Thunder Road (2018) Poster

(2018)

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9/10
This is why independent film exists.
mb-cunningham25 October 2018
If you have read the other reviews, then you will know that this movie is being judged for all the wrong reasons. Jim Cummings put his heart and soul into this film and because it is listed as a comedy and a drama, some have decided to deride this film because of it. It is what most would call a Black Comedy. I saw the official trailer for it, and anyone that saw the trailer would know that this is more drama/tragedy with dark comedic elements, but there are pedants here in internet land that wish to harp on about this film not being properly categorized. Get over it and watch the movie, because it is brilliant! If you have ever experienced loss, then you will connect to the main character's myriad emotions. Jim Cummings does an excellent job as the beleaguered protagonist, and the film moves along at a stride that fits his circumstance, culminating in a third act that is a bit surprising, but fitting. I also loved Macon Blair (Blue Ruin), as Crystal's teacher. Independent films are not for everybody, and many of them are poorly executed, cast, or directed, but Thunder Road is the reason why I watch them, because, otherwise, all we would be presented with are big studio, unoriginal bombastic gunfight and explosion filled sensory overload. I like those movies too, but sometimes, it is a treasure to see a finely crafted and emotional character study.
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9/10
Is Jim Cummings the next can do it all rising star???
yooper3652 October 2018
Saw this a Hell's Half Mile Film fest in Bay City, Michigan and Jim Cummings wrote, directed and gave a stunning lead performance in this festival gem, which I believe is his first full feature after bouncing around doing short films and a little TV work. He has the acting chops to pull off his own written vision of this unstable police officer who can slip from calm, deranged and sorrowful multiple times within one scene. Impressive for he must do this most if not all of this 90 minute film carrying off this complicated character through losing his mother, wife in divorce, his job and every thing he holds dear as he sinks into despair. I hope this propels his movie making skills to new wide release films in the future.
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10/10
Unexpected excellence.
thegermanhermit24 October 2018
A wonderful film that I certainly wouldn't say is a comedy. The film's moving as it's devoted to the human will, what it can endure, what it can overcome in the most dire of circumstances when need be. I feel as though it's a testament to the human experience. Life can hit you hard, over and over again, and you have to get back up, that's the message I gleaned. Cummings portrays his character with masterful skill, at no point did I think I was watching a film, I was all in and I truly hope we see more of him. This is a story of hope even though at times it is hard to see it.
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8/10
Worth it
hazemabdo-301711 April 2019
I don't think I got an experience watching a movie like this one , it made me laugh , it made me sad , made me laugh while being sad , sad while laughing , and Jim Cummings great performance really helped make that happen . The timing of comedy yeah was weird and in other movies I would hate it but I don't know why but it wasn't a problem for me . Yeah some scenes felt pointless to the story overall but they were also enjoyable . Jim wanted to talk about many things in his movie but I think the main idea is the feeling of losing everything and everyone you love and acting like you are still in control and that everything is just fine . So I will be looking forward for more from him.
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7/10
Shouldn't work. Does.
Smallclone10023 October 2018
It's not often I enjoy a film with such constant tonal shifts throughout, but I did with this one. The film essentially made me laugh, made me emotive and made me think - which is all a viewer can ask for really. Right from the extraordinary opening monologue, the film grabs the viewer and reels you into the heady mix of comedy and tragedy. Some are going to hate this movie because of that. There are moments of black comedy placed into scenes of real drama - which shouldn't really work. But it does. For me at least.

The focus is on single parenting, life, stress, happiness, anxiety, mental health, love. Jim Cummings wrote, directed and starred in it - and you can tell he totally believed in this project by the performance he puts in. Although he can possibly be accused of overracting at times, he is quite brilliant at others. There are some flawed moments - some real "wtf" scenes with a potential dealbreaking third act.

The placement of comedy is the talking point in many places. But overall I would recommend this movie for those who are suckers for an indie dramedy. 7.5 / 10.
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7/10
Molecule Review: Thunder Road (7 Stars)
nairtejas5 January 2019
In Thunder Road, director Jim Cummings carves an almost perfect study of a character going through an emotional breakdown after the death of his mother. So much that together with Cummings's superb performance and a somber soundtrack that drives melancholy home, it is perhaps the very reason why the dark comedy drama is one of the best films to come out in 2018. There's so much to look and think about in Thunder Road, in some scenes, I just could not feel I had a bowl of popcorn in my hands. It's splendid and you need to watch it right now. TN.
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8/10
This was a masterpiece
emceeanz9 February 2019
This movie was well written well acted and finely directed. I don't normally write reviews but felt compelled after reading so many poor and inaccurate reviews. It gave me garden state like vibes, but a garden state for a mature audience. Don't pay any attention to the poor reviews anyone that enjoys offbeat independent drama -comedies will thoroughly enjoy this. Jim Cummins is an all round talent who deserves to be recognised for this project.
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10/10
Solid, brilliant filmmaking.
lindsay-eberts20 January 2019
Brilliantly written, deft performances, and rock solid story. Even the camera work was confident and perfectly suited for Jim's delicate and singular voice...!! The tightrope between comedy and drama is danced upon the the entire time, leading to surprising moments, huge emotions and deep belly laughs. I simply adore this story and film. Heart, talent, and originality... everything I look for in a movie-watching experience. Instantly, one of my all-time favourites. Kudos for the whole team from this rapt fan!
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6/10
A bit too much
Sebastien025 October 2018
Jim is a Texas police officer. Everything is falling apart in his life and his reactions make things worse. He has difficulties connecting with himself and others. Between tragedy and comedy, this feature film addresses the issue of toxic masculinity. Indeed, Jim grew up under the influence of John Wayne's movies. He was taught to be a tough guy and has repressed his emotions for years. As a consequence, he is now unable to express his feelings in a healthy way. He is vulnerable and needs help, but he does not confide in his friend. And then he loses control. It's quite a good movie, with an interesting topic handled in an original way. However, it's a bit excessive. The main character has to endure so many hardships, that it's hard to believe. Moreover, Jim Cummings overacts sometimes.
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7/10
A deftly presented tragicomedy
metaflixinc17 October 2018
'Thunder Road' is a deftly presented tragicomedy by writer/director/star Jim Cummings. Winner of multiple film festival awards--including SXSW's Grand Jury Award--the movie is a hidden gem amongst a crowded autumn release schedule.
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8/10
Beautifully performed and directed
thetoastermon26 September 2019
Jim Cummings really wowed me with this one. His performance in the film and the very severe tonal shifts captured the severe highs and lows that real loss puts a human being through. The extremely long shots and surprisingly low budget of this film is something to be admired, but at no point did the film feel low budget. It felt real, and it broke my heart, then pieced it back together. Mostly.

I highly recommend Thunder Road to any and all fans of the cinema, and I suggest keeping they keep an eye on this creator. I'm excited to see what Cummings does next.
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9/10
Excellent, thought provoking film
jamielewis-0125514 September 2019
Really enjoyed this one. Jim Cummings should be a star, excellent acting really makes you believe in him. Good story and well directed
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10/10
Astonishing
evanston_dad6 September 2019
"Thunder Road" had been sitting on my Netflix queue for quite a while. Then I saw that it was one of the options on a flight from Phoenix to Chicago. I didn't end up having time to watch the whole thing, but I just wanted to see what kind of movie it was, so I watched the first few minutes. Anyone who's seen the film knows what those first 10 minutes or so are like, and probably wouldn't be surprised to learn that I immediately moved it to the top of my queue so that I could see the whole thing.

"Thunder Road" may seem simple; it's practically a one-man show. But it is quietly astonishing in the way it's written and especially acted by Jim Cummings. He plays a man at a crisis point in his life, trying to hang on to a daughter during a nasty divorce while watching his career as a police officer crumble due to his unhinged behavior. He's a man who means well and wants to do right by himself and those around him, but can't control himself from messing up in both small and major ways. The film is hilarious, but it always walks that knife edge between funny and uncomfortable. This kind of dark humor is a tight rope act to pull off, but Cummings is expert at it, and I was absolutely fascinated by him and his performance. I didn't really want the movie to end, because I wanted to keep on spending time with this guy, even though he's exhausting to be with. That's the sign of a truly gifted actor.

You know, lately there has been so much complaining about white males and how everything has always been told through a white male perspective and that now it's time for women and people of color to take the stage and tell their stories. I embrace all stories and love seeing the world through the point of view of people who are very different from me. But "Thunder Road" is an example of how stories about and told by white men can still be interesting too, and we'd be making a mistake as a culture to just outright decide that white men's stories are no longer worth listening to just because we've been hearing them for so long.

Grade: A+
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9/10
goddamn.
JanJehnichen1 September 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I had expectations for it from the trailer but man did it blow it out the water. It is honestly one of the most refreshing and incredibly brilliant movies I've seen in a long time and it's sad that it will widely go unnoticed due to the fact that it's not had much of a spotlight on it. The raw human emotion in this movie though and the way its written is utter genius and the fact that this is written, directed and performed by Jim Cummings is honestly extraordinary I can't even put into words how amazing that is that he was able to pull this off as well as he did and I honestly implore anyone to see it.
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9/10
This is pure comedy drama at its finest
nathaniellarkin22 October 2018
It's hard to pull off the comedy drama genre but they did big-time in this one! I've laughed hard that I cried but this film was diff because I laughed and sad-cried at the same time.
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8/10
Astounding movie
almancikane22 October 2018
Either you will like this one, or you wont, this is not a movie for people who likes to be partially joyous or partially sad. This movie will bore you, you would want to say screw this and cut to the end. This movie is not about inspiration or drama or fun or life or achievement, It's none of those things. So, if you are looking for a certain meaning in this movie, well.... there is one, but you cannot guess, even in 2 10 lifetimes. But, if you choose to watch it til the end, regardless, you will not be the same person again. You might not like the actors, the choreography and what not, and at that moment, i strongly suggest, ignore. Ignore everything, steel your mind and finish the movie.
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7/10
For Jim Cummings alone it's already worth watching.
deloudelouvain23 May 2019
To be honest I never heard of Jim Cummings before, not as an actor nor as a writer, nor as a director, but after watching Thunder Road I will remember him in the future. This movie is a strange mixture of drama and comedy. You never completely know if it is sadness or laughter they were looking for and that's all credit to the excellent acting of Jim Cummings. I never saw a grown man crying so much in a movie and still be funny due to his facial expressions whilst crying. I truly enjoyed Thunder Road and I'm sure plenty of others will do also. An easy to watch story, with mixed emotions, but in the end better than I thought it would be.
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10/10
Don't get caught up in the category it's put in to.
ckctim24 March 2019
Look I'm not a reviewer. I just happen to hit play and was surprised by what I watched. I have been reading these non sensical 1 ratings because people say it's not a comedy. Wow you are correct. You watched a movie and figured out it wasn't a comedy. Rating this movie a 1 because it was mis categorized is the dumbest thing ever. The movie is great! I loved it! I can tell you it's not my typical kind of movie. I couldn't stop watching it though. Don't let the low scores sway you from watching it.
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6/10
Competent effort
kevandeb11 November 2018
As somebody from the U.K. critiquing a US drama it is a difficult job, especially when nuances, way of life and local daily life is so difficult to encapsulate for somebody who does not live and breathe life in a certain country, state or even town. Again, whilst I found Jim an anomaly of a character, somebody I do not recognise in the U.K. per se, I embrace that this could be normal in small town America. I did not dislike it, in fact the acting and pathos ran well with a viewers affection for the main cast and I always welcome a film that feels strong enough to omit (sometimes annoying) background music. That said, anything named after a song by the 'Peoples Poet' and one of my all time favourite songs I would like some reference to it and perhaps for it to be a backdrop to the film. Now I could be missing a trick here that the song was never played for a deeper meaning, but it would have served the film better, in my opinion, if this was a haunting backdrop to the crises being played out. When all said and done, a solid effort that improved as it progressed.
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8/10
Jim Cummings is a triple threat
jackgdemoss2 July 2019
Raw and potent emotions. Thunder Road strives due to Jim Cummings portrayal of how humans in the real-world display anger, confusion, sorrow, and thrilled excitement. Until now, I was yet to see a film properly show that feeling when you are so excited that you tear up a bit and hold an ugly but genuine smile. A majority of Thunder Road is actually just long shot monologues by Cummings' character, but it is performed so well that it works without boring the audience. There really was not rising or falling action because it was so grounded in reality, which rarely has such a pattern. This 90-minute watch is worth every second of the time spent.
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9/10
My heart needs time to recover...
katherinekeen-4097925 May 2019
What a movie...watched the short version first before this was made and loved it so much, so awkwardly wonderful and then the extension of the story after Officer Arnaud's grief stricken performance is heart wrenching and also heart warming...Jim knows how to manipulate your feelings in this film through his performance and writing. Wonderfully non-Hollywood independent film! Catch 'Minutes' too...
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9/10
Strange but beautiful
nickrissmeyer22 May 2019
Incredible character study with a lot of heart.

I went in knowing nothing about this and found it to be extremely weird, heartwarming and very sad. This is for sure worth a watch. It balances grounded relatable humor with extremely sad moments better than I've ever seen before. Jim Cummings writing, directing and staring in this is incredible on its own. Many of the most striking scenes are filmed in one take and the performances are wild mainly from Cummings himself. Everything about this just worked really well while also being so strange and unexpected. Also the cinematography is very crisp and the overall look of the film was great. I love the details and the way they explained the characters through their subtle actions. The paper with the hands on the wall that he used to practice all night got me really good.

Jim Cummings is a genius and this should be more popular.
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1/10
Doesn't deserve the hype
embmw22 October 2018
I love dark humor in trying situations but the humor in this supposed comedy/drama is more appropriate for a Kevin James sitcom than what is apparently intended to be an emotional film. Moreover, the protagonist is unlikable, so it's difficult to have empathy for his situation (which becomes ridiculous anyway). The entire movie is filled with angst, but it has no heart. So instead of being drawn in by the characters you wind up wanting them to just go away.

I usually hang on until the end in hopes a bad movie will get better, but I only made it halfway through this one and I still want my 45 minutes back. How this is rated as high as it is escapes me, unless the voting is rigged. If you want to see unstable cops acting out just watch an episode of "Reno 911!"-- it's better than this tripe and it'll be over sooner. It you want to see dark humor done right, watch "In Bruge". But don't waste your time on this mess.
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1/10
This has no comedy in it! Drama addicts and slightly dumb people will like it.
mauriciofernandogerhardt22 October 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Story: slightly dumb cop is emotionally upset in his mother's funeral. Should be on leave because was violent with boss, but decides to go to work, ends up being more violent then he should with a civilian, is sent home. His junkie ex-wife files in court to change the custody of their daughter to be with her all the time, because she is planning on relocating, and doesn't want the bother of travelling to take the kid to the father often. In court, cop says something that stupid judge elieves to be a threat, and decides to side with wife. Wife is found dead from overdose. The end.
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Warning: NOT a comedy in any way or form.
gilknut21 October 2018
...and I'm not saying that just because it's not funny. Obviously that's a matter of perspective. The thing is, most of the time it really doesn't even try to be funny. I don't know if they categorized it as a comedy first in the hopes it would make it seem more appealing, but I watched it hoping to laugh, not to get treated to a bleak, slow-moving, depressing and almost documentary-feeling portrait of an unbalanced loser battling grief and an endless cascade of major and minor misfortunes. Some people (including a lot of critics) seem to have found it moving and inspiring, I did not. Perhaps I'd have viewed it differently if it wasn't marketed as a comedy. But it is, and as such it fails in absolutely all respects.
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