The Rover

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Rover Movie Poster Image
Downbeat, violent post-apocalyptic Australian crime movie.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byRobinAwe March 29, 2016

Not an upper - but incredibly moving and well done

This movie is for sure not for every older teen, but my son and I found it very good. The movie is violent to be sure, but this world after an economic collap... Continue reading
Parent of a 3, 5, and 9-year-old Written byshimmer1 May 25, 2015

A Complete Waste of Time

Writing the bad review of this title was worth more time than watching the actual movie. Pattinson does a good job convincing the audience that he is actually... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bybiovox14 October 12, 2017

EXCELLENT!!

So this movie was very slow moving, throughout most of the movie till closer to the end. The music fluctuates, and captures the scenes perfectly, and the movie... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bykai12302 March 29, 2016

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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