The Road Reviews
Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning, Oprah-endorsed, post-apocalyptic survivalist prose poem... was a quick, lacerating read. John Hillcoat's literal adaptation is, by contrast, a long, dull slog.
You hang on to yourself for dear life, resisting belief as best you can in the face of powerful acting, persuasive filmmaking and the perversely compelling certainty that nothing will turn out all right.
Evocative as it is, The Road comes up short, not because it's bleak but because it's monotonous, and because McCarthy's vision is finally as inflexible as his patriarchal hero's.
The Road evokes the images and the characters of Cormac McCarthy's novel. It is powerful, but for me lacks the same core of emotional feeling. I'm not sure this is any fault of the filmmakers.
The Road -- centered by Mortensen's typically physical but tempered performance -- is hard to watch. But it could have been much harder. Hillcoat isn't doing opera here, he's doing tragedy.