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The Road (2009)



Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 202
Fresh: 151 | Rotten: 51

The Road's commitment to Cormac McCarthy's dark vision may prove too unyielding for some, but the film benefits from hauntingly powerful performances from Viggo Mortensen and Kodi McPhee.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 41
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 14

The Road's commitment to Cormac McCarthy's dark vision may prove too unyielding for some, but the film benefits from hauntingly powerful performances from Viggo Mortensen and Kodi McPhee.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 245,829

My Rating

Movie Info

A father (Viggo Mortensen) and son make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States in hopes of finding civilization amongst the nomadic cannibal tribes in 2929 Productions' adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's thrilling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road. John Hillcoat (The Proposition) directs from a screenplay provided by Joe Penhall. Charlize Theron co-stars in the Dimension Films release. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi


Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Joe Penhall

May 25, 2010


The Weinstein Co./Dimension - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (202) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (151) | Rotten (51) | DVD (3)

Hillcoat's movie is a resounding triumph. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood, and Nick Cave's wrenching score reinforces it. But it is the performances that ultimately hold the film together.

January 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hillcoat certainly provides the requisite seriousness, but what the movie lacks is an underlying sense of innocence, a sense that, however far humanity has sunk, there is at least some chance of rising again.

December 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Comments (26)
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It hits a few tinny, sentimental notes. Still, I admire the craft and conviction of this film, and I was impressed enough by the look and the performances to recommend that you see it.

November 30, 2009 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

November 29, 2009
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How could anything so bleak be so promising?

November 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You hang on to yourself for dear life, resisting belief as best you can in the face of powerful acting, persuasive filmmaking and the perversely compelling certainty that nothing will turn out all right.

November 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal | Comment (1)
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Road is one of the year's strongest dramas. But it's no picnic, to say the least.

March 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Maclean's Magazine
Maclean's Magazine

There's about as much action as My Dinner With Andre.

February 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Stop Smiling
Stop Smiling

The Road is a highly emotional, involving, palm-sweatingly tense movie that will scar you for life if you let it. Exhausting to watch but oddly exhilirating to experience, it's a film you'll watch once but will never forget.

September 28, 2012 Full Review Source:

Unpleasant post-apocalyptic drama.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (4)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Hillcoat does his best, and for the most part, he succeeds. The horrifically desolate landscape and the drab greys and cobalt blues of the scarred sky pervade every shot.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix | Comments (4)

Una película agobiante, notablemente realizada y narrada. Tan dura y desoladora como el futuro posible que describe.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

This is a tough road to follow

September 28, 2010 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

Without watering down Cormac McCarthy's hangman prose, John Hillcoat's adaptation transcended sad, gray apocalypse tropes to become an unexpectedly uplifting parable about faith, kindness and family at world's end.

September 17, 2010 Full Review Source:

...only half as traumatic as the Cormac McCarthy novel on which it's based - which of course means that it will still leave you a wreck.

July 15, 2010 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Has an interesting thesis about morality and humanity, but lacks complexity in its approach.

June 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies | Comments (7)
Window to the Movies

"The images are searing, but there's little for Hillcoat to bat around besides endless agony. The Road is glacial and precise, but rarely offers the viewer something to chew on besides utter finality."

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)

While identifying with characters in a bad situation is a movie must, drowning in their deep funk as much as they do, is a narrative no-no.

June 1, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (8)

Shames most films with the audacity to consider themselves tearjerkers.

May 27, 2010 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Um filme difícil e angustiante. (...) Mas, talvez mais surpreendente, representa uma experiência profundamente tocante.

May 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

In a post-Apocalypse world in which you can't tell the difference between good guys and bad guys, it's better to trust no one, and Man will do anything to protect Boy.

March 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Moving Pictures Magazine
Moving Pictures Magazine

It's just a slow wander through wreckage, waiting for bad stuff to get worse.

March 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Weekly | Comments (22)
Philadelphia Weekly

The dull gray monotony of existence never looked as uninviting as it does in this film.

March 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comments (2)
Laramie Movie Scope

When the world goes Boom! I want Viggo Mortensen to be my dad. Who better to keep your spirits up in the hideous post-apocalyptic after life as pictured here?

February 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Windy City Times | Comment (1)
Windy City Times

The Road is a haunting portrait of what it means to be a parent.

January 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Avoiding all the pit falls of the bleak genre, The Road is captivating and in the end inspiring, and though not a film for everyone, a great film for any who enjoy thoughtful, artful cinema.

January 30, 2010 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Road

Grim, straight ahead, no frills account about a just-the-facts dad and his young boy trying to survive after the apocalypse. Hope peers occasionally through the cracks but this highway makes no allusions about where its headed. Decent.
October 3, 2012

Super Reviewer

A bleak and un-nerving movie of a man and hes 10 year old son travelling thru a post apocalyptic america and a dieding world too.This is a un pleasant movie with not must hope for the two leads.Mortensen is so good here and carrys the weight of the movie but is help by hes young co-star and the two are so believeable.There are a couple of big name stars co starring as well but are given a very limted screen time.Charlize Theron is limted to flashback as mortonsen wife and boy's mother and you learn about her fate.Duvall as about 10 mins of screen time as a old man they come across who is trying to survive and guy pearce who end up at the end of the movie and has about 5 mins screen time.The main star of the movie here is not just the simple story but the world they have created.Has they wonder the countryside with no colour just dark and grey and the land barren with the town destoryed and city still burning.I do recommend this alot to hard core movie fans who like this type of movie,Please dont take the trailer for what it is because to me that could have been other movie but its not this one.There is no big action sence here.Hopefully this should get a nod at the oscars because it deserse it but will just have to wait and see.
July 30, 2012

Super Reviewer

A little too slow for my liking but I'm always intrigued by these dark films and this one certainly wasn't lacking in the acting, plot and character development department.
July 14, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. The Boy: Poppa!
    – Submitted by Donivan D (20 months ago)
    1. The Boy: Are you carrying the fire?
    2. The Veteran: Am I what?
    3. The Boy: Carrying the fire.
    4. The Veteran: You're kind of weirded out, aren't you, kid?
    5. The Boy: Well, are you?
    6. The Veteran: Yeah. I'm carrying the fire.
    – Submitted by Steven F (23 months ago)
    1. The Boy: Because we're the good guys.
    2. The Man: Yes.
    3. The Boy: And we're carrying the fire.
    4. The Man: Yes.
    – Submitted by Steven F (23 months ago)
    1. The Boy: Are we still the good guys?
    2. The Man: Yes, we're still the good guys. Of course we are.
    3. The Boy: And we always will be? No matter what happens?
    4. The Man: Always will.
    – Submitted by Steven F (23 months ago)
    1. The Man: The clocks stopped at one seventeen. There was a long shear of bright light, then a series of low concussions. I think it's October but I can't be sure. I haven't kept a calender for years. Each day is more gray than the one before. It is cold and growing colder as the world slowly dies. No animals have survived, and all the crops are long gone. Someday all the trees in the world will fall. The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts, and gangs carrying weapons, looking for fuel and food.
    – Submitted by Steven F (23 months ago)
    1. Wife: They're gonna catch up with us. They're gonna catch up with us and they are going to kill us.
    – Submitted by Steven F (23 months ago)
View all quotes (15)

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