The Book of Eli

Film, Action and adventure
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars
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.

By: Keith Uhlich



Release details

Release date:
Friday January 15 2010
118 mins

Cast and crew

Allen Hughes, Albert Hughes
Michael Gambon
Gary Oldman
Jennifer Beals
Mila Kunis
Malcolm McDowell
Denzel Washington
Tom Waits
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