Critic Reviews

53

Metascore

Based on 33 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
The film looks and feels good, and Washington's performance is the more uncanny the more we think back over it. The ending is "flawed," as we critics like to say, but it's so magnificently, shamelessly, implausibly flawed that (a) it breaks apart from the movie and has a life of its own, or (b) at least it avoids being predictable.
75
A dynamic story, sprinkled with some interesting ideas about the preciousness of culture and how societies might rebuild themselves.
75
Though not as lyrical as "The Road," which benefits from both its visual artistry and its humanist perspective, The Book of Eli employs the genre conventions of the western to make mythic its principal character.
75
The Book of Eli works, even if the preservation of Christianity isn't high on your personal post-apocalypse bucket list. Establishing its storytelling rules clearly and well, the film simply is better, and better-acted, than the average end-of-the-world fairy tale.
75
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Washington is surprisingly persuasive as a world-weary blade-wielder, and Oldman makes the most of a not particularly interesting villain. But the film's breakout star may be Kunis, who brings to Solara a blend of sassiness and sexiness that's reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer.
63
The Book of Eli isn't as exciting or funny or inspiring as it wants and needs to be, and its preachy ending is an ordeal. But Washington, a movie star who can act, is one cool dude who is worth following anywhere.
60
The Hughes Brothers' measured, well-paced direction complements the comic-book simplicity of this narrative.
50
Wall Street Journal
The story requires a greater leap of faith than I was willing or able to muster, since Eli is also a saintly pilgrim on a God-given mission to save a ruined world.
50
Yet it all comes down to one simplistic idea, and the result feels like a one-film evangelical movement.
38
A didactic and humorless Western, Eli is too laborious for an action film and too brutal to be an inspirational tale.
25
A ponderous dystopian bummer that might be described as "The Road Warrior" without car chases, or "The Road" without humanity.

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