First Official Review Of The Road Calls It The Most Important Movie Of The Year

Illustration for article titled First Official Review Of The Road Calls It The Most Important Movie Of The Year

The first official review of Cormac McCarthy's big screen adaptation of The Road has been released, full of praise for the soul-crushing work of John Hillcoat and Viggo Mortensen.

We've heard that The Road was pushed back to this fall for many reasons, including being too depressing, and being primed for awards season.

Esquire Magazine is the first official outlet to screen and review the entire movie, and they can't say enough nice things about this awful movie. And of course, we mean "awful" in a the world is burned to a cinder, waters are poisoned, dirt is radiated, and there is nowhere to go post-apocalyptic way.


"It is a love story," Esquires Tom Chiarella eplains, "But to be clear, it's a love story about a father and a son hauling ass to keep from being eaten by small bands of flannel-shirted cannibals."

For those not familiar with the tale, the book follows a man and his boy as they trek across the wasteland that was our Earth. Heading to the coast, they have to protect themselves against dehydration, hypothermia, starvation, and cannibals looking for their next meal. Calling The Road bleak would be an understatement. And Esquire says the film fully lives up to the book:

...There was not a single stupid choice made in turning this book into this movie. No wrongheaded lyric tribute to the novel. No moment engineered simply to make you jump.

The article also reveals a first look at the new trailer for The Road, including explanations for what happened to Earth, with disaster clips and media blips. Which is taking pretty big liberties, since it sounds like the movie doesn't reference a reason for the tragedy, and neither does the novel. The director addressed this:

On the other side of the planet, at home in Australia, Hillcoat's been hearing about these trailers. "We're so conditioned by postapocalyptic films to be centered on a big event, and they become this high-concept thing. And here there's this total absence, this negation of explanation. We have to stay with that. So yeah. That's gonna be a challenge."


Hopefully the need to over-explain will be edited out of the final trailer... but probably not. Also, some of the imagery used in the film is from real-life disaster footage, which is quite brilliant yet even more terrifying than special effects:

"When they pass through a city, there's a shot of two ships sitting on a freeway that looks like a visual effect," Hillcoat explained to Esquire. "That is an actual IMAX 70mm shot taken days after Katrina. We had to doctor the image, grunge it up, make it more toxic, set it into our world, but these places were not hard to find. There's a fair amount of devastation already in the American landscape."


All in all the review is absolutely glowing, which gives me hope that this flick will do what was intended, crush your soul (and maybe lift you up just a tiny tad). If the review is accurate we should all leave the theater "feeling it in our chest plate," telling others to see it, yet unable to explain why. Which sounds exactly right - let's hope it's true.

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Chip Overclock®

Having read the book, I feel comfortable in saying THE ROAD will be the "feel good movie of the year". If the image of dead babies turning on a spit over an open fire makes you feel good.

A friend of mine who was in the Marines in Somalia before the BLACKHAWK DOWN incident with the Army once remarked that guys who claim to be anarchists should spend some time in a place where true anarchy reigns. Then they'd find out what kind of homicidal sociopath you have to be to survive. I have a bad feeling that the post-apocalyptic future of THE ROAD is that kind of place.