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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.



(novel), (screenplay)
1,552 ( 72)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bearded Man
Agnes Herrmann ...
Archer's Woman
Buddy Sosthand ...
Kirk Brown ...
Bearded Face
Bearded Man #2
David August Lindauer ...
Man On Mattress
Well Fed Woman


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


In a moment the world changed forever.


Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cesta  »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,502,231, 29 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,692, 13 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Boy's messy, spiral crayon drawings are reminiscent of a famous David "Chim" Seymour photograph from 1948. In it, Tereska, a psychologically disturbed child Holocaust survivor, drew similar circular, messy lines to represent "home". See more »


The sheer quantity of people that the man and boy encounter is absurd. If the majority of people worldwide are deceased, then the Americas, where the film is set, would be nearly depopulated. They should have not encountered many, if any, people simply because the survivors would either be in isolated town or cities or they would be holed in remote rural areas. SInce the two largely avoid the former and the size of the latter precludes easy visitation, they shouldn't have run into anyone for most, if not all , of the film. See more »


[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 »


Featured in At the Movies: Summer Special 2009/10 (2009) See more »


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

Faithful adaptation that still offers something new
19 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

Just got back from seeing THE ROAD.

I had been very impressed by the novel and was concerned about how it would be adapted. The tone of the novel is almost unremittingly bleak and a 100% faithful adaptation would be very difficult to watch.

I'm happy to report that the film is very good indeed. It solves the problem of being unendurably depressing by concentrating on the emotional impact of the unspecified Armageddon, rather than the day to day fight for food, shelter and so on. So while at times it remains very upsetting it is shot through with hope rather than despair. I always felt the end of the novel was somewhat out of kilter with the rest of it but in the film it seems quite appropriate.

I think the film is more about the collapse of civility rather than civilization: for a film that shows the last remnants of mankind struggling to eke out an existence it is remarkably concerned with relationships. That's probably why the exact cause of the catastrophe is left blank: the film isn't really about the end of the world so much as the end of society. It's an interesting companion piece to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in which an ageing man sees nothing but horror in the modern world. In THE ROAD a man convinces himself, for the sake of his son, that humanity will abide even in the face of appalling conditions.

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