each other. This was a nice surprise. The synopsis sounded like a dark thriller and I figured it would be decent, but it was excellent. It was definitely dark, and extremely messed up. There were a couple of twists, that ended up being even more dark and twisted than I thought they'd be. I won't go into detail about the plot other than to say dark and twisted. I know I've used those adjectives more than once, but that pretty much sums it up.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
stick with this gem
natcalgary22 February 2019
The first half of the movie I couldn't figure oiut if the lead actor was just not fitting the role or what... but in the 2nd half when you realize what the family went through it becomes apparent that his acting along with most of the people in this movie did a magnificient job.

sad

7.2
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Disturbing
mbazhome2 March 2019
It's classified as a thriller but it's more like dark and disturbing. Family secrets, child abuse, no money, bad parents, hopeless existence. And things got worse as the story moved along. Mom managed to escape, life in prison is a day at the beach compared to what's going on back home. What a sad life for all involved. I give this an 8.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
We're really not that different
nogodnomasters18 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
1993 Bonnie Altmyer (Juliette Lewis) goes to prison to care for the murder of her abusive husband. Harley (Alex Pettyfer) not the best bag boy at Robinson's Grocery, is tasked to care for his three sisters. He is stressed and starts an affair with a married woman (Jennifer Morrison). Harley is a dowdy sad sack. He can afford beer, but not a comb.

The film is a slow-moving drama, but it keeps you engaged. If you didn't know what the topic of the film was about, it sneaks up on you with a redundant twist ending that is a bit poetic.

Guide: f-word. sex. No nudity.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Dreadful
arfdawg-117 December 2018
Slow, boring movie Juliette Lewis cannot act. Never could. She looks like she's 55 in this film. Time to go away. I really feel that I wasted my time watching this movie. Don't make the same mistake.
17 out of 68 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Slowwwwww......
ealesnj10 December 2018
Just watched in the Gongalu Chutiya Film festival in Warakonda, Japan. The movie is very bad in all aspects.. story is atrocious, acting is terrible, Background music is laughable and the direction is amateurish ....

AVOID THIS MOVIE. IT IS A BAD MOVIE
16 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
A Cringefest
IdaBarracuda3 February 2019
A close relative of The Room (2003). The plot made very little sense, the dialogue was awkward and nonsensical at times, the reactions the characters portrayed was sometimes so cringey I think I once squeezed out a tear out of will shame. The directing was amateurish, editing almost random and the score a little odd. To top it all, it's long as the year of famine.

Alex Pettyfier was okay as the anguished, stone-faced man and he is handsome as hell. I don't understand how they managed to lure in Juliette Lewis and Robert Patrick. I hope this gets quietly buried into the oblivion of fundamentally awful movies whilst not ruining anybody's career.
9 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
A painfully slow death...
aretel22 May 2019
I had high hopes for this film, however, within the first five minutes I knew it was going to be an arduous experience. There is a term in the film industry call "a slow burn", which describes a film as slow moving, but with a plot that is palatable and engaging. This film did not have the spark big enough to create a "slow burn" that was needed. Simply said, this film was a dud. This was Alex Pettyfer's first attempt at directing and I know personally, but indirectly, how challenging this can be. Someone should have warned Alex that directing and starring in your first film, unless you are experienced in both capacities, is a recipe for failure and watching this film proves my point. So why did this film fail? The film's very slow pace and disjointed plot did not provide the viewer with a coherent sense of engagement. The film's slow pace made it difficult to understand the basic premise of the plot, as it was not clear how each scene was significantly related to the next. Sex scenes were "parachuted" into the film without any context or significance, adding to the disjointedness of this film. However, more disturbing to me was that it wasn't clear if all the sex scenes were consensual, which in the "me too movement" doesn't exactly convey the right message. If this film was expected to be cerebral and thought provoking, then it failed miserably. In fairness to Alex Pettyfer, the film's failings had nothing to do with his acting performance, which was admirable, strong and convincing, and he was rightly cast for the part. In general, the whole cast gave very good performances, which leads me to believe that either the writing or the directing was this film's Achilles heel. Disclaimer: I only managed to make it through 49 minutes of this film, so my review is based on the first 49 minutes. If you do decide to watch this film and make it past the 49 minute mark, then kudos to you for having more patience and stamina than I did.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Decent flick with director miscasting himself while Juliette Lewis shines.
msghall8 August 2019
Gritty but enjoyable, this tale of a conflicted son has layers of emotion and depth but is hampered by the rather bland portrayal of its lead character by director Alex Pettyfer. He really is a much better director than actor and that is a shame because his role requires nuance and depth that as an actor, he can't provide. However, Juliette Lewis is absolutely stunning in her role, a scene in the jail meeting area should've yielded her an Oscar. Her performance is worth the price of admission alone.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
Tense and heartbreaking
tblackfacebook7 June 2019
Alex Pettyfer is amazing. While his acting is good and solid throughout the movie I only realized he was the director when the end credits started. I felt he did a wonderful job keeping the mood and performances tight. I was expecting to be disappointed by this title, so I was very pleased to be completely engaged with the story to the very end. All of the characters were well realized and felt like actual people. It is an interesting take on grief and stress and the toll it takes on people. The way that people rationalize their lives and the horrible actions that shape them was fascinating. I would definitely recommend this movie for people interested in seeing an inside view of someone who is not coping with life and post traumatic stress at all.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
A tense study in repressed emotion
mohit_sinsniwal24 May 2019
I loved this movie in all it's aspects. The acting is very good, especially the main actor, who is superb showing the right emotions (or lack of them) after his life is shaken by traumatic incidents. The plot is very well writen and the timing and pace describs the right predict interest line. The story is always actual as it shows a hard and very hidden reality. And yes, there is some atrocity, cause the reality sometimes (more than we wanted) is also atrocious! I didn't find it slow. But if you think that it is, what's that suppose to mean? Aren't "Paris Texas", "2001 Space Odyssey"; "Fargo"; "There will be blood"; or even "The Godfather" awesome slow paced movies? Also I love Julliet Lewis. So good to watch her again in a movie. Love it.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Bad movie, what a pity for 2 lost hours!
nagoja119 April 2019
The movie is very bad, very boring and does not have any point of quality film. Bad performance, C story production, a shame to spend money to film something so bad. A waste of time and I do not recommend it to anyone!
3 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
that leads to a psychodrama trailer park
arcanjl5 March 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This movies was dark and disturbing. I couldn't tell if the kid couldn't act, or if it was perfect for the roll - so I went with the latter. This was sex in this movie, so didn't watch it on the plane :). The feeling I got, was that they wrote this to be as F'd up as possible, but in the end I realized it was a movie to emphasize (maybe exaggerate some) abuse to make a point. Surprisingly to me, I walked away from it, really liking it.
2 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed