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Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: There's a murky tenuous balance between reality and fiction; particularly when it involves a beautiful young woman, murder, a powerful politico, a missing fortune and suicide. A passionate filmmaker, creating a film based upon a true crime, casts an unknown mysterious young woman bearing a disturbing resemblance to the femme fatale in the story. He finds himself unsuspectingly drawn into a complex web of haunting intrigue, obsessed with the woman, the crime, her possibly notorious past and the disturbing complexity between art and truth. From the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to Verona, Rome and London, new truths are revealed and clues to other crimes and passions, darker and even more complex are uncovered. (Monterey Media Inc.)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Thomas
    Jun 16, 2011
    100
    In its masterful use of evocative imagery and music, Road to Nowhere is flawless.
  2. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    Jun 9, 2011
    83
    The tone and subject at times recall David Lynch's "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Dr.," but the approach is Hellman's own.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 23, 2011
    70
    A beautifully made, glorious mess.
  4. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 10, 2011
    60
    The biggest flaw is the casting: only Shannyn Sossamon delivers a performance of even modest depth.
  5. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 3, 2011
    50
    Each scene works within itself on its own terms. But there is no whole here. I've rarely seen a narrative film that seemed so reluctant to flow. Nor perhaps one with a more accurate title.
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 10, 2011
    50
    While there are some giggles in the film-within-the-film (also called "Road to Nowhere"), the artsy-fartsy direction and flat-as-a-pancake acting (including a cameo by Variety columnist Peter Bart as himself) invites invidious comparisons to "Mulholland Drive."
  7. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jun 6, 2011
    30
    Road to Nowhere is a dead end. Most of the performances are carved from balsa wood. [13 & 20 June 2011, p. 129]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Nov 23, 2011
    10
    Monte Hellman proves with Road to Nowhere that he is the Shaolin master
    of directing. His Kung Fu is indeed strong and apparently getting

    stronger every day. When Road to Nowhere was awarded the Special Golden
    Lion at the Venice Film Festival, jury president Quentin Tarantino
    introduced Hellman as "both a great cinematic artist and a minimalist
    poet." This verbal sketch captures his likeness brilliantly in my
    opinion, for Hellman is truly the master of "the art of fighting
    without fighting." This refers to his self-proclaimed aesthetic that
    "directing should be invisible - don't direct - don't act" and "the
    director's job, after casting which is like 99% of the job, is to
    ferociously eliminate anything that doesn't advance the story or that
    takes the audience out of the story". This is the Tao of Monte Hellman
    and why he remains Hollywood's Invisible Man in spite of his great
    talent. True to form, Road to Nowhere is not a film that draws
    attention to itself. It is not showy or pretentious. The acting is so
    natural, realistic, and effortless that were it not for the spectacular
    HD cinematography one might think he was watching a documentary. All
    considered, though unfortunate, it is understandable that audiences
    might choose to overlook this amazing film. But I sincerely hope they
    do not. Because the viewing of it just might change the way they look
    at cinema forever. Sincerely,

    Captain Plasma
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