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Reservation Road is a 2007 American drama film directed by Terry George[2] and based on the book of the same title by John Burnham Schwartz, who, along with George, adapted the novel for the screenplay.[3] The film, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo,[2] deals with the aftermath of a fatal car crash. It was released to theaters on October 19, 2007.

Reservation Road
Reservation road.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTerry George
Produced byNick Wechsler
A. Kitman Ho
Screenplay byJohn Burnham Schwartz
Terry George
Based onReservation Road
by John Burnham Schwartz
StarringJoaquin Phoenix
Mark Ruffalo
Jennifer Connelly
Mira Sorvino
Music byMark Isham
CinematographyJohn Lindley
Edited byNaomi Geraghty
Distributed byFocus Features
Release date
  • September 13, 2007 (2007-09-13) (Toronto International Film Festival)
  • October 19, 2007 (2007-10-19) (United States)
Running time
98 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.8 million[1]



Dwight Arno is an attorney who is divorced from his wife Ruth. Ruth controls custody of their son Lucas while Dwight maintains visitation rights. Dwight and Lucas are at a baseball game when Ruth calls, informing Dwight that he is late returning their son home. Dwight drives Lucas home in a hurry, thinking he might otherwise forfeit his visitation privileges. When he loses control of his vehicle, he strikes a young boy, Josh Learner, who is standing by the roadside.

Aware that he has struck the boy, Dwight decides to flee the scene. He further lies to Lucas, who has a minor injury from the incident, saying that they had collided with a tree log. Dwight later hears on a newscast that Josh died in the collision. Subsequently, he tries to cover up the evidence which implicates him in the hit-and-run. After the initial shock of losing her son Josh, Grace gradually tries to get on with life, but her husband Ethan, is obsessed with finding out who killed their son and frustrated with the lack of progress the police are making in their investigation. Ethan eventually decides to hire a lawyer, who oddly enough turns out to be Dwight.

Ethan later discovers, quite by chance, that Dwight is the perpetrator. Fearing that Dwight would be incarcerated for only a few years via the court system, he buys a gun to dispense his own form of justice.




The film was shot in Stamford, Connecticut, starting in late October, 2006, with the very first city scene from Annapolis MD, and the next scene at Cove Island Park. Parts of the movie were also filmed at Lake Compounce Amusement Park in Bristol, Connecticut, and the Olde Blue Bird Inn & Gas Station and adjacent Baseball Field in Easton, CT. Shots of Martha's Vineyard are used in the trailer and movie.


Reservation Road grossed a total of $36,269 in its first weekend. It ended up making $121,994 in the United States, and ended with a worldwide gross of $1,783,190.[1] The film was released on DVD on April 8, 2008.[4]


The film received mixed reviews from critics. Metacritic gives the film an average score of 46 out of 100, based on 29 reviews.[5] Rotten Tomatoes gives the film 37% based on reviews from 111 critics, with an average rating of 5.23/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "While the performances are fine, Reservation Road quickly adopts an excessively maudlin tone along with highly improbable plot turns."[6]


  1. ^ a b "Reservation Road". Box Office Mojo. Seattle: Retrieved 2010-12-26.
  2. ^ a b "Reservation Road". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Schwartz, John Burnham (1999). Reservation Road (Paperback ed.). New York City: Vintage Books. ISBN 978-0-375-70273-0.
  4. ^ "Reservation Road". Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Los Angeles: NBCUniversal. April 8, 2008. ASIN B0010KP360. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Reservation Rad". Metacritic. San Francisco: CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  6. ^ "Reservation Road (2007)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 21, 2019.

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