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
An apparent CGI aerial shot, which also appears in the trailer, is a digital recreation of actual destruction by Hurricane Katrina to Empire, Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. The shot shows large, twin boats on a highway in front of a bridge over the Empire Lock on Louisiana state highway 23. In the movie rendering, a large city skyline appears on the horizon, where in actuality there would be only the rural peninsula of Plaquemines Parish. See more »
A disposable Bic-type lighter cannot be used as a candle the way the Man does on multiple occasions. Within about 30 seconds, the metal would heat up enough to melt the plastic and possibly cause a painful accident. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. The most recent adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel brought us the fantastic No Country for Old Men (Coen Bros.). McCarthy's post-apocalyptic The Road did not seem to set up well as filmed entertainment. Director John Hillcoat proves otherwise.
Make no mistake. This film is as bleak and filled with despair as any you have ever seen. This is not the SFX of fluff like 2012. This is the humanistic side of desperation and survival in a world where what little has survived seems grotesque and evil.
It is a phenomenal movie from a technical aspect, yet a higher rating seems off the mark, as so very few movie goers will find the entertainment value of such an achievement. While viewing, one can't help but weigh the ever-present option of suicide. What would we do in this situation? Do you continue to carry the fire or do you ask, what's the point, and hit the eject trigger? If you thought Charlize Theron was unappealing in Monster, you will find her absolutely intolerable here. Her beauty is overridden by her angst and unwillingness to continue the fight for her survival. Is she the rational one or totally selfish? Really good question.
The vast majority of the film is Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee on their quest for the coast ... their ultimate goal for survival. The gray and lifeless landscape would (and does)suck the hope and soul right out of most. Viggo keeps trudging while teaching his young, more sensitive son, who by the way, is a dead ringer for Charlize (were she a 12 year old boy). The grayness of the film is so intense, that the dream/flashback sequences couldn't help but make me wonder if life were black and white, would dreams be vivid and colorful? Fans of No Country for Old Men will catch a glimpse of Garret Dillahunt as the hillbilly gang member who stumbles upon the Father and Son - Dillahunt was Tommy Lee Jones' entertaining deputy. Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce also have brief, but welcome, supporting roles. Duvall actually does quite a bit with his limited lines.
While it seems odd to release this one at Thanksgiving - it's not in the tradition of mass-appeal holiday fare, it is a must see for any true film lover or literature addict. To see the gray and stillness become as overwhelming as what is usually limited to one's imagination is worth the effort.
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