March 4th, 2015 / 6 Comments

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For those who may remember I did separate posts for Aussie, US and UK reviews.  There has been so much praise for Rob in this role (more so than not as I’ve proven below) that I’ve put them all together in this one post.  I’m planning to do this in the future with all of Rob’s films, but I started with The Rover because you all know how close that is to our hearts here at RPAU.  Obviously I might miss a few reviews because yeah I have to actually get off the internet occasionally, but I’ll have a good go at it.  And for the sake of completeness, all reviews will be posted under each movie in our “Films” page and that way it can act as a forum to discuss the film.  Don’t worry I will post reminders when they are updated.  And for fairness we will be posting ALL reviews *grumblegrumble*.  It does seem, however, that the biggest surprise for most in The Rover wasn’t the ending, but Rob.  I’ve also added reviews that I’ve used Google to translate, however, I’m only including the straightforward ones.  For those that are ambiguous, I will include under the heading “Lost in Translation”.  If anyone wants to translate for us, we’d be more than appreciative.

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The Rover creates an atmosphere of hopelessness, punctuated by sharp, sudden violence. The film follows Guy Pearce’s unnamed character as he seeks to get back something that was taken from him. For most of his journey he’s stuck with Rey, played by Robert Pattinson in astounding form. Their relationship is an awkward one, which quickly switches between death threats and saving each others lives, more than once.

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. [my emphasis]


“Still, the characters Eric (Guy Pearce) and Rey (Robert Pattinson) keep the film enthralling. The Rover is one post-apocalyptic thriller that offers tension through its minimalist approach to storytelling.”(Overall: 8 out of 10 (an intriguing story with damaged characters, enough conflict, what is the protagonist’s character arc?)

5 Second Review

“Great performances by Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. Mind you: this is no Twilight.” (Score: 8.5/10)

A Sliver of Film

“Pearce is riveting as the driven Eric but Robert Pattinson is outstanding as the “half daft” Rey, who appears under strange circumstances part way through the film. Rey is the brother of one of the thieves Eric pursues. From their first meeting their partnership grows until, inevitably, they become reliant on one another.”

Abus de Cine

” Facing a Guy Pearce as never inhabited, Robert Pattinson brilliantly continues his artistic moulting and amazes here by its alien game.”


“Robert Patterson brings a jumble of man-child tics together to unleash a transformative display. Once again stepping away from the glittery vampire movies that placed him on the map, his role of Reynolds has a slight “Sling Blade (1996)” vibe to proceedings and yet, Patterson still manages to hold his own in an expressive performance that still manages to capture the despondent nature of the film.”

Ain’t It Cool:

“But the real surprise here is Pattinson, who has certain improved since the TWILIGHT films petered out. He’s given a real opportunity with The Rover to dig his fangs into the best role he’s ever been given, and he responds in kind with his finest performance to date.”

And So It Begins

“Robert Pattinson’s efforts to break away from the shadow of the dismal Twilight franchise have been feeble at best. He has received faint-to-occasionally-ecstatic praise for his work in Water for Elephants, Bel Ami and Cosmopolis, but not from me. Thankfully, his work in The Rover is a true revelation. His Rey is angry, confused, and utterly fascinating. There’s a scene late in the film in which Rey (who clearly suffers from a mental disability) tries to articulate a question, but can’t get the words out, at least not in the right order. He repeats the sentence two, three, four times, tripping up with each utterance. There’s a self-aware frustration in Rey’s face that makes it clear that he knows he’s unintelligent. In this moment, I knew I would be confident using the words “great” and “Robert Pattinson” in the same sentence. For that is exactly what he is in this film.”

ArkansasOnline (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

“While I’m still not sold on Pattinson as a forceful actor, he’s very good here as the jumpy, dimwitted American Southerner Rey.”

Arrow In the  Head/

“THE ROVER’s strength, aside from its power to pull you down to its harsh level, comes from the two lead performances. …

Robert Pattinson is a revelation. The actor, looking to distance himself from the Twi-hards even further, admirably transforms himself into the pitiful Rey, perfecting a halted southern drawl and the nervous tics that come with someone who is not altogether “there” upstairs. It could be a showy performance, one of those “look at me!” shticks actors love, but Pattinson inhabits the character without pretension, and it’s easy to forget only a few years ago we were mocking him for his sparkles. After this and COSMOPOLIS, which saw Pattinson go the opposite direction and play a fairly loathsome person, it has become obvious the actor has a ton of talent to share.”


“One calm and calculated, the other all tics and talking, Pearce and Pattinson make a fine pair, more so as their on-screen relationship progresses from antagonism to resigned acceptance.” (4 out of 5 Stars)

Austin Chronicle

“Pattinson duly rids himself of the mindless heartthrob status accorded him by the Twilight trilogy, and here fully demonstrates his acting chops – even though the film’s massive bloodshed is bound to deter Pattinson’s young female fans. ” (3 out of 5 stars)

Battleship Pretension

Pearce is an actor everyone knows is great though they seem to spend very little time saying so. Pattinson suffers from the opposite conundrum. He remains relatively untested in roles that require him to be a performer and not a prop, yet his fame and his alignment with an oft-reviled franchise have led many to make up their minds about him too soon. He’s marvelous here. Rey is the only character other than Eric to have more than two or so scenes and Pattinson proves the equal of his co-star. Rey’s reduced mental capacity would be gristle for a lesser talent to gnaw on but, in Pattinson’s hands, the idiosyncrasies flower from the character, not the actor.

Michôd allows us plenty of time to study Rey’s tics and Eric’s clenched mannerisms. There’s very little ellipsis to be found in The Rover. On more than one occasion, Michôd and cinematographer, Natasha Braier, follow the characters on long walks toward fixed destinations. This builds tension for what will happen when they get where they’re going but it also illustrates a point. In this world, there are no shortcuts. One must reckon with what lays before him as well as what’s behind him. No one is going to help you on your way and there’s no one to ameliorate the repercussions of what you’ve done. Superficially, that sounds like freedom. But without the law to codify and manifest guilt and punishment, each person must contend with his own responsibilities. You may never go to jail for killing someone but you also have no outlet for how you feel about having done so. None, that is, except for the dull hell of your own continuance.

Don’t fret about being too bummed out by The Rover, though. Amidst the existentialist malaise, Michôd finds room for the gut-knotting suspense of his previous film, Animal Kingdom, as well as for Pattinson to sing along to Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock” (the lyrics of which, “Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful,” may be a direct appeal to the anti-Twilight sect). Eventually, we even get some answers, especially when it comes why Michôd felt he needed cars and not horses in his Western. Cars, it turns out, carry more people, more weight and more memories.


“While Pearce is in glorious badass mode, Pattinson is excellent as the beat on Rey. It shows that he does have an interesting range and is willing to take on a wide array of characters, some of which are pretty good chances. The two carry the movie, even when it might bring you down with its bleakness.”

Berks-Mont Experience

“Pattinson continues to prove the range of his skills as the meek, naïve sidekick.”

Black Sheep Reviews

“Pattinson impresses for the most part in his first post-TWILIGHT saga role, showing that he can nurture character when he makes an effort. The efforts he makes are somewhat obvious here but they definitely hint at a potential that was not evident prior to this.” (DVD review)

“But the basic storyline is incredibly compelling and Pearce and Pattinson offer really fascinating interpretations of two rather bizarre characters.”

Boston Globe

“… and Pattinson creates a portrait of a devolved boy that’s genuinely touching at times.”

Broke Horror Fan (DVD review)

“Along with Cosmopolis, The Rover is a great showcase of his talents. He brings great heart to the character; his casual, simple-minded attitude complements Eric’s cold view.

The biggest compliment I can give to Pattinson is that he holds his own next to the veteran Pearce.”

Cambridge Day

“Pattinson proves he’s more than just a pretty face as he holds his own with the accomplished Pearce (“Memento”), who has the innate ability to raise the level of any project he’s in.”

Can’t Stop The Movies

“Pattinson is good as Rey”

Casey Movie Mania

“Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson’s performances are praiseworthy … Robert Pattinson is equally impressive as Rey, especially the way he conveys his half-wit character with his twitchy body languages.”

Chad R Schulz

“Robert Pattinson is trying his very best to distance himself from those silly vampire flicks that put him on the radar. Rey is every bit Eric’s equal in disheveled appearance. Adding on a thick dim-witted Southern drawl and awkward, wild mannerisms. More a protegé to Eric than a “prisoner”. A performance astonishing in just how crazy it really is.”

Charlotte Observer

“So the surprise here is Robert Pattinson, who also gets fully under the skin of a slow-witted American criminal named Rey.”

Let’s get down to the real question: How does Robert Pattinson fare? Known for sparkling in vampire movies, RPatz is a pretty face who is willing to dirty down for a role. Rey is lanky and jittery, and the constant hollowed-out expression on his face suggests the lights aren’t always on at home. In his brain is a mountain of idiocy but he’s a lot smarter than he gives himself credit for. As this misguided cretin — Pattinson shines. If you’ve ever doubted him as a real actor, you can stop here. He proves he’s the real deal — when the role calls for it, he can project any raw emotion needed. Another terrific performance is by the film’s lead, Guy Pearce. It’s nice to see him back as the anti-hero — Pearce always wears a cool calmness to him, even when playing the bad guy. Eric is riddled with remorse, but plays a cool hand every time. On-screen together, there’s magic in Eric and Rey’s offbeat friendship.

Cinapse (DVD review)

“This was a very wise career move, playing a very sympathetic character for the audience to latch onto: some of that sympathy is bound to rub off. He’s riveting in the part, fully embodying the character and making him believably doltish and nervous, then turning up both his outward confidence and inner conflict as the story progresses.”


“Pattinson is the real standout here, though, as he continues the dramatic kick that began with David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis. The Rover at first seems like prime territory for one to unleash the same quips on Pattinson that received for the Twilight films, but his truly unexpected turn is a bizarre yet consistently watchable feat. Rey is the direct opposite of the strong, silent rover: he’s a snivelling, stuttering coward without much gumption. Pattinson takes control of the performance, though, and grows Rey into a hybrid lost boy/twisted psychopath that challenges The Rover’s dismal bleakness. The more one finds Rey to resemble a shaggy dog, the more one finds Pattinson’s performance quietly compelling.”

CinemaDeviant (DVD review)

“Pattinson played a character that was left field for him and was a pleasant surprise. His thick accent was a bit overkill in my opinion but his performance made me completely forget about him once being a sparkly vampire. I thought he did a great job at taking on an unconventional role with no glamor to it whatsoever.”


“Plus, Pattinson provides ample proof in that one minute of his attempts to prove his worth and distance himself from his Twilight days. …

Pearce and Pattinson deliver visceral performances as uneasy allies.”

Cinematic Addiction

“Robert Pattinson is also superb with his supporting performance. I’ve said this a few times in conversation: Pattinson reminds me of a young Leonardo Di Caprio. Like Leo, Pattinson started as a pretty boy in a teen romance movie (Twilight), and, like Leo, Pattinson is evolving into a superb actor.”

Cine-Vue (Adam Lowes) / DVD Review

“… but it’s Pattinson who almost steals the show. Saddled with a thick and garbled Southern US brogue, he completely loses himself within the role, and even if he’s little more than a slow-witted hick, Pattinson’s performance manages to invoke sympathy from the audience, even when things take a decidedly dark turn.”

Cine-Vue (Daniel Green)

“For their part, Pearce and Pattinson both do the best they can with what they’re given (the latter in particular impressing again) …”

Cine-Vue Film Festivals (John Bleasdale)

” Pattinson – in his second film of the festival following David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars – effectively puts to bed his reputation as mere eye candy for teen Twihards. His Rey is a mass of ticks and twitches, his words tumbling over each other as he tries to comprehend the world, or simply create noises which are something other than gunshots and weeping Pattinson – in his second film of the festival following David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars – effectively puts to bed his reputation as mere eye candy for teen Twihards. His Rey is a mass of ticks and twitches, his words tumbling over each other as he tries to comprehend the world, or simply create noises which are something other than gunshots and weeping.”

Cole Smithey

“Based on Pattinson’s scene-stealing performance — complete with pained speech and awkward body language — you could come to the conclusion that “The Rover” was designed purely as an actors’ showcase. Pattinson’s Rey is a study in the ability of method acting techniques to elevate weak source material. ”

“I find it incredibly encouraging that Pattinson is seeking to challenge himself post-Twilight Saga.  Rather than launch into finding a new franchise, he’s placed his trust in uncompromising directors like Michôd and David Cronenberg.  Rey is a bold performance, and while his stammering delivery is a bit overdone (it feels like he’s always on the verge of saying “Tell me about the rabbits, George”), he still strikes the right balance with Pearce, and tactfully plays into the story’s larger purpose.”

Colourless Opinions

“Great performance by both Pearce and Pattinson. … The former Twilight star Pattinson has shown that he has way better quality than that “saga” in his other films, and here he continues, playing a completely different kind of role, an offbeat character to be exact and who would’ve known he could do it? His role as the young Rey is a slow-talking, easily nervous, half-wit character.”


” It is the performance of Pattinson that really made the movie for me”

ComingSoon (Italy) (Google translate)

Robert Pattinson this time also impresses the results, as well as to the intentions, in its laudable effort to move away from the image of icon teen.”

Complex Pop Culture (there are some spoilery comments in this one)

“Yet it works. Story-wise, “Pretty Girl Rock” powers a sublime moment of connection, with Rey clinging to whatever semblance of his pre-apocalypse life he can through the feel-good whimsy of an R&B diva’s pop single. But in a meta sense, the sight of Robert Pattinson singing along to “Pretty Girl Rock” in The Rover is humorously defensive. Pattinson recites Hilson’s hook: “Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful.” He’s asking that you, the viewer, forget about Eddie Cullen’s pretty-boy appeal and embrace the fact that Pattinson’s starring in a film prestigious enough to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. And he’s not only starring in The Rover—he’s acting his ass off.

Written and directed by Australian filmmaker David Michôd, The Rover is Mad Max minus the shoulder pads and mohawks. Rey’s a nice, possibly intellectually disabled guy trying to survive in post-apocalyptic wasteland, a decade “after the collapse” and mere days following an off-screen shootout that left him all alone with a bullet in his side. Henry fled from the ordeal, thinking Rey’d been killed, and now the younger, weaker sibling is the awkward sidekick to Eric (Guy Pearce), a former Aussie soldier who’s determined to retrieve the car Henry and his ragtag posse stole at gunpoint. Eric is humorless, a shell of a man hardened by his desperate situation and pushed to the brink by Henry’s kleptomania. Rey, on the other hand, is a warm guy, constantly struggling to express himself through a Sling-Blade-esque speech impediment, nervous ticks, and visible insecurity.

Unlike Pattinson, who’s in total command of the role’s atypical nature.”

Contact Music

“Pattinson’s Rey is a hyperactive mess, a simple-minded guy who never stops moving and talking.

Instead of adding an odd-couple vibe, this disparity between the two central figures throws the film off-balance. But it’s such an intriguingly conceived project that it still holds the interest.”

Creative Loafing

“No, the wild card in The Rover is Robert Pattinson, reviled in many circles — but adored in just as many — for portraying sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise. Whether he was actually any good in that series was incidental, something never discussed by either his cheerleaders or detractors. So it’s no surprise that, like Daniel Radcliffe from the far more beloved Harry Potter films, he’s been largely accepting unconventional parts in smaller movies, working hard lest he forever be associated with only one project.

In The Rover, Pattinson acquits himself well enough as he plays second banana to Pearce”

Critical Outcast

“Then there is Robert Pattinson, an actor who thankfully seems to have more to offer as he seeks to distance himself from the Twilight series and that sparkly vampire. He gives a solid character performance here that serves the film and not any actorly conceits. He is a little twitchy, certainly off, but is never showy. It is work that serves the purpose of the film rather than a lookatme sort of thing. ” (Highly recommended:  4 out of 5)

Culture Catch

“Admittedly, though, on the plus side, and there is one, Mr. Pattinson steals the picture, finally showing he can portray more than a pallid vampire suffering from disabled charisma. His embodiment here of a dimwitted, loving member of a third-rate gang of outlaws will no doubt garner him a few award considerations if not major roles with some top-notch directors in the coming seasons.”

Daily Film Fix

“Still, the central performances are excellent if not capable of being too finely cut given the meandering, dare I say “roving,” narrative. …  Robert Pattinson, who by taking the role of Rey shows us how committed he is to shedding the pretty-boy image bestowed on him by the success of the “Twilight” series. As Rey, Pattinson gets ugly, well, as ugly as a pretty-boy can.”


“After convincing as a cold-blooded financial whizzkid in Cosmopolis, the former vampire pulls off a dizzying turn to play a very emotional halfwit in this ultra-violent thriller.”


“… a performance by Pattinson that puts the ghost of Twilight to rest.”

Derek Winnert

“By no means obvious casting, Pattinson is solid …”

Detroit News

“It’s Pattinson’s reading of Rey that brings this movie to life. It starts out as a jumble of tics and awkward stammers but coalesces into a touching study of backward logic and primal desperation. Pattinson takes big risks with this part, and they pay off.”


“One delightfully off-kilter moment has Rey singing along to ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ on the car radio …”

Doctor of Movies

“At the heart of The Rover are gripping lead performances from Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. … In what is undoubtedly the performance of Pattinson’s career thus far, he gives his character an underlying innocence and vulnerability despite his determination to appear threatening.”

Dustin Putman

“Guy Pearce (2014’s “Hateship Loveship“) and Robert Pattinson (2012’s “Cosmopolis“) are such compelling leads that one wishes more was deemed from their characters’ past lives to contrast the virtual hopelessness of their current surroundings.” (Rating: 2.5 out of 4)

DVD Sleuth

“Pattinson is very impressive as Rey, and he loses himself in the part, highlighting the character’s affectations through head movements and an odd voice.”

DVD Verdict

“Both men give performances that transform their very bodies, contorting them to fit the bleak situations they find themselves in.”

EFilm Critic

“It’s an impressive performance from an actor that many justly or unjustly don’t expect much from.”

Empire Online

“… since Robert Pattinson’s performances must all be judged in terms of how distant they are from his drippy bloodsucker of a few years back, it’s nice to report that his turn here is a strong piece of work that promises more to come. A mass of twitches and ticks with a creditable Southern States American accent, he skilfully negotiates the blurry lines of the character, his disquieting innocence set against what might be a dangerous nature, with admirable care.”

Empty Screens

“It picks up considerably in momentum towards the end as Eric develops an unlikely bond with Pattinson’s simpleton Rey (a strong step in the right direction for the ex-Twilight star) …”

Entertainment Fuse

“Pattinson displays a depth and vulnerability previously untapped and delivers a strong performance. Now that he is free of the Twilight franchise, he seems eager to tackle challenging roles. Pattinson captures Rey’s naiveté and innocence, but also his stubborn and unpredictable nature. There is no trace of Edward Cullen in Rey and he is all the better for it.”


“Along the way he picks up Rey, the brother of one of the car robbers, a seeming dullard, played by Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame. Rey is first presented as Eric’s hostage, ransom for the return of his car but gradually the two begin to carve a partnership necessary to their mutual survival in this uncertain and violent landscape. Rey reveals he and his brother came to Australia from the States to seek mining work, suggesting that some basic industries may still be operative. When Rey later displays the ability to speak Mandarin, we must reassess our opinion about both him and the geopolitics of this world. The part is a breakthrough performance for the actor who brandishes a convincing Southern accent and reveals a depth of emotion in what is one of the most skilfully interiorized and physically nuanced performances of the year, and if the film had been seen by more people, certainly merits awards nominations.”


“Pattinson, meanwhile, steps even further away from the sparkling vampire that made his name with an assured portrayal here.”


“The film’s major strength is its two central performances, which are impressive. … Pattinson’s performance is also striking. His Rey is a nervous introvert, uncomfortable in his own skin, who mumblers and slurs his words with a thick southern American drawl. Even with the facial twitches, wandering gaze and unsteady gait Pattinson steers clear of coming across as forced or mechanical; instead, his movements seem unaffected.”

Film Comment (Cannes Review)

“It’s also the first movie, including the Cronenberg, that I’ve seen in which Robert Pattinson shows something that we didn’t know he could do.”


“As for Robert Pattinson and his Tibetan Fox face, I wouldn’t say his is a brilliant performance, but it’s certainly a compellingly strange one”

Film Forward

“Rey (Robert Pattinson, well-played by Pattinson, though his southern accent is unnecessarily thick)”

Film Fracture

“… but the real surprise in The Rover is Robert Pattinson … Pattinson seems to have chosen the role of Rey as a way to distance himself from Edward Cullen and his Twilight past, and he has made a great decision. Pattinson really sinks his teeth into the role (no pun intended), playing the dirty dummy very convincingly. There are a handful of supporting roles, but the movie is basically Pearce and Pattinson, and they own it.”

Film Grouch

“Pattinson, who I dismissed as a pouty, soulless male model in Twilight, and flat out fucking panned in that pretentious shit heap Cosmopolis, gives a revelatory turn here. As the simple, childlike Rey, he is the lone sympathetic soul in this roadshow of repugnancy, and his strong performance is this movie’s biggest surprise. Like Pearce, he has very little dialogue to work with, yet his face and mannerisms express so much, particularly in a scene where he has to cope with the aftermath of killing an innocent. Pattinson is kind of fantastic here. He’s a real fucking actor, after all. Who’d have thunk it?”

Film Leaf

“Robert Pattinson’s attempt at the jangled speech of a damaged American hillbilly. Pattinson’s tics and oddities are entertaining to watch. There’s talent there, though his character is inconsistent, terrified and incompetent one minute, executing a daring rescue operation the next.”

Film Inquiry

“Rey is a better developed character, and Robert Pattinson played him surprisingly well. I didn’t appreciate him much before, as an actor, but he’s definitely caught my attention with this performance.”

Film Pulse

Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson both deliver solid performances with Pattinson’s, arguably perhaps, being a career best so far in what looks to be a very promising future. … Pattinson steals the show with every fidget, every facial tic idiosyncrasy as he delivers line after line of filtered through a slow-witted drawl of  stream-of-consciousness. His character’s lack of confidence is undeniable due to Pattinson’s marvelous turn.”

Film Racket

“Rey—played by Pattinson with a deftly twitchy kind of gracefulness that plays neatly against Pearce’s raw red ferocity—descending to his level.”

Film School Rejects

“That flinty persona clashes well with Pattinson’s desperately thuggish demeanor, the hardened man tolerating the hapless boy. Even if it’s not the latter’s strongest performance, it displays a willingness to flex a few new dramatic muscles.” [Maria:  I chose to read the positive rather than the negative here which is why it’s in The Cool and not the Cruel, but it was a fine line]

Film Threat

“Let’s get down to the real question: How does Robert Pattinson fare? Known for sparkling in vampire movies, RPatz is a pretty face who is willing to dirty down for a role. Rey is lanky and jittery wild dog, and the constant hollowed-out expression on his sad face suggests the lights aren’t always on at home. In his brain is a mountain of idiocy, but he’s a lot smarter than he gives himself credit for. As this misguided cretin, Pattinson shines. If you’ve ever doubted him as a real actor, you can stop here. He proves he’s the real deal; when the role calls for it, he can project any raw emotion needed.”

Filmmaking Review

“Pattinson, on the other hand, is less consistent. At times, the actor’s twitchy movements and slack-jawed expressions are too much, even though Rey is more or less the Lennie to Eric’s George (minus the friendship). However, Pattinson’s effort with the role is commendable, and on more than a few occasions he sticks the landing quite nicely. David Cronenberg has largely used Pattinson for his blankness. Michod, however, has forced the actor to really stretch himself when it comes to emotion and physicality. Some of Pattinson’s efforts may go too far, but his work here does suggest that he’s capable of more than what he’s previously demonstrated.” [Maria:  This is on the fence, but will go with the positive ending]

First Showing Net (Alex Billington / Cannes review)

“Even Robert Pattinson, giving one of his best fidgety, aloof performances to date, has so much more to say between every word he speaks.”

Flickering Myth

“Pattinson is excellent as the simple young man”.

Fliks (Giles Hardie)

“Robert Pattinson, who for the first time warrants the adjective impressive.”

For the Love of Celluloid

“Robert Pattinson (known for his roles in the much maligned TWILIGHT Saga) does a solid enough job of playing Rey.”

Fresno Bee

“The biggest surprise is the performance by Pattinson. He’s gone 180 degrees from his “Twilight” days to play the physically, mentally and socially challenged sidekick. This isn’t just an acting role for Pattinson but a chance to get completely lost in a character and he takes full advantage of that opportunity, turning in the strongest performance of his career.”

“But then there’s Pattinson, acting and acting some more, constantly, tirelessly, in every possible direction, eyes bugged, stuttering in a ripe hillbilly cadence. This is – in the language of his trade – not a performer in control of his instrument. But his eagerness to please is vitally human.”

Games Radar

“Pearce and Pattinson are off-centre leading men who make interesting choices – and much better thesps than their looks might initially suggest.”

Good Efficient Butchery

“Pattinson is sometimes a little too mannered, he generally handles his role well. I didn’t care for David Cronenberg’s COSMOPOLIS, but Pattinson, who reunited with Cronenberg for the upcoming MAPS TO THE STARS, continues to prove himself a sharper actor than you’d think as he seems to be taking on the most non-commercial projects he can to establish his post-TWILIGHT cred. ”

Gotchya Movies

The plot is very straightforward, but it’s in the performances, the little moments, and Michod’s reluctance to adhere to conventions that make The Rover a complex and fascinating film. There have been comparisons between this film and Mad Max, which isn’t out-of-left-field. Both films were shot and take place in the Australian desert, both after an economic collapse, but that’s about where the similarities end.

Pearce is an undeniably great actor, so it wasn’t expected for Robert Pattinson to be able to match him, but damned if he isn’t just as good. Pattinson’s Rey is a meek, pathetic character who by all counts is not cut out for the new way of the world. He’s slow-witted, speaks with a slight stammer, and has some very hideous teeth. His mind is piece of clay that Eric can easily mold and manipulate, putting ideas in his head and shaking his religious faith, as well as his faith in his brother. It’s a quiet role with a lot of substance, and easily Pattinson’s most realized performance to date. Say what you will about the former Twilight heartthrob, but it’s evident that by wanting to work with directors like Michod and David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis and the upcoming Maps to the Stars) that Pattinson is out to prove he’s a capable actor.

Graffiti with Punctuation

“Pattinson is nothing short of unbelievable. Forget anything that you’ve ever seen him in before, this is a towering, career defining performance. Like Leo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Ryan Gosling’s Half Nelson or Al Pacino’s Dog Day Afternoon – this is the one that sees the young actor nurtured to his full potential.Every single stammering unenunciated southern turn of phrase disguises the erudite Brit made famous by being the prettiest, sparkliest vampire ever. Watching his impressionable nature absorb the bleak philosophy of our man with no name (Pearce) creates a tragic Stockholm syndrome, which also affects his companion.”


“The brother is a big, drawling ox, played by Robert Pattinson, who, for now, might be better suited for the adventures to be had in playing brutes and head cases. It’s clearly a Performance, and Pattinson is so committed that Pearce nearly ruptures his absorbing stoicism to seem taken aback.”

HeyUGuys (Cannes review)

“Robert Pattinson is believable and entertaining …”

Hollywood & Fine:

I was a big fan of David Michod’s “Animal Kingdom,” a crisp, brutal little crime film that introduced American audiences to Jackie Weaver and Ben Mendelsohn. This film, set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, is reminiscent of the first “Mad Max,” but in a less energetic way. Guy Pearce plays Eric, someone with a car and a gun who is traveling the Outback, on a perpetual hunt for food and fuel. When his car is stolen while he makes a stop, he single-mindedly starts chasing the three men who took it, eventually rescuing a gunshot young man (Robert Pattinson), who turns out to have been left behind by the group that stole Eric’s car. So they team up to find that trio. That’s the whole thing, though it obviously lasts longer than this synopsis – lots longer. There’s no small talk in this film, virtually no exposition either. These characters exist in this fly-blown landscape of heat and dust with no backstory and no apparent future, other than the next person one of them shoots. Pearce is an intense presence and Pattinson, who I long ago wrote off as a poser rather than an actor, shows depth I previously was unconvinced he possessed.

Hollywood Reporter (Cannes review)

“Pattinson delivers a performance that, despite the character’s own limitations, becomes more interesting as the film moves along, suggesting that the young actor might indeed be capable of offbeat character work.”

“Pattinson finally gives a performance worthy of his box office draw …”

It’s Just Movies

“It is the startling performance by Pattinson that nearly steals the show. Having a track record consisting mostly of profitable teen-age “Twilight Saga” credits, Pattinson had to buck a huge gravitational pull towards the trivial to fill the shoes of the mentally disabled and weak-kneed, but remarkably adaptable and inwardly tough, armed criminal Rey.”

It’s Your Newsfeed

“Pattinson’s performance is the sole bright spot in this muck … We see Pattinson trying to prove himself as an actor whose abilities lie beyond the realm of the Twilight series, and he succeeds in spite of the dreadful material he’s given.” (Chris Bumbray)

“Pattinson is really surprising in a role far removed from anything he’s ever done. Often criticized for his vacuous stare, this actually fits Ray to a tee, and he’s incredibly effective in a part that will likely shock his die-hard TWILIGHT-fans, but delight those of us who’ve been wondering if he’d ever get a part that demonstrated some real chops. This is that part.”

“Robert Pattinson, also turns in a fantastic performance …”

Larsen on Film

“I’m a perennial skeptic of such performances, yet save for a climactic scene in which Pattinson overdoes the tics, he makes the character work.”


“Robert Pattinson shakes off the Twilight glitter and gets grotty in writer-director David Michôd’s stripped-back, post societal collapse drama.”


“Pattinson’s Rey is every bit the Lennie Small to Eric’s George Milton, from soulful campfire vigils in which the whispered philosophical discourse is clearly a case of one-way traffic …”

Lotta Reviews

“Pattinson’s performance is remarkable …”

Malone on Movies

“Pattinson loses himself into Rey.  Pattinson has to tread a fine line here, and whilst occasionally wandering into the realms of caricature, overall he captures Rey’s obvious confusion and frustration with dignity and depth.”

Marvin Brown

“Pattinson, nearly unrecognizable and intriguing with his mumbling accent and vacant stare,  with this film and Cosmopolis (2013) firmly establishes capabilities beyond playing a brooding, glistening vampire.”

Matt’s Movie Review

“The two man show of Pearce and Pattinson is outstanding.


Yet it’s Pattinson who fascinates with his turn as Rey, taking pains to shed that teen heartthrob image with a grubby and dirty look, complete with thick southern accent. Portraying a man of limited mental capacity, Pattinson is almost childlike in a performance sprinkled with jitters, hesitations and ramblings, yet never resulting in caricature, a wholly sympathetic character in an unsympathetic world.

It is indeed proving to be an interesting post-Twilight career for Pattinson, who is wisely choosing projects directed by filmmakers of integrity (two films by David Cronenberg proceeded this, and films by Werner Herzog and Anton Corbijn will come after).”

Media Mike

“Pearce and Pattinson both turn in muted but daring performances.  … , Pattinson creates a character unlike any that I have seen him do before. ”


“Robert Pattinson playing a twitchy American simpleton is just one of this film’s many surprises.”

The Rover is so intentionally vague and shapeless, it doesn’t leave much of an imprint other than Pattinson’s odd, melancholy performance. We haven’t seen him quite this way before: Clearly there’s more to this performer than those Twilight movies suggested.”

Monsters and Critics

“It is the startling performance by Pattinson that nearly steals the show. ”

Moria (NZ)

“gives a surprisingly solid performance such that one tends to forget that it is Pattinson acting and engage with the character’s simplicity.”

Mountain Express

“Pattinson’s performance, the whole thing manages to be compellingly watchable.”

Movie Metropolis

Yes, Pattinson’s performance is mannered and he pushes the Southern accent a little too hard. However, he’s believable and complex in the role. At times, his Rey is almost heartbreaking as someone so simple-minded that he couldn’t possibly survive alone in such a harsh environment. At other times, he reveals himself to be more than capable of sudden violence.

Movie Quotes & More

“Pattinson is transformed from previous roles and plays a simple soul who doesn’t quite understand certain things like why he was left behind by his brother. This role will do nothing but open more big doors for Pattinson in the future as he’s fast becoming a real star.”

Movie Review (Ian Taylor)

“It’s Pattinson’s best performance to date and shows how far he has come since the Twilight days.”

Movie Web

“… in a career best performance from Robert Pattinson”

Nerdly (DVD Review)

“… the performances by Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson as the two main leads were pretty much flawless. They did an excellent job portraying their characters and the emotional turmoil that both of them go through in their own unique ways.”

Next Projection (Cannes Review)

“Pattinson, with the latter succeeding in getting rid of his Twilight-image” (Rating: 7.2 out of 10)


“Pattinson’s been reinventing himself post-Twilight and puts in a transformative shift here so don’t be put off by his casting. This definitely isn’t one for the twi-hards.”

Outlaw Vern

“Pattinson is good too”

Popcorn Addiction

“Equally surprising is the fact that a large part of the film’s success is down to Pattinson himself, … It’s an electric performance, and one that’s a million miles away from the polished calm of his Edward Cullen. He doesn’t just make you fear Rey, or even pity him, but genuinely warm to the character.”


“The parable’s feature length winds up being justified by Robert Pattinson of all people. As an actor whose resting expression has always been to look totally nauseated, he does great work as Rey, … we get a glimpse of him singing along to Keri Hilson’s ‘Pretty Girl Rock’ at one point, and it’s a bizarre, idiosyncratic moment the likes of which separate The Rover from other drab, nihilistic post-westerns.”


As great as Pearce is, it is an American-accented Pattinson that truly transforms himself as ReyIn one of the standout scenes of the film, Rey sits in a car listening to Keri Hilson’s R&B/pop hit, “Pretty Girl Rock”, singing along to lines such as “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful,” which might also be said by the actor to his critics trying to pigeonhole him as nothing but a teen heartthrob without talent.

Radio Times

“Robert Pattinson, giving an excellent performance”

Reel Film

“… and it’s clear, too, that the movie’s uninvolving vibe is compounded by Pattinson’s striking yet frequently unintelligible turn as the dimwitted Rey.”

Reeling Reviews

“Pattinson is terrific as Rey”

Reviews From A Bed:

In focusing on the characters much of the weight of the script and its subject matter falls on the actors portraying them. As mentioned earlier, Pearce plays things mostly stoic with only slight hints of a soul beneath the surface for the majority of the the running time, but it is in the few intermittent moments where Eric is afforded the opportunity to open up that we see something much more intense. It is Eric who guides the events we behold, but it is Pattinson’s Rey who more or less decides how things are going to turn out. To dismiss Pattinson because of his past roles would be a true injustice to what he is able to pull off here. It is clear the former Twilight star is trying to distance himself from that franchise and he seems to be handling things well as I’ve found his choices at least interesting if not always successful. The fact alone that Pattinson’s mind leads him to a place where he is interested in making films such as this opposed to Abduction is a sign of higher intelligence, of a more acquired taste and of an ambition that yearns for more than instant gratification, but a type of legacy. Rey is not the smartest guy, he has a bit of a slow wit about him, but he isn’t dumb either. Near the beginning of their relationship Eric flat-out asks Rey, “What are you?” and it isn’t so much that he can’t gauge the type of person Rey is, but more that Rey is erratic and slightly mysterious as if he is purposefully only letting Eric in so much with a greater agenda behind the smiles and indistinct slurs he throws out. For Pattinson, this is the type of role he likely craves; playing someone so far removed from his public image as he is able to play up characteristics that will define the person for the audience without other aspects seeping into our opinion, namely vanity. Like the world around them, these two men have been slowly breaking apart for some time now. Pearce is a pro and handles his nothing left to lose mentality with a certain calm as his persona would suggest, but Pattinson highlights the film and continues to pull us in with his unpredictable performance (it truly is unpredictable, anyone up for some Keri Hilson karaoke?) that lead to a few of the most tense moments I’ve experienced in a movie theater all year. The Rover is like a tone poem with its pounding and ever-present score, describing the sparse, desolate environment and the desperation man will take to survive leaving you with a feeling you can’t shake.”

Ristretto TV

“… a brilliant Robert Pattinson … Those intense eyes of Robert Pattinson would have been worth watching anyhow, but to photograph such great acting in such a perfect way is a gift to us viewers.”

Rock and Reel Reviews

“… and an affected, detailed performance from Pattinson”

Rolling Stone

All you really need to know is that The Rover is a modern Western that explodes the terms good and evil; that its desolation is brilliantly rendered by Michôd and cinematographer Natasha Braier; that Pearce and Pattinson are a blazing pair of opposites. Pattinson, free of the Twilight trap, shows real acting chops, especially in a moving final scene. In revealing two men trying to get in touch with the shreds of their shared humanity, Michôd offers a startling vision. You’ll be hooked.

Ropes Of Silicon:

“Pearce is largely quiet and reflective, never giving anyone the upper hand while Pattinson delivers the performance of his career. Slow-witted, but far from dumb, Rey is a product of his environment and doesn’t really know any better than what he’s seen around him and clearly what he’s seen is death without remorse. The fact he clearly feels remorse, at times, is just enough of a character detail to pull you in further, just as it does Eric, a man who seems he has nothing left to lose.

…Michod says a lot with The Rover without having to directly come out and say it and he’s proven he’s one of the most exciting directors working today by doing so. If you’re a fan of cinema, you have to see this movie. Sit with it, don’t rush it, let it slowly wrap you up and tear you apart before blowing you away in the end.”

Salty Popcorn

“Pearce and Pattinson are simply superb. … Pattinson on the other hand is a true revelation. With a series of facial ticks and a slow dim-witted drawl he gives life to a man whose whole world has turned upside down now that his brother has seemingly abandoned him. … (this is easily Pattinson’s best screen turn on camera).”

SBS Movies

“Pattinson lays on the southern lilt a bit thick but holds his own as the runt who’s not as dumb as he looks”

Scene Stealers

The Rover features equally strong performances from both Pearce and Pattinson. Pattinson is virtually unrecognizable”

SciFi Now

“It’s a tremendous performance from Pattinson, who avoids easy choices and cliches to make Rey a sympathetic and ultimately moving figure.”

Screen Invasion:

“Most dystopian-future movies show the destruction and cause of the eventual collapse that lead to the end of civilization as we know it. The Rover takes a different approach. While the smaller story within a larger apocalypse might alienate some viewers, I found the film’s focus on Eric (Guy Pearce) and Rey’s (Robert Pattinson) journey across a desolate Australia on a single mission thoroughly mesmerizing.

…The journey is pretty straight forward and they traverse much of a desolate and abandoned Australia. David Michôd takes full advantage of his filming locations, highlighting just how stark the landscape is and how alone everyone is in this post-apocalyptic world. While Michôd’s sure-hand is apparent in the wideshots, it’s the talent of the leading men that elevate this film.

Guy Pearce has never been so magnetic while saying so little. While Eric is a man of few words, his stillness is captivating. He’s menacing and mesmerizing at every turn. That’s not to say that he completely steals the show though. Robert Pattinson, most famous for playing a sparkling vampire, surprises as the dimwitted Rey. While he sometimes acts as the comedic relief to offer the audience a break from the sheer intensity of Pearce’s performance, he brings a vulnerability to the role that makes you believe him and hope it somehow works out for him in the end.”

Screen It

“…It’s Pattinson who’s the revelation here. Somewhat unrecognizable in physical appearance, the actor gives what’s arguably his best performance to date.”

Screen Jabber

“Pattinson too is fine, ably moving away from his Twilight years with a twitchy, complex performance”


“Pattinson slams the door on all those “Team Edward” jokes with an outstanding breakout performance. Reaching shades of nuance he’s never before displayed, the TWILIGHT star brings heartbreak to Rey’s conflicting allegiances without ever copping out to melodrama.”

Seattle Weekly

“Rey is dull-witted and childlike, and although Pattinson might be over-busy at times, his twitchy performance makes an effective contrast with his co-star. ”

Seongyong’s Private Place

“Robert Pattinson, who has assiduously been trying to leave behind his stiff acting in Twilight films, hurls himself into a challenging role, and he holds himself up well as complementing Pierce’s gritty performance. … Pattinson is especially good during the climax scene as his character becomes confused and conflicted about what he is soon going to do”

Shelf Heroes

Robert Pattinson is genuinely remarkable, melting into the shifty, twitchy American in an extraordinary transformation. It’s the kind of role actors must relish, but Pattinson never overplays it, allowing the soft-hearted cracks and naivety to blister through his performance.”

Slant Magazine:

“Pearce was born for this stuff, but Pattinson—grunting slack-jawed to the point of needing subtitles, another layer of obfuscation Michod casts over the film—is sublime. The startling chasm between his characters in The Rover and Cosmopolis suggests a range that’ll be properly acknowledged only when Pattinson is older, less appreciated as a heartthrob than for his skill as a seasoned vet. Rey is pathetic and whimpering at first glimpse, but later emerges closer to a hero than Eric, who kills so many people to find his car that the inciting McGuffin barely holds. Eric convinces Rey to lead him to Henry and his accomplices, but the reunion-confrontation between the two brothers gives the film its only real sense of sorrow, a climax verifying for the first real time how Michod’s wasteland leaves its derelict inhabitants with nothing but terrible options. As a political allegory, The Rover is neither here nor there; that said, Rey’s stare is almost thousand-yard enough to make the film’s sense of tragedy feel downright Greek.”

Sobriety Test Movie Reviews

“For his part as Rey, Robert Pattinson steps out of his comfort zone as an actor.  Portraying this mentally challenged character, he takes on a role where he lacks self-confidence and depends heavily on Pearce’s Eric.  At the same time, he relishes in dealing in blood.  All in all, Pattinson does well here.”

“If there’s anything even mildly redeeming about The Rover, it’s watching Pattinson try to shed his teen-heartthrob image by portraying a childlike country boy whose mind works like a flickering light bulb.”

Super Marcey

“Pattinson does a great job … It’s a role that, if it wasn’t approached the right way, it could have easily stumbled into cliche. But luckily Pattinson brings a naive innocence to the character that makes us sympathetic towards him. Plus his character’s emotional journey was surprisingly heartbreaking as well. ”

Susan Granger

“… while Robert Pattinson sheds all traces of his “Twilight” mystique”


“Just as impressive (but for very different reasons) is Pattinson as Rey. While Eric is a quiet stone figure who speaks only when necessary, Rey is a live wire, fidgety and erratic, constantly nattering in a Texan babble, and Pattinson knows exactly why. One man is the antithesis of the other, and Pattinson is as committed to the conceit of his character as Pearce. He’s also put through the wringer in this one, and demonstrates a bravery as an actor we haven’t seen from him before. His kinetic energy on screen and his chemistry with Pearce is a pleasure to watch, and makes his a far more interesting performance than you’d expect.”

Sydney Morning Herald

“If there is less spontaneity, there is more to think about, which can have its attractions. Pattinson, almost unrecognisable as a dim-witted boy from the American south, renovates his screen image with this performance …”

That Film Guy

“… the central performances from Pearce and Pattinson are fantastic”

The Arts Guild

“The chemistry between Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson is simply electric, and it’s a mix I never thought about seeing together. The relationship between Eric and Rey completely drives the viewer, and it’s what most intrigued and interested me throughout the duration of the feature. Pattinson truly holds his own against Guy Pearce’s fierce but measured Eric, and I was pleasantly surprised to see he is successfully continuing to break out of the teenage heartthrob shell the Twilight series inevitably built around him.”

The Australian (David Stratton)

“… Pattinson successfully extends his range as a teen heart-throb with his down and dirty portrayal of a feeble-minded crim”

The Christian Science Monitor

“Actor Robert Pattinson is a welcome presence in the story”

The Cleveland Movie Blog

“Pattinson’s nuanced performance as the film’s lone sympathetic character adds some verve and humanity to this parched, languid desert drama.”

The Denver Post

Robert Pattinson’s sensitive, squirrely, wounded turn as the transplanted American should go a long way in helping the actor put his identity as the “Twilight” vampire heartthrob to rest.”

The Detroit News:

“And we know the loner, as well. His name is Eric (Guy Pearce), although no one ever calls him that. He’s driven and haunted by ghosts unknown, deadly when he needs to be, an empty-souled survivor on a mission.

But what we don’t know, and what elevates “The Rover” above “Mad Max” territory, is Rey (Robert Pattinson), the emotional wreck and ball of confusion and conflict who becomes Eric’s hostage/frenemy/twisted partner.

It’s Pattinson’s reading of Rey that brings this movie to life. It starts out as a jumble of tics and awkward stammers but coalesces into a touching study of backward logic and primal desperation. Pattinson takes big risks with this part, and they pay off.”

The Establishing Shot:

“Robert Pattinson pulls in another impressive and understated performance as Rey, continuing his path to become his generations James Dean (without the tragedy)”

The Film Pie

“Also impressive is Robert Pattison who continues to distance himself from the Twilight franchise with interesting roles.”

The Film Stage

“… Pattinson — who gives a committed, twitchy, and altogether daring performance as a “halfwit”

The Focus Pull

“Pattinson is unrecognizable, without a benchmark performance with which to compare. Pattinson, at the height of his career between this door-opening performance and his upcoming work in Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars,” portrays Rey with an innocence manifested through nervous ticks and a general lack of understanding in some situations. In a masterful scene, we find him listening to a pop song on the radio, singing the words to himself, and for a moment we can pretend that the world hasn’t caved in on itself.”

The Hollywood News (DVD Review)

“Robert Pattinson as Rey is, once again, another genius choice of casting. Surprisingly for some, THE ROVER is only the second post-TWILIGHT SAGA role for Pattinson, following fellow 2014 entry MAPS TO THE STARS, and he certainly takes advantage of the freedom to explore his talents.”

The Horror Club

“This kid is a great actor, and it’s nice to see him doing some real film work in his post-sparkly Vampire days. ”

The Lumière Reader [Jacob Powell]

“Pearce gives a master class in barely contained, occasionally spilling over anger, generating as much tension through sheer presence as any of the formal production elements. He is surprisingly well matched in Robert Pattinson as Rey”

The MacGuffin [Benjamin Nason]

“Between Pearce’s unwavering intensity and Pattinson unnerving caginess, there’s enough great acting here to draw the scenes between intense violence down from what could be a slog to a welcomed reprieve.”

The MacGuffin [Sarah Ksiazek]

“Robert Pattinson is losing his Twilight stain.”

The Movie Sleuth:

In The Rover, David Michôd’s followup to the acclaimed 2010 crime drama Animal Kingdom, he finds that reason, that point, that why, and crafts a film that sucks you in for its 102 minute run time, throws you to the ground, kicks you out, and makes you want to experience it all over again.

…I personally thought Robert Pattinson’s performance in Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis was the performance of 2012. As he branches off into a different type of character in The Rover, he is just as good. His character feels the empathy Eric does not, supplying the audience with an emotional connection to the characters. While bumbling and seeming like he may be the one-note southern hick we expect, he is far more human than I thought possible. He is a little silly, clever at times, and completely loyal to the man who once saved his life and is willing to go anywhere for him.

…The response to this film has become, sadly, mixed. People seem to be frustrated at the simplicity of the plot, how it drifts around, and how little happens. It’s unfortunate, really, because the plot serves the many complex themes and ideas the film masterfully brings about. They are missing out on what is easily one of the best films of this year and decade.

The Ooh Tray

“If Michôd makes good use of Pearce he deserves additional credit for wringing a fine supporting turn from Robert Pattinson as the half-witted brother of one of car thieves, forced to lead the wolf to the door. David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis proved the Twilight actor could do more than squint, and he makes good on that promise here, equal parts vulnerable and volatile.”

The Playlist (Cannes Review)

“while Pattinson, who we were initially worried might be too tic-laden to fully convince, actually turns in a performance that manages to be more affecting than affected. It’s certainly the best we’ve seen him deliver, despite the rather standard-issue-halfwit yokel accent and the actor commits to it wholly …”

The Telegraph (UK)

“… Pattinson, who auditioned to get this role, deserves credit for trying to flex some acting muscles he hasn’t previously exercised, but it’s mainly the effort that shows: blinking, sniffling and over-signalling confusion every which way, his portrayal of this forlorn dimwit is too committed to hamper the film, but it’s not the scene-stealing asset it should be.”

The Washington Post

“There’s also an amusingly meta scene of R-Patz singing “Pretty Girl Rock,” in which he makes a clever and convincing case for accepting him outside his “Twilight”-created pop stardom.”

The Wrap (Cannes Review)

“But Pattinson, who Cronenberg sometimes seemed to use specifically because of a certain blankness (particularly in “Cosmopolis”), gets a weird and meaty role and turns out to know what to do with it.”

Thoughts on Film

“It’s basically a two-man show for most of it between him and Robert Pattinson’s criminal-turned-hostage, twitching and barely literate with a Southern drawl, a far cry from his days as a sparkling vampire. The two of them give admirably committed performances that add to the realism of the film.”

Toledo Blade

“Pattinson finally shakes off the ick from the Twilight series with this dramatic role — a process begun with David Cronenberg and 2012’s Cosmopolis.”
“Robert Pattinson, this is a performance that much like the film is certain to divide audiences. It’s a bit broad, to be sure, but I actually found the role quite engaging, exactly the kind of offkilter roles that the likes of Joaquin Phoenix is (sometimes undeservedly) applauded for early in his career.”

UK Screen

“Robert Pattinson successfully takes another step away from the Twilight character that made his name, with a slightly over-acted tick-ridden simpleton but he will also win over audiences.”

Variety (Cannes Review)

“… a career-redefining performance by Robert Pattinson that reveals untold depths of sensitivity and feeling in the erstwhile “Twilight” star.”

Very Aware:

All he wanted was his car. What he got was a lot more. This may sound like a trite logline to a heartwarming melodrama, but writer-director David Michôd’s THE ROVER is anything but a feel-good film. This is a sunbleached tale of lawlessness and consequences set against a dry, unforgiving dystopian landscape. Feeling Antonioni-esque, this film features razor-sharp performances by two pros at the top of their games. It’s violent, poetic and unsettling in the best of ways.

…..Finally, THE ROVER would be nowhere without the magnificent, awe-inducing performances from Pearce and Pattinson. Michôd’s neo-noir-ish, nuevo-western-like dialogue like “You should never stop thinkin’ about a life you take – that’s the price you pay for takin’ it,” would be like tumbleweeds along a desert road if not for the care and craft of his two leads. This is a master class in acting that doesn’t feel like an actor’s study. Pearce, who has an inherent likeability, continues to be one of those actors that gets better and better with each film – even in silly stuff like Spacejail LOCKOUT. He’s precise. He’s transfixing. And he’s especially good when used as Michôd’s muse. Pattinson, who’s been discounted by many critics, is mind-blowingly fantastic in this. It’s a pleasure to see him paired against Pearce and be able to watch the actors give and take from each other in the same manners their characters do.

Though the film’s final few minutes might split audiences, it will stimulate some thought-provoking discussions as well. Mood is everything here, and master craftsman Michôd proves he knows how to utilize it.

View Guide

“Robert Pattinson shares about half the movie with him in an odd but effective performance. Supposedly a halfwit, he’s surprisingly clever and sounds like he’s from the Deep South instead of the Aussie Outback. Mostly he’s not playing a vampire, so that’s progress.”

Vue Weekly

“(Robert Pattinson, quite good)”

Wall Street Journal

The time, the opening titles tell us, is “ten years after the collapse”; the setting is the lawless Australian outback. This is “Mad Max” territory, but the filmmaker isn’t concerned with spectacular special effects. The violence in his gaunt drifter, Eric (Guy Pearce), comes from within, and erupts in a moral vacuum. Bumbling hoodlums have stolen Eric’s car. Enraged by the injustice, and by the loss of an indispensable possession, Eric sets off to retrieve the car and exact vengeance on the thieves. In the course of his journey he is aided by Rey (Robert Pattinson), the brother of one of the thieves, who has been injured and left to die. (Both Mr. Pearce and Mr. Pattinson are superb in their roles.) Part of the drama involves the trackdown, but the darker dimensions of Mr. Michôd’s enigmatic film lie in the interplay between childlike—or clinically impaired—Rey, who believes that his brother still cares for him, and implacable Eric, who sees the world around him as the squalid place it has become.

We Are Movie Geeks:

This film is a big departure from most of Pattinson’s previous films. It seems that he is choosing more artistic, independent films over blockbusters. I’m not sure if this is to break away from his TWILIGHT reputation, but it’s working. Twi-Hards expecting the sparkly, handsome man that they fell in love with as Edward will be sadly disappointed. Instead, they will be greeted by a slow talking, dirty kid who is severely lacking in the IQ department. Having said that, he is phenomenal! Pattinson’s performance surprised me, and left me impressed. He’s making smart film choices, and it shows!

Pearce and Pattinson have an amazing chemistry together, and carry this film in a way that most actors wouldn’t be able to. While neither character is very likable, they somehow manage to make the audience invest in their journey through the incredible Australian landscape. Michôd paints a tonally somber, yet eerily beautiful background for Eric and Rey to exist in.

THE ROVER is both depressing and rewarding. This film is one of the more impressive indie films that I’ve seen this year, and worth the trip to the theater just to watch the chemistry and talent of its leading men.

“Pattinson is exceptionally good and more than a match for Pearce.”

What the Flick

Great words in this review about Rob.  “The performances here are great.   I’ve got to give it up for Robert Pattinson – he’s so good in it … a powerful performance”  (starts at 2.22 and again at 4.16)

What Movie This Week

“But it was R-Patz’s vunerable, physical portrayal of Rey that stood out for The Sloth. Seems one more acting fledging has successfully flown the nest and hurrah for that.”

Cinema Underrated & Underexposed

“The surprise of the film was an impressive performance from Robert Pattinson. Being honest, I have never seen a Pattinson film as I had dismissed him as a glorified model. I was wrong. Simple characters are often difficult to portray, especially when they act as a foil, and the actor often comes off looking repetitive and unimaginative. Michod and Pattinson paired well together to bring Rey to life plausibly. This choice of film shows taste from Pattinson, which I hope will continue – he has earned the benefit of the doubt.”

Les Males Herbes

“Robert Pattinson, proving, I think definitely it is much more than a handsome vampire who makes girls scream.”


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7M Pictures

“He is balanced by Robert Pattinson, who doesn’t give nearly as strong of a performance. This is probably because Pearce has proved his acting chops time and again, and “The Rover” gives him a chance to display his raw power on the screen. Conversely, Pattinson still hasn’t convinced me he’s a good actor, and he continues to try to break free not just of his image left by years in the “Twilight” franchise, but also by years of acting tutelage of the same franchise, which features some of the worst performances you’ll see in a modern movie.

In the end, Pattinson is passable, but it’s Pearce who shines and keeps the film going.”

Cinema Australia

“Robert Pattinson is especially frustrating as Rey, a seemingly simple Southerner who takes a little getting used to. He’s pivotal to Eric’s mission and becomes more bearable as the film goes on but his strong accent is hard to understand. When you cast Pattinson you get a built-in audience obsessed with his every move. A marketing tactic perhaps?”

Culture Fix (UK)

“There is a slightly interesting childlike innocence to Rey – but this is a character that does not particularly evoke much interest or emotion (especially when we have seen Pattinson give far superior performances).”

Dark Horizons

“As talented as Pearce is, however, it’s Pattinson who steals the spotlight with his performance as the mentally and emotionally damaged Rey with a performance that goes a long way towards shredding his post-Twilight cardboard pretty-boy status. His heart-throb looks hidden behind a layer of grime, rotten teeth, nervous ticks, and a thick backwoods accent, he seems hellbent on burying Edward Cullen forever. ”

Darren’s World of Entertainment (NZ)

“While Pearce is impressive and grimly stoic as the determined and wearied Eric – witness his face when he’s asked by one character what there is to get worked up about these days, Pattinson is the opposite, all tics and vocal jumps as he channels what’s lovingly labelled a halfwit by some in the movie.”

DVD Talk

“Pattinson plays Rey as twitchy and talkative, walking a fine line where at times it’s hard to tell if he is cagier than we give him credit for or merely mentally challenged. ” (Travis Hopson)

“The more interesting performance is by Pattinson who has basically jettisoned Hollywood limelight behind to flex his dramatic muscles with indie directors. So far it hasn’t really worked out, and it doesn’t really work out here either. With his teeth a mangled mess and his nerves all jittery, Pattinson’s portrayal of Rey is too practiced, too aware. What’s impressive is Pattinson’s dedication to the role and willingness to branch out into something like this in the first place.”

Eye for Film (UK)

“Pattinson too has been earning his fair share of praise for his turn as Rey, and though I appreciated the tension his character generated by being so ambiguous in terms of his capabilities (he might be Eric’s hostage but he might also be leading him into a trap) and the empathy he provoked, it is a distractingly mannered performance. ”

Kansas City

“Team Pattinson doesn’t fare as well, even though he seems to be trying so hard. The shaved head helps divorce him a bit from the pretty-boy “Twilight” persona. Not sure why the filmmakers decide to make him an American Southerner, and the Brit certainly wrestles with the accent. The result is a twitchy character who looks like Eminem and talks like a cross between Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain” and Billy Bob Thornton in “Sling Blade.”

Mark Reviews Movies

“If their relationship feels hollow and without much tension, a lot of that comes from Pattinson, who adopts an accent that sounds like it comes from the American South and renders a good chunk of his lines incoherent.”

Movie Buzzers

“While I give him a lot of credit for shedding his pretty-boy image in order to play such a grimy role, his character is annoying. Much of that is probably because of Pattinson’s horrific accent.”

New Statesmen

“But his odd-couple shtick with Pattinson stays firmly on the page. They don’t have the rapport to sustain the movie when nothing else is happening”

New York Times (A O Scott)

“Rey’s presence situates “The Rover” awkwardly between fable and buddy picture. He may not be as dumb as he at first appears, but at the same time, it’s hard to tell much about him, given Mr. Pattinson’s curious accent (Kentucky? Cajun? Tongue-tied vampire?) and his incessant twitching. … But that minimalism serves as an excuse for an irritating lack of narrative clarity, so that much of what happens seems arbitrary rather than haunting.”

Oregon Live

“Pattinson is another matter. He’s used his “Twilight” fame to work with respected directors, including David Cronenberg (“Cosmopolis” and the upcoming “Maps to the Stars”), Werner Herzog (“Queen of the Desert,” also forthcoming), and Anton Corbijn (“Life,” ditto). Pattinson is the reason “The Rover” is opening wide in the U.S. and is probably the main reason it got financing. He takes chances with his character, giving Rey a Southern accent and a twitchy manner that’s half-wit like a fox. I admired his choices but didn’t buy them for a second.”

Punch Drunk Critics

“The more interesting performance is by Pattinson who has basically jettisoned Hollywood limelight behind to flex his dramatic muscles with indie directors. So far it hasn’t really worked out, and it doesn’t really work out here either. With his teeth a mangled mess and his nerves all jittery, Pattinson’s portrayal of Rey is too practiced, too aware. What’s impressive is Pattinson’s dedication to the role and willingness to branch out into something like this in the first place.”

San Diego Union Tribune

“I found Pattinson’s performance both tetchy and twitchy, and I wondered how this character could have possibly survived the past decade of heartlessness.”

Screen Comment

“Rey, the companion he meets and then is saddled with is played by Robert Pattinson who remains as bland as a would-be simple-minded Lennie “Of Mice and Men” character as he was as vampire or billionaire currency investor.”

Screen Daily

“But the film’s weak link is Pattinson, not because it’s a bad performance, rather it is a familiar one …”

The Globe & Mail

“Then there’s Pattison, best known for playing The Twilight Saga’s Edward Cullen. The Rover is his first film since that series ended two years ago, and he is clearly striving to prove he’s more than a pretty face. But try as he might to get down in the dirt with his co-star, Pattison’s performance never rings with the same feral quality Pearce has. Even with prosthetic rotting teeth, Pattinson is a heartthrob.”

The Hollywood News

“Robert Pattinson soon arrives sporting a buzz cut and terrible teeth. He successfully stakes the image of a chiselled vampire in this sun-bleached nightmare, putting a lot into his performance. Unfortunately for me his character Rey is the weak link. “

The Incredible Suit

“It’s a tricky performance to pull off, and there’s a lot of good work here, but while R-Pattz generally does a grand job of continuing to shed his fangirl-fodder rep he’s often in danger of defusing carefully-wrought tension.”

The Irish Times

“…  a role that sees Robert Pattinson gallantly lose his fight with a southern accent”

The Movie Waffler

“Much has been said about Pattinson’s performance, but I’m not sure he thoroughly deserves the plaudits he’s received. It’s certainly a departure from his star-making pasty faced pretty boy vampire turn in the Twilight series, but it’s a highly mannered piece of acting that comes off like an impersonation of Billy Bob Thornton’s turn in Slingblade. It’s also jarring that his accent sounds nothing like that of his brother, played by McNairy. ”

The Patriot Ledger

“Give Robert Pattinson credit for trying, but the actor formerly known as Edward Cullen continues to struggle to gain legitimacy in his latest post-“Twilight” endeavor, “The Rover.” ”

The People’s Movies [Andrew McArthur]

” Rey – but this is a character that does not particularly evoke much interest or emotion (especially when we have seen Pattinson give far superior performances).”

USA Today

“Rey’s simple-minded ways are not very convincing. Pattinson mumbles unpersuasively, in an inconsistent accent from the American South.”

We Got This Covered

“Pattinson, on the other hand, mumbles through a role that could have been much more in the hands of someone wry and wounded. (Joel Kinnaman, who balanced boyish charm and a contemplative mind on The Killing, could have owned the part.) With a squirrelly voice and difficult-to-pin-down accent, Pattinson looks like he’s trying too hard to wrap his head around the character’s speech patterns and fails to bring Rey the agency that could actually give the man a say in the story. The actor keeps landing roles in films with good directors, yet has not quite capitalized on shifting his career away from Twilight.”




  • Trish
    Posted on January 15, 2015

    First of all, a standing ovation to you, Maria. This is AWESOME. I’ve been here reading for about an hour – god knows how many hours (days?) it took you to compile this staggering list. So, a HUGE thank you! As for the reviews themselves, I’m just blown away. They went from the sublime to the ridiculous (some ‘reviewers’ quite obviously needed to dredge the obvious to elevate their own cred – BTW, fuckers, it didn’t work). Some gave me shivers, others brought tears to my eyes. Some even made me laugh out loud. What a document! – to see them all listed like this is the reason RPAU has to be THE best fan site ever. Rob should be (as we already are) so proud of his work.

  • Jules
    Posted on January 15, 2015

    Outstanding post Maria!! Outstanding. Impossible not to read the amazeballs reviews without a HUGE grin!! So pleased for Rob and this film. Definitely one of my all time fave films now. Hand on heart 😁 the praise is so sooooo well deserved.

    As for the not so great, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but at least I don’t have to read them LOL

  • Carmel
    Posted on January 15, 2015

    Bloody Hell Maria – This is a thesis. Awesome job

    I haven’t read through them ( a bit embarrassing when put along side Maria’s effort) but a quick skim sees that The Rover and Rob are mostly appluaded with still the few spectics.

    I mean – look at this tortured bit of writing. You know what they say about critics that can’t do – ‘ “That flinty persona clashes well with Pattinson’s desperately thuggish demeanor, the hardened man tolerating the hapless boy. Even if it’s not the latter’s strongest performance, it displays a willingness to flex a few new dramatic muscles.”

  • Carmel
    Posted on March 05, 2015

    I read the The Cruel ones a bit more this time. I have no idea what movie some of these guys are seeing. I know the movie isn’t for everyone but I find it hard to understand people saying things like – “not because it’s a bad performance, rather it is a familiar one …” WTF??

  • Maria
    Posted on March 05, 2015

    I agree @Carmel. I understand not everyone is going to like the film, but you have to really question whether some of these critics actually watched the entire film and focused on it. Because I can confirm that one of Sydney’s biggest critics walked in and out of the screening we were in twice … so not sure how you can be objective when you didn’t even bother to watch the entire film. How does he not know whether when he was out of the screening a major plot change occurred or some background information that pieces the whole movie together.

  • sue
    Posted on March 05, 2015

    Yep, totally agree with you @Carmel. Some criticisms just make absolutely no sense. *shakes head*

  • Leave a Reply

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