Eli walks alone in post-apocalyptic America. He heads west along the Highway of Death on a mission he doesn't fully understand but knows he must complete. In his backpack is the last copy of a book that could become the we... more »llspring of a revived society. Or in the wrong hands, the hammer of a despot. Denzel Washington is Eli, who keeps his blade sharp and his survival instincts sharper as his quest thrusts him into a savage wasteland... and into explosive conflict with a resourceful warlord (Gary Oldman) set on possessing the book. "We walk by faith, not by sight," quotes Eli. Under the taut direction of the Hughes Brothers (Menace II Society), those words hit home with unexpected meaning and power.« less
Neil O. (ntrdinc) from CLOVIS, CA Reviewed on 4/11/2015...
Fantastic film. Loved it!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Donna D. from WASILLA, AK Reviewed on 10/25/2013...
Great movie, one of the best I have seen.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Paul M. (BookMan49) from WHEATON, IL Reviewed on 1/8/2012...
Although it is rather gritty and violent in many ways, it is the story of a man doing what he believes he must do, no matter what the obstacles. It has a surprise ending that just blew me away.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
A good post-apocalyptic tale
William Merrill | San Antonio, TX United States | 01/15/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The post-apocalypse sub-genre of science fiction has always been a place I like to go. I'll give movies of this type some slack I wouldn't always give other kinds, so that even a relatively weak post-apoc flick like Doomsday (in which Malcolm McDowell appeared, as he does here) still has its interesting moments. But if it's a good one such as I Am Legend, I'm really into it bigtime. So I've been eagerly anticipating The Book of Eli from the time the first trailers appeared, and now that I've seen it there were many things about it I liked. Start with the mythic prophet main character. His super-heroic weapons skills showed there was something unique about him early on. Those scenes were generally pretty cool, and they were spread out pretty well over the length of the film. (Any more fight scenes would have bored me.) Eli's story plays out with a kind of grim determinism, although it also has hopeful elements as well. I was glad I wasn't previously familiar with the story, as the major revelations about the Book in the final act were a complete surprise. Mr. Washington was an excellent choice for the lead. Other roles were well cast too, including (to my surprise) Jennifer Beals as the blind mistress of Gary Oldman's bad boss character. Oldman himself struck just the right notes of ego, madness & desperation. Anyway, as far as the post-apoc nature of the movie, it provides fascinating glimpses of which possessions would be really valuable in such a world (ex., chapstick yes; cigarette lighter, not so much), and other aspects of survival felt very authentic throughout the film. All in all, it wasn't quite the adventure I was expecting (with occasional pacing issues), but I still found it to be an enjoyable viewing experience."
"The Book Of Eli" is great!
Kris King | Malone, NY USA | 01/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Book Of Eli" is great! This is how the story goes: In the not-too-distant future, some 30 years after the final war, a solitary man walks across the wasteland that was once America. Empty cities, broken highways, seared earth--all around him, the marks of catastrophic destruction. There is no civilization here, no law. The roads belong to gangs that would murder a man for his shoes, an ounce of water... or for nothing at all.
But they're no match for this traveler.
A warrior not by choice but necessity, Eli seeks only peace but, if challenged, will cut his attackers down before they realize their fatal mistake. It's not his life he guards so fiercely but his hope for the future; a hope he has carried and protected for 30 years and is determined to realize. Driven by this commitment and guided by his belief in something greater than himself, Eli does what he must to survive--and continue.
Only one other man in this ruined world understands the power Eli holds, and is determined to make it his own: Carnegie, the self-appointed despot of a makeshift town of thieves and gunmen. Meanwhile, Carnegie's adopted daughter Solara is fascinated by Eli for another reason: the glimpse he offers of what may exist beyond her stepfather's domain.
But neither will find it easy to deter him. Nothing--and no one--can stand in his way. Eli must keep moving to fulfill his destiny and bring help to a ravaged humanity.
The cast led by Denzel Washington (who also produced) (as Eli) & Gary Oldman (as Carnegie) is great! The directing by The Hughes Brothers (Albert & Allen) (both of them also directed "Menace II Society" (1993, both also co-produced and wrote the story), "Dead Presidents" (1995, both also produced and wrote the story) & "From Hell" (2001, both also executive produced) is great! The story & screenplay by Gary Whitta is great!
The music by Atticus Ross is great! The cinematography by Don Burgess (who also did the cinematography to "Forrest Gump" (1994), "Contact" (1997), "What Lies Beneath" (2000), "Cast Away" (2000), & "The Polar Express" (2004), all which were directed by Robert Zemeckis), "Spider-Man" (2002), "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines" (2003), & the upcoming "Priest" (2010) is great! The film editing by Cindy Mollo is great! The casting by Mindy Marin (who also did the casting to "Up In The Air" (2009), the upcoming "Tooth Fairy" (2010) & "Repo Men" (2010) is great! The production design by Gae S. Buckley (who also did the production design to "Open Range" (2003) is great! The art direction by Christopher Burian-Mohr (who also did the art direction to "The Last Samurai" (2003) is great! The costume design by Sharen Davis (who also did the costume design to "Devil In A Blue Dress" (1995, which also starred Washington and Jennifer Beals), "Antwone Fisher" (2002), "The Great Debaters" (2007), "Out Of Time" (2003), all which also starred Washington), "Ray" (2004), "The Pursuit Of Happyness" (2006), "Dreamgirls" (2006) & "Seven Pounds" (2008) is great!
This is a great action film that is a little different than other action films. This is a different looking film that people aren't probably used to. Denzel Washington & Gary Oldman are excellent as usual."
Michael J. Tresca | Fairfield, CT USA | 02/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Book of Eli is a vastly underappreciated film that mixes martial arts swordsmanship, a post-apocalyptic setting, and a biblical narrative.
A war, over thirty years ago, killed off many people in the United States. Others were blinded from the blast. This creates an interesting disparity between those over thirty years of age who received an education and those under thirty who know nothing of the modern world (at one point, one of the thugs asks, "What's a television?").
This is an unpleasant world. Cannibalistic brigands ambush unwary travelers, identifiable by their shaking hands. Water is at a premium. Batteries are hard to find. The Book of Eli makes it clear that there's no currency, only barter.
Roaming the land is Eli (a subdued Denzel Washington), carrying a book with a cross on it. This book is greatly desired by Carnegie (a greasy Gary Oldman), who is also old enough to remember the power such a tome can have over the people. While Eli has been wandering for thirty years in pursuit of such a destination, Carnegie has been sending illiterate henchmen to retrieve every book he can find. The encounter between the two has all the fire and brimstone of a battle between heaven and hell.
Thrown into the mix is Solara (played beautifully by Mila Kunis, who finally sheds her trademark accent), a young, attractive girl who has grown up under Carnegie's protection but, as she flowers into womanhood, is about to become a bargaining chip, a piece of meat, and a lure. When there's no one left to protect her, she becomes a wanderer in Eli's footsteps.
From a religious point of view, it's educational to understand who Eli was in the Bible. In the Bible, Eli's children are cursed for behaving wickedly, a parallel for the war that destroyed civilization in the movie. God's curse assures that all men will "die by the sword" - in the movie Eli expertly cuts a bloody swath through his enemies with his machete. In the Bible, it was the job of Eli's sons to guard the Ark of the Covenant - the pact God made with man - just as Eli guards the holy book in the movie.
There's a twist ending that's not a twist of all if you read up about Eli in the Bible. But don't - watch the movie, then do some research, then watch the movie again. Like Eli's quest for spiritual fulfillment, the experience will be rather eye-opening.
S. W. Steiner | New Mexico | 06/16/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The music, the sound, the lighting, the setting... It all works together in this movie in such a way that you can see the world Eli lives in as if you were there. Whether you are religious or not, it doesn't matter. Anyone can enjoy this film and the amazing story that is told.
If you enjoy Denzel Washington movies, you'll love it. If you enjoy movies with a strong protaganist, you'll love this movie. If you love seeing Gary Oldman as the bad guy, you'll definitely love this movie. Also, if you enjoy stories of faith... You'll love this movie. It's worth watching at least once."