6.9/10
292,938
668 user 328 critic

The Book of Eli (2010)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
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:

Albert Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers), Allen Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writer:

Gary Whitta
Reviews
Popularity
1,491 ( 88)
3 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Eli
Gary Oldman ... Carnegie
Mila Kunis ... Solara
Ray Stevenson ... Redridge
Jennifer Beals ... Claudia
Evan Jones ... Martz
Joe Pingue ... Hoyt
Frances de la Tour ... Martha (as Frances De La Tour)
Michael Gambon ... George
Tom Waits ... Engineer
Chris Browning ... Hijack Leader
Richard Cetrone ... Hijacker
Lateef Crowder ... Hijacker / Construction Thug
Keith Splinter Davis ... Hijacker (as Keith Davis)
Don Thai Theerathada ... Hijacker (as Don Theerathada)
Edit

Storyline

In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli (Denzel Washington), 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, while 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 (Gary Oldman), the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia (Jennifer Beals) to send her daughter, Solara (Mila Kunis), 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... Written by Harry Jankel, London, England

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Deliver us See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

British-born actors Gary Oldman and Malcolm McDowell have appeared in science fiction movies with settings in an alternate, historical version of San Francisco, California; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and Time After Time (1979), respectively. Each movie had a grim premise for the city's population. See more »

Goofs

When the convoy goes after Eli and Solara, they are going west. From behind, the shadows are to the left which would mean the sun is on the north side of them when it actually shines from the south. 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 »

Alternate Versions

A montage of deleted scenes on the DVD include a scene where Claudia reads the Braille bible to Carnegie as he lies on his deathbed. See more »

Connections

References American Pop (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Ring My Bell
Written by Frederick Knight
Performed by Anita Ward
Courtesy of Malaco Music
See more »

User Reviews

The style is strong but the content is nonsense (regardless of what your beliefs are))
12 May 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The first thing that strikes you about this film is how horrid and beautiful it looks all at the same time. We are in a post-apocalyptic world of washed out colours, destroyed structures and dying people scrabbling to make sure they are not the next to die; and it is a world that is really well designed and really well filmed by Don Burgess. Everything looks convincing and it doesn't feel like they just shot it out in a desert location, it genuinely feels like a scorched earth. The only slight irritant about the look of the film is that it does feel very much like a great copy of the world of Fallout 3 as created by Bethseda – right down to the design of the "bandits" with their goggles and ragged clothing; this bugged me and those very familiar with this world via gaming may also feel the film is "borrowing" rather than creating.

I talk about the look and style of the film first because to me it is really one of the main reasons to watch this film and indeed for the first 20 minutes or so, it is all we are drifting on – this sense of the cool and the barren without much in the way of who's or why's. Unfortunately when the plot does start to come in, it does so with a terribly corny story and message that wouldn't be out of place in one of those overly-earnest low-budget films made by Christian companies. Indeed this is what this film is – an overly earnest religious film, it just happens to have cost millions and have massive Hollywood stars involved in it. Now, this is the point where you assume that I dislike the film because it is to do with God and the bible, but this wasn't it all at – it didn't help for sure, but this isn't the reason.

The main problem I have is that the film doesn't actually seem interested in making this message work and the plot just seems like a necessary evil to get the character walking in slow-mo around this cool landscape. There isn't much development beyond the basic dialogue about the power of this book and it is nothing but endless corn in the main; I may have respected it more if it had done something with the content, but it doesn't, indeed it seems almost embarrassed by it. The Hughes Brothers for sure aren't particularly interested in that and thus the performances and shots are all about the style, the atmosphere and the look of the film. Accordingly the cast do the same – which is fine because I wonder why they were all queuing up to be in this story. Washington is a great lead because he is all style and presence and he fits the landscape well. Kunis' character makes less sense as she goes on but she is stunning to look at and again fits the style aspect of the film. Oldman's villain is poor and as a result he is only OK.

What all this leaves then is a film that should be watched by fans of Fallout 3 and New Vegas, simply because it is a great film recreation of those worlds, from the colour of the sky down to the costumes it feels and looks like the games. Outside of this though, the casual viewer is left with very little of interest going on behind the style; the story is cloyingly religious and lacking any insight or intelligence – in terms of writing it feels like having two guys at your door trying to sell Jesus to you with platitudes and clichés. It all looks fantastic but unfortunately the script simply doesn't deserve the visuals.


92 of 154 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 668 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Book of Eli See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,789,494, 17 January 2010

Gross USA:

$94,835,059

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$157,107,755
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS (as dts)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed