If there's one thing that wounds On the Road, it's that the film is full of things -- having sex, doing drugs, being free -- that are far more enjoyably experienced by one's self as opposed to watching other people enjoy them on screen.
—James Rocchi The Playlist
Stewart, selected for Marylou five years ago on the basis of her striking debut in "Into the Wild," is perfect in the role, takes off her clothes more than once and nearly always seems to be breaking a sweat, which kicks the sexiness quotient up high.
—Todd McCarthy Hollywood Reporter
Evocatively lensed, skillfully made and duly attentive to the mercurial qualities of its daunting source material, Walter Salles' picture pulses with youthful energy but feels overly calculated in its bid for spontaneity, attesting to the difficulty and perhaps futility of trying to reproduce Kerouac's literary lightning onscreen.
—Justin Chang Variety
A dash of Tarantino might have juiced up Walter Salles' wrongheadedly well-mannered take on Jack Kerouac's 1957 Beat Generation landmark. Kerouac's semi-autobiographical novel comes to the screen looking good but feeling shallow.
—Peter Travers Rolling Stone
On the Road does, ultimately, have a touching kind of sadness in showing how poor Dean is becoming just raw material for fiction, destined to be left behind as Sal becomes a New York big-shot. But this real sadness can't pierce or dissipate this movie's tiresome glow of self-congratulation.
—Peter Bradshaw The Guardian