The Road

The Road
Original title The Road
Release date 2009
Directed by John Hillcoat
Genre Post Apocalypse
Written by Joe Penhall
Duration ( minutes ) 111
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A father (Viggo Mortensen) and son make their way across a post-apocalyptic United States in hopes of finding civilization amongst the nomadic cannibal tribes in 2929 Productions’ adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s thrilling Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road. John Hillcoat (The Proposition) directs from a screenplay provided by Joe Penhall. Charlize Theron co-stars in the Dimension Films release.


A man and his young son struggle to survive after an unspecified cataclysm has apparently killed all plant and animal life. Civilization has collapsed, reducing the survivors to scavenging, and in some cases, cannibalism. They search for supplies as they travel south on a road to the coast in the hope it will be warmer. The man carries a revolver, but has only two bullets.
A series of flashbacks reveals that the man’s wife had given birth to the child shortly after the catastrophe. She eventually committed suicide.
After shooting a member of a gang who inadvertently stumbles upon them, the man is left with only one bullet. Later, exploring a large mansion, the pair discover prisoners in the basement; serving as a food supply for their absent captors. When the armed cannibals return, the man and his son hide. With discovery imminent, the man prepares to shoot his son, but the cannibals are distracted by the captives, and the pair get away.

Further down the road, they discover an underground shelter full of canned food and supplies. They feast, bathe and groom themselves. When the man hears rummaging noises around the entrance to the shelter, he decides they must leave. They later encounter a nearly-blind old man (Duvall) on the road. The son persuades his reluctant father to feed him something.
Arriving at the coast, the man goes to scavenge what he can from a beached ship. He leaves his son to keep watch, but the boy falls asleep and they are robbed of everything. After they chase the thief down, the father takes everything from him, even his clothes. When the boy remains upset about what is essentially a death sentence, the father relents. They go back, but cannot find the thief, so they leave behind his clothes and a can of food.

As they pass through a ruined town, the man is shot in his right leg with an arrow. He kills his ambusher with a flare gun he found on the ship, but is so weakened by the wound that they have to abandon their cart and most of their possessions. When his condition deteriorates, he realizes he is dying. He again emphasizes to his son the values of self-preservation and humanity.
After the father dies, the son is approached by a man who gives him the choice of joining him, a woman, their two children and their dog. The family had followed the pair for some time out of concern for the boy. The child joins them after being assured they are the “good guys”.


Esquire screened the film before it was released and called it “the most important movie of the year” and “a brilliantly directed adaptation of a beloved novel, a delicate and anachronistically loving look at the immodest and brutish end of us all. You want them to get there, you want them to get there, you want them to get there—and yet you do not want it, any of it, to end

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General info

Original titleThe Road
Release date2009
Directed byJohn Hillcoat
GenrePost Apocalypse
Written byJoe Penhall
Duration ( minutes )111
CastViggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall

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