'Reservation Road' The latest in a string of lost-children dramas, well acted and reasonably affecting — if a little heavy on the plot coincidences linking a hit-and-run driver (Mark Ruffalo) and a grieving father (Joaquin Phoenix).
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Review

Arts & Life

'Reservation Road'

Mark Ruffalo is a lawyer with a guilty conscience in Reservation Road. Macall Polay//Focus Features hide caption

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Macall Polay//Focus Features

Mark Ruffalo is a lawyer with a guilty conscience in Reservation Road.

Macall Polay//Focus Features
  • Director: Terry George
  • Genre: Drama
  • Running Time: 102 minutes

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A lawyer (Mark Ruffalo) speeding on a dark road hits a small child, panics and drives away. Seeking legal help in tracking down the hit-and-run driver, the child's father (Joaquin Phoenix) ends up hiring ... you guessed it, the hit-and-run driver.

Losing children is a bit of a theme this fall, what with Gone Baby Gone opening the same day as this film, plus a pair of acclaimed recent dramas (Into the Wild and In the Valley of Elah) that chronicle the disappearance of adult children and how it affects the parents left behind.

This particular iteration of the story is well acted and reasonably affecting, though as the plot piles up coincidences to link the two men in a tight dance of guilt and culpability, its credibility suffers.