The Rover Movie Poster Image

The Rover

(i)

 

Downbeat, violent post-apocalyptic Australian crime movie.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie is relentlessly downbeat, and the ultimate message is that human life is cheap. Even further, we may deserve our sorry fate.

Positive role models

The characters are either victims or cold-blooded killers with nothing much to live for.

Violence

A very high body count, considering how few characters actually appear on screen. Many of them are executed on screen, and quite a few more off screen, all with guns. One of them is an innocent woman, shot by mistake. The on-screen killings are frequently accompanied by spurting or pooling blood. There's a car crash and some brief fighting. A character hurls a rock at a barking dog. The main character is shown to have nasty-looking scars. Another character has a stomach wound that must be cleaned and treated.

Sex

One ambiguous scene appears to take place in a kind of brothel where customers can sleep with young boys. A woman offers such a service to the main character, though he ignores her. A shirtless boy is shown sitting in a dark room, where several figures can be seen lying in beds and on mattresses. There's a rude comment about two brothers coming "from the same woman's hole." A character tells a story about finding his wife cheating with another man, with some crude references. Keri Hilson's song "Pretty Girl Rock" is heard, with lyrics like "looking at my derriere."

Language

Language is very strong but not frequent. "F--k," is used the most frequently, as well as "c--t," "goddamn," and "piss."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Rover is a post-apocalyptic crime movie from Australia. It's very downbeat and violent, with a high body count for a movie with relatively few characters. Nearly everyone is shot, with lots of blood spatters and pools of blood. There's also a car crash and some brief fighting. The movie has some strong and/or disturbing sexual suggestion and innuendo, including a visit to a place that allows customers to sleep with young boys. This movie isn't for younger viewers, although it could be a word-of-mouth hit among adventurous older teens looking for the next "cool" movie.

What's the story?

In a dreary future, after a global market crash, lowlifes, has-beens, and criminals from all over wind up in Australia. During a botched robbery, the gut-shot, simple-minded Rey (Robert Pattinson) is left behind by his brother. Unfortunately, the robbers make the mistake of stealing a car belonging to Eric (Guy Pearce), and he wants it back. Eric rescues Rey, planning to use him to find the robbers, and they hit the road. They travel through a desolate, baking-hot, dusty land filled with strange refugees and odd characters, with death and violence lurking at every stop. Eventually Rey will have to face his brother, Henry (Scoot McNairy), and decide which side he's on. And Eric will have to decide how many lives are worth whatever is in his car.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

This is a spare, bleak story that relies on ambiguity and mystery. Made through the Australian film collective Blue Tongue Films, THE ROVER is the second feature film by director David Michod, whose Oscar-nominated Animal Kingdom was a great, complex, dense gangster film. This movie is almost the polar opposite. It's bound to remind viewers of The Mad Max/Road Warrior movies with its silences and baking-hot open spaces. When characters do speak, the language sounds lyrical and sometimes profound.

The dystopian setting is slightly problematic, since it tends to raise stray questions when audiences should be focusing on what's happening in any given moment. And the movie never settles on why Rey would willingly go along with Eric, although the mesmerizing presentation is enough to smooth over any plot hiccups. A spooky musical score by Antony Partos completes the package.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about The Rover's violence. How shocking is it? How many violent incidents take place on screen? Off screen? What's the difference in their impact?

  • How does the movie see the future? Is money the reason for our downfall, or is it something else? How can we avoid such a future?

  • What's the appeal of post-apocalyptic movies? How do they help us view the present?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 20, 2014
DVD/Streaming release date:September 23, 2014
Cast:Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy
Director:David Michod
Studio:A24
Genre:Thriller
Run time:102 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some bloody violence

This review of The Rover was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Future-set action epic is heavy on comic book violence.
  • Touching but grim futuristic tale won't appeal to kids.
  • Outlandish post-apocalyptic action is too brutal for kids.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byB-KMastah June 29, 2014

Amazing performances and great themes.

I never read any reviews for this and only saw the trailer twice or so before other movies, so I wasn't completely sure as to what to expect, but I did have a good idea. And the truth is, almost nothing happens in this movie, but I love it. Actually, it's so engrossing that it almost puts you into a meditative state, causing the more intense scenes to feel even more intense. The performances here are amazing. I've never had anything against Robert Pattinson, but I never knew that he was this talented. He's truly terrific and completely brings his character to life. Guy Pearce is also great, playing an aloof and emotionally detached character without coming off as trying too hard; in fact, he feels extremely natural. Another thing going into this movie was that I knew of the premise, but not what it was really about. Thanks to the direction and acting, it turns out that this is about how humans act without society or something to live for, either being ignorantly oblivious or pessimistic and hopeless, and it comes off terrifically. The movie looks beautiful and the cinematography is great, and the music is subtle and unnerving without being distracting. You can basically feel the heat coming off of the screen and you sometimes feel as lost as the characters. I was never bored and never checked what time it was, and I actually could be open to seeing this again. I know that this will be a slow burner. 8.7/10, terrific, two thumbs up, far above average, etc.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byMoviefanadick June 29, 2014

Dark. Grim. Great.

The Rover is by far one of the best films I have seen all summer. Some say that the film dragged itself to the end, but I could not disagree more. I felt that The Rover progressed on with the perfect pace. It was not too slow, but not too fast. The only fault was the lack of character build-up. I wish that the film made me care about the two main characters just a little more. The performances in this film are superb. Robert Pattinson steals the show. But, Guy Pearce also did a fantastic job. The Rover is not a movie that I would recommend for the faint of heart. It is a very dark film. The Rover can also be very violent at times. The people in this post-apocalyptic Australia are not nice. Most of them are murderers, rapists, and criminals. It is kill or be killed. Even the main characters are killers. But, all in all, I thought The Rover was a fantastic film with beautiful directing and cinematography. I could watch this film over and over and not get tired of it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byJustin Rivera July 17, 2014

Visually masterful and analytical, but otherwise pointless and nihilistic

Extremely well made but otherwise, very disappointing. "The Rover" proves to be pointless and nihilistic, carrying a wildly negative message regarding humanity. There is a grocery list of things that irritated me about this film. In "The Rover" a plot isn't very abundant, and due to this non-existent plot, the plot points that this film makes have nothing to stand upon, these plot points seem to appear and evaporate without any elaboration on them whatsoever, the film was more focused on the statement it was making, rather then developing it's characters or expanding on a storyline. The statement this film makes, though it is thought provoking, is so nihilistic and negative, it ironically makes me think "what's the point". This film doesn't have much to work with other than it's rather depressing outlook on humanity. Another problem is the fact that this film begins and ends absurdly abruptly, it lacks a rising action, a climax and a conclusion, and by the end, there was no closure, it didn't end, nor did it begin, there wasn't much if not any character buildup, making the characters not relatable and irrelevant, the only thing these characters are useful for is getting the point this film makes across. This film just turns out to be as pointless as it thinks life is. Another aspect of the film that infuriated me adds to the whole "lack of plot" statement I made, "The Rover" after a while begins to rub off as extremely repetitive, adding to yet another statement I must make which is the fact that the film carries an absurdly underwhelming climax, a climax that is basically the same thing we saw throughout the film, like I said: repetitive. However, this film, despite being underwhelming, was very well made, containing some of the most dazzling cinematography of the year, yet another thing used as an tool to convey the meaning of the film, using lengthy shots of desolate landscapes and wildlife, sending off vibes of loneliness and desperation. This film also contains a very strange but truly hypnotic and experimental score. Guy Pearce provides a typically marvelous rage filled and emotional performance that I will remember for years to come. As for Robert Pattinson, he was okay, though throughout the film his character just rubs off as dimwitted. I believe that this film will be analyzed in the years to come, and as much as I adore analytical films, this one was just underwhelming. Recommended to film enthusiasts. As for content, the film could be worse, its rather shockingly violent, the violence is rather hard to look at, but the point this film makes is more shocking than the film itself.
What other families should know
Too much violence

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?