7.3/10
202,040
538 user 362 critic

The Road (2009)

Trailer
1:58 | Trailer

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

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writers:

Joe Penhall (screenplay by), Cormac McCarthy (based on the book by)
Reviews
Popularity
1,705 ( 52)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Viggo Mortensen ... Man
Kodi Smit-McPhee ... Boy
Robert Duvall ... Old Man
Guy Pearce ... Veteran
Molly Parker ... Motherly Woman
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Thief
Garret Dillahunt ... Gang Member
Charlize Theron ... Woman
Bob Jennings ... Bearded Man
Agnes Herrmann Agnes Herrmann ... Archer's Woman
Buddy Sosthand Buddy Sosthand ... Archer
Kirk Brown Kirk Brown ... Bearded Face
Jack Erdie ... Bearded Man #2
David August Lindauer David August Lindauer ... Man On Mattress
Gina Preciado ... Well Fed Woman
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Storyline

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a moment the world changed forever.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesta See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,502,231, 29 November 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$56,692, 13 May 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ocean scene was Lake Erie. See more »

Goofs

The sheer quantity of people that the man and boy encounter is absurd. If the majority of people worldwide are deceased, then the Americas, where the film is set, would be nearly depopulated. They should have not encountered many, if any, people simply because the survivors would either be in isolated town or cities or they would be holed in remote rural areas. SInce the two largely avoid the former and the size of the latter precludes easy visitation, they shouldn't have run into anyone for most, if not all , of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wife: What's happening? Why are you taking a bath?
The Man: I'm not.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Southland: What Makes Sammy Run? (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
So Well Done I Wanted To Kill Myself
18 December 2009 | by RichardSRussell-1See all my reviews

The Road (1:50, R) — Science Fiction, 3rd string, original

Among the first words spoken in The Road (adapted from Cormac McCarthy's novel) are "It's just another earthquake.". That's supposed to be reassuring.

It's a bleak, devastated, post-apocalyptic world leached of everything: color, sounds, names, sunshine, warmth, joy, hope. Thru it trudge The Man (Viggo Mortenson) and The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee), slowly and painfully making their way to "the coast", where maybe things will be marginally better. Who can say? But what else is there?

Along the way they encounter The Gang Member (Garret Dillahunt, still as creepy and frightening as he was in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Last House on the Left), The Road Gang Leader (Brenna Roth), The Old Man (Robert Duvall), The Thief (Michael K. Williams), and The Veteran (Guy Pearce) and his woman (Molly Parker). In flashbacks to an achingly lost former life, we see The Wife (Charlize Theron).

And really, once you've named the names, you've pretty well covered the movie. The name of the game is Survival, tho none can say what the point of it is. The food is gone, and clearly no more will be growing. Humans are apparently the only animals to survive the unnamed global disaster, so they represent the sole remaining, rapidly dwindling source of protein. The voices you hear approaching are not the Red Cross.

Some choose not to play. The Wife, after some low-energy soul-searching, goes the ancient-Eskimo route. "She was gone," The Man remembers, "and the coldness of it was her final gift."

Others persevere for no cogent reason. "DId you ever wish you would die?", The Man asks. "No," The Old Man replies, "it's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these."

The Man and The Boy have 1 gun with 2 bullets left; they are not being reserved for potential assailants. In some of the movie's most agonizing scenes, we see The Man explain not only what must be done but why.

I walked into this movie 10 hours after leaving the theater where Avatar splashed the screen with color, motion, activity, purpose, a 3rd dimension, and a superb sound track. It is difficult to imagine 2 more disparate films in terms of tone and atmosphere. But both are extremely effective at making their respective worlds seem completely real.

The movie is unremittingly grim and completely believable. It doesn't pull its punches or sell out. It will haunt you. It's unlikely that anyone else will ever make another movie that treats the end of the world so realistically, so if you want to see the standard against which all others will be compared, this is your chance.

Stay away if you're depressed or prone to it, and avoid razor blades for 12 hours afterward.


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