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Generally favorable reviews- based on 360 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 360

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  1. Jun 3, 2014
    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 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
  2. Jan 25, 2014
    The end of "The Book of Eli" surprised the hell out of me. Twist endings, like this one, is cool, because it makes the movie that much more interesting and not just a waste of time. Although I do believe this film overuses the Christianity theme, but it is a fun, action packed movie to watch. Denzel did an excellent job and i recommend everyone see this film at least once.
  3. Sep 14, 2013
    I love this movie, and the Main character.The Shades he wears fit him, cause hes mysterious, and makes everybody wonder what hes about, and capable of. It`s a dark world and to get by you better be prepared to defend you`re self. The movie gets deep with the Main Character Faith.
  4. Jul 8, 2013
    I'm not sure why this got such mixed critical reception, I loved it. The reveal at the ending was quite unique, and the cinematography and set design were impeccable, along with a solid performance from Denzel. What's not to like?
  5. May 16, 2013
    ''this was a great movie i love movies about apocolypses denzel gives a powerful performance as eli mila kunis was sexy and the cast was good its a must see u will like it
  6. Mar 19, 2013
    Denzel Washington stars in perhaps not one of his best performances, but certainly memorable in this post-apocalyptic tale in perhaps a not too far away reality.
    Washington is Eli, a lone walker travelling across the American wasteland for the past 30 years, we only ever know that he is travelling west, through faith. The first 20 minutes of the film are quite touching and a more personal
    favourite, as Eli sits alone, eating a hunted cat and staring into nothing, pondering life, its quite touching to watch when actors are in their element like this.
    That is pretty much where we leave the sincerity of the film, as Eli happens upon a town run by the obsessive and often ruthless Carnegie (Gary Oldman), who sees Eli much like himself in his literate ways.
    Eli shows a knack for fighting and hunting, and this is made clear as he dispatches of Carnegie's men as Carnegie wants the book that Eli possesses, the last copy of the Holy Bible, Eli is on a mission, but Carnegie wishes to possess the book to 'control the weak'.
    The film has been excellently rendered to show a gritty yet visually stunning and beautifully bleak future, the cinematography is excellent, especially in particular shootout at a house, where the camera travels in and out throughout the action and follows the bomb being thrown. But it can sometimes be its own worst enemy, as some scenes are perhaps just too dramatised that doesn't suit the film.
    The story itself is pretty standard yet enjoyable, but also muddled. It was perhaps just touching too much on a religious note which will of course deter viewers, a film that started off promising yet turned perhaps a little to far-reaching in pursuit of a book, yet I can't really blame this as perhaps a point for this is the lengths people would go to for something they desire if presented with a post-apocalyptic challenge.
    The film has plenty of action that blends well with the story and the excellent cinematography, the story may eventually grow and you to have a lasting effect, but a twist in the climax of the story may just have you picking your jaw up from the ground, and I think this was a satisfying turn of events to fit the religious nature of the film.
    Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman put in stellar turns as Eli and Carnegie respectively, with Eli placing much of faith in God and being a likeable character, while Carnegie has bigger plans for himself and does an excellent turn as the villainous character.
    The Book of Eli, while muddled and at some points could be accused of religious brainwashing, is still a very enjoyable and original take on a post-apocalyptic universe that surprises right to the credits rolling.
  7. Feb 24, 2013
    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.
  8. Feb 23, 2013
    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
  9. Feb 18, 2013
    You can watch The Book Of Eli, if you like Post- acpolyspe films you will certainly hate this film. The Book Of Eli is brutal and long. 2/10 for Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis, otherwise 0
  10. Dec 30, 2012
    Great movie but terrible dialogue. The religious views of Christianity and the bible are both realistic and non-realistic. Denzel did great, he would have been fantastic if they decided to hire a better writer and maybe a better directer.
  11. Dec 17, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie is a scam. OK - the book is a Bible. That's it, I just saved you time and money. Not only that but Eli is blind and the Bible is written in braille. Oh, maybe everyone in post-apocalyptic world can read braille nice and easy. These people are screwed. Expand
  12. Dec 8, 2012
    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.
  13. Nov 28, 2012
    Visually/audibly impressive and featuring a stoic, yet engraining performance from the always-impressive Academy Award Winner Denzel Washington.
  14. Aug 27, 2012
    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 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
  15. May 17, 2012
    This movie is like Mad Max, without cars or irony or any meaning, everything is replaced by christian propaganda. In a world starved and lacking fuel people wouldn't bother very much about chasing a fanatical blind fencer but they would try to find a way to recover their technological knowledge. Everything else is better: The road, Mad Max, Escape from New York, even Red Dawn...
    If you
    want a post apocalyptic fiction about the importance of religion for the recovery of civilization you could read "A canticle for Leibovitz" by Walter M. Miller jr. Expand
  16. Mar 7, 2012
    Christian propagandizing piffle pretending to be an action-adventure movie. Apparently, after most people die and the rest are left to suffer in a living nightmare, we're supposed to feel good that a man (the messiah?) comes along and recites the bible. Exactly what has been solved or even improved in the slightest way? The Road does it a million times better and without the sermonizing.
  17. Nov 9, 2011
    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...
  18. Oct 9, 2011
    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 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. Aug 5, 2011
    This Was A Great Film. The Only Reason I Gave It A 9 Is Because Some Of The Scenes Were A Little Disturbing. Good Storyline. Seems Just Like Fallout 3. But No Mutants. Or Other Assorted Enemies. So Thats Another Reason I Didn't Give It A 10. It Lacked Exciting Enemies Because Carnegie Wasnt That Exciting Of An Enemy And When I Watched His Story In The Blu-Ray Speicial Features It Turns Out He Burned His Own House Down Just Because His Dad Caught Him Reading An Inappropriate Magazine. Nice. Still, I Would Have Prefered Some Sort Of Creature In It Other Then Gory Raiders, torturers And Slackers. But Overall, great Movie. Expand
  20. CRL
    Aug 4, 2011
    Post-apocalyptic is overused, but that's really the only fault I found with this movie. The acting was superb and the world was amazingly detailed to the point of perfection. Washington and Kunis show some real chemistry, and Gary Oldman is perfect for his role. The story was purely enjoyable, though maybe not as impactful as its director meant it to be, and the irony at the end give it an almost perfect touch. Expand
  21. Jul 21, 2011
    Why does everyone in this movie speak in an ADD?ADHD manner ? And walks like in one of those early Charly Chaplin movies ? The story has been done a hundred times before, what is the added value here ? Nauseating to watch...please speak SLOOOWERRR. Horrible waste of a good cast...
  22. Jul 17, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing movie, with good action and history. The ironic end is the better part of the hole film, it's difficult see an good movie like this today. Denzel makes for a incredible performance as usual. Expand
  23. MTM
    Jul 6, 2011
    Movie was great.... there was great action with great acting.. the movie really lets you feel the horrors of society today and what it could be in the future. You will like this if you love a good story, love action, and don't mind religion... considering the whole story is based on the Bible.
  24. Apr 26, 2011
    This movie is a Christian movie... I watched the trailers and everything and I thought it wouldn't be like that. This movie is great it combines a good message along with action, miniguns, and cannibals. If you are another religion then you might get mad at it because in a way it is false advertisement, however if you are Christian you will love this movie.
  25. Mar 25, 2011
    A good movie to watch on the satellite on a weekend day. Has good acting, good characters and even a good story. It even showed lots about how the environment would be like in a post apocalyptic time. I liked the movie.
  26. Lyn
    Mar 5, 2011
    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," a different and better movie but so much more grim. Expand
  27. Jan 24, 2011
    A stylish film with a underlying current of fetishist violence. The tone of the film has impact and mimics the nature of apocalypse well. I feel compelled to reminisce about human existence, the artistic visuals are a treat and well worth the heavy-handed contrast. There is a heavy anti-human feeling which is counter balanced by the redemptive righteousness of Denzel Washington. Pretty much your Hollywoood norm but done with finesse. 8/10 81/100 Expand
  28. Jan 13, 2011
    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 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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  29. Jan 4, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Why? Why are there so many negative reviews for this the film is epic, Denzel Washingtons performance is nothing short of spectacular! I mean the whole film is so immersive I can't see how anyone could dislike it. If you are a big fallout 3 fan then you will love this hands down.

    The story is a rather good one with the flaw that he is apparently blind but the "faith" guides him, it doesn't exactly say that but that is what it hints at, if he is blind then it the film talks a lot of crap.

    The actors and setting is very well done and gives off the feeling of an apocalypse, the "action" scenes are well done and the film adds brutality, drama, thriller and even a slight hint of comedy in a few places.

    I hope you can see why I have given 10/10 because the film deserves no less, the reason it is getting bad reviews anyway is because Metacritic seems to give all its films bad reviews even the spectacular ones.
  30. Jan 3, 2011
    To all the people giving this movie a negative review, stop it. I bet all of you were hopped up on Mountain Dew and Redbull ready to see violence before you got to the theater. Also to all of the people that say that there wasn't enough violence in the movie probably didn't stop to think that the movie wasn't really an action movie, it was about Eli's journey and what he went through on that journey, not about all the people he killed. The movie was great and doesnt deserve to be rated poorly just because it wasn't what you thought it was going to be when you went to see it. Sure the movie was predictable but if we rated movies on predictability then over 90% of movies would fail. All that being said the movie is worth every penny and deserves to be seen. The overall plot is fresh and something that will intrigue you and keep you watching. Just dont go into it thinking Denzel Washington is a cold blooded assassin on a violent warpath for revenge. And one more thing, just because the movie plot centers around the bible, doesnt mean that the writers were trying to convert the entire audience to Christianity. It appears that the only reason people say that is because they themselves are unsure of their own religious beliefs. Expand
  31. Dec 18, 2010
    A great movie, i really didnt know what to exspect going to see it maybe thats why it was so good. acting was grea. the actors explained the plot well and the fight scenes pretty good to. most of the movie kepps you on the edge you really dont know what will happen next. In the end this movie is worth your time and you wont waste your money.
  32. Nov 30, 2010
    Dumb. I can't believe I payed to see a movie about a post-apocalyptic black ninja sword fighter who kills everyone left on earth. The final scene of the movie is the worst I've ever seen, please leave before it happens!
  33. Nov 16, 2010
    Post-apocalyptic times, man wanders along his "path", encounters raiders, cannibals & unsavouries, comes across a town, head of town wants him to find a book, man doesn't want to, head tries to persuade him unsuccessfully, carnage.
    As a fan out the game Fallout 3, this film really appealed to me & also having the bonus of my two favourite actors in the lead with the gorgeous Mila Kunis
    along side them.
    It's a pretty basic story with a man's journey to his destiny played out in a grisly, desperate world with Washington & Oldman as great as ever & the whole setting, backed up by some great music, really sucking you in from the start.
    Didn't see the twist coming & maybe need to watch it again to see if it worked.
  34. Nov 9, 2010
    An awesome film. Denzel kills it as always. The story line is great and so is the cast. For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, this is a must watch. Enjoy.
  35. Oct 13, 2010
    Denzel still has it, and the twist in this movie is actually a good one. A lot of movies have twists that are just plain ridiculous, and I refuse to swallow, but this one makes you want to watch the movie again after realizing something that you maybe should have known the whole time.
  36. Aug 28, 2010
    Although this movie is about ideally saving Christianity, the characters do a phenomenal job. You buy in right off the bat to a rag-tag Denzel Washington and accompany him on a epic, intense, and emotional journey, I highly recommend seeing it.
  37. Aug 27, 2010
    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.
  38. Aug 19, 2010
    I went into this film expecting very little. I love end-of-the-world scenarios (One of my favorites: The Quiet Earth. Least Favorite? I Am Legend or The Postman... Take your pick.) and had recently been slightly bored by "The Road"... This movie surprised me. I expected heavy religious overtones, and while there are some(duh), they don't ruin the film by getting too preachy. The action sequences are well done and often quite brutal. Worth checking out. Expand
  39. Aug 13, 2010
    Oh no another of one those doomsday movies, barren wastelands and cannibals all over the place. However the movie I can recommend itâ

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
    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. 20
    The Book of Eli combines the maximum in hollow piety with remorseless violence. [18 Jan. 2010, p.82]