The Book of Eli

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 394 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 394

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User Reviews

  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 have done so much more than consistently managing it's apocalyptic mood...
  2. KeijiM.
    Jan 31, 2010
    6
    What is really interesting about this movie is the contrasting views on religion(Christianity) as being a dangerous in that people will follow and put too much faith in it(Carnegie's idea). And the other that people need something to have faith in no matter how desperate or bleak the situation(Eli). It gives you something to think about but overall the movie itself is rather slow. What is really interesting about this movie is the contrasting views on religion(Christianity) as being a dangerous in that people will follow and put too much faith in it(Carnegie's idea). And the other that people need something to have faith in no matter how desperate or bleak the situation(Eli). It gives you something to think about but overall the movie itself is rather slow. The action in the trailers is about all the action you get in the actual movie. really an average movie. not terrible but not a must see. Collapse
  3. 43%Burnt
    Jan 16, 2010
    5
    Denzel is great, I'm always happy to see him un a fresh movie. But as for the movie itself - huge disappointment:the plot has giant loopholes, a lot of questions remain unanswered. And the general religious message is rather silly, considering all the gun-blazing head-chopping action going on screen.
  4. billd
    Jan 18, 2010
    4
    So overtly a religious film it's sad. One really bad thing was the bible in braille, anyone with half a brain can de-code the alphabet from braille. It's just another god and good violence in his name is ok. Who do they think they fooled, oh, you I guess.
  5. Feb 23, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Decent post-apocalyptic movie. Washington's acting is good, Gary Oldman is so-so as villain (I consider him a real chameleon actor, who can play brilliant villains, but here the character He portrays is somewhat weak). The twist of the movie is totally unrealistic (Yeah I get it, but anyway it is very unrealistic). Overall it worth a look, but that all. Ps: I do not like how American centric the movie was. I am sure there are a lot more Bibles in Europe, that survived, so Eli hardly saved the last remaining one (It might be the last one there, but the world is a lot bigger place than that.), Expand
  6. joeh
    Jan 22, 2010
    4
    Geez, hasn't anyone ever seen a Boy and His Dog, or the Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman series and then Beat Takeshi's homage to it, complete with musical numbers?? You can dredge up every post apocalyptic film that has been made since Arch Oboler's Five and see where The Book of Eli is stealing from. Throw in some mumbo jumbo judeo christian eschatology, some homages to Geez, hasn't anyone ever seen a Boy and His Dog, or the Zatoichi, The Blind Swordsman series and then Beat Takeshi's homage to it, complete with musical numbers?? You can dredge up every post apocalyptic film that has been made since Arch Oboler's Five and see where The Book of Eli is stealing from. Throw in some mumbo jumbo judeo christian eschatology, some homages to Leone/Morricone and voila, a pretty predicatable and boring film. But the cars get awesome mileage and they aren't even solar powered. Is Denzel going to be our new Heston? Do we smell another Planet of the Apes remake down the road? Expand
  7. AlanR.
    Feb 16, 2010
    4
    The movie was, for the first part beautifully shot (although the opening scene is ponderous and needless) and there are about two really good action scenes in there. With some original material but the script is crap. The dialogue is boring and uninspired. The character motivations don't make any sense. Eli:If he's memorized the book why take such risks to preserve it). Oldman: The movie was, for the first part beautifully shot (although the opening scene is ponderous and needless) and there are about two really good action scenes in there. With some original material but the script is crap. The dialogue is boring and uninspired. The character motivations don't make any sense. Eli:If he's memorized the book why take such risks to preserve it). Oldman: If most people can't read but will listen to you if you read from "the book". Then it stands to reason that you could tell them anything, or read from any other book. Solara: Is she really that naive that she thinks she will be safer with Eli? All culminating in an ending so disjointed that I was shocked to see a single writing credit. The most annoying thing is there are a half dozen ways to have made this movie. When studios don't even devote five brain cells to the plot is sort of like getting a big F-U from Hollywood. Expand
  8. Aug 27, 2010
    5
    The real title should have been "Fallout 4: When Zatoichi Found God and what happened after". Not much. I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic movies but this actively annoyed me most of the time.
  9. BoratB.
    Feb 3, 2010
    6
    Set up and scenes fantastic. Though, the story has some really stupid religious background. And the ending is just ridiculous. If I would have watched until 15 minutes before it ends, I would rate it way better.
  10. JakeN
    Feb 6, 2010
    5
    Yet again another movie about the apocalypse. Well it's certainly nothing like 'The Road'. There more people, and no cannibals in 'Eli'. The plot is slightly smart, but yet very confusing.There are a few entertaining and eye popping action scenes in 'Eli'. That still isn't saying it's a good movie though. This isn't one of Denzel Yet again another movie about the apocalypse. Well it's certainly nothing like 'The Road'. There more people, and no cannibals in 'Eli'. The plot is slightly smart, but yet very confusing.There are a few entertaining and eye popping action scenes in 'Eli'. That still isn't saying it's a good movie though. This isn't one of Denzel Washington's worst work, yet it's not his best work. 'The Book of Eli' is just a bit out of control. Expand
  11. JohnS
    Jan 16, 2010
    6
    This movie had many good elements, but I found myself bored several times. My girlfriend went to sleep at one point. We agreed the best part for us was when a viewer got ejected from the theater for cursing at what they thought was a lame story. If you see this, see it at a theater it will be worse on TV.
  12. Thickney
    Jan 17, 2010
    6
    Don't expect it to be a high intensity action movie with sleek and slick moments. However, don't get me wrong, it wasn't a bad movie and the idea was great. The acting was awesome and the characters were captivating. However, the climax of the movie, revealing the real theme of the movie, turned me off.
  13. EdwardD
    Feb 10, 2010
    6
    You will really like this movie if you can picture Moses as James Bond!! Sadly, the depravity that mankind sinks to in this story is probably fairly accurate. It is not a pretty picture, but Eli comes to the rescue to save us all. It wasn't a great movie, but the bad guys get there come uppance which is always satifying to see, and about all there is to this production.
  14. Seanismyname
    Jan 26, 2010
    6
    Jason C's comment about human secularists is incorrect. I am a human secularist and I thought this movie vividly and convincingly portrayed the time-honored power of the Bible to inspire murder, greed and human treachery. I would have given it a higher score but the crazy cannibals made the movie descend from fable to pastiche.
  15. AgustinT.
    Apr 24, 2010
    6
    Classical ending of a Hollywood movie - everybody is fine when the logic and the events says the contrary. But it has some message at the end: stick to your principles!
  16. Lyn
    Mar 5, 2011
    6
    Not as strong as some other Denzel films such as "Man on Fire" and "Training Day," thanks to some plot holes that are inexplicable even by post-apocalyptic-film standards. Still, I liked the intensity of his performance and thought the supporting acting was good as well. Appreciated the couple of laughs, the "wow" moments and the basic theme. Hard not to compare this with "The Road," aNot as strong as some other Denzel films such as "Man on Fire" and "Training Day," thanks to some plot holes that are inexplicable even by post-apocalyptic-film standards. Still, I liked the intensity of his performance and thought the supporting acting was good as well. Appreciated the couple of laughs, the "wow" moments and the basic theme. Hard not to compare this with "The Road," a different and better movie but so much more grim. Expand
  17. Jan 13, 2011
    6
    The Last Bible on earth! Thiz topic expected to be controversial. But rather than that, people do not take it too seriously. In post-apocalyptic future, Eli (Denzel Washington) protected a book by walking to the west, somewhere he believed the book will preserve forever. The book that held up destiny for all human remained. Actually the story was smoothly told by Allen and Albert HughesThe Last Bible on earth! Thiz topic expected to be controversial. But rather than that, people do not take it too seriously. In post-apocalyptic future, Eli (Denzel Washington) protected a book by walking to the west, somewhere he believed the book will preserve forever. The book that held up destiny for all human remained. Actually the story was smoothly told by Allen and Albert Hughes who directed FROM HELL (2001). The story starts slowly in the beginning. And later successfully make us stay on our sit by holding up the curiosity about what happens next. The book which is the core of thiz movie, in my opinion did not suppose to reveal too obviously pointed to The Holy Bible. I think we already know by itself with all the conversations and dialogues all over the movie. If the book does not mention about what book is that, it will creates a great mysterious elements. The twist-ending sparks a little by revealing why the book could not read by anybody except eli. Washington performed another side of his characters. Thiz modern Sidney Poitier always amazed us. Gary Oldman once again did what his best to do by playing a convincing fierce-villain. Mila Kunis performance could replace by anyone. The movie reminds me of other gloomy post-apocalyptic flicks like MAD MAX trilogy (1979-1985) or WATERWORLD (1995). But the settings were too simple. There were no big scenes we could remember, even looked like classic-cowboy movies. There were only some refreshing scenes involved an elderly couple who one of them played by Michael Dumbledore Gambon. There were so many post-apocalyptic movies had been made. Thiz time is about the last shampoo remained on earth. It is not an expected movie but just ring my bell a little bit.

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  18. Oct 9, 2011
    6
    We have seen many Post Apocalyptic movies and video games now and this movie doesnt do much new that hasnt been done before. If the characters were compelling the movie could still work but its all just standard, the overall quest of the movie was nothing to get excited about. Many of the out comes of its scenes were predictable as soon as they started and the overall 'twist' of the movieWe have seen many Post Apocalyptic movies and video games now and this movie doesnt do much new that hasnt been done before. If the characters were compelling the movie could still work but its all just standard, the overall quest of the movie was nothing to get excited about. Many of the out comes of its scenes were predictable as soon as they started and the overall 'twist' of the movie was a let down. The movie is watchable of course, and its not too bad but not too good or original either. Expand
  19. GemeR
    Jan 18, 2010
    5
    The 5 is entirely by the virtue of the post-apocalypse setting, and the few well done scenes dealing with survival. Unfortunately, the religious elements make no sense, and continue to make less and sense as the movie progresses. Movie was in no way clever or subtle, and didn't leave any room for interpretation whatsoever. If you don't subscribe to the King Jame's Version The 5 is entirely by the virtue of the post-apocalypse setting, and the few well done scenes dealing with survival. Unfortunately, the religious elements make no sense, and continue to make less and sense as the movie progresses. Movie was in no way clever or subtle, and didn't leave any room for interpretation whatsoever. If you don't subscribe to the King Jame's Version of the bible, the movie won't impressed. Expand
  20. ClareL.
    Apr 7, 2010
    4
    Movie was interesting with twist at the end. I found it dark and dreary. The ending surprised me in that the writers and producers didn't tell that the Torah is the five books of Moses. The real Mesiah will not be killing as a solution but will induce love and caring in all others. If they want to make a moral pont this is not the way.
  21. NeilB
    Jan 16, 2010
    5
    It looked good, but the story was so friggin predictable I can't take it. I found myself talking in the middle of the movie and looking at my watch which usually means I am bored.
  22. AllenW.
    Jan 23, 2010
    6
    It was a decent movie. It was a overtly religious film without the humanity we find in The Road. It was not a bad film but not that great either. The "twist ending" was not really that much of a twist, so don't expect expect anything earth shattering. The movie is enjoyable if you are willing to forgive some plot holes.
  23. EvinC
    Jan 18, 2010
    6
    The film had cool action and one scene is just awesome but the story didn't make me believe or care for the characters. I send Oldman my love, he was the best. Maybe next time Hughes Bros.
  24. Feb 24, 2013
    5
    This movie had the right idea, but left far to many unanswered questions. I was expecting a lot more based on the previews and descriptions, but I was left with a film that was not unique. Denzel Washington was amazing as usual, but sadly, overall, The Book of Eli wasn't anything special. Just another tale about the world will end one day and reveal what savage beasts we truly are.
  25. Aug 27, 2012
    6
    The most that I can say about 'Book of Eli' is that Denzel Washington gives a solid performance and the apocalyptic setting is very convincing. Everything else is meh. My biggest problem with the film had to do with it's pacing. It takes way too long to establish the main conflict of the film, which basically centers on Denzel being hunted by Gary Oldman because he carries the last knownThe most that I can say about 'Book of Eli' is that Denzel Washington gives a solid performance and the apocalyptic setting is very convincing. Everything else is meh. My biggest problem with the film had to do with it's pacing. It takes way too long to establish the main conflict of the film, which basically centers on Denzel being hunted by Gary Oldman because he carries the last known Bible in existence. It takes nearly an hour just to get to the conflict and the film runs just under 2 hours. If the pacing was sped up a little bit, my feelings toward the film could have been a bit stronger than they already are. Not bad by any means, but the slowness of everything keeps it from being great. Expand
  26. Dec 8, 2012
    6
    I originally had no intention of seeing this movie, but I had a free rental so I gave it a shot. It is a really good movie. The action is great. It is a really enjoyable film. It even throws a little religion into the mix.
  27. Jun 3, 2014
    6
    Good pacing and good acting from the man himself Denzel Washington and a good supporting cast including Gary Oldman couldn't turn what was essentially a clever rip off of science fiction classic Farenheit 451 into a stand alone work with its own merits. SciFi has become the realm of the 'calculated steal' in recent years which is a bad thing for SF fans. In 451 people have memorized booksGood pacing and good acting from the man himself Denzel Washington and a good supporting cast including Gary Oldman couldn't turn what was essentially a clever rip off of science fiction classic Farenheit 451 into a stand alone work with its own merits. SciFi has become the realm of the 'calculated steal' in recent years which is a bad thing for SF fans. In 451 people have memorized books that have been destroyed-keepig them for humanity to presumably remake later-its the same thing in this film-but only regarding one book. You can probably imagine which one without seeing it which in a way makes it kind of a soft sell of religion. Eli is Saturday matinee stuff-nothing more. Expand
  28. Jan 3, 2016
    5
    What the Book of Eli is lacking is the interest. Where exactly is it throughout the entire movie? Oh, expect only a few good scenes and that's just it.
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
  1. The Hughes Brothers' measured, well-paced direction complements the comic-book simplicity of this narrative.
  2. 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.
  3. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    20
    The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]