'The Road' Critic Reviews
John Hillcoat's impressive screen version is not without its flaws but it does capture the abject bleakness of McCarthy's vision in a way that feels like the cold chill of winter invading your very bones.
Haunting, harrowing yet profoundly enriching. The Road is the most powerful and moving post-apocalyptic film of the twenty-first century.
Not merely bearable, but affirmative and life-enhancing.
Daily Mirror [UK]
What might be the feelbad film of the year makes an early but convincing claim to be the film of 2010.
This is London
Like Mad Max on Mogadon, the film is enraptured with its own depressiveness, coming on like the worst New Year hangover you've ever had.
This one-note exercise in neo-medieval moodiness eventually dissolves into that perennial and most corny of Hollywood tropes: the search for redemption. A disappointment.
One of the most chillingly effective visions of the world's end ever put on screen - and a heart-rending study of parenthood, to boot.
A powerful, thought-provoking and frequently uncomfortable drama, but it's also one of the best films of the year.
News of the World
It's almost-but-not-quite as good as the 2006 classic post-disaster film Children Of Men - and that's good enough for me.
Its high-minded, this-is-good-for-you equation of bleakness with brilliance works against it a little, serving up many of the same allegorical ideas as a George Romero film.
A Trojan-horse blockbuster that promises the wham bam of apocalypse while actually delivering the quiet pain of human intimacy, The Road might just be one of the most heartfelt end-of-the-world movies yet made.
The Road offers an allegory of misery and dread that is crushing, not because it denies humanistic feeling but because it defies cinemagoing pleasure. You would have to be mad - or just morbidly depressed - to recommend it to anyone.
One of the best films this year (and last!). Bleak, painful, charged with emotion and philosophical questions about how far we have evolved from animals when our comforts are taken away. A must see.
Little White Lies
The Road isn't flawless, it isn't quite the emotional masterpiece you want it to be, but it is both a worthy companion piece to the source material and, moreover, a dramatic slice of cinematic story telling in its own right.
Daily Mail [UK]
Drab, virtually plot-free and aridly pointless, this road doesn't get anywhere.
Jackie K. Cooper
A long and winding, dark and depressing road but at the end strangely uplifting. The acting is excellent.
Grueling Road Worth Traveling.
The Road... literalizes but doesn't flinch. It is brave in the dumb way brutes sometimes seem to be, as though it knows no alternative.
East Bay Express
Instead of popcorn and soda, the concession stands ought to serve broken twigs and muddy water with this one.
An overall impressive adaptation that, while tough to recommend because of its oppressive mood, stays on the right path for the duration of its run.
The Road is a heavy load to bare for the casual movie fan. Unless of course, that movie fan likes drinking with the lights off, full-moon Russian Roulette or confuses the Sunday funnies with the obituaries.
Mortensen comes through with another haunting performance that mixes the cerebral with the physical.
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A very fine film that somehow manages to attain only a fraction of the heart-rending power of its grim source.
What was poetic and spare on the page has become monotonous and oppressive on the screen.
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Obviously, it's not really a pleasant cinematic experience, despite the quality of its filmmaking and performances. It's worthwhile for its character development and its examination of morality and survival behavior, though.