The Book of Eli (15)

Film

Action and adventure

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue Jan 12 2010

The stylish opening – a camera track through an ashen forest – attests to the talents of ace cinematographer Don Burgess. His moody and immersive visuals (most memorably a shoot-out filmed, ‘Children of Men’-style, in an illusory single take) lend weight to this otherwise routine post-apocalyptic tale set in a future America of 2043.

A mean motherfuckin’ servant of God (Denzel Washington) shepherds a mysterious book to some locale way out west. After a stopover in a decrepit outpost, the holy warrior attracts the attention of a snake-tongued saloon owner (Gary Oldman) who wants to use the book for his own purposes. Cue guns ’n’ ammo showdowns, not to mention much product placement –the J Crew and Motorola folk bedevil us even in the end-times.

Thank the pallid green heavens for Jennifer Beals (long ago in ‘Flashdance’) who is ravishing as a sightless kept woman acting as the story’s oracle. She wanders the halls of her makeshift prison like a goddess deprived of power. For a few brief moments, the film becomes something close to Greek mythology, as opposed to weak graphic-novel imitation.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 15, 2010

Duration:

118 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|41
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ed

I saw this movie on cinema realease and gave it 2x*. I rewatched it over the easter break, just to see if the "twist" was obvious throughout and it's a better film going in 2nd time. You appreciate teh clever nature of Denzel's performance and you wonder quite how you missed what many of us did. I think this movie suffered by comparison to superficially similar THE ROAD. I saw them back to back, and whilst THE ROAD was way better I can appreciate many aspects of the film now. This is NOT a Christian movie, this walks a neutral path in saying power corrupts int eh wrong hands. Religion can be the cause of war (which in many cases is and always has been) The "BOOK" could have easily been any object that holds power. Gary Oldman's character is left a good opening ending and I liked the outcome. One many levels I feel the same way as on first viewing, it's very corny at times, the Michaal Gambon / Frances De La Tour cameos are unwanted and tonally out of place. But it has enough originality. I;ve come back to give it an extra star because 2nd viewing improves it and makes you look around a bit.

Martin

I'm a big fan of the whole post apocalyptic thing (from Mad Max futuristic nuclear wastelands to zombie ravaged worlds) and I don't think I've seen Denzil in a film that I haven't liked....so I was looking forward to this but I have to say I was disappointed. I know people have asked to keep religion out of the reviews but it's quite hard when the whole point of the film seems to be it's religious message and it's not exactly subtle. On one hand we have Gary Oldman (the baddie) who see's religion as a tool to manipulate people...then we have Denzil (the hero) who's the devout 'ass kicking' Christian. I think if you're a christian you might like this film and if you're an atheist then chances are you'll probably struggle with it. Everything in the film is fine, the acting is fine, the sets are cool, it's beautifully filmed, but I don't like the message so I don't like the film. Possibly not the best film to watch if you're going through a 'Richard Dawkins' phase as I am.

Charles Karges

When I first began to watch the movie, I was rather disappointed at first and stopped watching. The my wife and grandson began talking how good it was, I watched it again in its entirety. After seeing the entire movie, I was very very enthralled with the movies story line, the actors performance, and the story and message set forth in the film. I must rank the "Book of Eli" as one of the best movies i have seen in the last tweny years.

kevin

yo alex. i dont know if you've caught on yet but i dont think anyone cares to hear your worthless theological opinion.

kevin

yo alex. i dont know if you've caught on yet but i dont think anyone cares to hear your worthless theological opinion.

manito

There is a StarMan Waiting in the sky Hed like to Come and Meet US but he thinks he'd BloW our Minds thats the most Athiestic i can be but nomore

manito

There is a StarMan Waiting in the sky Hed like to Come and Meet US but he thinks he'd BloW our Minds thats the most Athiestic i can be but nomore

MrJay

I'm an Atheist and I loved this film. I can't stand people brining religion in these reviews. So please keep your opinions to yourself in that respect. Just see it with an open mind. It was a refreshing change from almost all other films in the genre, I especially like the ending.

ineedlove13

i have to admit that Mila Kunis was not the best choice HOWEVER, Easily the B-est M-ovie ever to be categorized as Post-Apocolypse. as to Denzel i salute n congrats him for his second initiation in this mythical action/passion packed performance movie (the 1st was Malcolm X). as to Gary Oldman the master of Eccentricity he couldnt done any better role since the Professional ((raisin hats real high to the OldPirate). Don B-urGess you are the Man!! to the rest of British Masters and mistresses thank u for bringin out the light. the rest of you who did not like the movie or saw nothing in their, you are not much different than the bikers in the movie (illetirate,blind,scared and violent)may the ONE have mercy on your souls cuz you will be held accountable for ur thoughts and actions! so reflect on ur selves before its too late! P.S. i'm so far from being religous and Jennifer Beals did well!

ineedlove13

i have to admit that Mila Kunis was not the best choice HOWEVER, Easily the B-est M-ovie ever to be categorized as Post-Apocolypse. as to Denzel i salute n congrats him for his second initiation in this mythical action/passion packed performance movie (the 1st was Malcolm X). as to Gary Oldman the master of Eccentricity he couldnt done any better role since the Professional ((raisin hats real high to the OldPirate). Don B-urGess you are the Man!! to the rest of British Masters and mistresses thank u for bringin out the light. the rest of you who did not like the movie or saw nothing in their, you are not much different than the bikers in the movie (illetirate,blind,scared and violent)may the ONE have mercy on your souls cuz you will be held accountable for ur thoughts and actions! so reflect on ur selves before its too late! P.S. i'm so far from being religous and Jennifer Beals did well!

Jock

Alex , you mean spirited simpleton.Do not beat anyone up with the grammar stick unless you are 100% perfect yourself. Surely it is downloaded`from` and not `off`? Surely a comma can not be followed by the word `and`? I believe it is one or the other. Cineworld should have a capital`C`. Who in their right mind goes to the cinema to watch half a film? Furthermore if your wife wanted you to see how awful a film was I can only assume she had seen it already and so why would she go again? Or if she had been told it was so bad then choosing to waste your time on a movie you know will be dung,also beggars belief. Yes the written word is a tough one for those of us who are dislexic , as I am.My point is valid even if my spelling and typing are not. What does`practically` free mean exactly? it did cost something then. Moving on, the card is £13.50 a month so surely 5 films would equate to £2.70 per film would it not. I know many non christian muslims who believe in God, so again your arguments are not well thought out,which all goes to prove that we can not really take your film reviews that seriously now can we? Denzel HAS made better films than this one.That does not however make this one rubbish,that's a little too black and white for most of us.Good, better, best,great,greater and greatest are all adjectives that can be used to rate movies accurately. Run along now.

Jock

Alex , you mean spirited simpleton.Do not beat anyone up with the grammar stick unless you are 100% perfect yourself. Surely it is downloaded`from` and not `off`? Surely a comma can not be followed by the word `and`? I believe it is one or the other. Cineworld should have a capital`C`. Who in their right mind goes to the cinema to watch half a film? Furthermore if your wife wanted you to see how awful a film was I can only assume she had seen it already and so why would she go again? Or if she had been told it was so bad then choosing to waste your time on a movie you know will be dung,also beggars belief. Yes the written word is a tough one for those of us who are dislexic , as I am.My point is valid even if my spelling and typing are not. What does`practically` free mean exactly? it did cost something then. Moving on, the card is £13.50 a month so surely 5 films would equate to £2.70 per film would it not. I know many non christian muslims who believe in God, so again your arguments are not well thought out,which all goes to prove that we can not really take your film reviews that seriously now can we? Denzel HAS made better films than this one.That does not however make this one rubbish,that's a little too black and white for most of us.Good, better, best,great,greater and greatest are all adjectives that can be used to rate movies accurately. Run along now.

jock

So then Alex.. your cineworld card was free was it..As I read it Drew was mocking you for your admission of goning to see twighlight and not book of Eli but I think you missed it(must try harder).read it again. Training day was a matser class and pelham was pure adrenalin. And as for Cherie..?debate involves exchange and difference of opinion. gentle mocking and ribbibng is acceptable I am sure..We can believe in any God we want to AND still have go at each other verbally,its quite innocent and I dont believe we are all damned.People are allowed to express themselves as long as there are no threats(and I believe thus far people have remained within the guidlines of this sight). This film was agood film,well done all concerned.. BRING ON CLASH OF THE TITANS NOW.

jock

So then Alex.. your cineworld card was free was it..As I read it Drew was mocking you for your admission of goning to see twighlight and not book of Eli but I think you missed it(must try harder).read it again. Training day was a matser class and pelham was pure adrenalin. And as for Cherie..?debate involves exchange and difference of opinion. gentle mocking and ribbibng is acceptable I am sure..We can believe in any God we want to AND still have go at each other verbally,its quite innocent and I dont believe we are all damned.People are allowed to express themselves as long as there are no threats(and I believe thus far people have remained within the guidlines of this sight). This film was agood film,well done all concerned.. BRING ON CLASH OF THE TITANS NOW.

Alex Botten

Drew - 1. I didn't pay to see it, I have a Cineworld Unlimited card so see 3 or 4 movies a week. 2. Denzil never misses? 'He's Got Game', 'Training Day', 'The Taking of Pelham 123' all argue the opposite 3. I am a rational human being who can see that there's no evidence of a god. Juanita - Just because you chose to see the hand of god in every last thing, doesn't make the movie any good.

drew

thing is Alex, who are you to say there is no god..I think this guy is seriously touched because of his nickname and his rant..You on the other hand are even worse as you come over as someone with a modicum of sense but trashed an excellent movie(DENZEL NEVER MISSES,GO BACK AND CHECK). as stated before WAS IT REALLY A TWIST ? we saw hw was blind from the first scene. I think this film is well worth 4 stars. YOU? must do better...one star! p.s. gonig to see twighlight? No sympathy for you and if you paid for your ticket then you are truly condemned.

Alex Botten

Wow, it seems the people who liked this dismal trudge of a movie also are deeply in love with their invisible sky-friend 'God' No matter how abusive the 'faithful' become, this movie will always be a stinker

Maria

This movie made me realized things I thought I know but i didnt. It is absolutly brillant with a lot of subliminal messages for those who has ears! Get the meaning behind his purpose on Earth. It is not a stupid or meaning-less movie. In the other hand will open your eyes more than entertain you....

Maria

This movie made me realized things I thought I know but i didnt. It is absolutly brillant with a lot of subliminal messages for those who has ears! Get the meaning behind his purpose on Earth. It is not a stupid or meaning-less movie. In the other hand will open your eyes more than entertain you....

A film student

Okay, so I'm reading other opinions and I can't help but draw the conclusion that the film's Christian content really upset them. So if think that a film about a man saving the last bible on earth is stupid, don't watch it. If you're spiritually mature, open minded or drawn to the arts you will recognize one of the best movies in a long time. I say it deserves credit because it is a powerful film with a beautiful message and lots of bullets and limbs flying about. It is a very daring film to make and for that and me being a film student (non-Christian if you think that inclines me to like the film) i give it cinco stars.

A film student

Okay, so I'm reading other opinions and I can't help but draw the conclusion that the film's Christian content really upset them. So if think that a film about a man saving the last bible on earth is stupid, don't watch it. If you're spiritually mature, open minded or drawn to the arts you will recognize one of the best movies in a long time. I say it deserves credit because it is a powerful film with a beautiful message and lots of bullets and limbs flying about. It is a very daring film to make and for that and me being a film student (non-Christian if you think that inclines me to like the film) i give it cinco stars.

trickydicky

Highly overrated by other users of this site. This is one very mediocre post-apocalyptic movie. A lot of footage could have fallen to the cutting room floor ... 118 mins felt like 1,118 mins ... at least 20 mins could have been cut. Time Out's 2 star rating is accurate, as is its review. The photography and acting are good, but the plot is thin in places. This is the sort of movie that will turn up at Christmas, but on one of those insignificant days where most people are likely to be doing something else ... like picking the fluff out of their belly buttons. I've already said it in a previous review ... spend your money on a seat for "A Prophet" - still one of the best movies around at the moment. This is one very “ok� (not “great�) rated movie.

drew

Truly wonderful!! every now and then a film comes out of nowhere and surprises me. Of course we have the "film police" again saying that it has a weak plot and it was boring..and only craigganmore himself knows WTF he is trying to say..alex botten(should be bottom???)..silly person indeed!!! Ok, so the twist was obvious from the first scene with Eli fumbling around for water and boots from a dead man..but who cares if everyone except Gary Oldman knew he was blind!! the film was entertaining with great fight scenes and a great ending,(hollywood just will not leave that bloody golden(NAE RED) bridge alone!!! ha ha ha.........and some marvelous cameos from a few brit thesps!! All in all a solid 8/10 from me. but then, denzel does not do bad films!! bet wayne s hated it!

Alex Botten

Possibly the worst film I've seen in a very long time (and I had to sit through Jennifer's Body and two Twilight 'movies'). The premise is weak, the execution poor, and the whole thing an unholy mess. There is not a single original idea in this movie, from the opening ash-in-forest of The Road, to the sub-Vangelis soundtrack, to the Mad Max esque town.....the whole film stumbles from one unbelievably stupid sequence to another. And the twist is RUBBISH. In a sentence? Blind wandering memorises Braille Bible

James

I thought this was a good film. A very good story line to it and it was interesting. The ending was somewhat a surprise though and I thought they could have made it better. 4 stars for me.

Film student

Great and beautiful film with an awesome plot and jaw dropping epiphany ending. Its about faith and appreciating what we take for granted .But if you're a cynic, immature or are uncomfortable with religion, hope or faith don't watch it. It's for mature audiences only. And I mean mature in every sense of the word.

Film student

Great and beautiful film with an awesome plot and jaw dropping epiphany ending. Its about faith and appreciating what we take for granted .But if you're a cynic, immature or are uncomfortable with religion, hope or faith don't watch it. It's for mature audiences only. And I mean mature in every sense of the word.

Ramez

obviously each individual taste is different... Great movie, one of the best so far & I am glad to see that there are still few people with good taste who appreciate this amazing piece of work. There is no other way to say this, but a lot of movies,lately talked about the end of the world, like 2012 which is a good action & good directed scenes, but not a strong story behind it, other movies picture the end of the world after a chemical war, aliens invasion or a deadly virus and some people like that. But when a great movie like that comes, some superficial shallow people say it's dull, well I say get a life & get your act together. This movie is about true human nature, that some use religion & believes as a cover to achieve their own selfish goals, it's about faith & some people are willing to do & sacrifice for it, try & look at the bigger picture here, the movie is practically showing what we, humans, are doing in the name of science, advance, religion or other excuses all over the world. Truely one of the best movies I've seen, if you enjoy to think & loook beyond the obvious, also with a nice open ending & not a corny one

sal hajee

movie is disgace to denzels oscars and story is big as my rubber nose which is to long and my ass looks identical to denzels face

ashy

what a shit movie no storyline and denzel looks like a boojo face

Abednego

Spoiler alert from Richie just in case you don't want chapter and verse on the storyline then skip over his rant. But if you do belong to a local Alpha Group or work for Gideon then you'll get moist at the thought of bringing back the good old days that were the Old Testament when you see this corny and silly film.

ed

one the whole it was crony and predictable. uneven in tone too. when michael gambon turns up it turns into a comedy??? that said, i liked the parallel to old samurai flicks (I won't spoil which ones) and the SOUNDTRACK (music) was stunning. forget the religious mumbo jumbo, it can't be taken seriously. denzel is phoning this one in, whilst his buddy tony scott has a holiday. file with SALUTE OF JUGGER, CYBORG, etc where it belongs. THE ROAD for the curry & 6 pack of beer crowd... hahaha

Crys

People dont understand art and the beauty of the spirit behind the movie: and movies in general. If Denzel would have met with his homosexual lover on alcatraz, all the reviewers on earth would be in one big collective orgy. But because it deals with a topic the mainstream has categorized as "cornie" viewers jump ship and abandon their ability to think and feel like the artist. .. so sad that our intellect and creativity has been hijacked.

Shadrach

The end of this film is toe-curlingly corny and I could hear groans from the full cinema over mine and people started to leave early. I was lelt feeling Denzil had duped me into seeing a film sponsored by American religious ultra-left wingers indoctrinating me on the merits of sword, book and a holy avenging crusader. Corny sums up a story that includes eccentric performances from Britain's finest grandees; Michael Gambon, Frances de la Tour, Gary Oldman and even Malcolm McDowell as a Peter Stringfellow hanging out in California. It is a shame that the American sensibilities that stopped Golden Compass continuing didn't step in to stop this call to bear arms in violent defence of an Old Testament past its sell-by date. I am looking forward to Saudi funding a similar post-apocalypse film to rescue the Koran with slow-motion jihad of western infidels and apostates. As much as we all love Denzil, he made a bad choice putting his name to this religious extremism.

Jay

Action in places but slow to start...artistic film work and some clever effects but a dissappointed plot when u find out the book is the only book in the history of man kind which should have never been wrote...kill kill and more killing in the name of spreading the beliefs of an impossible folk story made this film a complete let down...good action in places and as always Denzel plays his character well along with the other main guy 2 stars for me