Joy Ride
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After forays into film noir, thrillers, dramas, and even documentaries, director John Dahl tries the teen horror genre on for size. Paul Walker stars as Lewis Thomas, a college freshman embarking on a cross-country road trip during summer break to pick up his girlfriend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). Along for the ride is Lewis' brother Fuller (Steve Zahn), a practical joker who uses the car's CB radio to play a cruel prank on a lonely trucker known only by the handle Rusty Nail. The victim of Fuller's gag turns out to be a psychotic murderer and soon the brothers are being pursued by… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If you're looking to have your nerves fried and your pulse pounded, this is your ticket to ride."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"It's encouraging to see more than passing attention paid to character development."
‑ Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter
"It's a dumb movie."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"America's dark and lonely back roads are the prime location for stories about relentless, psychotic stalkers preying on the youth."
‑ Brian Mckay, eFilmCritic.com
"The popcorn thriller manages to keep the viewer's disbelief at bay, while offering a deceptively smooth ride through some frequently bumpy territory."
‑ Jon Niccum, Lawrence Journal-World
"Dahl works the audience like the dial of a car radio, testing out all manner of squeals and static and all-out, high-pitched terror."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
"Expertly toys with the fear any carbon-based life-form feels when one of those Peterbilt express trains comes rolling by with a thundercrack of vibration at about 240 mph, gently urging us to move right or die crushed and bleeding."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"...boasts a number of genuinely exhilarating sequences and set-pieces."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Nothing special -- it just devotedly does its job to give the audience a string of suspense scenarios."
‑ Jeffrey Chen, Window to the Movies
"It's a scary film; an atmospheric, unrelenting, character-rich thriller that includes one of the most jolting shock-moments I can remember."
‑ Mark Palermo, Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
"Climb into this rig and you'll be sweating bullets."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"It attains its modest ambitions with dispatch and wit, and without ever lifting its foot from the pedal."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Will convince you that you'd be better off taking the train."
‑ Harry Guerin, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"Maybe it's a wonderful inside joke - a suspenseless suspense film."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Things are pushed over the top rather successfully, but breaking momentum is a pretty big mistake for movie that wants to wow us with ruthless efficiency."
‑ Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
More reviews for Joy Ride on Rotten Tomatoes

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