Box art for Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road


Based on the bestseller by Richard Yates, this mesmerizing and moving story follows the lives of a passionate young couple living in suburban Connecticut who decide to risk everything to pursue their dreams.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
2 out of 5

Intense adult drama shocks but doesn't awe.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this 1950s-set adult drama deals with themes that are probably too intense for younger teens. It explores a marriage on the brink of destruction, which can be painful to watch, and tackles subjects like infidelity, gender roles, abortion, and mental illness. The main characters fight constantly in long, drawn-out scenes and seem unaware of the effect their conflict is having on their children. There's also some nudity (bared breasts) and sex, as well as language, drinking, and era-accurate smoking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the main characters' relationship/interactions make teens feel. What kind of parents were they? How do you think children are affected by a relationship like April and Frank's? Also, how does the era in which the story is set shape it? What were the 1950s and 1960s like for men and women? Were gender roles limited? Why did April and Frank -- and scores like them -- try to adapt? How did they try to retain their individuality? Were they successful?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Viewers in the mood for rip-snorting marital combat should go ahead and partake, but they must prepare to leave the theatre in a state of profound depression.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, January 9, 2009

Fresh: Sam Mendes's spiritually depleted film exerts an undeniable pull as its beautiful, doomed protagonists navigate the ennui of adult life. Revolutionary Road provides an apt bookend to a holiday season drenched in fatalistic gloom.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Monday, January 5, 2009

Rotten: Unlike the novel, which you can set aside and take a break, with the film version of Revolutionary Road, you're in for the duration, and it's ultimately too much to take.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Monday, January 5, 2009

Audience Reviews

5 stars

"You want to play house, you got to have a job. You want a nice, sweet house, you got to have a job you hate." If you have any interest or current investment in the American Dream, do not watch this movie. You will go home and impale yourself on a white picket fence. Depressing or not, beautifully done.

- janna, Thursday, November 4, 2010

3 stars

After watching this movie, I got more disappointed with Sam Mendes... I think his movies got a slight decreasing in quality... I don't blame the story of this movie, because it was based on a novel... But I thought they could write a better adaptation, rather than just a couple who looks perfect in the eye of their neighbor, but they always fight... And the most annoying thing about this movie was how many scenes that includes Leo or Kate smoking... For the cast, I must say they gave a terrific performance... Leo & Kate are giving their best shot here... And two thumbs up for Michael Shannon for his short but memorable performance in here as the insane John... The other cast, I can't say they have a great acting or a bad one, but let's just say it a standard performance... Overall, if I should memorize again his previous movies like 'American Beauty' or 'Road To Perdition', I could say Sam Mendes got a decrease in quality, especially on this movie and his movie after this 'Away We Go'...

- ajaymuthecooldevils, Thursday, September 23, 2010

3 stars

What a bleak view of 1950's suburban life! There is so much to this movie - most of it unsaid. I need to see it again, and I have reserved the book from the library. A couple of points. I was troubled by the fact that we never saw the two kids. And I enjoyed the music. There is one piano melody -- whenever we heard it, you knew things were turning for the worse.

- Redlats, Sunday, July 18, 2010