Hit the Road

New York Times Critics' Pick
93 mins.
Directed by Panah Panahi
Persian with subtitles

Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of embattled filmmaker Jafar Panahi and apprentice to Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami, makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and deeply moving comic drama.

HIT THE ROAD takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns. It follows a family of four—two middle-aged parents and their sons, one a taciturn adult, the other a ebullient six-year-old—as they drive across the Iranian countryside.

Over the course of the trip, they bond over memories of the past, grapple with fears of the unknown, and fuss over their sick dog.

Unspoken tensions arise and the film builds emotional momentum as it slowly reveals the furtive purpose for their journey. The result is a humanist drama that offers an authentic, often comedic, and deeply sincere observation of an Iranian family preparing to part with one of their own.

“In real life, you might not want to be stuffed into a car with these people—and let’s not forget their dog, Jesse—on a dusty stretch of Iranian highway, but from the first jokey moments of HIT THE ROAD you will not want to be anywhere else.” A.O. Scott. A New York Times Critic's Pick!