The Book of Eli Review

Thanks for checking out our Book of Eli review.

Genre: Action Adventure/Drama
Directed by: Albert and Allen Hughes
Staring: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson
Released: January 15th 2010


A post apocalyptic world set 30 years after a nuclear strike has left the world in ruin. The surviving humans find themselves huddled in the remains of small towns under warlord rule. Eli is a “walker” who has been set on a mission from a higher power to head West. In his posession is a book. A powerful book. The boss of a small town (Gary Oldman) has been seeking this book and when Eli wanders through his town he will stop at nothing to get it from him.


The drama is the star here. Despite the trailer making this look like a Mad Max action romp, this is mostly a drama. They hit on a lot of themes about how life was “before the flash” and what is left.

The action that there is is brief but freaking amazing. Brutally efficient when Eli pulls out his long knife/sword thing, this shit gets real. So graphic without excessive gore.

There is little in here that is spelled out for you, and still you are not lost or missing any details. The history of what came before his hinted at in very subtle dialogue that never sounds like they are saying it for your benefit. Very well laid out.

You have to absorb this story. It makes sense. What Eli is up to, why he does it and how all falls into place. And the ending just suddenly adds a new layer to EVERTHING he does. Blew my mind.

Gary Oldman as the badguy Carnagie is a merciless warlord type, and he does it very well and very convincingly. His motivations are purely power, but he is an intelligent man and he knows how to get it.

The book is powerful, and what Carnagie wants it for makes complete sense. They were careful not to tell you exactly what the book does in the trailer and it makes sense. You find out pretty early on in the movie, but I won’t spoil it for you.


Mila Kunis (as appealing as she is) is unnecessary. She doesn’t need to be there. She is a plot device that helps spell out Eli’s story, and a sympathetic helper in his mission. But the movie could have gone on without her.

The ending brings up some more questions. It did blow my mind, but it isn’t without its minor flaws. Its plausible, and it really makes you think – which is great. But you don’t see it coming. But in hindsight its not perfectly delivered, which is why you don’t see it coming. Its minor, but it does take a little away from the amazing reveal.

That this was marketed as an action film, some would be disappointed to see how little action there is.


I was expecting a post apocalyptic actioner, and while it had elements of it, this is really a drama. Sure there are some amazing splody parts and brutal violence, but this is a thinking film that not only surprised me, but waited until the very end to let me know it had me on the hook the whole time.

I give The Book of Eli a 7 out of 10

45 thoughts on “The Book of Eli Review

  1. my number one movie of all.i have so much to say about this movie i cant even start but ill just say one i guess.Blind is the movies best shown who can not be tempted by things of the human race or judge someone by what they look like or how there body action is just by how they talk about there views of the moment and the feeling he gets of someone.just like a pet can sence your true feeling with out words or knowing your body movement.and haveing so much faith that he can try and remove some of his human way of choice because he knows he has a biger job to do then save a woman whos being sexualy abused,witch it was hard for me to see him not help her but god works in ways most will never beable to understand because if you know you are going to live for eternity then you life on earth is so short.but he wanted to make it that way so the truely hearted can enjoy eternity.and even the so called saint or prophet or true servent of god.still dose not fully understand god to the point of painless life on earth.wisdom is the real super power anyone cant have.but it is one that i think maybe no one will ever understand or get because of how complex it really is.

  2. I loved this movie. I too am a gamer who also loved Fallout 3. When I first saw the trailer, it reminded me of Fallout so I knew I HAD to see it. It is not a movie version of the game, far from it, but it does have a “Fallout feel” to it. All of which adds to the movie and makes it much more entertaining.

    Denzel is perfect as Eli. In fact, there is no one I can think of who could have pulled this off besides Denzel. His characterization of Eli is what makes the movie work.

    This movie has less to do with religion and more to do with a man on a mission and it captivated me from the first scene.

    The ending alone makes this one worth watching.

  3. Rodney, really agree with this review, and like how you organized the strengths and weaknesses from your point of view. The thing I like so much about opinionated movie reviews is that EVERY person is different when it comes to their personal, unbiased critique. I gave this movie a 9 out of 10. I thought Denzel was the PERFECT cast for this role (older guy who can still throw down). Our expectations, I think, were the same… expecting a post apocalyptic thriller is probably the best way I could put it, I liked that. When I may disagree is the role of Mila Kunis. While she may seem unnecessary during certain scenes in the movie, I love how the movie ended with her (leaves room for some kind of sequel even…) Overall, just like you, they had me hooked the entire time, only difference was, I knew I was hooked. I didn’t want to miss a single frame! Great movie, great review! Thanks again for the work you do.

  4. I was a fan of the film. I’m a Christian and even I don’t like to watch movies that feel like they are preaching to me and the Book of Eli, though it was about the bible being an important book, didn’t feel preachy at all. i felt the film sort of took me back to how times were before the printing press when those that had an actual copy of the bible were only very important and powerful people or very prestigious institutions. the name seemed very clever and fitting, Eli could be seen as short for Elijah who is prophesied to come back “before the great and dreadful day of the Lord” very cool. Mila i honestly didn’t mind throughout the film but the last minute or two of the film was completely unnecessary. it was like eating a back of pistachios and then getting to the last one that was bad and leaves a horrible taste in your mouth, ruins the other ones you ate before.

  5. This was a great movie. I can see why some might say it is too violent and other not violent enough. But the movie wasn’t about violence; it was about Christianity – the good and bad that can come from it. If you go to watch it for a fun or adventurous clip, you will be disappointed. This movie requires really looking at the underlying messages.

  6. why isnt anyone asking or explaining the scene where he gets shot in the back of the neck and somehow the bullet missses ??? any explanations ??

    1. Because he wasn’t shot in the back of the neck. The bullet missed.

      The second shot he takes grazes his jacket, but still misses. They get spooked, but it was just bad aim.

  7. I think this film is worth seeing just for the ending. And while it certainly wasn’t a masterpiece or anything, I want to see it again just because of the ending. It’s like The Sixth Sense in that it changes the whole watching experience once you know the ending. I like that.

    But it does not take 30 years to walk across America, that really didn’t make sense to me.

    1. It might take that long when you consider he isn’t exactly jogging, and with the conditions and having to hunt for food everyday etc.

      He was at it for 30 years, but walking is not the ONLY thing he did.

      1. Actually, now that I think about it, they didnt say he found the book right after “the flash”, just that it has been 30 years since the flash. So maybe it actually hasnt been that long. Still, they could have addressed that.

    1. Wow, “really, really boring…”? I have to really, really disagree. However, you are entitled to your oppinion. So, I’m curious…what about this movie was boring to you?

    1. I only review movies I have seen.

      And yes, there will be video reviews as soon as I make it a habit to be more publicly presentable (I blog commando… if you get what I mean)

  8. and yeah, even in the trailer Mila is out-of-place.

    but she’s a hottie, her eyes are sexy and looked pretty hot in Sarah Marshall

  9. Saw the trailer for this before avatar and I got a “so-so” feeling, It really makes it look dare I say foolish, kinda like a Denzel “Desperado” feel to it..

    BUT after reading your review, might give it a shot.

  10. i also agree with chris… the real one on this movie, it was awsome and I would have given it a nine but an eight is honorable

  11. I Agree with, chris….the real one. I would give it a solid 8 as well. Action was good and the acting for the most part was good too.

  12. i agree rod, i really liked the spiritual message in the movie. mila def was a waste in this, i understand her character’s role (a little) but she was completely miscast. even tho i agree with the review i would give it a solid 8

    1. I see where lambykins2 is coming from. The settings are very similar; I’ve been referring to it as Fallout 3: The Movie for weeks now. That said, they aren’t connected in any way.

      As an aside, some Fallout 3 DLC that adopts this story into the game would be very cool. I’m a huge fan of games with thematic elements, and the tools are already there.

      As for my opinions on the movie itself, I was very ‘meh’ about it until the twist at the end, at which point I decided that I loved it. Might buy it, in fact.

      1. Lol, Fallout 3 is derivative of every other countless post-apocalyptic fictional work. It’s hardly a paragon of originality.

      2. if you like fallout 3 watch jericho. I never did but my buddies all did who played the game. So im recomending something i never took up to you guys.

      3. Fallout 3 might not be the most original setting ever but it is one of the most immersive post-apocalyptic experiences that exists.

        Playing it will suck you in and for a while- you feel like the earth has been nuked to hell. Awesome game.

      1. I agree with Justin, The Lovely Bones is a horrible, horrible mess. After Lord of the Rings I can not believe that the same Peter Jackson directed this pile of crap. The trailers were totally misleading as to the story of the movie and its a blatant waste of time. Save your time and money and don’t see it.

      2. Lovely Bones was both horrible and good. I thought there were more good moments than bad. But overall: Blah.

        Book of eli looks great

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