Parents' Guide to

The Long Dumb Road

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Swearing, drinking, pot in offbeat buddy road comedy.

Movie R 2018 90 minutes
The Long Dumb Road Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

Not for kids

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 15+

The Long Could-Be-Dumber Road

The story isn't all that interesting, however, if you're looking for a film with interesting dialogue and actors with good chemistry, this is for you. It's a cheap rental on Amazon. 3.5/5, barely.

This title has:

Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This comedy is the kind of buddy movie where you know the filter-free partner is going to find ways to screw up every situation, but you keep watching because the performance is funny. The Long Dumb Road is an episodic road movie with just enough character development for the trip to mean something, but not so much that it feels pat. Perhaps the best way to describe the movie's tone is "sub-gonzo." It has many setups that lead to you expect wild man Richard to go way over the top -- but while he does manage to constantly burn everything down, he still stays tethered to reality. (To give examples of how he blows situations up would spoil the bumpy trip; rest assured, he finds a way.) Director/co-writer Hannah Fidell, expanding her earlier short (The Road), is wise to maintain that grounding; it makes the stakes feel more significant as she fools us again and again into thinking "It might work out this time." Or, at least, "This doesn't have to be a total disaster." Much of the film's dialogue was reportedly improvised, which adds to the level of Fidell's directorial achievement but leaves us wondering whom to credit for exchanges such as "This is so stupid." "Right? Let's go do it!"

Revolori, who's been working pretty much nonstop since The Grand Budapest Hotel thrust him to a higher level, is a likable Everyman who seems invested in each moment. And Mantzoukas, so hilarious on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, ratchets down his crazy shtick just enough to fit into the reality of the film's universe. He comes across not as a predictable cliché but as someone with genuine problems. Livingston and Gummer do well, playing against type, and several Fidell regulars make appearances, including Farmiga in a brief but memorable turn. Long Dumb Road isn't exactly a laugh riot, but it's a slightly more grounded than usual world (for a road comedy), and the two leads make it a worthwhile trip.

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