Directed By: John Hillcoat Starring: Viggo Mortensen

Customer Reviews   Write a Review

5 out of 5
Total Reviews
Overall Satisfaction
Ease of Use

The Road is a metaphor for Life

on 9/5/2011

Viggo Mortensen (who also starred in The Lord of the Rings movies) gives a fine performance in this movie. This story is set in a world after some obvious disaster has happened. We are never told what happened to destroy society, but it must have been recent. There are flashback scenes to when things were more normal, when the boy was younger and his mother was alive. The father and son are on a journey to the sea. They fight for their survival. Society appears to be totally broken down and lawless: kill or be killed. There is violence, including sexual violence, mainly off-camera. (You might expect that in such a story and setting.) This story is a quest, not only for survival, but also for discovery. Perhaps the outward world is symbolic of life, the struggle to maintain one’s structure of family and values. Indeed, the father is forced to make hard choices between self-preservation (especially of his son) and modeling his deeply held principles to his son, including self-sacrifice. The journey is a metaphor for life, and the Road is the path of the relationship between the father and the son. Some call it “epic,” and if you interpret it this way, then it really is epic, as some classic literature is. Mortensen’s performance makes it worth watching (with the forewarning of the violence and adult themes).

Was this review helpful to you?


Product Overview

An epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival of a father and his young son as they journey across a barren america that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm.


Studio Sony
SKU 214870221
UPC 043396347632
UPC 14 00043396347632
Format DVD
Release Date 1/3/2012
Rating Rating
Based On A Novel
Fathers And Sons
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note After the Oscar-winning success of the adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, another of the author's works arrives on screen. Viggo Mortensen stars in THE ROAD, a thriller that is set in a bare, post-apocalyptic America, where a father and son struggle to survive. Director John Hillcoat previously teamed with star Guy Pearce on the critically acclaimed Western THE PROPOSITION.
Box Office 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n emotionally intense, riveting and overwhelmingly powerful look at a man and his young son traveling a long road while trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world." 09/04/2009
Rolling Stone "[D]irector John Hiillcoat has found exactly the right actor in Mortensen to convey abiding faith among the ruins." 09/17/2009 ,3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Hillcoat -- through the artistry of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee -- carries the fire of our shared humanity and lets it burn bright and true." 11/26/2009
Entertainment Weekly "[S]pookily convincing...Viggo Mortensen, as a man wandering the wasteland with his young son, has a tremulous woundedness." 10/02/2009
USA Today 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "At the heart of this bleak story are two astounding performances. Viggo Mortensen is superb....[and Smit-McPhee's] sweet voice and innocence are ideally suited to the role." 11/27/2009
Wall Street Journal "The theme of unswerving love is strong. The spectacle of a blasted planed holds a fateful attraction." 11/27/2009
A.V. Club "[D]irector John Hillcoat and cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe supply some arresting images of an earth that's literally dying, shrouded in ash and littered with the artifacts of an unthinkable human tragedy." 11/24/2009
New York Times "The most arresting aspect of THE ROAD is just how fully the filmmakers have realized this bleak, blighted landscape of a modern society reduced to savagery." 11/27/2009
Chicago Sun-Times 3 .5 stars out of 4 -- "The external events of the novel have been boldly solved, and this is an awesome production." 11/27/2009
Uncut 5 stars out of 5 -- "The performances by Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee are acutely credible, with the boy avoiding all the pitfalls of child actors." 01/11/2010
Empire 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] tender moments between father and son ache with emotion, and resonate as strongly as any of Hillcoat's de-saturated visions of despair and terror." 01/01/2010
Total Film "John Hillcoat's film showcases intense performances from its leads as they struggle to preserve their humanity..." 05/24/2010
John Hillcoat
Viggo Mortensen
Cast & Crew
Charlize Theron - Star
Kodi McPhee - Star
Guy Pearce - Star
Viggo Mortensen - Star
Robert Duvall - Star
Nick Wechsler - Producer
Cormac McCarthy - Source Writer
Nick Cave - Composer
Warren Ellis - Composer
Christopher Kennedy - Production Designer
Jon Gregory - Editor
Paula Mae Schwartz - Producer
Steve Schwartz - Producer
Margot Wilson - Costume Designer
Javier Aguirresarobe - Director of Photography
Joe Penhall - Screenwriter
John Hillcoat - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 2009
UPC 00043396347632
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 111 minutes
Color Color
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  2.35:1
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review The Road evokes the images and the characters of Cormac McCarthy's novel. It is powerful, but for me lacks the same core of emotional feeling. I'm not sure this is any fault of the filmmakers. The novel itself would not be successful if it were limited to its characters and images. Its effect comes above all through McCarthy's prose. It is the same with all of McCarthy's work, but especially this one, because his dialogue is so restrained, less baroque than usual...The story is straightforward: America has been devastated. Habitations have been destroyed or abandoned, vegetation is dying, crops have failed, the infrastructure of civilization has disappeared. This has happened in such recent memory that even The Boy, so young, was born into a healthy world. No reason is given for this destruction, perhaps because no reason would be adequate. McCarthy evokes the general apprehension of post-9/11. The Boy and The Man make their way toward the sea, perhaps for no better reason than that sea has always been the direction of hope in this country...Flashback scenes star Charlize Theron as the wife and mother of the two in earlier, sunnier days. These sequences show the marriage as failing, and these memories haunt The Man. I'm not sure what relevance this subplot has to the film as a whole; a marriage happy or sad -- isn't it much the same in this new world? It has a lot of relevance, however, to The Man and The Boy. In times of utter devastation, memories are what we cling to...Hillcoat's earlier film, The Proposition (2005), written by Nick Cave, seems almost McCarthy-like. Something in McCarthy's work draws Hillcoat to it, and you must be a brave director to let that happen. Writing this, I realize few audience members can be expected to have read The Road, even though it was a selection of Oprah's Book Club. Fewer still will have read McCarthy's other works...I've been saying for years that a film critic must review the film before him, and not how "faithful" the film is to the book -- as if we're married to the book, and somehow screen adaptation is adultery. I realize my own fault is in being so very familiar with Cormac McCarthy. That may affect my ability to view any film adaptation of his work afresh. When I know a novel is bring filmed, I make it a point to not read the book. Yet I am grateful for having read McCarthy's.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, Dolby Digital (5.1), English, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Claudia Puig, USA Today While the film is not as resonant as the novel, it is an honorable adaptation, capturing the essence of the bond between father and son.
Elias Savada, Film Threat It is compellingly enervating and a marvel in the filmmaking process.

More Buying Options

Seller Infomation Price & Shipping  
Blow It Outa Here $12.19 + free shipping
Condition: Brand New
In Stock, 45 Day Returns
All products are BRAND NEW and factory sealed. Fast shipping with tracking and delivery confirmation! 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
Importcds $9.67 + $2.98 shipping
Condition: Brand New
In Stock, 45 Day Returns
All our items are brand new - Ships directly from our Warehouse in California - Estimated delivery time: 5-7 days after shipment.
Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
VNHM SHOP $15.75 + free shipping
Condition: Brand New
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
Synergy Data Inc $39.60 + free shipping
Condition: Brand New
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
M and N Media $39.18 + $4.24 shipping
Condition: Used-Acceptable
In Stock

Usually ships in 1 to 2 business days
Add to Cart
Load More Buying Options
$12.19 + free shipping
$14.99 You save $2.80 (18%)
Earn 13 ($0.13) Rakuten Super Points™
What are Rakuten Super Points™?
Get rewarded when you shop! Earn 1 point per dollar spent. That's like getting cash back on every purchase. Easy to see matured points in checkout. Use points just like cash.
Learn More
Format: DVD
Condition: Brand New
In Stock. Usually Ships in 1 to 2 business days
Please select an option to buy
Add to Cart

Sold By:  Blow It Outa Here
What is a Marketplace and Shop Owner?
  • Our marketplace is a platform where approved third-party retailers (Shop Owners) can sell their products
  • Items are sold and shipped by Shop Owners
  • Your credit card and personal information remain secure; meets all PCI Security Standards.
  • Purchases can only be returned to the Shop Owner
  • All purchases receive Rakuten Super Points™
Promotions & Offers (2)
  • coupon
    Get $30 off $100 when you check out with PayPal and Promo Code PayPalBF30. Limited Time Offer. Terms Apply Use promo code PAYPALBF30 at checkout. Ends 11/27/2015.
  •  custom promo
    12% Back on Videos with Promo Code BLACKFRIDAY at Checkout - Ends 11/29/15 Ends 11/30/2015. *See page for details
Recent Product Reviews

The Road is a metaphor for Life on Sep 05, 2011