The Rover

2014

The Rover

Critics Consensus

Fueled by engaging performances from Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson, the tension-filled The Rover overcomes its narrative faults through sheer watchability.

66%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 167

51%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,652
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Movie Info

THE ROVER, David Michod's highly anticipated follow-up to ANIMAL KINGDOM, is set in a world 10 years following the collapse of society. The rule of the law has disintegrated and life is cheap. The film follows hardened loner Eric (Pearce) as he travels the desolate towns and roads of the outback. When a gang of thieves steals his car they leave behind a wounded Rey (Pattinson) in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that still matters to him. Michod also wrote the film based on a story he conceived with Joel Edgerton. (c) A24

Cast

Anthony Hayes
as Soldier 1
Susan Prior
as Dorothy Peeples
Chan Kien
as Karaoke 1
Tek Kong Lim
as Karaoke 2
Scott Perry
as Dying Soldier
Richard Green
as Storekeeper
Ben Armer
as Benny
Ethan Hanslow
as Hanging Gardens Boy
Samuel F. Lee
as Acrobat 2
Christina Ling
as Eathouse Woman
Joseph Wilton
as Eathouse Boy
Nash Edgerton
as Town Soldier
Daria Wilton
as Little Girl
Mark Duncan
as Soldier 2
Jacky Mayo
as Fuel Seller
Jan Palo
as Gordon
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News & Interviews for The Rover

Critic Reviews for The Rover

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (110) | Rotten (57)

  • Bleak, brutal, and ultimately pointless, the film stars Guy Pearce as a man whose car is stolen and who won't rest until he not only gets it back but also punishes, with extreme prejudice, the dirtbags who took it.

    Dec 3, 2014 | Rating: C- | Full Review…
  • [A] dour, inert vision of the future - a disappointing follow-up to Michod's cracking 2010 debut, Animal Kingdom.

    Aug 15, 2014 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Of Mice and Men at the end of the world -- that's the general turf of The Rover.

    Jul 7, 2014 | Full Review…

    Liz Braun

    Toronto Sun
    Top Critic
  • The deadpan irony of the final sequence feels like the punch line of a mournful but very thin joke.

    Jul 6, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Director David Michod's follow-up to his acclaimed debut, Animal Kingdom, is effective in an elemental way.

    Jun 20, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
  • Like many a late 21st century Western -- regardless of the land of its origins -- The Rover asks what happens on the downslope of Manifest Destiny? As hot, parched and heated as the atmosphere is, the answers are chilling.

    Jun 20, 2014

Audience Reviews for The Rover

  • Apr 30, 2018
    Rough and realistic near-post-apocalyptic thriller about a man trying to get his stolen truck back. What follows are a lot of gorgeous shots of the australian outback and a society that has gone to hell. Of course that can't end well for a lot of people. The final twist works but the film is overall too gloomy, slow and unpleasant to be actually enjoyable.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2015
    Pearce and Pattinson try hard, but this vehicle quickly runs out of gas and then they spend the next 100 minutes trying to push it.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2015
    "You should never stop thinking about a life you've taken. That's the price you pay for taking it" After the surprise success of his Australian family crime drama Animal Kingdom, David Michôd became a highly anticipated new director overnight. It opened to rave reviews with Quentin Tarantino himself reportedly ranking it his third favourite movie of 2010. The most familiar face onboard was Guy Pearce but it also introduced many cinema goers to the fresh and vibrant talents of Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn and Jacki Weaver. Now four years later, Michôd's back with a post-apocalyptic road movie working from a story he collaborated on with Edgerton and allows Pearce to add another solid role to his resumé. Ten years after an economic collapse, modern society has been brought to it's knees. Travelling through Australia is Eric (Guy Pearce) a former farmer with a violent past. When his car is stolen by a gang of thieves Eric goes in pursuit and will, seemingly, stop at nothing to get it back. When exploring the Australian outback in a dystopian setting one would be forgiven for thinking of George Miller's Mad Max but as that film had fantastical elements and caricature villains, Michôd's The Rover is an altogether different beast. It's no fantasy and any form of humour only comes in the blackest of dialogue. This is a near-future economic collapse that's so bleak that images of people crucified to telegraph poles is just accepted and dogs are kept in cages just to keep them alive. It's grim stuff and Michôd seems to wallow in it. He's also in no rush to reach his destination; the story is ambiguous, the pacing deliberate and some would even complain that it lacks any form of narrative drive. However, it's nihilism can be strangely captivating and it's so well shot by cinematographer Natasha Braier that's its hard not to find some beauty in it's stark landscapes. Throughout it's periodic lulls, it's held together by it's two excellent central performances. The always reliable Pearce is a snarling menace of a man who has adapted to survive in this environment at the cost of his own soul. And Pattinson. Yes! Twilight pin-up, Robert Pattinson, surprisingly, holds his own. I expected to be critical of him but he delivers revelatory work as a dim-witted tag-along complete with facial tics and nervous energy and I'm sure his work here will silence many of his critics. Where both their performances excel is actually in their eyes. They deliver the requisite empty and dead-eyed stare of men who have been reduced to nothing more than barbarism. That barbarism comes in sudden bursts of mindless violence that jolt you out of your seat and the gun shots, bullet wounds and deaths all have a palpable sense of realism. Despite the marvellous performances, striking appearance and visceral approach, though, the story lacks depth and if it did have a consistency beyond veiled existentialism then I must have missed it. Ultimately, there isn't really a story but it's the ending that will no doubt make or break a viewers experience. Either you'll feel convinced and that it has meaning in exploring the last vestige of hope from a desperate and broken man or you'll feel robbed and that the steak you thought you were savouring for an hour and 45 mins turns out to be just an old piece of leather. It's entirely up to you. Much like the the hair style of Pearce's character, it's patchy. But it's hard to take your eyes away. I can't honestly say why I liked it, I just know I did. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 02, 2014
    Yeah its unforgivingly bleak, but it's also highly derivative of much better post-apocalyptic films.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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