Weekly Movie Rec: The Road

There are a great many movies about the apocalypse out there, but I don’t think there are any as thoughtful and poignant as The Road.

It’s a film that didn’t make it to all that many theaters for all that long, and as such, I think it was missed by many who would have appreciated it. It’s a stark picture of a dying world, stuck in permanent winter after some unnamed catastrophe that was likely nuclear war. Very few souls are left, and many that are have turned to cannibalism or other such depravities.

The movie follows two characters, known only as Man and Boy (Viggo Mortsensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee respectively) who travel the countryside trying to survive. The film has many disturbing moments throughout, but its most lingering effect is the degree of hopelessness which is felt throughout. If you know that going in, you’re better able to appreciate its horrific beauty in the way it’s filmed and acted. I actually thought that it might be a metaphor for the homeless in America, but I’m not sure if the author of the book, Cormac McCarthy had that in mind when he wrote it.

In any case, if you want the apocalypse with class, check out The Road for yourself. My full review of it from way back when is here.

  • Sams

    Great Film, and what a great book.

    I think it translated really well to film in the end!

  • Rob

    Agreed. One of my favorite books and they did a great job translating it to film.

  • bud the chud

    Really depressing, but good none the less.

  • Tim

    @Bud… Depressing. You said it.

  • Russell

    I actually liked the book, bizarre way of writing but good nonetheless. However I hated the film, it was just boring.
    They should have done Child of God

  • Bigdog

    Thanks for the push, I had forgotten to check this out.

  • Jim Lahey

    Cormac McCarthy is one of the worst writers I have ever had the displeasure of reading. He is go GD full of himself the entire time, I can’t stand it. I can see how a movie based on his books could be really good, though, because the content of his stories are excellent. I mainly have an issue with how he writes his books. Kudos to any of you who could actually reading this book cover to cover.

  • Bad Acid

    I’m a sucker for Post-apocalypse movies, especially the action ones, so I didn’t like this one at first. Maybe it was just because it isn’t a pleasant watch, as in it makes you feel so depressed and immersed. Thinking back, I would probably really appreciate it on a second watch through.


    The ending especially. It’s positive in that you see his journey continue, but a few seconds later you think and you don’t know… you just don’t know what’s in store, they’re still strangers after all. That dude could just be pure evil, but the kid as no choice.
    I didn’t read the book, though.

  • Diva D

    I thought the book was very good – not quite worth being the critical darling it had become, but very good. The movie was solid, though I think a bit got lost in the translation. The style of the book sort of forces you to fill in the gaps yourself, with the visuals and emotions behind the dialogue and things of that nature. Putting the spareness of that story into a film format robbed it of some of its emotional impact, for me.

    That said, I haven’t quite found a post-apocalyptic movie that I 100% love, so I might not be a huge fan of the genre to begin with.

  • Random Leon

    i think i read somewhere that cormac mccarthy wrote this for his son, who was pretty young at the time. not sure about any deeper symbolism.

  • Phat Daddi

    I could not be pulled away from my television when I was watching this one. Then I read the book and I felt all the little emotions and subtleties that the movie couldn’t pick up on.

    Very sad, yet a glimpse of some kind of hope at the end.

  • Steve Vande Bunte

    After hearing the boy relentlessly yell “PAPA!”, it grated me so bad I couldn’t enjoy this film.