Critic Reviews



Based on 33 critic reviews provided by
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.
Its over-the-top violence is cartoonish at times, menacing at others - which is a good thing. And truly, if one must wander a barren, post-apocalyptic landscape with somebody, who better to wander with than Denzel Washington?
The problem with The Book of Eli is that the narrative isn't a match for its sentiments. The script feels like it's an iteration or two short of a final draft.
The Hughes Brothers' measured, well-paced direction complements the comic-book simplicity of this narrative.
Some mordant comic touches would have been welcome throughout the picture, which has a somber tone that suffers a bit from lack of modulation and nuance.
Village Voice
The Book of Eli's plastic parable isn't much more advanced than "Insane Clown Posse" theology.
Orlando Sentinel
Whatever its virtues, Eli is a movie that can’t help but suffer in comparison to the much-delayed and much better "Road."
For a few brief moments, the film becomes something close to Greek mythology, as opposed to graphic-novel imitator. What a feeling!
A ponderous dystopian bummer that might be described as "The Road Warrior" without car chases, or "The Road" without humanity.
The New Yorker
The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]

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