6.9/10
232,776
568 user 325 critic

The Book of Eli (2010)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Directors:

(as The Hughes Brothers), (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
1,158 ( 276)
3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Deja Vu (2006)
Action | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Jim Caviezel
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán
Safe House (2012)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.

Director: Daniel Espinosa
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Robert Patrick
Training Day (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes on a 24-hour training course with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Man on Fire (2004)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning
Flight I (2012)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An airline pilot saves almost all his passengers on his malfunctioning airliner which eventually crashed, but an investigation into the accident reveals something troubling.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Denzel Washington, Nadine Velazquez, Don Cheadle
2 Guns (2013)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Two hardened criminals get into trouble with the US border patrol after meeting with a Mexican drug lord, and then revelations start to unfold.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Stars: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Inside Man (2006)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A police detective, a bank robber, and a high-power broker enter high-stakes negotiations after the criminal's brilliant heist spirals into a hostage situation.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
The Equalizer (2014)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can't stand idly by - he has to help her.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
John Q (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.

Director: Nick Cassavetes
Stars: Denzel Washington, Robert Duvall, Gabriela Oltean
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Eli
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Martha (as Frances De La Tour)
...
...
...
...
Hijacker
...
Hijacker / Construction Thug
Keith Splinter Davis ...
Hijacker (as Keith Davis)
...
Hijacker (as Don Theerathada)
Edit

Storyline

In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli, has been wandering westward across North America for the last thirty years. He finds solace in a unique book which he carries on his person and guards closely, whilst surviving by hunting small animals and seeking goods in destroyed houses and vehicles to trade in villages for water and supplies. When he reaches a village ruled by the powerful mobster, Carnegie, the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia to send her daughter, Solara, to at least convince Eli to spend the night by sleeping with him. However, Eli proves to be the better man when he gently declines her advances. The girl sees Eli's book, and when Carnegie finds out he beats her mother until she reveals what she saw. Carnegie sends his gang into the wasteland to take the book from Eli, but the man proves to be a formidable foe as he makes it more than clear that if they want the book,... Written by Harry Jankel, London, England

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We walk by faith not by sight See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some brutal violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El libro de los secretos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,232,001 (UK) (15 January 2010)

Gross:

$94,822,707 (USA) (7 May 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (as dts)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The headphones used by Denzel Washington are called Beats by Dr. Dre. See more »

Goofs

After locking Solara into the spring cave and securing the door behind him, Eli talks to her through the door. The sunlight on that door changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Young Woman Hijacker: Please, don't hurt me. Here, take anything you want. You want some food? Take it.
Eli: I'm not gonna hurt you.
Young Woman Hijacker: Yeah? That's what the last guy said. Could... could you help me? The wheel came off. I can't fix it. Maybe if I... if I could... but I can't.
Eli: You know the only good thing about no soap... is that you can smell hijackers a mile off!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Aside from the title, there are no opening credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fifty Shades of Black (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Once Upon A Time In America
Written by Ennio Morricone
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Post-apocalyptic "Eli" covers up weak plot with solid development and action
19 January 2010 | by (IL, USA) – See all my reviews

Everybody's talking about what happens after the apocalypse these days. "The Book of Eli" is sort of the boiling point of this science-fiction concept, a combination of last year's "The Road" and George Miller's "The Road Warrior." America is a post-apocalyptic wasteland and Denzel Washington is the only self-sufficient badass. So originality is not exactly "Eli's" calling card, but it clearly establishes its ruinous world and the Hughes brothers ("From Hell") take good care of its characters while supplying top-notch action.

Washington stars as our stolid protagonist, Eli, journeying westward with his canteen, a large machete, a couple guns and a special leather-bound book. He lives on an Earth that was fried 30 years before by the sun because of a war that ripped a hole through the ozone layer. Sun-goggled bikers run amok pillaging, killing and raping passers-by, yet Eli is morally sound and focused on keeping his book safe no matter what so he can deliver it somewhere out west.

Although written by a first-time screenwriter and former PC Gamer editor, Gary Whitta, "Eli" impressively creates its world between the sunglasses/goggles due to the sun's power, trading of goods because money's obsolete and the constant examining of hands to determine if someone is jittery from eating too much human flesh. Whitta also places Eli squarely in the story. He's a good but dangerous man who's not afraid to kill, and as he sits idly by as a couple gets attacked, it's abundantly clear that this is a world where compassion is secondary to survival and self-interest.

Where the plot comes in is "Eli's" weak link. It doesn't try too hard to hide just what exactly the book is and that sort of dissolves some of the film's mystique. The plot is essentially Eli wants to protect it and take it west and he has a run in with Carnegie (Gary Oldman), an older man who runs a small town and desires it for selfish power-related reasons. Along the way, anyone who threatens to lay a hand on Eli gets sliced up or shot. In the two or three fight scenes where he takes down numerous guys at once, you can't help but wonder why after he kills the first few guys, the others don't run the hell away, especially considering people are otherwise in self-preservation mode living in a wasteland (and they know nothing of the book).

The Hughes brothers make those scenes worthwhile, however. There's a style and grace to their action scenes -- they create a sort of a moving tableau in some scenes and execute a wide range of tempos in the action sequences to make them more intense. When Carnegie's men encounter Eli and the young woman (Mila Kunis) that he inspires who follows him at the home of some old folks (cameos by famous Brits Frances De La Tour and Michael Gambon), they place the camera in the middle of the action and sweep along with the gunfire (part- digitally) from one side to the other. It's very cool and is an example of one way the Hugheses keep the focus away from the plot's shaky skeleton. I only have beef with their excessive slow-motion walking-toward-the-camera shots and showing a bit too much of the cloudy green-gray sky.

Some people are going to be more surprised and impressed with the film's big reveal than others, but anyone with a love of action and that post-apocalyptic context will find something to make "Eli" a worthwhile watch regardless of plot weakness. Washington is slightly under-utilized but he's an ideal fit. He brings an intensity in his demeanor that makes him an intriguing character and the film does a good job of making his character more central than anything else.

~Steven C


222 of 386 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
religions have been created without a book Forwardlean
Why does hollywood hate cats so much? Assumption_of_Rationality
Was Eli necessarily blind? guga-77
Why is the religious themes of this movie bringing it so much hate? christianhllarsen
Have we really come to this? goldtin55
God is good, All the time mogliy06
Discuss The Book of Eli (2010) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?