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. 75
    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.
  2. The Book of Eli works, even if the preservation of Christianity isn’t high on your personal post-apocalypse bucket list. Establishing its storytelling rules clearly and well, the film simply is better, and better-acted, than the average end-of-the-world fairy tale.
  3. Washington is surprisingly persuasive as a world-weary blade-wielder, and Oldman makes the most of a not particularly interesting villain. But the film's breakout star may be Kunis, who brings to Solara a blend of sassiness and sexiness that's reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer.
  4. Though not as lyrical as "The Road," which benefits from both its visual artistry and its humanist perspective, The Book of Eli employs the genre conventions of the western to make mythic its principal character.
  5. 75
    Its hero may be on a mission from above, but in a refreshing twist, the fate of mankind rests with the literate.
  6. A dynamic story, sprinkled with some interesting ideas about the preciousness of culture and how societies might rebuild themselves.
  7. Its over-the-top violence is cartoonish at times, menacing at others - which is a good thing. And truly, if one must wander a barren, post-apocalyptic landscape with somebody, who better to wander with than Denzel Washington?
  8. Reviewed by: Cliff Doerksen
    70
    The sepia-toned palette gets a little wearying, but the dialogue is hilarious, the violence is crunchy, and cameos by Tom Waits and topflight Brit character actor Michael Gambon are worth the ticket price alone.
  9. The Book of Eli takes the violent, gritty feel of a spaghetti western, marries it with elements of "The Road," places it in the future and gives it a spiritual twist.
  10. Washington doesn’t look as if he’s having much fun, and who can blame him? Perhaps he agrees with me: Apocalypse movies, like apocalypse heroes, need some laughs, too.
  11. 67
    Much has been made of the film's ending, vis-à-vis whether or not it's a pro- or anti-organized religion commentary of some sort. The Hughes Brothers, for two, say they just wanted to make a kickass piece of contemporary entertainment, and I, for one, believe them.
  12. 63
    The problem with The Book of Eli is that the narrative isn't a match for its sentiments. The script feels like it's an iteration or two short of a final draft.
  13. 63
    The Book of Eli isn't as exciting or funny or inspiring as it wants and needs to be, and its preachy ending is an ordeal. But Washington, a movie star who can act, is one cool dude who is worth following anywhere.
  14. A hyper-violent, post-apocalyptic Western in the mold of "Mad Max" that can't make up its mind whether it wants to be corny or misanthropic.
  15. 63
    The film’s cool-looking desaturated look (not unlike “The Road”), plentiful action and Washington’s charismatic gravitas as the taciturn hero make it relatively easy to overlook the pretensions and implausibilities in the script.
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 »