(1989)

Critic Reviews

36

Metascore

Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
80
An immensely enjoyable slice of romanticised fisticuffs, this is a Western in every respect except the stetsons and six guns.
80
Time Out London
Swayze gives up 'Dirty Dancing' for dirty fighting in this violent, spectacular and immensely enjoyable study of Zen and the art of Barroom Bouncing...Mindless entertainment of the highest order.
63
Road House exists right on the edge between the "good-bad movie" and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer. This is not a good movie. But viewed in the right frame of mind, it is not a boring one, either.
50
Road House is startling because of the intensity of its violence and because of Swayze`s mindless posturing. A young star has sold himself to become a pinup boy.
40
Director Rowdy Herrington lives up to his name: once he's seen to it that all the conventions of the western are in place, he presents an all-out brawl on the average of about every 12 minutes or so, and the battles quickly grow tiresome. Swayze is up to a part that requires him merely to show his muscles and dexterity, but Gazzara is trapped in his hopelessly evil caricature, leaving Sam Elliott (in a too-limited role) to provide the film's only real charm.
40
The film gets campier by the minute.
38
Boston Globe
Road House is the kind of action movie whose rigging is so blatant that there can be no air of heroism about it. Although Swayze and Sam Elliott, in the role of his mentor, have the decency to look sheepish most of the time, there's no end to the cynicism and merchandising on screen, especially in the sex scenes. [19 May 1989, p.45]
30
An ugly commingling of old Westerns, Zen chic and kung fu movies...Full of gratuitous mayhem, head-bashing, gay-bashing and woman-bashing, Road House has a malicious, almost putrid tone.
30
With Road House, United Artists hotwires Patrick Swayze a star vehicle shackled by a couple of flat tires in the script department. Ill-conceived and unevenly executed, pic essentially is a Western - a loner comes in to clean up a bar, of all things, and ends up washing and drying the whole town - but its vigilante justice, lawlessness and wanton violence feel ludicrous in a modern setting.
10
In Road House, Patrick Swayze has the most laughable role since Tom Cruise juggled a few liquor bottles and danced to ''The Hippy Hippy Shakes'' in Cocktail...Next to Dalton, Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing seems like Hamlet. Mr. Swayze does some dirty fighting here, but mostly the role requires a blank expression. At this point, Road House makes his career look like a bad joke.

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