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Revolutionary Road

7.31 h 58 min2009X-Ray15
A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates.
Sam Mendes
Leonardo DiCaprioKate WinsletKathy Bates
English [CC]
Audio Languages
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Supporting actors
Michael Shannon
Content advisory
Smokingalcohol usenudityfoul languagesexual contentviolence
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

859 global ratings

  1. 56% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 18% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 13% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

AlvReviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 December 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Showcase for some great acting
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Design was perfect, acting was phenomenally good from all characters. Very well made film indeed but I watched this to be entertained and found myself irritated by the thin plot. Basically pre-feminism set up (1955) with 30-something suburban American couple discovering that they are fully paid up card carrying members of the rat race with their enviably beautiful house in a gorgeous wooded leafy suburb in Connecticut. They decide to give it all up and go to Paris with their two children because life will obviously be so much more exciting there. So the wife (Winslett) expresses excitement about swapping her stay at home Mom life for that of a typist in a typing pool at one of the international organisations based in Paris - wow how exciting! Never mind that NATO (which they mention) is not in Paris but Brussels or that generally these organisations require applicants to be fluent in a couple of languages. I kept wondering why they didn't just go on holiday to have a look first. It was very improbable. Was expecting more from the director of masterpiece American Beauty. The pace dragged somewhat too. Predictable, Sylvia Plath flavoured angst.
DaisyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 04 March 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Forgettable, despite cast
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The performances of Kate Winslett and especially Leo Di Caprio are great, the look of the movie is good, it's directed by Sam Mendes, covers an ever engaging theme of being caught in the trap of financial success as opposed to personal fulfilment, so why only three stars? The story has some unsatisfactory detours from what's expected of the characters, and the script is odd - maybe it's supposed to be significant, but the pair start swearing from about two thirds of the way in (not before if I remember correctly). I don't have a problem at all with realistic language but it was just, well, odd. What a disappointment!
3 people found this helpful
CymroReviewed in the United Kingdom on 11 April 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
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Bleak stuff, blood on carpet self-implemented abortion scene to cap it all. A paean to today's obsession with individualistic self-discovery, knowing and acting on your feelings, and standing outside community and one's impact on it. The acting is not great either. Try Niagara, Seven Year Itch or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes if you want to be entertained and don't like miserabilism.
One person found this helpful
BoshReviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 September 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Probably a 4 star but in my opinion it's a 3
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Well, I've lost count of how many times Leo and Kate have fked each other over the years they might as well be married. Anyway, I watched the whole thing so it was interesting enough but a couple of times found myself asking when it was going to do something or go somewhere.
There was a scene where kates attitude changed and honestly it chilled me to the bone. cant really say much more without leading you on.
2 people found this helpful
Nicholas CasleyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 February 2014
3.0 out of 5 stars
Kate and Leo Have Some Rows
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The first row begins only five minutes into the movie, and they become set pieces at persistent intervals. They are not as ‘bad’ as Richard Burton’s and Elizabeth Taylor’s magnificent arguments in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’, but they are certainly just as well acted, despite Kate’s and Leo’s characters lacking the depth and sophistication of those of Burton and Taylor.

Kate and Leo are April and Frank Wheeler, a handsome couple in 1950s America, living the dream in the Connecticut burbs. Whilst Frank works in New York City, April becomes a slowly despairing housewife whose dreams of a more fulfilling life are slowly eroded.

For April and Frank have plans to run away from what they tell John, an acquaintance, is “the hopeless emptiness of the whole life here.” John perceptively replies, “People are on to the emptiness, but it takes real guts to see the hopelessness.” Later, when their plans change, John will accuse Frank of being “too comfy” in his hopeless emptiness. (Sound familiar? I guess we are all too comfortable in our daily grind.) Meanwhile Kate feels that life in the burbs is draining her vitality.

It’s an excellent subject for a film, of course, how we are seduced by the prospect of more money to blind ourselves from the pointlessness of earning it. But this film surprisingly, despite all the arguments and traumas contained therein, lacks bite. It has become here an everyday story of an everyday existence. A reviewer in ‘Philosophy Now’ made great play of the existential core of the movie, but existentialism is the essence of the quotidian. It’s all well done, of course, and the acting is faultless.

But when compared to another Kate Winslet film of that year, ‘The Reader’, or to the director’s earlier masterpiece, ‘American Beauty’, we can see what is missing from the heart of ‘Revolutionary Road’, and that is tragedy. It is there, of course, but merely latent and undeveloped, or rather it is misplaced or even lost in the edit. In short, and without giving the plot away, the film should have ended at 1:42 – or 1:44 at the latest. Then, maybe, it might have been worth four stars, but the rest of the film after these timings simply supplies an anticlimax, robbing the story of any tragic denouement that the viewer can mull over when they leave the cinema – or leave the living room to make that essential cup of tea.

But even so, the film has a mountain to climb because we do not come to love Frank or April Wheeler as we come to love Lester Burnham of ‘American Beauty’. Frank and April come across as beautiful but largely empty people. Sure they have dreams, but they are indistinct; they are the negative dreams of escape rather than the positive dreams of action and intent. They appear to have no interests, not even the most empty-headed hobbies of their class and era such as golf or flower arranging. They are sad and empty people and we thus find it difficult to relate to any sense of tragedy in their lives.

As in that earlier Sam Mendes’s film, the soundtrack is provided by Thomas Newman. In ‘Revolutionary Road’ he equals the high standards of the former movie by here employing a haunting three-note figure that is subtly moulded and transformed depending on the atmosphere of the scene.

The commentary in the extras is provided by director Sam Mendes (who was at the time married to Kate Winslet) and screenwriter Justin Haythe. They talk much about the book and the differences between it and the final script. They concede that this is a dark film that was never going to be popular. They also saw the house as a character in its own right, first becoming a symbol of freedom but gradually over time becoming Kate’s prison. Finally, Mendes points out the visual ‘Titanic’ joke that is half-hidden in the film. Other extras on my DVD include ten minutes of deleted scenes and a thirty-minute ‘making of’ documentary.
3 people found this helpful
B GrantReviewed in the United Kingdom on 06 January 2012
5.0 out of 5 stars
Attention to detail is superb....
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When I first watched this movie it pretty much passed me by. But the theme of the movie, for which I was personally touched, meant that I was too compelled to watch it again, and again and now I've watched it about five times and it seems rather like peeling an onion: it not only draws tears but the layers reveal more and more each time I see it. The film is full of contrast: light meets dark and each make up a whole day but are ultimately separate: two people that do love each other, owed to a relationship largely built on shared dreams for better times ahead, soon find they can't live with each other when those dreams remain unrealised. Yet they can't live without each other either - given the norms of the times where divorce was frowned upon and convenient living took a very very back seat to Christian morality and rigid social conformity, typical of suburban life in the 1950s. Kate Winslet gives a stunning acting performance as the ambitious forward thinking suburban housewife who is 'saddled' with two kids - one a mistake - that she certainly never did and still doesn't want her entire life to revolve around. She wants to be free to step out of her comfort zone to live a life of adventure and support her husband in fulfiling his dreams and ambitions too, once he finds out what he wants to do. Yet, DeCaprio as her conformist husband Frank, whose dreams for living a true life were once there when he first met and married April are never truly re-awakened now that his role of family man has bedded in - not helped by a feeling of obligation to his father's memory to live out his career as a Knox man and his breadwinner's obligation to provide for his growing family. To put it another way, April was willing to bash down the Berlin wall of her restricted world, to save her own sanity, but her husband did not have the nerve to venture into new unfamiliar territory and find out what he truly wanted from the world and from life and would rather believe that his wife was insane to still want that. Night becomes day, day becomes Frank's not so brave new world.

The line that sticks in my mind, as expertly delivered by a desperate, tearful April Wheeler is this: "you know what is so good about the truth Frank? No one forgets what it is, no matter how long they've lived without it, they just get better at lying." To April night remains dark and day remains in daylight.

If you haven't read it yet, buy the book: "Feel the fear and do it anyway". The message is simple. If a chance comes your way, just grab it and run with it. At the end of the film you see April taking on the role of Stepford wife for the day by trying to model her existence on her husband's day is night world but it was a price that was far too high for her to pay and ultimately darkness was all that was left for her.
One person found this helpful
tonyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 January 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
Grippingly relevant
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Don't go by the synopsis fro the story line as its not accurate at all!
Without even giving the 'story' away-whats the point? I would just say that its relevant to married couples (or anyone who has a partner and settled down into a hum drum existence....
Its powerful, thought provoking, has unexpected turns and is superbly acted by the main 'stars' though best for me is supporting actor who is a friends son.
Excellent film
2 people found this helpful
CharlotteReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 April 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Tremendous acting and chemistry from Kate & Leo
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I've been a Kate and Leo fan ever since Titanic back in '97. I was delighted to learn that they have remained close friends to this day and I think this is reflected within their performance in Revolutionary Road. The first time I watched this was on a flight back from New York and I must admit I fell asleep and thought 'what a load of b******s' but time is a wonderful thing, and as I've matured so has my taste for films and appreciation of fine actors such as these. The film itself is very well made with good acting but I couldn't help but wonder whether it would have been more at home on the stage as opposed to the big screen. The story is very depressing, I haven't read the book but I am meaning to. I don't think anyone without an interest in movies would enjoy this film, it can be a bit hard-going at times and definately isn't a light-hearted Saturday night in-kinda film. I think we can all relate to aspects of this film at times, particularly the fear that April expresses at becoming an ordinary suburban 50's housewife. I am not married or a mother yet, but it's a fear I too have although I would hope my fate wouldn't match that of Frank and April! It's interesting how Kate and Leo's portrayal really epitimises the expectations we feel we must fulfil in order to live up to society's standards.
2 people found this helpful
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