Cannes Reaction: High Praise for Robert Pattinson’s Performance in ‘The Rover’- COLLECTED quotes & Superlatives!

Robert Pattinson must be a happy actor- critics are loving his performance in The Rover so far! This collection of review comments on Robert Pattinson’s performance in The Rover is from Cannes 2014- and ONLY including the press screening today, May 17th, PRIOR to the premiere that should start very soon, France time.  They are in alphabetical order. [Note: this does not include all reviews from Cannes.]

Here’s my paragraph of superlatives pulled from the reviews, as I did for Pattinson in his turn for Cosmopolis. Looking pretty good and the film hasn’t even premiered yet.

Quotes from this post on Pattinson in his role as ‘Rey’ in The Rover is/shows he’s:

“Formidable; truly transformative; real ability; magnetism on screen; brilliant; shows range; extraordinary; high class performance most surprising actors of his generation; very good; capable of offbeat character work; a revelation; portrays admirable pathos; [performs to] great effect; more affecting than affected; best we’ve seen him deliver; his dramatic best; a seriously good performance; career-redefining performance; reveals untold depths of sensitivity and feeling; reveals an understated dignity; builds up an empathy for the character that’s entirely earned; impresses;.a triumph of transformation; top form; best performance by a long shot; Joaquin-like role- best yet; knows how to deliver a drama; unrecognizable; strong acting; biggest departure for Robert Pattinson to date; his post-Twilight career amazes me; proves he has the skills to continue to act for as long as he wants & w/whom he wants; [David, Guy &] Rob have made something brilliant; surprised by Pattinson; Pattinson’s impressive; [added 5/18:] superbly acted; shines; delivers potentially best performance yet; convinces; acquits himself admirably; gives it his all in the best performance of his career so far; with this movie is finally able to show what he is made ​​of and does it with a difficult role. “

AAP Australian Associated Press  added 5/18

Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson shine in The Rover | Repeating the feat was always bound to be difficult but 41-year-old Michod’s follow-up – a road movie from hell – is enthralling, unrelenting and superbly acted by leads Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson.

Former teen heartthrob and Twilight star Pattinson delivers potentially his best performance yet, convincing as the twitchy Rey and evoking empathy in his tortured struggle between family loyalty and resentment at being left for dead.


Pearce is the center of the film and a forceful presence as usual, but Pattinson puts in a formidable and truly transformative performance all his own. Rey is an unattractive character in an unattractive world, with rotten teeth, a bad haircut, and an off-putting, twitchy demeanor, but there’s no sense that Pattinson did any of this in a superficial effort to ugly himself up and distance himself from his heartthrob image. If anything, the role should stand as proof to any doubters that with the right director and the freedom to break free of his own public persona, Pattinson has real ability and magnetism on screen.

Coming Soon (Italy) added 5/18

A role for Robert Pattinson recalls that, I wonder if the same function in his career, that of Brad Pitt it The Twelve Monkeys.

[…] the film is not particularly original in the story, but it has its stylistic imprint that captures syncopated, offering the usual excellent Guy Pearce , but also a Robert Pattinson  this time also convinces the results, in addition to the intentions, in its laudable effort to move away from the image of icon teen.


Guy Pearce portrays an incredible and fearless taciturn, soon joined by the brilliant Robert Pattinson, naive and touching. 

Empire Online

Pearce is as strong as he’s ever been and Pattinson shows more range than many might expect.


The movie is dirty, and the gorgeous photography by Natasha Braier accentuates the feeling of a rotten world, and surprises in the way violence creeps in, suddenly and coldly, but also thanks to Robert Pattinson’s performance. The actor has already proved, mainly with Cronenberg, all his potential, but here he gives a fantastic performance in the complex role of a simple-minded but not dumb, worthy of a 4-star actors’studio actor and it places him as one of the most amazing actors of his generation. And if the movie doesn’t try to be pleasant, it is brutal and drastic, and is a joy to watch.  (Translation via poster on Pattinson IMDB board, and here’s a variation from same place:  “but here he delivers an extraordinary performance, in the complex role of a simple-minded (but in the end not stupid) man, a high class performance that finally establishes him as one of the most surprising actors of his generation.”

First Showing

Even Robert Pattinson, giving one of his best fidgety, aloof performances to date, has so much more to say between every word he speaks.


Robert Pattinson’s Rey seems like he’s barely able to function as a person. He mumbles, he seems like a bit of a dummy, and while he seems capable of violence, he feels like a scared kid who’s constantly terrified of everyone else, unsure why people do what they do, unable to communicate on those rare occasions that the synapses all actually do fire. He’s very good in the role, and while I’m not crazy about the film as a whole, if Pattinson keeps making choices like this and his ongoing collaboration with David Cronenberg, there may actually be a future for him where people are genuinely shocked to learn that he starred in the “Twilight” movies.

The Hollywood Reporter

Pattinson delivers a performance that, despite the character’s own limitations, becomes more interesting as the film moves along, suggesting that the young actor might indeed be capable of offbeat character work.

Los Angeles Times

The chilling ‘Rover’ presents actor Robert Pattinson in a searing new light […] Pearce’s barely controlled ferocity as Eric is exceptional, but it is not as much of a revelation as Pattinson’s unrecognizable work as Rey, a damaged, unfocused individual who is the older man’s half-unwilling accomplice.

Little White Lies

Performances are pitched just right between hard-bitten and mournful. Guy Pierce, as all know, has stoically grizzled down to a fine art, while Pattinson manages his new non-heart-throb ground (the make-up team have wrought merry hell on his teeth) with admirable pathos. His limp, hick accent, facial tics and staccato delivery play second, third, fourth and fifth fiddle to a whole lot of heart, and one that Eric cannot help but fall for. If there’s one thing this violent metaphysical drama emphasises it’s that heart is, when all else fails, a man’s best friend.

Metro UK   added 5/18

Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce impress in bleak dystopian thriller The Rover | Up against Pearce, Pattinson steps up his game and acquits himself admirably. He plays tic-laden Rey from the American South, complete with hillbilly accent, with wide-eyed, dim-witted naivety. [… ] As Pattinson continues to do his utmost to shy away from his heartthrob status, it’s a huge departure from anything he’s done before and he gives it his all in the best performance of his career so far.


Most impressively of all, the director draws a remarkably against-type performance from his Twilight star. Pattinson pulls off nervous twitching, shoddy posture and general writhing to great effect; his character’s a classic fool and he plays it so.Who knew he had it in him.

MoviePlayer it added 5/18

For Robert Pattinson it is instead a speech exactly the opposite, because it is clear that so far has gathered much of what he has sown, a little ‘for the prolonged effect of Twilight and a little ‘because it seems particularly well-liked by authors of great depth which Cronenberg Herzog, Gray; so far so it was quite instinctive [for them to] turn up their noses when he was appointed, from now on we will prestagli [?google translation for this review]  much more attention, because with this movie is finally able to show what he is made ​​of and does it with a difficult role, a role that was enough really little to be implausible if not downright grotesque and so risk ruining the entire movie.

The Playlist

Pearce is reliably riveting as the totally stonefaced Man With No Name Except Maybe Eric, and Michod exploits his charisma for all its worth in the many extended takes of his inscrutable, unreadable mien, while Pattinson, who we were initially worried might be too tic-laden to fully convince, actually turns in a performance that manages to be more affecting than affected. It’s certainly the best we’ve seen him deliver, despite the rather standard-issue-halfwit yokel accent and the actor commits to it wholly. The contrast between these men, Pattinson as twitchy as Pearce is impassive is marked and its in the space between the two, punctuated by bursts of gunfire, that the film really lives.

Rey (played by Robert Pttinson in a deglamorized performance) is all inarticulate twitches and forlorn gazes: he’s hapless, scared and naïve. The strange Western-like journey that follows takes both men to the extremities of survival and violence. There is a huge amount of talent on display in “The Rover”, and the opening ten minutes is as captivating as anything you’re likely to see at the movies this year. In it, Michôd presents pieces of his narrative puzzle in a series of near-surrealist vignettes that we’re excited to see come together.


But the film’s weak link is Pattinson, not because it’s a bad performance, rather it is a familiar one, a mumbling hick who seems to be channeling the mannerisms of Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade, but who doesn’t quite belong in this imaginative universe (despite exposition of how people from the entire world, including the US, have ended up in this Australia).

Studio Ciné Live

In the main roles, the rough hardness of  Guy Pearce goes perfectly with lost innocence brought out by Robert Pattinson.

Toronto Star

The Rover has a Toronto release date, June 20, and this minimalist gem affords a chance to see ex-Twilight star Robert Pattinson at his dramatic best.  Pattinson’s Rey has an accent that sounds more Arkansas than Aussie, no reason given, but delivers a seriously good performance that will help move him past his vampire trifles.


Michod’s sophomore feature isn’t exactly something we’ve never seen before, but it has a desolate beauty all its own, and a career-redefining performance by Robert Pattinson that reveals untold depths of sensitivity and feeling in the erstwhile “Twilight” star.

But it’s Pattinson who turns out to be the film’s greatest surprise, sporting a convincing Southern accent and bringing an understated dignity to a role that might easily have been milked for cheap sentimental effects. With his slurry drawl and wide-eyed, lap-dog stare, Rey initially suggests a latter-day Lennie Small, but he isn’t so much developmentally disabled as socially regressed — an overprotected mama’s boy suddenly cast to the wolves — and Pattinson never forces or overdoes anything, building up an empathy for the character that’s entirely earned. He becomes an oasis of humanity in this stark, forsaken land.


Several members of the press have advanced the notion that The Rover finally proves Pattinson’s acting chops, though I think he already acquitted himself admirably two years ago when he starred in David Cronenberg’s Cannes premiere Cosmopolis. What they really mean is that The Rover lets Pattinson be butch for once, waving around a gun and caking his face with blood and dirt in a bid to prove his manliness in the wake of Twilight.

It’s ironic, then, that the best-liked part of The Rover comes when Pattinson — and the movie — gets a little lighter in the loafers. Sitting alone in his car before a major gun battle, Pattinson listens to the radio and sings along. The song is Keri Hilson’s “Pretty Girl Rock,” and Pattinson’s dumb-dumb launches into an unexpectedly sweet falsetto, certain that no one is watching. “Don’t hate me ’cause I’m beautiful,” he croons. “Now do the pretty girl rock.” Pattinson knows what it’s like to be hated for his franchise-leading beauty, and the solutions are clear: He can either brush that dirt off his shoulder, or, as in The Rover, smear it all over his face.

Tweets (last update 5/18th)- these are posted below in this blog, I’ve pulled only the ones that address Pattinson directly for this post.
  • @joeutichi The Rover: Pearce and Pattinson impress in David Michod’s post-apocalypse. Not as much power as Animal Kingdom, but great nonetheless.
  • @POPSUGAR Just out of #TheRover screening. Really, a triumph of transformation for Rob. What do you guys want to know? @firstshowing: The Rover – Subversive, gritty, brutal, questionable. Touches of first Mad Max. A very quiet, but loud film. Bearded Guy Pearce is badass.
  • Peter Howell @peterhowellfilm THE ROVER: Clint & Mel for dystopic Aussie road pic, but Steinbeck loneliness resonates. Guy Pearce & Robert Pattinson, top form
  • @nigelmfs THE ROVER: bleak and beautiful. Pattinson’s best performance by a long shot. Pearce is excellent as always.
  • Jason Gorber @filmfest_ca ROVER- desert dry, deliberately paced post-Western revenge film. Pearce sizzles,  Robert Pattinson’s Joaquin-like role best yet #Cannes2014
  • @_Winter_wind  Seriously, I think at time the whole thing reached unbelievable limits, but Damn #RobertPattinson knows how to deliver a drama
  • @BeccaFrucht Just left #TheRover…w/o my humanity. Guy Pearce is a force & Robert Pattinson is unrecognizable. Strong acting, tough to watch. #Cannes
  • @HitFixGregory The Rover is tough stuff. Biggest departure 4 Robert Pattinson to date. Movie has impressive moments but too precious 4 material. #Cannes
  • @Alibenzkr Robert Pattinson’s post-Twilight career amazes me #TheRover #MapsToTheStars #Cannes2014
  • @IMDbKeith  #RobertPattinson proves he has the skills to continue to act for as long as he wants & w/whom he wants, thanks to David Michod’s #TheRover
  • @A24Films We picked up @TheRoverMovie 1 year ago at Cannes, so proud to premiere here tomorrow night. David, Guy & Rob have made something brilliant.
  •  @lindsaylmiller Just left #TheRover screening. My love for Guy Pearce knows no bounds but I also was surprised by Pattinson. Remarkable film. #Cannes2014
  • #MBarone These Cannes reviews are elevating THE ROVER to instant must-see status. Robert Pattinson’s really sticking it to the Twilight haters, huh?
  • @_Ann_Lee The Rover: Gritty, atmospheric dystopian road movie directed with precise visual flair. Pattinson impressive. Pearce tremendous. #Cannes2014
  •  @ZeitchikLAT So great to see Rob Pattinson actually act. Should have done a gritty genre piece long ago. #TheRover


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There are 2 comments.

Poos —

Hi, a clearer translation for the Coming soon article is: “A role for Robert Pattinson that reminds, and I wonder if with the same function for his career, the one Brad Pitt had in 12 Monkeys. […] the film is not particularly original in the story, but it does have its own syncopated stylistic stamp that captures, offering the usually excellent Guy Pearce but also a Robert Pattinson that this time convinces with the results too, and not just in intentions, in his laudable effort to move away from the image of teen icon.”

For the Movieplayer review:
For Robert Pattinson it’s the opposite case, because it’s clear that so far he has reaped more than he has sown, partially because of the Twilight effect and partially because he seems to be well liked by auteurs of depth/substance like Cronenberg, Herzog and Gray; if up until now it was easy to turn up one’s nose whenever he was mentioned, from now on we’ll have to pay him way more attention because in this movie he succeeds in finally showing what he’s made of and he does so in a difficult role, a role in which it would have been easy to look not credible or even grotesque and risking of ruining the entire movie.

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