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The Open Road

3.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this heartwarming comedy, minor leaguer Carlton Garrett (Justin Timberlake) takes an unexpected road trip to track down his estranged father, legendary baseball player Kyle Garrett (Jeff Bridges) when Carlton's mother (Mary Steenburgen) becomes sick. Knowing his charming yet painfully immature dad's likelihood to disappoint, Carlton enlists his on-again-off-again girlfriend Lucy (Kate Mara) for emotional support. Once reunited, Carlton struggles to deal with the series of misadventures caused by his father's antics, including missed flights, car trouble and bathroom brawls. Years of miscommunication, frustration and comically awkward attempts at bonding come to a head as the mismatched trio make their way from Ohio back home to Houston to reunite the family.

Amazon.com

Jeff Bridges excels at playing grizzled, somewhat compromised men who have a variety of things to be embarrassed about. Thus he's apt casting for The Open Road, a father-son picture that puts its estranged duo on a road trip in the Midwest. Bridges plays a former big-league ballplayer, now contentedly boozing through his golden years signing things at card shows and telling anecdotes in bars. Justin Timberlake plays the son, a joyless baseball player who's worried about his mother (Mary Steenburgen), due for a tricky operation and demanding to see her ex-husband. When son travels to fetch his errant father, Dad agrees to come--but getting him across half the country is another story. This brings up one of the problems of the modern road movie: with modern convenience being what it is, how do you convincingly force people into a car together for a few days? Writer-director Michael Meredith contrives a few reasons, and if you're won over by the movie's amiable tone and the laid-back acting, maybe you'll go along with it. Timberlake, a capable actor in other circumstances (Alpha Dog, for instance), struggles with the first-person role here; he doesn't add a great deal of seasoning to the mix. Kate Mara brings her usual equilibrium to a hard-to-justify role as Timberlake's ex-girlfriend/best pal, who tags along on the road trip for complicated, not entirely credible reasons. Nice people like Harry Dean Stanton and Lyle Lovett pop up in small parts, and roadside motels and cornfields add flavor. But it's up to Jeff Bridges to generate the reasons for sticking with this one, and he comes through with a shrewd portrait of a guy who'd really like to be somewhere else--someplace where they don't hold you accountable for things. As for director Meredith, he's the son of Don Meredith, longtime Dallas Cowboys star and broadcaster. Any similarities between "Dandy Don" and Jeff Bridges's character are surely unavoidable. --Robert Horton

Stills from The Open Road (Click for larger image)










Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bridges
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002PB4I50
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,722 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Open Road" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
This was a nice way to spend a few hours, although, it was not spectacular, it was real, sometimes a reality check is what you need, and for some of the people in this movie, I believe it was for closure and new beginnings.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I never saw any trailers for this movie when it came out, or any type of promotion for it. This is another movie that I recently saw a trailer for on another DVD that I had purchased, and it looked like another movie that would be great to watch. And man was I right again, it has an all-star cast, with a really great story line.
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Format: Blu-ray
I am a big Jeff Bridges fan and appreciate everything he has done and such, but I didn't feel grabbed by this one at all. Not that there were horrible performances or bad film making, it just had a slew of little things peppered throughout that made me not give this the above average recommendation.

The story follows a minor league ball player (Timberlake) suffering a slump, who has to get his famous big league dad (Bridges) to make a final visit to his estranged and dying ex-wife. Through some poorly staged events, they have to make it a road trip together across several states (instead of flying) to make this union happen. The scenery is quite beautiful in some of the sequences, and it even upstages some of the sparse dialogue as the long-parted kin find a way to re-connect. Kate Mara is the tag-along friend who offers the love interest of Timberlake, but the chemistry never materializes in ways it should have.

The Blu quality is average to below average, with the strong showing being the opening aerial shot of the baseball game (must have used a different camera - they usually seem to in those kinds of scenes). Some of the color/contrasts in the open road shots shine nicely, but the amount of indoor and dark sequences show several weaknesses. The 5.1 is uneventful, and the only supplement offers little insight other than some typical fluff. Did not get to the commentary as I could not venture sitting through this twice. Three for the film content and Mr. Bridges (the supporting cast of Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton are not present enough to warrant dissecting their screen time). I love road films so maybe this will give you some light entertainment on a slow night.
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Format: DVD
As Jeff Bridges, to me, has always been one of the most underrated actors of his period--I'm glad to see him finally getting the recognition he deserves. His recent Oscar win for "Crazy Heart" is just a capper on his previous four nominations (The Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Starman, and The Contender) which spanned nearly 40 years. Aside from "Picture Show," these films only hint at Bridges' range and I've always maintained that his best work often flew under the radar (Tucker: The Man And His Dream, The Fisher King, the incredible Oscar worthy Fearless, and dare I mention The Dude from The Big Lebowski) and were the true heights of his acting genius. It's only natural that Bridges has settled into somewhat of a comfort zone and "The Open Road" is a film he could do in his sleep. Playing a disheveled and obstinate man in a mid-life crisis has been Bridges' go-to role for several years now and it's on display again in this dysfunctional road trip dramedy.

Justin Timberlake plays a struggling minor league ball player who is distressed to learn that his mother (Mary Steenburgen) is in need of a heart operation. She refuses the procedure unless her ex-husband (Timberlake's father Bridges) comes to see her. Bridges plays a former baseball champion now boozing through his glory years signing autographs and reliving past successes. Needless to say, his relationship with his son is fairly non-existent and suitably strained. Timberlake and faithful gal pal (and former girlfriend) Kate Mara fly out to retrieve Bridges at a baseball convention. Of course, if this were the real world--there wouldn't be much drama to this scenario. But through movie magic and contrived situations, the three are forced into a road trip across country.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
As Jeff Bridges, to me, has always been one of the most underrated actors of his period--I'm glad to see him finally getting the recognition he deserves. His recent Oscar win for "Crazy Heart" is just a capper on his previous four nominations (The Last Picture Show, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Starman, and The Contender) which spanned nearly 40 years. Aside from "Picture Show," these films only hint at Bridges' range and I've always maintained that his best work often flew under the radar (Tucker: The Man And His Dream, The Fisher King, the incredible Oscar worthy Fearless, and dare I mention The Dude from The Big Lebowski) and were the true heights of his acting genius. It's only natural that Bridges has settled into somewhat of a comfort zone and "The Open Road" is a film he could do in his sleep. Playing a disheveled and obstinate man in a mid-life crisis has been Bridges' go-to role for several years now and it's on display again in this dysfunctional road trip dramedy.

Justin Timberlake plays a struggling minor league ball player who is distressed to learn that his mother (Mary Steenburgen) is in need of a heart operation. She refuses the procedure unless her ex-husband (Timberlake's father Bridges) comes to see her. Bridges plays a former baseball champion now boozing through his glory years signing autographs and reliving past successes. Needless to say, his relationship with his son is fairly non-existent and suitably strained. Timberlake and faithful gal pal (and former girlfriend) Kate Mara fly out to retrieve Bridges at a baseball convention. Of course, if this were the real world--there wouldn't be much drama to this scenario. But through movie magic and contrived situations, the three are forced into a road trip across country.
Read more ›
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