Road, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -4

Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert DuVall, Garrett Dillahunt, Charlize Theron. Sci-fi drama. Written by Joe Mccarthy. Directed by John Hillcoat.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Based on Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the epic post-apocalyptic tale concerns a journey taken by a father and his young son across a barren landscape that was blasted by an unnamed cataclysm, destroying civilization and most life on earth.

PREVIEW REVIEW: It’s not a Mad Max, lone-wolf against a caravan of cretins, end of civilization actioneer – per se. Though there are scenes where our heroes must evade range-roving cannibals who keep “dinner” locked in a cellar, it’s more a drama with a sanctity of life theme.

A father and son bond on a forced road trip as they futilely seek life and beauty, eventually finding those qualities within.  There is potency, perhaps even a profundity to be found within the story, but my goodness, this is a bleak film.  My first reaction was, “Who would want to see this?”  It’s a depressing time in our generation, so who pays hard earned bucks to watch a man teach his boy how to commit suicide should the need arise.

At one point, we view our heroes about to sup on a thanksgiving feast they’ve stumbled upon, first offering up a Thanksgiving prayer. Mind you, the prayer is not offered up to God. There is no mention of God during this sequence. The prayer is offered to the people who left the bounty behind, the subtext being, there is no God. He couldn’t possibly exist because everything else is dead.  Did those making the film consider that thought as bleak as I did?

The artistic and technical merits are superb, it cannot be denied, and there are worthy subjects parabled in their travels, but it’s a gloomy excursion. The final book in the Bible speaks of apocalyptic times, but with a hopeful, miraculous conclusion. That’s missing in this production – the hopeful, miraculous part.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Icon Entertainment

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around ten obscenities, mostly the f- and s-words.

Profanity: Two profane uses of God’s name and one of Christ’s.

Violence: There are marauding cannibals; naked victims are kept in a cellar for the purpose of eating; they are treated worse than animals – this scene is brief, but it lingers on in your memory; a few people are killed; the lead teaches his son how to use a gun to commit suicide, rather than starve to death or be taken prisoner by cannibals. Blood: Some blood.

Sex: Brief sexuality between a husband and wife.

Nudity: We see the lead from behind as he goes into the ocean sans clothing; we see victims in a cellar without clothing.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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