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In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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1,207 ( 96)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Man
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Boy
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...
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Motherly Woman
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Gang Member
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Bearded Man
Agnes Herrmann ...
Archer's Woman
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Archer
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Bearded Face
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Bearded Man #2
David August Lindauer ...
Man On Mattress
...
Well Fed Woman
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Storyline

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing: just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless cannibalistic bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a rusting shopping cart of scavenged food--and each other. Written by Sean Pollock

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a moment the world changed forever.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La carretera  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,502,231 (USA) (27 November 2009)

Gross:

$56,692 (USA) (11 May 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the cannibals on the back of the truck is played by Kodi Smit-McPhee's real life father. See more »

Goofs

Midway through the movie the Man finds an unopened Coca-Cola can in a machine. When it falls out it has a dented top. When they drink from the can, there is no dent. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wife: What's happening? Why are you taking a bath?
The Man: I'm not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Over the end credits, we hear the sounds of children playing. What the world must have been like in happier times. See more »


Soundtracks

Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 3 in E Major: Adagio Ma Non Tanto
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Arranged by Ryan Franks
Performed by Ryan Franks & Harry Scorzo
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bleaker than the novel!
11 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"We are not gonna quit. We are gonna survive this." The Man

Survival is the ultimate motif of the Cormack McCarthy Pulitzer The Road. And so too is the film adaptation, faithful to the original while adding what McCarthy can't—the actualization of a landscape barren of life and humans barren of humanity. Then again, the film's failure is being even bleaker than the source, a testimony to the power of the imagination.

Except for a father (Viggo Mortensen) and young son (Kodi Smit-Mcphee), who represents the hope of the human race as the story assumes the trappings of allegorical, post-apocalyptic literature and film where the desolate outside mirrors the lonely inside of the humans, not all of whom are willing to carry on the good fight. Suicide becomes a leitmotif, a companion to hope as if out of a Bergman film, an escape from the horrible aftermath of devastation never explained. So much the better because allegorically there are numerous ways for us to ruin our earth and our spirits. Not the least of which could be nuclear or cannibal; the former does not make an appearance while the latter is omnipresent.

Director John Hillcoat has emphasized more than McCarthy the role, by flashback, of the wife/mother (Charlize Theron), but overall he has taken dialogue directly from the novel and stayed true to the bleak landscape where the sun doesn't shine and the trees fall intermittently like humans giving up the ghost.

The gray tones and beat up humans are like those in most post- apocalyptic films; however, as in Children of Men to a lesser extent, the focus is on how to survive, not even how to avoid death. In both cases, it's up to the young ones to "carry a fire' (the mantra of The Road), itself a metaphor for the strength to survive:

"Everything depends on reaching the coast. I told you I would do whatever it takes." The Man


95 of 173 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If you didnt cry at all while watching this....you may not have a heart riddlerfiddler
How do you think "it happened"? Samos74
Snowpiercer fared much better with professional critics HerExcellency
The gangs make no sense JPLogan54
Humanity would go on regardless of what the author thinks. KrisSPQR
Seemed to be raining a lot...so why such dirty air and fires Doug-169
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