The Book of Eli - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Book of Eli Reviews

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½ April 3, 2016
THE BOOK OF ELI is yet another entry in the well-populated post-apocalyptic genre and, to be honest, doesn't do a lot to distinguish itself from its brethren. What makes it an interesting watch are the stylistic choices, well-executed action, and committed performances from a stellar cast. The plot concerns Eli (mentioned by name only once), who is headed west with the last copy of the Bible (in the US, at least). On his journey he meets a warlord (Gary Oldman) who has been looking for the book and wants to use it for his own purposes. From a narrative standpoint, THE BOOK OF ELI keeps things very simple, and even the characters aren't too well-defined, being more archetypes than anything else. Of course, this is mostly fine as the film has higher ideas on its mind than just providing a cool story. There was some passing mention of what caused the world to be the way it is, and attempts at fleshing out the finer details of the world in the film, but nothing on the level of what George Miller did with the MAD MAX franchise. What holds the film together is Denzel Washington, who has made a career out of playing men of action (and, occasionally, few words). He plays Eli with the cool detachment required, but also imbues him with a sense of humor and humanity that makes him a little more relatable. Gary Oldman also does fine as the villain, but his motivations (as well as Eli's ultimate goal) remain unfortunately broad and vague. Mila Kunis is the weak spot in the cast, and she can't quite hold her own against such heavyweights. Outside of Denzel, where the film really shines is the style and action. Although the film has the same de-saturated color palette common in the genre, it contributed positively to the lived-in feeling of the world it depicted. Everything (and everyone) was appropriately grimy and dirty, as it should be when the world has suffered from nuclear war. I also thought there was creative work in the action sequences, particularly the first one in which Eli takes on a group of hijackers. It took place mostly in silhouette, which gave it a comic book feel. In fact, this film would make an excellent graphic novel. Still, the film is not without its problems. The biggest one is the pacing, which stays a little on the slow side. Granted, there are necessary moments where the characters can interact, but the combination of dour visuals and a slow pace didn't really mesh well. Also, as indicated earlier, the vagueness with which character motivation is treated was a bit disappointing. What saves the film from mediocrity is a great payoff in the last 20-25 minutes. I won't spoil anything here, but I will say that it makes a lot of sense if you know your Bible stories. Ultimately, THE BOOK OF ELI is a solid, if unspectacular, entry in its genre, but Denzel Washington's performance, inventive action sequences, and examination of religion's societal role make it worth your time.
March 2, 2016
It was ok. Had a interesting premise. But it was very slow and boring in lots of parts. The action was ok.
February 25, 2016
The Book of Eli is a solid post-apocalypse thriller that does not sink to deep but is lead by another solid outing from Denzel Washington.
February 14, 2016
Not bad. Not great, but not bad either.
December 25, 2015
For a film that has a lot of great performances and occasionally interesting ideas on it's side, it is amazing how underwhelming this ends up being. I think the religious turn is meant to be a twist, and is even worked up to as such, but if you haven't got it from the title or any of the dialogue in the first half then you must have been asleep. Once it is delivered the motives and actions of the characters are both alienating and perhaps don't give off the message intended to anyone who is not religious to begin with. With this to one side though, things still don't pick up much as the action is all a bit cliche. There are some occasionally interesting bits of dialogue and a few more insightful thoughts on a post apocalyptic world then seen in other such recent films, but it's not enough to keep it going.
½ December 17, 2015
Futuristic Apocalypse With All The Right Moves Elevates The End Of The World To An Entirely New Level. It's A Slow Burn With An Intresting Twist On What It Means To Ve Alive In Such A Terrible Place, Without Hope, You Have Nothing Really..So Holding On To That Is Important & I Guess The Moral Of This Story.
October 30, 2015
Visualmente interesante, pero con un guión paupérrimo, con nulo desarrollo o personajes que enganchen. Un espagueti western estilo Mad Max, que puedo ver un millón de veces, y no entender de que trata realmente.
½ September 13, 2015
Really nice movie and amazing message
August 21, 2015
It was an all around decent movie. The best part is the prayer at the end.
July 29, 2015
I love this movie. solara is a weak character, but a great bad guy (gary oldman), and Denzel is awesome. critics missed this one.
½ July 6, 2015
Such an interesting mad max twist. With good acting and a very smart idea. It is not common for sci fi, action movies to put this much thought into it. It is brutal, dark, and the best kind of "R" rating. Without pushing too many limits and not adding anything because just because. Possibly the best movie of 2010.
July 1, 2015
Despite the underwhelming critical response, The Book of Eli remains one of my favorite films and one of best examples of post-apocalyptic filmmaking in a genre that frankly, looks a little post-apocalyptic itself. Although The Book of Eli attracts some complaints regarding its relation to The Road and other films, what sets Eli apart is the extremely high production value, striking landscape and ideal cast, not to mention the excellent usage of symbolism and carefully crafted nuance all throughout the film. Lost in the critical dribble was the fact that The Book of Eli pulled off one of the most impressive plot twists in recent film history, managing to effectively trick the audience through a bit of old fashioned mystery and a well designed color palette that perfectly complimented the symbolic nature of the film. This twist, combined with a storyline layered with religious and moral symbolism (unpopular with the critics, I'm sure), makes for a fantastic ride. Add in some incredible action sequences, a top notch Atticus Ross helmed soundtrack and career best performances from Washington, Oldman and Kunis and you have the makings of the film that The Road should have been. Where most post-apocalyptic films (The Road included) bash you over the head with ultra dark landscape shots and hopeless neo-noir derivative, Eli manages to add spice to this formula, utilizing a bit of nostalgia and extremely effective product placement to make everything come together. This is perfectly highlighted in a scene with Eli, Beats headphones and an old iPod, which, besides being the only instance of Beats promotion in a film I will ever tolerate, is one of the best scenes in the last decade or two of film history, poignantly hinting at Eli's humanity, touching on what is lost in the modern era and setting the stage for the fantastic film to come. Ultimately, The Book of Eli, lost on the highbrow critics, is a must watch for any fan of good cinema.
½ June 29, 2015
Book of Eli is a story that will leave you wanting to go back and watch again. Denzel and Gary Oldman together in this post apocalyptic word where people resort to violence and canablism to live each day. A world where religion is used as weapon and the finest perception of the human condition. A real work of art.
½ June 24, 2015
If you wished your post-apocalyptic western-like films had more kick-ass sword fighting from a badass Denzel Washington, 'The Book of Eli' is worth your time.
June 22, 2015
Strange and confusing
½ May 31, 2015
Didn't get great reviews, but as for endings, it was quite good. Also, as a Christian, I applaud how sympathetic the storyline was to the role of faith for humanity. I thought it was honest.
½ May 30, 2015
This movie was your average Denzel movie. It was not as good as his best movies. The acting was good, but not great. Gary Oldman was good in this movie. The plot was done well and I liked the twist in the plot where at the end they showed that Eli was blind and the Bible was in Braille. The action was great for a Denzel movie.
May 28, 2015
Great movie, totally under rated. Not one of Denzel's finest but I thought it was pretty good. The bleakness felt real.
May 15, 2015
Não posso deixar de recomendar. A primeira vez que o vi foi na Quinta dos Olhos de Água - não deixa de ser irónico. A classic (time will show it).
Com Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Tom Waits, Mila Kunis...
#steampunk #samurai #Truth #apocalyptic
April 18, 2015
Really liked it. Lots of action, plot twists and post apocalyptic melt downs. Denzel is as always the quite voice of reason through it all.
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