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Based on 14 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 40
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    But with Kerouac declaring that “the only thing that matters is the conceptions in my own mind,” we’re still left waiting for the filmmaker who can take us there. show more

  • 70
    Justin Lowe The Hollywood Reporter

    Filming a truly immersive and dimensional adaptation of a Kerouac novel remains an ongoing challenge for any filmmaker, but Polish’s film comes closer than most, while adding another layer of complexity to the author’s venerable reputation. show more

  • 38
    Slant Magazine

    The viewer is informed of a world of chaos, obsession, and irresolution, but has no cinematic means of accessing or understanding it. show more

  • 25
    Rex Reed New York Observer

    The film has a restless, nomadic quality similar to Kerouac’s lifestyle, but there’s no there there. show more

  • 30
    Nathan Rabin The Dissolve

    Despite the parade of pretty images and lovely scenery, Big Sur stubbornly fails to cohere into a real movie; instead, it feels like an illustrated novel full of words, ideas, and images, but devoid of structure or characterization. show more

  • 20
    Nick Schager Time Out New York

    Edited to ribbons so that every peripheral player — Kate Bosworth, Radha Mitchell, Josh Lucas, Henry Thomas — is even more one-dimensional than Kerouac himself, it’s a work that accurately expresses the awfulness of narcissistic self-destruction, and nothing else. show more

  • 75
    Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist

    Big Sur rises and fades, shifts and moves, through movements and melodies, singing a beautifully sad song for an era and a man who lost his way. show more

  • 80
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Filmed without a trace of sentimentality, Big Sur is an achingly sad last hurrah. show more

  • 70
    Robert Abele Los Angeles Times

    Although no less fawning and indulgent about its self-centered subject, played by Jean-Marc Barr (who also narrates, run-on style), the muted emptiness of the ill-fated sojourn wills its way toward something like existential meaningfulness. show more

  • 70
    Guy Lodge Variety

    Michael Polish’s Big Sur offers an elegantly muted take on the midlife ennui of Kerouac’s autobiographical 1962 novel. show more

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