Faith and Family Film Review: The Road
By the Catholic Office for Broadcasting and Film
The Road—This moving but relentlessly grim drama, set in the wake of an unspecified apocalypse, follows the desperate journey of a father (Viggo Mortensen, mesmerizing) and son (fine newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they travel through a devastated America encountering cannibals, thieves and shell-shocked survivors (notably Robert Duvall) on their way to what they hope will be a marginally better life along the coast. Occupying the pitted no-man’s-land between a Samuel Beckett play and “The Road Warrior,” director John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a stark examination of one man’s efforts to preserve, and pass on, humane values, refreshed only by the instinctive goodness of his youthful companion, though his quasi-idolatrous view of the boy, like the borderline-blasphemous sentiments expressed by other characters, would be unacceptable in a less extreme context. Complex moral and theological issues, grisly images, cannibalism and suicide themes, rear and brief partial nudity, a few uses of profanity, occasional rough and crude language. L — limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (R) 2009. See full review here.
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