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The Longest Ride – Review


Release Date: 10th April 2015 [USA]
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Nicholas Sparks [Novel] - Craig Bolotin [Screenplay]
Cast: Scott Eastwood - Britt Robertson - Alan Alda



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Posted June 25, 2015 by

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The Longest Ride Review:

The latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation begins with a bang, or rather a bull, complete with Stetson-sportin’ stud atop. Art student Sophia (Britt Robertson) attends the show and a bit of luck lands her an encounter with bull rider Luke Collins (Scott Eastwood). There’s attraction immediately but circumstances and lifestyles seem determined to break their connection.

While driving home from a date they spot a road-side crash and help an elderly driver to safety. By the elderly patient’s bed, Sophia learns about his own young romance which seemed doomed at many points in his life. Sophia and Luke may learn from this man what it takes, and what it takes leaving behind, to make love work.

The Longest Ride is two struggling love-stories rather clumsily stuck together, with the sepia-like palette of the 1940’s against the bright, loud modern setting not complimenting each other. The transitions from present to past are clunky too, with the elder Ira beginning to read a faded letter to his wife as a scene fades into the past and suddenly the narration is abandoned and the audience has been dropped off.

All similar romantic movies must exist in some care-free alternate dimension. Health-care with no sign of the costs. Convertibles coming out of the blue. A young Ira Levinson (Jack Huston) mentions he had taken over his father’s business and this explains his gorgeous house, big car and a stellar art-collection. What was his father’s business? Never explained. This is a world without bills, shopping lists or washing up.

There must also be something in the air of this alternate world. Something that makes men and women spontaneously start running and whooping and splashing (don’t go see this movie in a grumpy mood). Also, the rain is super convenient.

Britt Robertson delivers a more adult turn here than in Tomorrowland but still seems implausibly young to be sitting behind the desk of an art gallery.

Alan Alda plays Ira Levinson (who looks great for a character in his 90’s) who spends most of his time bed-ridden giving advice to Sophia. While perhaps an overly simplified role to play, Alda brings warmth and sincerity.

Jack Huston, the young Ira, is a million miles away from the metal-voiced, two-faced killing machine Richard Harrow from Boardwalk Empire. Instead, he’s ridiculously timid with a dubious accent, easily outshined by his co-star.

Oona Chaplin as Ira’s love Ruth is a delightful performance. She brims with energy in every scene and nails her Austrian accent. Of all the movie’s characters, you’ll care for Ruth the most.

The most striking presence on screen is Scott Eastwood. One smirk and all you’ll see is Clint. Most of the time he plays the gentleman except for one scene where he shows some honest ignorance and honestly, you’ll wish there was more of Papa Eastwood’s attitude.

If running on the beach ain’t your thing, the bull riding sequences are the best shot scenes of the show. Eight seconds on one of those crazy mofo’s must seem like an eternity. Bull-mounted cams make some sequences extra visceral and a late show plays mostly in slo-mo, clouds of dust and ribbons of bull-spit flying wild.

Some admirable acting from Chaplin, Alda and Eastwood makes this movie watchable. Otherwise it’s soppy and saccharine. If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan, this is for you in spades.


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Written by:


Michael Keyes
Silences Band
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