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The Road (2009)

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In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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1,228 ( 94)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 5 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Man
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Boy
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Motherly Woman
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Gang Member
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Bearded Man
Agnes Herrmann ...
Archer's Woman
Buddy Sosthand ...
Archer
Kirk Brown ...
Bearded Face
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Bearded Man #2
David August Lindauer ...
Man On Mattress
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Well Fed Woman
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Storyline

It's a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live. The man has taught his son that they are the "good people" who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative. Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a moment the world changed forever.

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence, disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La carretera  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£627,147 (UK) (10 January 2010)

Gross:

$56,692 (USA) (13 May 2012)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Half the crew members for the shoot in New Orleans, Louisiana were survivors of Hurricane Katrina. See more »

Goofs

The sheer quantity of people that the man and boy encounter is absurd. If the majority of people worldwide are deceased, then the Americas, where the film is set, would be nearly depopulated. They should have not encountered many, if any, people simply because the survivors would either be in isolated town or cities or they would be holed in remote rural areas. SInce the two largely avoid the former and the size of the latter precludes easy visitation, they shouldn't have run into anyone for most, if not all , of the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wife: What's happening? Why are you taking a bath?
The Man: I'm not.
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Crazy Credits

Over the end credits, we hear the sounds of children playing. What the world must have been like in happier times. See more »

Connections

Referenced in En prácticas: Instituto RTVE (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord No. 3 in E Major: Adagio Ma Non Tanto
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Arranged by Ryan Franks
Performed by Ryan Franks & Harry Scorzo
Courtesy of Crucial Music Corporation
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bleaker than the novel!
11 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"We are not gonna quit. We are gonna survive this." The Man

Survival is the ultimate motif of the Cormack McCarthy Pulitzer The Road. And so too is the film adaptation, faithful to the original while adding what McCarthy can't—the actualization of a landscape barren of life and humans barren of humanity. Then again, the film's failure is being even bleaker than the source, a testimony to the power of the imagination.

Except for a father (Viggo Mortensen) and young son (Kodi Smit-Mcphee), who represents the hope of the human race as the story assumes the trappings of allegorical, post-apocalyptic literature and film where the desolate outside mirrors the lonely inside of the humans, not all of whom are willing to carry on the good fight. Suicide becomes a leitmotif, a companion to hope as if out of a Bergman film, an escape from the horrible aftermath of devastation never explained. So much the better because allegorically there are numerous ways for us to ruin our earth and our spirits. Not the least of which could be nuclear or cannibal; the former does not make an appearance while the latter is omnipresent.

Director John Hillcoat has emphasized more than McCarthy the role, by flashback, of the wife/mother (Charlize Theron), but overall he has taken dialogue directly from the novel and stayed true to the bleak landscape where the sun doesn't shine and the trees fall intermittently like humans giving up the ghost.

The gray tones and beat up humans are like those in most post- apocalyptic films; however, as in Children of Men to a lesser extent, the focus is on how to survive, not even how to avoid death. In both cases, it's up to the young ones to "carry a fire' (the mantra of The Road), itself a metaphor for the strength to survive:

"Everything depends on reaching the coast. I told you I would do whatever it takes." The Man


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