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The Road (2009)

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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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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1,365 ( 95)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 30 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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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
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Well Fed Woman
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Storyline

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to ... Written by Huggo

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

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whenever it was a sunny day, the FX technicians had to use CGI to make it look cloudy, because director John Hillcoat wanted to maintain a desolate atmosphere. See more »

Goofs

When the Man was at the gas station he tried pulling the trigger on one of the gas pump nozzles to see if it had any fuel left. However as the power grid is not functioning the pump would not work either, so using the nozzle would not be a accurate way to see if there was any fuel left. The only way to see if there was any fuel left would be to check the underground holding tanks. See more »

Quotes

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


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