Red Road

Critics Consensus

Red Road director Andrea Arnold skillfully parses out just enough plot details at a time to keep the audience engrossed in this seductive thriller.



Total Count: 88


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,258
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Movie Info

A woman paid to watch others begins stalking one of the men she's been trailing in this thriller from Scotland. Jackie (Kate Dickie) is a woman who has buried herself in her work with a security company since the death of her husband and child. Jackie's work involves monitoring a crime-ridden corner of North Glasgow with a bank of closed circuit television cameras; after her shift is over, she either goes home or has an occasional assignation with a friend from work who isn't happy with his wife. While watching the comings and goings in a run down apartment block, Jackie spies Clyde (Tony Curran), a handsome former jailbird who shares a shabby flat with his buddy Stevie (Martin Compston) and April (Natalie Press), Stevie's girlfriend. Jackie becomes fascinated with Clyde, and after carefully following his routines through her cameras she meets him face to face at a local bar, and soon lures him into a relationship. However, in time Clyde discovers neither love nor lust is the motivating factor behind Jackie's actions. The first feature film from award-winning director Andrea Arnold, Red Road received its world premier at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Red Road

All Critics (88) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (77) | Rotten (11)

  • Unfortunately, its superb performances and assured camerawork are overwhelmed by dubious psychology and a clichéd climax.

    Oct 26, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Like the Peeping Tom-paranoia of similar recent films Disturbia and Civic Duty, this finely crafted debut feature by Scottish writer/director Andrea Arnold packs a wallop.

    Jun 29, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Though it's paced as a thriller, the film ultimately emerges as a haunting exploration of how grief can weigh on us, and the depths to which it can drive us.

    Jun 22, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A must for movie lovers who want to see how so much drama, mystery and emotion can be created from so little.

    Jun 16, 2007 | Rating: A-
  • For a voyeuristic medium, this tale of a voyeur does a poor job of prying into its own protagonist's life.

    Jun 1, 2007 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • With assured performers, handheld cameras and natural lighting -- the ABCs of the Dogme method -- [Andrea] Arnold has given this ambitious undertaking a provocative start.

    May 25, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Red Road

  • May 29, 2015
    A closed-circuit city monitor spots a man she has an undefined connection with from her past - and that's all we are explicitly told for over an hour as she follows him first by remote camera, and later shadowing him in person. Who is he and why is she obsessed with following him? That's what's supposed to keep us afloat through long stretches of silence and extreme closeups, a tall order for any movie to be really effective, and Red Road eventually sags under its own protraction. Made big waves at 2007 Cannes by claiming the top Jury Prize, I preferred the director's Academy Award-winning live action 2003 short film called Wasp included on the DVD. Andrea Arnold has got an observant eye for working-class lifestyles and the fraying urban societal fabric but her screenplays could use tightening.
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2012
    A very good movie about a women seeking revenge for the death of her husband when she see's the man responsible for his death and her daughters death back on the streets. A thriller and drama with many twist and turns. 4 stars 7-3-12
    Bruce B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 07, 2012
    Great movie in spite of the fact the movie waits until the very near end to reveal everything, but this reveal helps tie everything together in a satisfying manner and it makes you think at the same time. The movie, part of the Advanced Party movement (like the Dogme 95) helps give the movie an added touch of realism and unsentimentality. The movie never tries to justify the main character's actions and lets the viewer come up with their own interpretation of what happened. It's very rewarding to not be treated like a dumbass who can't figure shit out, so props to this movie for that. Overall, a really strong movie that pays off in spades if you stick with it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2010
    Deary. Bleak. Scottish. Three things that you wouldn't think could combine to form a good movie...and they don't! Surprising really. I mean, what's not entertaining or thought provoking about watching a suicidal scotch lass stoically pass through her ghost of a life. Watching others, like ants, go about their pointless lives in the living purgatory that is urban Glasgow. People live this every day and don't need a two hour reminder of this fact unless there's going to be some sort of outlet or catharsis involved. But Red Road does not have that. We never know the real Jackie. Jackie doesn't know the real anybody else, and the plot is arbitrary at best...leading nowhere particularly thrilling, and meant to do nothing but lengthen the film and provide more opportunity to show close-ups of Kate Dickie not acting.
    Brett W Super Reviewer

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