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1,631 Ratings

Two-Lane Blacktop

Directed by Monte Hellman
United States, 1971


Drag racing east from L.A. in a souped-up ‘55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic, accompanied by a tagalong Girl. Monte Hellman’s look at American male obsession is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema, and possibly the greatest road movie ever.

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Two-Lane Blacktop Directed by Monte Hellman
Everyone involved in this existential masterpiece steps up, but the revelation is Oates’s heartbreaking blend of bluster, threat, humility, zaniness, insecurity, and, improbably, latent decency—signature qualities of this great film actor, who at least until recently has been under-appreciated. It goes almost without saying that the race is never finished. The movie’s iconic fade-out is one of the coolest and most haunting in film.
January 25, 2017
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There are times when Taylor shifts from laconic to almost chillingly engaged, somewhere on the line between confident and sociopathic. Maybe that’s the trick in casting a popular musician in a movie: There’s a presence to Taylor that’s more self-assured than an actor with insecurities, and more than once, I’ve heard him described as a “zombie,” or something synonymous for this performance. But those eyes of his are a road to oblivion in and of themselves.
May 28, 2015
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What makes a movie star is the inability to subordinate oneself to a character—the charismatic force of personality that renders the star more fascinating than any scripted role… Taylor and Wilson exert a negative charisma: their presence is both powerful and blank, deeply expressive in its neutrality. They offer one of the few original post-sixties reconfigurations of the movie star. Their manner is a perfect match for the story, and for the mythic, symbolic landscape in which it’s set.
May 21, 2014
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