The Longest Ride, the latest filmic adaptation of one of Nicholas Sparks‘ romance novels, explores a complicated love story between a cowboy and an aspiring art student.

Starring Clint Eastwood‘s son Scott Eastwood and rising star Britt Robertson, The Longest Ride starts off with a first date between their characters that ends with them coming across an older man stuck in his car after an accident. Learning about the man’s own tragic love story, the two embark on their own relationship that’s fraught with complications.

‘The Longest Ride’ Reviews

As with the majority of Sparks’ books that have gotten the movie treatment, The Longest Ride has not been a hit with critics. For the most part, praise in reviews has been reserved for Oona Chaplin and Jack Huston, who star in the scenes that take place in World War II era America.

“The Longest Ride” is a slick, push-all-the-buttons story about a professional bull rider. Which sort of makes sense, as it comes from a slick, push-all-the-buttons professional bull writer. […] The storytelling has gotten mechanical; it’s all prefab fiction, assembled from a small box of interchangeable parts. The Longest Ride, though, feels slapped together more than most – tediously plotted and desperately lacking star charisma. Sparks’ stories need all the help they can get, and in the past they’ve gotten it, from actors like Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams and Richard Gere.” – Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger


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“Eastwood doesn’t prove himself to be much more than a pretty face and a chiseled body; but to be fair, it would be hard for any actor to pull off some of these lines. For example, when Luke asks Sophia if she and her sorority sisters have pillow fights in their underwear (ugh) she responds: “No, we don’t wear underwear.” Witty banter this is not.[…] People don’t go to Sparks movies for subtlety; they go to warm their hearts by bearing witness to true love. Of course, that requires a story that rings true. In “The Longest Ride,” authenticity is in short supply.” – Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

“The Longest Ride,” it’s a metaphor for lifelong romance and I’ll refrain from going for the easy jab and saying it also applies to the 139-minute running time for this latest adaptation of a novel from Sparks, whose books have given birth to “Dear John, the Notebook about The Lucky One gives us Safe Haven to read the Message in a Bottle about The Last Song.”The Longest Ride” treats us to a twist that’s so ridiculous I think we’re almost supposed to laugh. It’s not quite on the “Are you KIDDING ME!?” level of awfulness as the big reveal in “Safe Haven,” but it’s close. It’s close.” – Richard Roeper,

“It’s no fun shooting fish in a barrel, even when that barrel has the name “Nicholas Sparks” stenciled on the side. But with “The Longest Ride,” the latest adaptation of one of the author’s treacly, predictable romances, that barrel is at least a little bit bigger, and enough fish survive the slaughter to make the film not a wholly unwelcome diversion. […] It’s exactly what you’d expect, except executed with more-than-typical competence with the help of a few excellent actors and some gorgeously photographed rodeo scenes that capture the drama and thrill of bull riding.” – Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic

The Longest Ride is currently in wide release.

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