Austin Film Festival Review: The Long Dumb Road

Hannah Fidell's road trip comedy makes all the right stops

When it comes to road trip buddy comedies, The Long Dumb Road isn’t exactly breaking new ground. It’s Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with 21st century updates, yet it’s grounded in a nostalgic sense of kismet that predates using an app to order rides from strangers.

Nat (Tony Revolori, Spider-Man: Homecoming) embarks on a road trip across the Southwest, leaving Austin to drive to L.A. for art school. After experiencing some car trouble in Fort Stockton, he meets Richard (The League’s Jason Mantzoukas, who plays the drifter role with a certain childlike innocence) as he’s getting fired from a garage. Once Richard gets the car going again, Nat uneasily agrees to let him hitch a ride to Alpine, setting off a series of events, snags, and missions that reveal both parties wind up with more than they bargained for.

The success of the film relies heavily on the chemistry between the actors and a witty script written by director Fidell (her first foray into comedy after two Austin-set dramas, A Teacher and 6 Years) and Carson Mell (Another Evil). Overall, the film is charming and funny, even when it sticks to some well-traveled routes.

Austin Film Festival runs Oct. 25 - Nov. 1. Tickets and info at

Find more of our AFF coverage, including news, reviews, and interviews, at

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Danielle White
Fathers of Football
Oklahoma high school football documentary could have gone deeper

April 26, 2019

Teen Spirit
Pop fable never feels like a smash hit

April 19, 2019


Austin Film Festival 2018, AFF 2018, Austin Film Festival, The Long Dumb Road, Hannah Fidell, Carson Mell, Jason Mantzoukas, Tony Revolori

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle