Two-Lane Blacktop
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The surface story is a quixotic cross country road race between dapper sociopath playboy Warren Oates driving a showroom GTO and ultra-laconic proto-grunge hippie gearheads James Taylor and Dennis Wilson behind the wheel of their primer gray souped-up '55 Chevy. In director Monte Hellman's hands, however, the raw materials of an AIP hot rod flick take on dark mythic overtones while becoming a quintessential document of end-of the '60s millennialism.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It came nowhere close to the numbers on Easy Rider, but it is so much more worthwhile as a film. Indeed, I'm going to push my luck and say there has never been a better film about sweaters."
‑ David Thomson, The New Republic
"This exciting existentialist road movie by Monte Hellman, with a swell script by Rudolph Wurlitzer and Will Corry and my favorite Warren Oates performance, looks even better now than it did in 1971."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"[It] remains a vital piece of filmmaking"
‑ Glenn Dunks, Trespass
""Two-Lane Blacktop" prompts a dialogue of uncertain expectation with its audience."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Captures an aura of existential despondence that's married to a far less evocative (and durable) strain of counterculture romantic doom."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Two-Lane Blacktop is a movie of achingly eloquent landscapes and absurdly inert characters."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"It's absolutely riveting."
‑ Tom Milne, Time Out
"The ultimate road movie and one of the great American movies of the 1970s."
‑ Richard Luck, Film4
"... a quiet, existential masterpiece that has turned into a bonafide cult classic."
‑ Eric Melin,
"Much more about the journey and the thrill of being a racer as it is about races..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"The strange and sometimes pathetic world of barnstorming, hustling street-racing is explored with feeling by director-editor Monte Hellman."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A remarkably engaging movie, mostly in spite of, rather than because of, its metaphorical aspirations."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"As a study in obsession and emotional dislocation Two-Lane Blacktop is in a class of its own."
‑ , Total Film
"even if the Driver and co. are just passin' through, they encapsulate a whole generation lost in the rootless, directionless '70s, scorching the viewer's retina with their quest for nothing."
‑ Anton Bitel, Little White Lies
"What Two-Lane Blacktop pronounces in its visuals, limited dialogue, and willfully underdeveloped characters remains largely superficial, yet its silence and patience indicate much depth."
‑ Rumsey Taylor, Not Coming to a Theater Near You
More reviews for Two-Lane Blacktop on Rotten Tomatoes