This review roundup is mostly coming out of Australia following the Sydney premiere, press junket and screenings for The Rover. Click HERE if you want to read more reviews! You can always find them in our menu bar under The Film.
Michôd’s direction is motivated by maximising tension. Slow creeps through dark hallways, that oppressive push toward closed doors that seem to vibrate in the anticipation of being opened, and finally surprising you with the lack of care for life, and therefore the constant anxiety that death was on its way. It’s also abundantly clear that Michôd is able to craft incredible performances from his players.
Pattinson is nothing short of unbelievable. Forget anything that you’ve ever seen him in before, this is a towering, career defining performance.
Pearce is an actor that doesn’t receive the correct amount of feverish adoration. He retreats completely into this broken man, devastated by the degradation of any kind of justice.
McNairy is an ideal character actor. He’s just a terrifically authentic and sincere performer no matter the size of the role.
David Michod’s The Rover is a brooding and intense journey into a graceless world, with Robert Pattinson delivering a fascinating, career defining performance in the process.
The two man show of Pearce and Pattinson is outstanding.
Yet just as strong is the current that thrashes within The Rover, something complex, malevolent, that threatens to consume and hidden from grace. Something all too human that makes it all the more menacing, as any tale of a godless world should.
SciFiNow (4 stars):
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson are superb in bleak near-future chase film The Rover
The Rover is brutal and gripping, and its profound sense of loss gives it impressive emotional depth; it will stay with you long after the credits roll.
Michôd has created in this film a terrifically stark view of society on the cusp of oblivion with two characters that are seemingly at odds with one another. The pace and intensity throughout are exceptional and never allows you to breathe as you don’t know what is around the corner for this unlikeliest of partnerships. If Michôd was nervous about his second outing it never shows and is as masterful, if not more so than Animal Kingdom and solidifies his place amongst Australia’s film elite.
Though The Rover sticks rather closely to the standard post-apocalyptic mold, it’s distinctively textured enough to remain freshly alarming throughout—as stark every-man-for-himself testament, as nightmare environment, and as near-future conjecture.
Not only is it the best Australian film that’s been made in a very long time, but it’s also one of the best, if not the best film to be released in 2014 as of yet.
The film creates an intriguing mystery about what the actual premise of the film is. For nearly the entire runtime of the film we have little to no idea about who these characters really are or why they’re doing what they’re doing, but we can’t help feel something towards them. We have no idea about how the world came to this or why Eric is so determined to reclaim his car, but we’re hooked. There wasn’t a single moment in the entire film where I wasn’t leaning over the edge of my seat in anticipation for what happens next.
To sum up, The Rover is a triumphant return of David Michôd with a fantastic screenplay, brilliant direction, successful cinematography, shocking and gruesome violence and some of the best performances of the year.
I loved this film. The cinematography is stunning, the sound design sets the perfect mood and the acting is brilliant. The breathtaking shots of deserts, mountains and towns make the setting as important a character as any of the actors.
[Michôd] shows a mastery of visual tone and distinct beats of tension. His work with his cinematographer and the sound design team show a fully formed stylistic approach.
TWEETS (post screenings in Australia) under the cut!
The Rover was amazing. Go see it. #sydneyfilmfest
— Mathew McGuinness (@guinness1992) June 8, 2014
Gosh darn, I liked ‘The Rover’. #sydfilmfest
— Sarah Ward (@swardplay) June 8, 2014
The Rover is very inaccessible. Endlessly bleak and seemingly heartless. It will leave you cold, deceptively. Actually quite beautiful.
— Brodie Marchant (@OutsetBrodie) June 8, 2014
Very intimate and understated story of a heartless man finding love in the darkest and emptiest of places. — Brodie Marchant (@OutsetBrodie) June 8, 2014
@KoCannes2014 Best I’ve seen of both of them. Pearce can do so much without a word. Pattinson was the real heart though.
— Brodie Marchant (@OutsetBrodie) June 8, 2014
— Vanessa Black (@1984rantings) June 8, 2014
— Josh Newman (@joshnewmania) June 8, 2014
The Rover. Wow. Flawless all round with the best use of music I’ve seen in any film in recent memory.
— Eb Yusuf (@eb_yusuf) June 8, 2014
— SydneyéAzul-Celeste (@DavidLewis31) June 8, 2014
— Nicki NewtonPlater (@NicNewtonPlater) June 8, 2014