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The Road

Drama . Adventure

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind and water. It is cold enough to crack stones, and, when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the warmer south, although they don't know what, if anything, awaits them there.

Actors: Charlize Theron , Kodi Smit-McPhee , Viggo Mortensen , Agnes Herrmann , Bob Jennings , Garret Dillahunt , Michael Kenneth Williams , Molly Parker , Guy Pearce , Robert Duvall
Directors: John Hillcoat
Country: USA
Release: 2009-12-18
More Info:
  • Claudia Puig

    While the film is not as resonant as the novel, it is an honorable adaptation, capturing the essence of the bond between father and son.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    The Road evokes the images and the characters of Cormac McCarthy's novel. It is powerful, but for me lacks the same core of emotional feeling.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    In this haunting portrait of America as no country for old men or young, Hillcoat -- through the artistry of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee -- carries the fire of our shared humanity and lets it burn bright and true.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    The Road walks a tremendously daring and delicate line between inspiration and horror, and it does so not only in the events it depicts but in its very air and atmosphere. It was unforgettable on the page, and it impresses equally, or at least it does so remarkably often, on screen.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Elias Savada

    It is compellingly enervating and a marvel in the filmmaking process.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    Intense and, yes, depressing - and earns every minute that it rattles inside your head.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    And then, Robert Duvall appears—or, should I say, insinuates himself out of the muck. Cagily, his character wends his way into the story, played by the one American actor who might best understand the limits of bluster. “It’s foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these,” he mutters in the Duvall twang, the weather and indignity beaten into him, and The Road suddenly feels major.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Between the two performances there's not a false note. Between the father and son there's an unbreakable bond. Though civilization has ended, love and parental duty shape the course of this fable, which is otherwise as heartwarming as a Beckett play shorn of humor.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Dan Jolin

    One of the most chillingly effective visions of the world’s end ever put on screen -- and a heart-rending study of parenthood, to boot.

    Empire Full Review
  • Mark Salisbury

    This might just be a tad too grueling and bleak for everyone’s liking, but it’s a Road that’s definitely well worth traveling.

    Premiere Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The movie The Road is nowhere close to its literary sire, but it's probably the best one could hope for from a movie version.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    The filmmakers capture enough of the book's essence -- and the power of its knockout, transcendent ending -- to more than justify the movie's existence.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    The Road isn't a masterpiece...But I cannot think of another film this year that has stayed with me, its images of dread and fear - and yes, perhaps hope - kicking around like such a terrible dream.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Amy Biancolli

    The latest in a year filled with Armageddon movies such as "Terminator Salvation" and "2012," and it won't be the last, but it's the most chilling so far.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Essentially a love story, as stripped of sentimentality as the landscape is shorn of green, yet an extraordinary love story nonetheless – powerful and poignant and, even in the midst of hope's imminent extinction, hopeful too.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Deborah Young

    Director John Hillcoat has performed an admirable job of bringing Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to the screen as an intact and haunting tale, even at the cost of sacrificing color, big scenes and standard Hollywood imagery of post-apocalyptic America.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    Engrossing and at times impressive, a pretty good movie that is disappointing to the extent that it could have been great. Is this the way the world ends? With polite applause?

    The New York Times Full Review
  • J.R. Jones

    Portrayed ad infinitum in sci-fi and fantasy, the postapocalypse may now seem about as scary as Post Raisin Bran, but Hillcoat gives it an unnerving solidity by focusing on the drab details of survival and linking them to the more hellish aspects of modern American life.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    John Hillcoat's The Road is an honorable adaptation of a piece of pulp fiction disguised as high art; it a has more directness and more integrity than its source material, the 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy. Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    There's enough foreboding in America right now to make sitting through a movie such as The Road seem like one more heavy burden that, frankly, no one needs.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Aas grim as The Road gets, Hillcoat goes a little soft at the wrong time. Someone like Michael Haneke would have no trouble embracing this material’s uncompromising dreariness.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    The Road deviates from McCarthy's original text via a series of flashbacks to the man's pre-apocalyptic life with the woman (Theron) who both leaves her family behind and is in turn left behind by them.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    The best thing about the film is Viggo Mortensen’s performance. A stealth talent of many shadings, Mortensen has a way of fitting easily into nearly any period, any milieu.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    The Road has the signposts of an important film, but it lacks the diversions of an inviting trip.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Everything about the film is a welcome rebuke to the happy-face apocalypse of “2012,’’ a movie that turns mass extinction into the Greatest Show on Earth. In The Road, what has been lost is recognized as infinitely precious; what’s left is bitter and our due.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    The Road possesses undeniable sweep and a grim kind of grandeur, but it ultimately plays like a zombie movie with literary pretensions.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    Evocative as it is, The Road comes up short, not because it’s bleak but because it’s monotonous.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    The Road is a road you'll wish hadn't been taken. Not because anything's been badly done, but because there's a serious imbalance in the complicated equation between what the film forces us to endure and what we end up receiving in return.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    Doesn't offer plot or an inquiry into the evil in men's hearts. It simply wallows in the filth and inhumanity that surround a father and his pre-adolescent son as they march across the shattered remains of this country.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    For everything the movie gets right--most notably the impressively pared-down script by Joe Penhall and the two truthful and fearless performances from Mortensen and McPhee--there's a corresponding painful blunder, like the overwrought score from Nick Cave.

    Slate Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    The novelist Cormac McCarthy was served well by the Coen Brothers' adaptation of his novel "No Country for Old Men" but comes a cropper in The Road, a lugubrious trek through postapocalyptic debris.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Except for the physical aspects of this bleak odyssey by a father and son through a post-apocalyptic landscape, this long-delayed production falls dispiritingly short on every front.

    Variety Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    Pale by comparison to an action thriller like "Children of Men" or gross out eco-catastrophe like "Land of the Dead," squandering its ready-made zombie scenario.

    Village Voice Full Review
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