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213 of 231 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Entertainment
'The Book of Eli' is a post-apocalyptic action film that released in 2010 to mixed reveiws and deserved box-office success.

The movie is set thirty years after an apocalyptic event and shows the mysterious Eli (Denzel Washington) travelling on foot towards the west coast of the United States to deliver an important book to a place of safety. During the...
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by Mitun

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars average and disappointing
I had been looking forward to watching this ever since it first came out. Reviews sounded good and the concept appealed to me.

Early in the film, however, I was disappointed to learn that the 'book' being referred to was simply a copy of the bible. There was scope for it to be something more abstract and complex but alas...

There was also only one...
Published 4 months ago by A. Wild


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213 of 231 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish Entertainment, 12 Mar 2010
By 
Mitun (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
'The Book of Eli' is a post-apocalyptic action film that released in 2010 to mixed reveiws and deserved box-office success.

The movie is set thirty years after an apocalyptic event and shows the mysterious Eli (Denzel Washington) travelling on foot towards the west coast of the United States to deliver an important book to a place of safety. During the travelling Eli attempts to overcome many dangerous obstacles.

The movie starts with a visually stunning scene, which sets the mood for a thrilling experience, progresses with a good build-up of tension and excitement and finally climaxes with a couple of cracking twists. The final twist is something you can't predict.

The story may seem straight forward but what makes it something special is the combination of the mystery surrounding Eli's character and the book, engrossing performances, emotional/dramatic scenes and an addition of well placed exciting action. It's a simple story told in an authentic manner making the full movie interesting and entertaining from beginning to end.

Denzel Washington who is also one of the producers of the movie puts in a restrained but a really likeable and moving performance. He's appealing as an action hero due to looking trimmed and at the same time is cool with the shades. Washington also impresses with his smooth and convincing dialogue delivery. Gary Oldman is ideal and effective as the main villain. The verbal exchanges between Washington and Oldman pack a punch. The surprise package in the movie is Mila Kunis who enacts the role of Solara. Her performance is to an extent stong and provides excellent support to Washington.

The direction provided by The Hughes Brothers (consists of the twins, Albert and Allen Hughes) is excellent. The full movie is executed in the best possible manner. The action scenes are enjoyable and balanced out well, preventing the momentum of the movie from plummeting. They managed to make every scene interesting and succeeded in keeping the viewer entertained. 'The Book of Eli' is their fifth directorial feature and it's their BEST.

The cinematography by Don Burgess is stylish and beautiful. You get to see an amazing view of a dystopic future, it's depressing but stunning. The background setting just demands appreciation.

There are five main HEROES in the movie, Washington, The Hughes Brothers, the cinematography and last but not least, the world class background music score, which is provided by Atticus Ross. The music is great, situational and full of hope. It really gets you going, especially in the scenes where you see Washington continuing with his journey after each obstacle.

The only flaw in the movie is that the main character, Eli and the apocalyptic event, are not well-defined, leaving the veiwer with a few unanswered questions.

The movie has not done as well as it should have due to a poor marketing campaign and mainly because of the highest grossing movie of all time, 'Avatar' keeping the audience away.

'The Book of Eli' is an underrated book that is worth a watch.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'WELL WORTH TAKING TIME-OUT TO WATCH', 3 Jun 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
'Denzel Washington' is 'Eli' after the 'apocalypse' he along with the 'few' re-surface to find their world a baron place.
'Eli' is given a mission after finding the last remaining 'Book of James' under some rubble, the mission to take the book 'west' to find a community it's meaning will inspire.
He has traveled for 30 years to reach a place where, he hopes he'll know to be right.
'Eli' will do anything to protect the book, and believes the book is protecting him along the journey of many dangers.
There is a town along the way ruled by a 'Warlord' who has heard of the exsistance of the 'one' book, and craves to own it.
But will 'Eli' part with that which he has protected for so long ?
This is a great 'Blu-ray' presentation, i believe a film should entertain and I believe will hold your attention, this film does not disappoint.
'Denzel' is of course one of the shining lights of today's generation of actor's and rarely makes a bad film.
this film gives you a gripping story with some really impressive 'action' sequences, a religous under-tone and a brilliant twist.
A terrific movie to re-visit or indeed watch for the first time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes there are two paths you can go by, 25 April 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
Now has earth become a dangerous post apocalytic place populated by desperate, lawless people, scrabbling for survival, prepared to kill for the contents of a backpack. Women are used as bait to trap the unwary, and as the pawns and playthings of villains.

The sky has faded from its usual blue, what was solid has turned to very dust, grey has become the fashion, clothes and large concrete pipes collect the grit, and you can sense the dryness and heat of the torrid zone. When the movie goes indoors, the richer tones emerge. The blind woman is colorful without a sense of color.

As other people hunt people, Eli (Denzel Washington) hunts his own food. In this world, traveling by yourself, you need a sixth sense to survive, and Eli's with heightened senses can smell trouble before it emerges. He can somehow see the trap before it is sprung.

In this world a certain book has power, and Eli carries it, and understanding its power protects it.

In the first confrontation, he could surrender his backpack and probably live but lose the book, but he demonstrates his resourcefulness in lethal ways, ways that seem at odds with his mission, one of whose aims would be not to kill.

The more we know the nature of his mission, the more incongruous his behavior appears. When he observes a husband being shot, and a wife about to be raped by a biker gang, he faces a dilemma, and makes a strage mission decision. Will his behavior change in the future?

Further displays of his lethal skills impress a local villain Carnegie (Gary Oldman), a man on his own mission to get the one 'book,' which will help him to control the unruly masses. Carnegie uses manipulation and fear to control people to get what he wants.

The blind woman (Jennifer Beals of Flashdance) is his girlfriend. She depends upon the protection of Carnegie, and unfortunately such protection comes at a steep price, as when he offers her daughter Solara (Mila Kunis)as a sexual gift to Eli.

Women see in ELi an opportunity for safety and protection without being exploited, but when they ask for his help, he refuses.

Heroes don't have problems, they have dilemmas.

Eli faces a succession of dilemmas: save the woman, stay on the path, accept the girl, reject the girl, exploit the girl, help the girl, bring the girl, leave the girl, save the girl, save the book. One of the things I liked most about the movie was a familiar bridge in a familiar setting.

Comparing notes with a screenwriter friend, we agreed that the strongest point was not the look of the movie, or the characters but the storytelling aspect, and I loved the surprises. Perhaps the weakest point for me was the development of Carnegie's character, which seemed a little one dimensional.

As is now common in Hollywood movies, we initially see the bad guy doing the opposite of what he really is, buying shampoo for and shampooing his girlfriends hair, you might notice similarly that the good guy does not emerge good at first.

Denzel Washington's performance in an action role impressed me, as did Mila Kunis as Solara, formerly of that 70's show, Forgetting Sarah Marshall now emerging as a great cinema actress. I do not think I would have made all the same choices about her as Eli would.

What does the world of the future say about the world of now? Apparently, the ipod is durable and will survive, and I loved the songs used in the movie.

I did see this movie twice, something I rarely do. If you follow the box office as I do, the movie has now grossed over $95 milion in the USA, and $157 million worldwide. Hope this was useful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This road is no place for you., 29 Aug 2011
By 
Spike Owen "John Rouse Merriott Chard" (Birmingham, England.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
The Book of Eli is directed by The Hughes Brothers and written by Gary Whitta. It stars Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson and Jennifer Beales. Music is by Atticus Ross and photography by Don Burgess. Story is set thirty years after a nuclear war and finds Washington as Eli, who is travelling on foot across the desolated landscape to the West of the United States to deliver a sacred book. It's a journey fraught with danger, more so when a stopover in what remains of a town brings him into contact with self appointed town leader Carnegie (Oldman). For Carnegie seeks the book that Eli is guarding with his life......

Post apocalypse movies have had a good run over the years, it's a theme that holds a morbid interest to film makers and film watchers alike. The Hughes Brothers have attempted to give this particular strand some new life by blending the sombre tone of something like Viggo Mortensen starrer, The Road, with Mad Max violence. A blend, it has to be said, that doesn't come totally off as Eli is in turns a God fearing man of few words, then the next a Kali martial artist laying waste to apocalyptic rapists and thieves. Further problems arise with the miscasting of Kunis. A good actress who looks yummy supreme here, but that's half the problem, she just doesn't look right in this apocalyptic set-up, while some of the daftness that comes with her character arc is barely palatable.

However, if accepting it on its two fold terms, it's great as a mood piece and fun as an actioner! Washington is such a watchable star, someone who can lift an average film to better heights. Although this is not one of those average films, he has a commitment to the role of Eli that gives it a believability factor that few modern day actors in the same age group can. Having Oldman on bad guy duties is invariably a good thing, and he duly delivers another memorable one to file in the cabinet, while there's an amusing couple of cameos from Michael Gambon and Frances de la Tour as a husband and wife duo with issues. The look and sound of the film is also impressive, with Ross (co-soundtrack collaborator the Social Network) and the Hughes' scoring it industrial like, and Burgess (Forrest Gump/Cast Away/Source Code) capturing a graphic novel like beauty from the back drop of devastation..

With a couple of genuine surprises up its sleeve, film can't be faulted for lacking ideas, the Brothers to be applauded for not delivering the same old same old post apocalyptic based picture. But it's difficult to accept a bleak message movie (sermon) when the action is so outrageously fun. I liked it very much, but not in the way I had originally hoped. Pays your money and takes your chance, besides, Denz and Gaz are worth the punt anyway. 7/10
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book of Eli, 1 Sep 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
`The Book Of Eli' explores one idea of what life could be like in a post nuclear war world. Here food, water, energy and books are hard to come by and every day is a struggle to survive. Eli (played by Washington) is known as a walker, who travels across the country (rather than living in a community) trying to subsist on meagre provisions and fighting off lawless robbers just to get by. He only goes into the communities (one of which that is run by the iron handed Gary Oldman) when he needs to recharge batteries or get extra water. He protects a sacred book which is highly sought after by other unscrupulous people and constantly moves west so that he can share his treasure with someone who may know how to do more good with it.

This film had a bleak feel to it at first, with muted colours and lots of ash, but it soon began to feel like a cross between a Mad Max film, an action film (due to Washington's `kick ass' character who is more than capable of looking after himself against some rather unsavoury specimens) and a religious allegory about mans folly's and humanity. This was reminiscent of `The Road' which I saw recently and which is based along similar themes, but I found this films story to be more engaging and more uplifting at the end and much prefer it over the aforementioned film. The acting is pretty decent from all involved and Oldman plays his sneering bad guy role perfectly yet again. There is a good twist in the tale and some issues are raised about mans behaviour without moralising or preaching. Some people seem to dislike this film due to it's religious overtones, but to be honest these are pretty slight and are relevant to the story. All in all this was an enjoyable film and if `The Road' put you off post apocalyptic films, but the premise still intrigues you, then this is well worth a viewing.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, post-apocalyptic gloom., 5 Nov 2010
By 
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
Ignoring the obvious and superficial Christian emphasis of the underlying plot, this film superbly chronicles one man's pilgrimage to take the only surviving copy of the bible to the last bastion of civilisation (in America, that is) surrounded by the barbaric degeneration of the few survivors of the apocalyptic event. Interestingly, there are undertones of anti-Christianity running through the plot; all of the bibles, bar one, were destroyed after the event that, presumably, Christian fundamentalism had somehow caused; and Gary Oldman's character`s desperate attempt to obtain the bible as a means to control the populace (opium for the masses, anybody?).

The film is dark, grim and unrelenting, shot with almost monochrome harshness. Denzel Washington's performance was brilliant as was Gary Oldman's (has he ever played a goodie?) and the cameo appearances of Frances de la Tour and Michael Gambon were delightful. The storyline was engaging and, without the usual Hollywood formulaic sloppy bits, perfectly matched the moody cinematography.

All-in-all, an excellent film superbly cast and peppered with just enough mysticism & symbolism - a worthy addition to the post-apocalyptic movie genre. The only criticism may be that every character was a bit of a caricature and that, really, the genre hasn't evolved much beyond Thunderdome.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dystopian marvel, 13 April 2010
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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The apocalypse genre has had quite a few submissions as of late, but few will make you think about it in the same light as The Book of Eli. The film makes very little effort to describe the events that have led to the current wasteland-like US and its shattered society, instead concentrating on a drifter (Denzel Washington - Eli) wandering the wastes, inexorably heading West, seemingly tasked with a mission from God.

Eli stumbles across a town ruled by a man (Oldman - Carnegie) with an insatiable appetite for books and a particular lust for a certain book, one that Eli just so happens to have in his possession, pursuit ensues. The milieu is bleak and well shot, the dystopian future is well laid out and with some novel takes on familiar scenarios, it feels highly plausible.

The acting is good, but nobody is going to win any Oscars as the characters are rather shallow, the actors seem to be content sticking with the cookie-cutter 'bad-guy in charge' and the 'carefree drifter' who just wants to be left alone; aside from this 2-dimensionality there is really not too much wrong with any of the casting, everyone providing solid, believable performances. (However I still find it difficult to seperate Mila Kunis' voice from Meg in Family Guy)

The fight scenes really are the saving grace of this film, Washington's ability to wield his machete with complete composure despite inflicting some pretty gruesome injuries just adds to the characters absolute belief that he is being guided by the hand of God. The scene under the old highway flyover will have you reaching for the rewind button. I must mention that there is a strong element of religion in this film, however it is not preaching nor condescending and endeavours to stay neutral to the concept.

However, the one downfall of this film is that once you have seen it through, it will severely ruin any rewatchability (much like the 6th sense) as there is a central tenet of the film that is revealed at the end, which had you known this from the off, it would remove a lot of the tension from certain scenes, enough said. Despite this, I recommend this film for a decent dystopian romp!!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Washington Heights, 3 Nov 2010
By 
ratmonkey (Hardy Country) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
This surprised me.

Due to mixed reviews I was apprehensive of this title, which is why taking too much stock in what critics think is usually unhelpful. Yes, the overall story as cheesy parable of lone angel walking the earth in search of a place for his Bible is a little hard to swallow at times, especially after only 30 years post-holocaust, but that's why it is not worth 5 stars and oscars. etc. What is good about it is that it stays just at the right side of preachy. Denzel Washington's Eli does have the occasional soap-box moment but generally the Bible is used allegorically to express the kindness mankind does possess. This is seen in the Bible always being referred to as 'The Book'. Later on it is specifically named as the one and only word of God etc, etc but the message somehow never seems extreme. And it is plausible that in a post-apocalypse wasteland where man has regressed to the champion the call of the wild over civilisation that 'The Book' could be both an overwhelming comfort and devastating weapon.

This is where it succeeds as a film that doesn't preach; when the book is finally realised (I wont spoil how) it becomes just another book on a shelf full of other worthy classics. The word of peace and civilisation is the key, not the religion, but this is also where the film falls a little flat as we live in a civilisation that consumes many books and many many Bibles and we are far from a utopia (although we are slowly getting there!).

The main draw of this film, apart from excellent direction and photography (not to mention script) is the acting talent. Denzel Washington is one of the most watchable actors around and while he does not deviate from his normal schtick (although he rarely smiles here) you just cannot help but be enthralled by him. Gary Oldman is much the same. He is of such a high calibre that you feel privileged watching hs performances. Mila Kunis fits her character well also, although her 'Kung-Fu' transformation seemed a little trite. Other performances of note are Michael Gambon and Frances de la Tour as George and Martha respectively. The scene with them is both pivotal and blackly humourous, although it doesn't end well. Genius casting.

The 'twists' are merely plot points that were cleverly hinted at throughout the film and explains (a little) why Eli is such a great fighter. Whether you saw it coming or not is neither here nor there; the film does not dwell on them. It is a goody and baddy film and there are a few grey areas but not enough to elevate to the echelons of the classic cinema. However, as a great, albeit serious, actioner that is slightly more cerebral than most it works perfectly.

Highly recommended. Just don't expect miracles.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great sci-fi film with religious overtones, 3 Aug 2014
By 
Mr. George Johnson "Gj" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
Absolutely loved it! A superb film, I loved the film style with very subdued hues and tones in all the visuals. The story itself is not particularly complex and the characters are not that deep and I'll have to be honest if you're paying attention you will fathom the plot twist about half way through the movie. All the same I loved it, not usually a fan of Washington's films but I thought him and Oldman played interesting characters, not particularly deep but interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..., 20 Aug 2014
By 
Me read (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Book of Eli [DVD] (DVD)
Great film! I've raved about this one ever since watching it. Denzel was brilliant in it.

I love anything to do with the Apocalypse so this was going to have to be pretty poor for me to not like it, but everything about it was just perfect. The cast was brilliant and the cinematography was spot on, the plot was really great and I did not guess the plot, even right up to the last few minutes.

Brilliant film from start to finish.
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The Book of Eli [DVD]
The Book of Eli [DVD] by Allen Hughes (DVD - 2010)
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