The Book of Eli - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Book of Eli Reviews

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½ April 2, 2017
I was expecting something way better.
March 28, 2017
The Book of Eli is a film that I had not heard good things about, so I just assumed it was going to be underwhelming. I was delighted to see that my expectations were way off. This is a very well-made movie with a cool premise. The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where everything we consider mundane now is a highly-valued commodity. I loved how people would barter with the most ridiculous items (including some that I can?t imagine they?d actually have a use for in their society.) It was a well-established world, and most of the world-building wasn?t done with pointless exposition. You?d catch little things about what happened, but only in passing as a natural part of another conversation.

Denzel Washington was great in the lead role. He has a quiet dignity that Eli needed, and also is believable as someone who could take out a gang of thugs. I always like a hero with a focused vision and a willingness to sacrifice everything for what he believes in. Then there is Gary Oldman, who is the guy you always want as your antagonist. He delivers a number of great speeches that make his character much more interesting than just a typical mustache-twirling bad guy. He is subdued early on and only goes over-the-top with his performance when the script calls for it. Mila Kunis is the other lead in the film. She?s kind of an enigma to me, because I can?t tell if she?s a bad actress or if she?s just not asked to do much. She doesn?t do anything to hurt The Book of Eli, but I?d also say she doesn?t add anything to it.

The story was crafted very well, and the action sequences were superb. I loved some of the inventive methods the directors used to film the action, which made it stylized but still realistic. I enjoyed the slow build to the story, and how they used little surprises to keep you guessing at what happened next. There were some slight flaws in execution, and there are certainly some derivative elements to the story, but I still liked it quite a bit. The rest of this review will have to focus on spoilers, if you don?t want anything spoiled then stop reading here. I knew both of the big spoilers in this movie before watching and I didn?t feel it hurt the experience at all, but it still might play better if you don?t know.

The first big reveal is that the most valued commodity for Eli and Carnegie is the Bible. I thought that was a brilliant move, because it meant different things to both of the characters, just as it does in our day and age. Some use it to enlighten or guide their own path, and some use it to manipulate and control others. This theme that religion can be the ultimate power was a fascinating way to take the story, and I loved it. However, I didn?t love that Eli had the entire book memorized verbatim. It pushed the believability a bit far, because it seems daunting even for someone with an eidetic memory. This makes it seem like his abilities are supernatural, but perhaps that fits the intended narrative since he started his journey based on a religious vision, and seemed to have divine intervention protecting him from death.

The final big reveal is Eli?s blindness. This one I had a much more difficult time accepting. It works as a plot point, so they can give the book to Carnegie without actually giving it to him, but it wasn?t set up well enough. I thought they were fighting so hard to NOT reveal it that they almost made it impossible to be true. The way he looks around in early scenes doesn?t jive with a typical blind person. The way he can fight is similar to a superhero like Daredevil, which seemed a bit far-fetched. I appreciated the hints, like his heightened sense of smell, but it just seems like something we couldn?t possibly figure out without them telling us at the end. That minor quibble aside, The Book of Eli is still a strong movie and one I?ll try to watch again soon.
February 27, 2017
I've always been a Denzel fan, so I automatically enjoyed this a little bit no matter what. Taking place in a dystopian society, Eli is on a journey West with special cargo. The book he carries appears to be a Bible, possibly the last Bible of existence. Due to the scarcity, this book is worth a great amount and whoever is in possession holds a great amount of power. Along the way, Eli encounters a group of men whose leader wants the Bible for himself. Throughout most of the movie Eli fights off this gang of men as he continues to travel West to the supposed safe ground. Not a bad movie, but was I am not really into dystopian/post-apocolypcitc scenarios like such. The fight scenes were entertaining and overall I wasn't displeased. Three stars out of five. Good but not great.
½ February 18, 2017
The post apocalyptic film that's great....
½ January 26, 2017
Meh. Decent but kind of pretentious and klunky. The acting was pretty good, and the story was kind of investing despite being cliched (like, what was it leading up to? Oh, that). The plot twist made me think, "Woah!, Wait, what? How? What? Nooo..."
½ January 5, 2017
I love the post apocalyptic theme and settings in this movie. Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and the others were great in this movie. This movie does feel slow paced and plots were not smooth but the story and character were well entertaining. I'll say this is a good movie and i'll recommend it!
December 30, 2016
It is not a good movie to watch
½ November 25, 2016
Very interesting concept, quite promising, but the ridiculous amount of plot holes was just overwhelming. Gary Oldman revisited his Zorg character and Denzel was just being Denzel.
November 24, 2016
Compelling in its message on the power of text, but visually mediocre.
November 6, 2016
En una época post-apocalíptica, el mundo ha tomado un giro inusual hacia un presente violento y desolador. Se cree que un libro contiene la información necesaria para garantizar el futuro de la humanidad y es protegido por Eli, un hombre misterioso, pero capaz de hacer todo para proteger el libro. Con Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman y Mila Kunis.
October 26, 2016
Good ideas, bad exec
September 25, 2016
not only did it represent an amazing view of disabled heroes and coloured heroes for the first time. this is the best movie ive watched in the post apocalyptic world.
September 19, 2016
The Book of Eli is directed by the Hughes Brothers, and it stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis in a apocalyptic film about a man who was told to bring a specific book to the west, while having to deal with people that are willing to take his book away from him, whatever it takes. I was going to type the review earlier on as I was watching this film months ago, but I didn't get to finish it as the movie expired on demand from DirecTV. Luckily it doesn't matter as I managed to finally get to finish the film recently, and I'm surprised that I didn't get to watch it earlier on as this is honestly a fantastic film. Denzel Washington is probably a bit more subdued in this than his usual roles that he plays, but he's still great in it as an intimidating person that really shouldn't be messed around with as he's on a mission. Gary Oldman is always having a fun time playing a bad guy, although he doesn't play it over the top as his character plays as a relaxed man that wants to get a specific book that he had in his childhood, so you weren't quite sure at first whether he's a bad guy or not. I was a bit worried that Mila Kunis was going to act as the annoying sidekick to Denzel Washington's character, but there was never a moment that I didn't find her annoying in this, and actually felt sorry for her as the movie progresses. I really like apocalyptic setting that it takes place at because it looks very genuine, and it kind of looks pretty with the nice shots that they use for the mostly lifeless world that the characters have to live in. This is Atticus Ross's first featured length film as a composer, and it made it feel like he has done this before, which he kind of did in a segment in New York, I Love You, but not as a full length movie, which he did amazing in this with Leopold Ross and Claudia Sarne that brings in a lot of life and oomph to the empty world that the movie gives in to. The action scenes are a lot of fun to watch with the camera going around or in the action from what the other characters are doing, which I haven't seen that lately, and it has a lot of style in them that I really like. The writing by Gary Whitta is well written that kept me interested in what's going on, and I was surprised to find out that it's the same person that co-wrote a very boring film called After Earth with M. Night Shyamalan. I know some people had problems with the plot, but I thought it was fine, and while it might reach its grasp with some viewers, it didn't bother me and kept being invested with the film. I remember that there was going to be a twist at the end, but I wasn't quite sure what it was, which made me guess some answers. When it got there, I was close, but was wrong, and I liked the twist that it brought me. I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed it, knowing that it didn't do well critic and user review wise, but I guess The Book of Eli was more of my taste than I thought, so I think it's a very underrated film for that one.
½ September 7, 2016
Completely disappointment. The music is the only good thing.
September 5, 2016
How and why did Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, and Mila Kunis even sign for this film?
September 4, 2016
The plot twist at the end was a little too much. Good performance from Denzel. Sort of felt like a beats by Dre commercial haha
July 30, 2016
I like how they give so much power to the Book, and have a number of quoted verses. But the performances themselves were poor to say the least. I expect more from Oldman and Washington.
July 17, 2016
The Book of Eli is flawed, overambitious, and, in the end, beyond ludicrous - but how refreshing it is to see a post-apocalyptic film with such style, such ideas, and, these days, any ambition at all.
½ July 7, 2016
Why did they have to ruin a magnificently crafted world and bunch of characters with heavy handed christian shite? I don't know. I wish I could just watch the first half and burn the the second from my memory.
½ July 7, 2016
Denzel Washington is one of the most watchable people in film for mine (Kunis is certainly no strain to watch either). Despite my aversion to it thematically in some ways (the book has always been more Oldman than Washington in my opinion), I found it intriguing enough to watch a few times. Great story, well put together.
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