Directed by Terry George
USA 2007


The tears and the blame mix uneasily in “Reservation Road,” a grim, mechanistic thriller about death and suffering, life and healing among the civilized. Based on a well-received novel by John Burnham Schwartz, who shares screenwriting credit with the film’s director, Terry George, this is one of those sadistic exercises that puts its characters through the wringer without saying anything true or meaningful, like what it takes to get out of bed those mornings when you think the sun will never again rise with you.

Crying at the movies can be intensely satisfying, but you need to feel as if your tears have been justly earned. It may be reassuring, a pleasant lie, to think that better filmmakers appeal to our emotions, not merely prey on them, but the great directors need hearts of killers and stone-cold calculation to have their way with us successfully. It takes a talent for murder for a director to rip out our insides, to show us a beloved young son turned into so much road kill in front of his father. But it takes a true sense of cinema to ensure that we don’t hate the movie and its maker for doing that to these characters and to us.

Excerpt from Manohla Dargis at The New York Times located HERE


Theatrical Release: September 13th, 2007 (Toronto Film Festival)

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DVD Review: Universal (Spotlight Series) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:41:57 
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.33 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English (SDH), French, Spanish, None

Release Information:
Studio: Universal

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• Featurette: Looking Back on Reservation Road (14:44)
• Deleted scenes (7:46)
• Friday Night Lights episode - Last Days of Summer (45:00)
• Trailers (In Bruges, Charlie Wilson’s War, etc.)

DVD Release Date: April 8th, 200
Keep Case
Chapters: 20



I think this is a shade superior to usual standard definition transfers from Universal. Detail is quite strong and it appears fairly dark and a bit thick. Contrast is very acceptable and noise is dissolved in the out-of-focus backgrounds. All in all, very good I think with no visible manipulations or gross transfer weaknesses.  The disc is anamorphic, progressive and dual-layered coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Audio gives a, now standard, 5.1 track that is rarely utilized. Dialogue was always clear and consistent and there are optional subtitles for English, French or Spanish.

Supplements include a 15 minute featurette entitled Looking Back on Reservation Road. It has expected input from director/writer and cast. There are almost 8 minutes worth of deleted scenes plus a few promo trailers (In Bruges, Charlie Wilson’s War, etc.). In a weird extra addition Universal have included a 45 minute Friday Night Lights episode called Last Days of Summer. I watched only 10 minutes of it - not for me. Someone somewhere may appreciate the inclusion I suppose.  

The film? - Many critics turned a cold shoulder to this but I was more forgiving for its obvious and manipulative nature. I enjoyed the three strong lead performances as well (Connelly is a bit overboard at times). The trouble with it may be the subject matter - parents may find this hitting far too close to home but as a film it certainly works on certain levels - but not so on others. If you can't overcome the, often, contrived narrative - then nothing is going to make you like it. Perhaps I'm not jaded enough yet (or too easy a sell?). I found it no where near as bad as some state and although I was uncomfortable at times - it was moderately entertaining. Enough so to warrant a spin I suggest.

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Universal Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC


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