Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
Watch On
  1. The Hughes Brothers' measured, well-paced direction complements the comic-book simplicity of this narrative.
  2. The movie keeps you watching and generally engaged.
  3. 60
    Somewhat entertaining, in its own little mud-brown way.
  4. This makes "Eli" sort of wonderfully silly toward the end, as if the Hughes brothers set out to make the first-ever faith-based "Mad Max" movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Some mordant comic touches would have been welcome throughout the picture, which has a somber tone that suffers a bit from lack of modulation and nuance.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    50
    The Book of Eli's plastic parable isn't much more advanced than "Insane Clown Posse" theology.
  7. 50
    Whatever its virtues, Eli is a movie that can’t help but suffer in comparison to the much-delayed and much better "Road."
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    The Book of Eli is “The Road’’ with twice the plot, four times the ammunition, and half the brains; it’ll probably make 10 times the money.
  9. Yet it all comes down to one simplistic idea, and the result feels like a one-film evangelical movement.
  10. The story requires a greater leap of faith than I was willing or able to muster, since Eli is also a saintly pilgrim on a God-given mission to save a ruined world.
  11. So we're back on "The Road ," but this time Eli's coming – better hide your heart and, while you're at it, put your brain on hold, the easier to enjoy the action-filled sermon to come.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael Mariani
    50
    Starts out strong and boasts a convincing picture of the post-war world as an anarchic desert. But it comes to ditch its fun stylization for vague themes of religiosity and morality, leaving you with a disappointingly muddled movie.
  13. For a few brief moments, the film becomes something close to Greek mythology, as opposed to graphic-novel imitator. What a feeling!
  14. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    40
    Mad Max 2 with Thought for the Day thrown in. There’s some ace post-holocaust action, but you can’t help feel you were invited to a party with fizzy pop and cream cake and got suckered into a sermon instead.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 373 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 138
  1. Nov 9, 2011
    5
    The Hughes Brothers' "The Book of Eli" is a entertaining movie with a solid grim tone and quick, fast paced action. However, it could haveThe Hughes Brothers' "The Book of Eli" is a entertaining movie with a solid grim tone and quick, fast paced action. However, it could have done so much more than consistently managing it's apocalyptic mood... Full Review »
  2. FelixK.
    Feb 23, 2010
    2
    The film is a piece of christian propaganda. The twist that happens made every scene before unrealistic. Yes... he is the saviour himself... The film is a piece of christian propaganda. The twist that happens made every scene before unrealistic. Yes... he is the saviour himself... he can do it... *yawn*. Full Review »
  3. DR
    Feb 5, 2010
    10
    This movie is the greatest, most inspirational movie that I have seen. It completely renewed my faith in movies to see somthing that totally This movie is the greatest, most inspirational movie that I have seen. It completely renewed my faith in movies to see somthing that totally relies on God to make it what it is. I am so proud Denzel for making this movie so that others might see just how important it is to rely on God. I totally give it an A+++. Full Review »