The Book of Eli (2010)

book of eli poster 2010 movie denzel washington
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good looking and good cast

Attempts at a deep, spiritual story ended up with a flat, dull story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Book of Eli

Studio:  Alcon Entertainment

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Drama

Release Date(s):  January 15, 2010

MPAA Rating:  R


I’m gunning for the Lord!

Eli (Denzel Washington) wanders the wasteland headed west bearing a book that he is being compelled to deliver.  When he wanders into a town, he encounters Carnegie (Gary Oldman) who wants the book he carries.  Now, Eli finds himself saddled with Solara (Mila Kunis) who is now journeying with him and pursued by Carnegie.  Eli has a mission to head west, and he must complete it!

Directed by the Hughes Brothers, The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic action drama.  The movie was released to mixed reviews and a strong box office return.

I didn’t really want to see The Book of Eli but found it for cheap and thought I’d give it a shot.  Having watched the movie, I feel my initial assessment of the movie is accurate…The Book of Eli was nothing special.


Your book is overdue.

The movie’s story is pretty typical of post-apocalyptic stories.  You have a bad-ass stranger drift into town and he woos half the town and angers the other half.  I liked the idea of him possibly being immortal, but I also felt that wasn’t played out as good as it could have been.  The ending of the film has a bit of a nod to Fahrenheit 451…though I still wish someone had gone back for that bible even if it was irrelevant.

Denzel is Denzel.  He’s solid but I’ve always found him a bit bland.  I do credit him for often trying different characters, but it always seems like he is the same, pensive Denzel Washington.  Mila Kunis plays Denzel’s sidekick and she too doesn’t have much range.  I love Gary Oldman who always is fun and it was also night to see Tom Waits show up.  The movie also features appearances by Ray Stevenson, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Gambon, and Jennifer Beals.


I’m just going to hang out in San Francisco…I can finally afford it.

The visuals of the movie are the movie’s saving grace.  The story looks great and the fights seem to take a card from The Matrix’s style of fighting (minus all the bullet time).  I preferred the San Francisco set to the generic dusty town and wish there had been more time spent there.

There are a lot of post-apocalyptic movies…and The Book of Eli is simply another one.  The power of Denzel doesn’t woo me though I do like the look, and the acting is pretty strong.  Unfortunately, the story gets a bit muddled by the end and the spiritual nature of the movie becomes a bit heavy.  Denzel had to carry the Good Book, but The Book of Eli wasn’t it.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

Leave A Response