||I'm at a loss for words, so let me say these right away: The Book of Eli is very watchable. You won't be sorry you went. It grips your attention, and then at the end throws in several WTF! Moments, which are a bonus. They make everything in the entire movie impossible and incomprehensible -- but, hey, WTF...Now to the words I am at a loss for. The story involves a lone wanderer (Denzel Washington) who wears a name tag saying "Hi! My name is Eli." It may not actually be his name tag, but let's call him Eli, anyway. Eli has been walking west across the devastated landscape of America for 30 years, on his way to the sea. I haven't walked it myself, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't take that long...Washington and the Hughes brothers do a good job of establishing this man and his world, and at first, The Book of Eli seems destined to be solemn. But then Eli arrives at a Western town ruled by Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who, like all the local overloads in Westerns and gangster movies, sits behind a big desk flanked by a tall bald guy and, of course, a short scruffy one. How are these guys recruited? Wanted: Tall bald guy to stand behind town boss and be willing to sacrifice life. All the water you can drink...Carnegie needs Eli because Eli has maybe the last remaining copy of a book that Eli believes will allow him to expand and rule many more towns. I am forbidden by the Critic's Little Rule Book from naming the volume, but if you've made a guess after seeing numerous billboards stating RELIGION IS POWER, you may have guessed right...The Hughes brothers have a vivid way with imagery here, as in their earlier films such as Menace II Society and the underrated From Hell. The film looks and feels good, and Washington's performance is the more uncanny the more we think back over it. The ending is "flawed," as we critics like to say, but it's so magnificently, shamelessly, implausibly flawed that (a) it breaks apart from the movie and has a life of its own, or (b) at least it avoids being predictable...Now do yourself a favor and don't talk to anybody about the film if you plan to see it.