On the Road | Chicago Reader

On the Road

Rated R 124 minutes 2012

Jack Kerouac's novel of postwar alienation has finally been wrestled onto the screen, with a raft of stars, an indie-lavish $25 million budget, and locations in New Orleans, Mexico, and Argentina. Director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) gives this his usual polish, and the two-hour running time allows him to suggest the meandering quality of the novel, which he's filled out with plenty of sex, drugs, and Beat Generation lore. Predictably, the movie explodes only when Kerouac's prose provides the voice-over. With Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss, and disappointing character turns by Tom Sturridge (whose Allen Ginsberg is no match for James Franco's in Howl) and Viggo Mortensen (who affects William S. Burroughs but can't top Kiefer Sutherland in Beat).

Film Credits

Director: Walter Salles

Producer: Nathanaƫl Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, Rebecca Yeldham, Roman Coppola, Francis Coppola, John Williams, Jerry Leider, Tessa Ross and Arpad Busson

Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, Marie-Ginette Guay, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen

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