Revolutionary Road

Rated 2.0

In 1950s America, a suburban couple (Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet) dreams of escaping the rat race, but circumstances and their own limitations conspire against them. Directed by Sam Mendes and written by Justin Haythe (from Richard Yates’ 1961 novel), the movie treads ground already familiar to viewers of such movies as The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, No Down Payment and Ordinary People—so familiar, in fact, that its observations seem inspired less by real life than by other movies (including Mendes’ own American Beauty). The result feels stale and predictable—and snobbish, too: Mendes and Haythe make little effort to justify the characters’ dissatisfaction with their middle-class life, as if the mere fact that they’re played by DiCaprio and Winslet were enough to prove that they deserve better.