What You Need To Know:
The plot to RESERVATION ROAD is a bit formulaic and may remind viewers of an earnest television drama, but the cast does a good job of making the story real and heightening the story’s emotional qualities. The movie extols repentance, forgiveness and taking responsibility for your actions. There is, however, plenty of strong foul language so MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.
(C, BB, LLL, V, S, N, A, M) Light Christian worldview with some strong moral elements; 16 obscenities (including some “f” words), 11 strong profanities and eight light profanities; some violence such as car apparently hits child, man forced into trunk and gun held on a person; married couple in bed kiss passionately briefly; upper male nudity; alcohol use; no smoking; and, hit and run driver hides his crime and kidnapping.
RESERVATION ROAD is an intense drama about a tragic accident and a fit of cowardice that impacts two families and their children.
One fall evening, Ethan Learner, his wife and their two children, Emma and Josh, are returning from a beach recital where Josh played the cello. They stop at a gas station to go into the mini mart, while Josh remains in the car. Josh decides, however, to free the lightning bugs his sister has collected in a jar.
While Josh is letting the bugs free on the side of the road, Dwight Arno and his 11-year-old son are returning from a Boston Red Sox game that ran into extra innings. Dwight suddenly has to swerve out of the way of an oncoming vehicle, but he accidentally hits and kills Josh while Josh’s father, Ethan, watches. Panicked, Dwight speeds away, telling his sleepy son that they just hit a log of some kind.
Grief-stricken, Ethan withdraws from his wife and daughter as he searches relentlessly for the hit and run driver who killed his son. The police have few clues to go on, however, which eventually leads to their complacency. Wracked by guilt, Dwight is surprised to find that Ethan wants to hire Dwight’s law firm to light a fire under the police and bring Dwight to justice. Dwight wants to confess, but he keeps delaying the inevitable, while Ethan’s rage builds to a boiling point.
RESERVATION ROAD stars Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly, and Mira Sorvino as the adults. Eddie Alderson, Elle Fanning and Sean Curley play the three children. The plot is a bit formulaic and may remind viewers of an earnest television drama, but the cast does a good job of making the story real and heightening the story’s inherent emotional qualities. The movie ultimately extols repentance, forgiveness and taking responsibility for your actions. There is, however, plenty of strong foul language, so MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong caution.