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The Road - a Movie Review

Updated on April 8, 2019
Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean resides in North Dakota where she works as a freelance writer and blogs at Faith's Mom's Blog.

I'm not one who really pays much attention when new movies come out which is one reason I had never even heard of the movie "The Road" until my husband and I decided to use our free movie passes before they expired. We wanted to see "What About the Morgans" but they said we couldn't use our free tickets for that particular movie so we ended up seeing "The Road."

I must admit that at one point in the middle of the movie, I actually thought about getting up and leaving. And when the movie ended, my husband and I looked at each other like, what the heck was that? We talked about the movie on the way home and that night as I tried to sleep I couldn't stop thinking about "The Road." Something about this movie stirred something inside of me.


Characters Without a Name

"The Road" stars Viggo Mortensen as the man in the movie and Kodi Smit-McPhee as the boy. The mother of the boy is played by Charlize Theron. Robert DuVall also makes an appearance as the old man. I was truly impressed by the acting of the lead characters, especially the boy.

The movie is based on the novel, "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. (I had never heard of the book either) and critics claim the movie does follow closely along with the book, with a few exceptions of course. I think it would be interesting to see if the book included more detail of what exactly took place to create the post-apocalyptic event that sets the stage for the movie. All we are shown in one of the beginning scenes is a massive fire.

Good vs. Evil

The movie is about a father and a son who survive some type of catastrophic event. Everything is dead and the sun ceases to shine. The movie is played out in a series of flashbacks that helps the audience understand how the man and the boy arrive in the present.

In their goal to reach the southern coast, the father and son face miserable conditions including starving, lack of adequate shelter, massive earthquakes, thoughts of suicide and the most frightening thing of all, cannibals. Most of the scenes include just the man and the boy but there are also other characters they encounter on their journey. When the man and the boy are confronted with these other characters they must quickly discern whether they are good guys or bad guys.

The cannibalism in the movie kind of freaked me out. One scene was particularly disturbing when the man and the boy find what they think is an abandoned house. They notice a cellar that is locked and after breaking the lock and going down the steps they discover barely-live human beings kept for food. There is also another scene in which a mother and a son are being chased by a band of cannibals that looks more like a pack of wolves going after their prey.

Besides cannibalism, another theme prevalent throughout the movie is suicide. The man and the boy have a gun with two bullets. The father shows his son how to put the gun in his mouth and point upwards. The father vows to his son that he will go next. Later, when one of the bullets is used for something else, the father thinks about killing his own son to end the boy's suffering.

It is the innocence of the boy, though that helps keep his father's conscience in check. Even in the bleak and dying world in which they live, the boy still strives to find good in all people and he wants his father to continue doing good in a world in which evil prevails. When goodness is displayed in such an evil world, it keeps hope alive.

As I watched the movie, I had lots of hopes for the man and the boy - hope that they would find food, hope that they would find friends in a world of heathens, hope that they would reach their destination, hope that they would survive. It is this hope that kept me engaged in the movie until the very end.

How Would You React During the End of the World?

I thought the movie did a great job of of showing the reaction of humans after losing their basic needs such as food and shelter along with losing loved ones and going days, weeks, months without seeing another human being. Their lives instead became all about survival and it forced me to think about how I would react in such a situation.

I would like to believe I would remain one of the "good guys" and that my faith in God would sustain me. And that I would still try to do good in a world filled with evil. But really I'm not sure how I would act if I had to watch my daughter starve to death or worry about her getting eaten by a cannibal. Would I let my sinful nature completely take over? Would I become one of the "bad guys" in order to survive? I sincerely hope not and I sincerely hope I never have to find out.

Do you believe the end of the world is coming soon?
Do you believe the end of the world is coming soon? | Source

Victory in Jesus

Could some kind of event as portrayed in "The Road" really happen? As a Bible-believing Christian, I do believe the end-times are coming. The Apocalypse is going to happen and people are going to be left behind to live in the most evil time this planet has ever seen. After the movie, my husband stated, "The rapture will have already happened by then!" Meaning as Christians who have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we don't have to worry about the Apocalypse and in the end, we know that Jesus has the ultimate victory.

Matthew 24

To me, "The Road" really is a picture of what Jesus talks about in Matthew 24:14-21

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days (nursing babies)! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.


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    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      10 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      ruffridyer - Yeah, they were doomed alright. I guess the movie made me see pretty clearly that in that situation Jesus is your only hope.

    • profile image


      10 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      My take on it was, since the trees were dying and the ocean was apparently dead, that is it. the survivres both cannabals and good people were doomed.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      The Donkey - thanks for your comment! I'll have to check out some of your hubs.

    • The Donkey profile image

      The Donkey 

      11 years ago from Little Rock, Arkansas

      Thanks for posting. Good review!

      You should follow me and read some of my hubs.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Pamela99 - Yes, I found the movie very hard to watch and that's why I almost got up and left. But I really wanted to see what happened at the end. If I would have known more about the movie before I went, I might not have gone but it was a sort of last minute thing just to use our free tickets.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      janiek13 - It's an interesting movie that is very thought provoking. I'm not sure I would be able to watch it again though just because it's so intense, almost too intense.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Windsweptplains - I would really love to know where you're from on the wind swept plains as I am a Northern Plains girl! Thanks for your comment. I will be checking out some of your hubs!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      11 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This movie has great stars but I don't think I could stand the subject matter. It would be the kind of movie that would really bother me afterwards, so I usually avoid them. Thanks for the detailed review.

    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      11 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      Sounds like a great movie!

    • Windsweptplains profile image

      Hannah Price 

      11 years ago

      Thank you for a very good movie review! I am a Christian movie reviewer myself, and elements like the ones you pointed out stand out to me too. I know that I would never be able to watch The Road due to it's intense subject matter, but I love hearing other people's views on films that contain deeper meanings or messages.

    • Cari Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Cari Jean 

      11 years ago from Bismarck, ND

      Hi dusanotes - thanks for your comment. I understand when you say we have to be careful about what Christ meant when talking about the "end times" but what I am trying to say is that while watching the movie, that is the Bible verse that kept coming to my mind. Especially the part in the verse that talks about a woman nursing a baby. What a horrible situation for a mother to be in.

    • dusanotes profile image


      11 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Cari Jean, you did a fine job portraying what was in the movie. The important thing for all of us is to determine whether the movie correctly portrays what Christ meant in Matthew 24 and other places about the so-called "end of times." Thanks for reporting on the movie. Don White


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