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The Road (I) (2009)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama  |  18 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 165,526 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 491 user | 349 critic | 33 from

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



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: The Road (2009)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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:

La carretera  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


For the birthing scene, director John Hillcoat originally planned to record the screaming of women actually giving birth and edit it over the scene. Charlize Theron objected to this and filmed the scene herself. The screaming you hear in the film is actually her. See more »


The pistol the man carries with the boy (supposedly the same from his home) is a small caliber revolver. The pistol that the man and woman 'talk' over and even show the last 2 bullets is a large caliber revolver. This is clearly visible in each situation when the barrel is visible. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Let's Go Fly a Coot (2015) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Faithful adaptation that still offers something new
19 October 2009 | by (London, England) – 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.

267 of 323 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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If you didnt cry at all while watching may not have a heart riddlerfiddler
How do you think "it happened"? Samos74
Snowpiercer fared much better with professional critics HerExcellency
What's with all the missing thumbs? Sidewindr
Why leave the underground shelter? Curtis_C_Flush
Humanity would go on regardless of what the author thinks. KrisSPQR
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