The Road
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FAQ for
The Road (2009/I) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Road can be found here.

The movie takes place within the few years following an apocalyptic event. Plant and animal life have been wiped out, save for anyone who has managed to survive, like the Man (Viggo Mortensen), the Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and the people they encounter. The lack of wildlife makes their struggle to survive much more difficult since there's nothing to hunt, eat, or harvest for food, so they are forced to scavenge for other food sources.

The Road is a 2006 novel written by American author Cormac McCarthy. The novel was adapted for the screen by British screenwriter Joe Penhall.

In an interview with Wall Street Journal (dated November 20th, 2009), Cormac Mccarthy said the following about the event:

A lot of people ask me. I don't have an opinion. At the Santa Fe Institute, I'm with scientists of all disciplines, and some of them in geology said it looked like a meteor to them. But it could be anything, e.g., volcanic activity or nuclear war. It is not really important. The whole thing now is, what do you do? The last time the caldera in Yellowstone blew, the entire North American continent was under about a foot of ash. People who've gone diving in Yellowstone Lake say that there is a bulge in the floor that is now about 100 feet high and the whole thing is just sort of pulsing. From different people you get different answers, but it could go in another three to four thousand years or it could go on Thursday. No one knows

They're never revealed, in neither the novel nor the film. However, the Old Man (Robert Duvall) says at one point that his name is "Ely".

They were kept as a source of meat by a group of people who had, like many others, resorted to cannibalism.

Papa and the boy make it to the ocean but, while Papa swims out to a derelict ship to see what he can salvage, the boy falls asleep and a thief steals their cart and all their supplies. When Papa returns, they go after the thief and take back their possessions. As they are walking through an abandoned town, the boy notices a beetle. Suddenly, an arrow whizzes past them. They duck behind the cart, but Papa is shot in the leg. He kills the archer with a flare gun and then removes the arrow tip from his calf, but the wound and his persistent cough eventually overcome him, and Papa dies as he and the boy sleep in their blankets on the beach. Now alone, the boy wanders along the shoreline until he sees a man approaching him. As his papa taught him, the boy pulls out his gun and prepares to defend himself, but the man introduces himself as one of the "good guys." The man tells him that he and his family (wife, son, daughter, and dog) have been following the boy for some time because they were worried about him, and he invites the boy to come live with them. In the final scene, the boy says, "Okay."

No. However, as the ending credits roll, instead of the musical score, sounds of life—birds chirping, people talking, dogs barking, cars passing, etc.—are heard. This may be to remind viewers of the world as we know it in comparison to the world in which the man and the boy exist. Others think it may be a hopeful hint of what's to come in the boy's future.


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