The Book of Eli

January 15th, 2010

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The Book of Eli

Still of Denzel Washington in The Book of EliStill of Denzel Washington in The Book of EliMalcolm McDowell at event of The Book of EliStill of Gary Oldman in The Book of EliStill of Denzel Washington and Mila Kunis in The Book of EliStill of Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli

A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6.8/10 (98,907 voted)

Critic's Score: 53/100

Director: Albert Hughes

Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson

In a violent post-apocalyptic society, a drifter, Eli, has been wandering westward across North America for the last thirty years. He finds solace in a unique book which he carries on his person and guards closely, whilst surviving by hunting small animals and seeking goods in destroyed houses and vehicles to trade in villages for water and supplies. When he reaches a village ruled by the powerful mobster, Carnegie, the man views Eli's impressive fighting skills and offers Eli a place within his gang. Carnegie presses his blind lover Claudia to send her daughter, Solara, to at least convince Eli to spend the night by sleeping with him. However, Eli proves to be the better man when he gently declines her advances. The girl sees Eli's book, and when Carnegie finds out he beats her mother until she reveals what she saw. Carnegie sends his gang into the wasteland to take the book from Eli...

Denzel Washington - Eli
Gary Oldman - Carnegie
Mila Kunis - Solara
Ray Stevenson - Redridge
Jennifer Beals - Claudia
Evan Jones - Martz
Joe Pingue - Hoyt
Frances de la Tour - Martha (as Frances De La Tour)
Michael Gambon - George
Tom Waits - Engineer
Chris Browning - Hijack Leader
Richard Cetrone - Hijacker
Lateef Crowder - Hijacker / Construction Thug
Keith Davis - Hijacker
Don Tai - Hijacker (as Don Theerathada)

Taglines: Believe in hope


Official Website: Metropolitan Films [France] | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 15 January 2010

Filming Locations: Albuquerque Studios - 5650 University Boulevard SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $38,437,553 (USA) (17 January 2010) (3111 Screens)

Gross: $94,822,707 (USA) (9 May 2010)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The names of the characters George and Martha are a direct reference to the play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' by Edward Albee. The play is about an elderly couple who want children so badly, they invent a dead son.

Factual errors: Eli and Solara spend the night in one of two cooling towers. These are completely closed down to the ground. A real cooling tower is open at the bottom to let the air go in.

[first lines]
Young Woman Hijacker: Please, don't hurt me. Here, take anything you want. You want some food? Take it.
Eli: I'm not gonna hurt you.
Young Woman Hijacker: Yeah? That's what the last guy said. Could... could you help me? The wheel came off. I can't fix it. Maybe if I... if I could... but I can't.
Eli: You know the only good thing about no soap... is that you can smell hijackers a mile off!

User Review

Religious propaganda with action sequences

Rating: 1/10

Not sure how much the church was involved with this project, but it seems as though it was funded almost entirely by the church. And maybe Oprah. If not, the church should provide the people who made this movie with free blessings for a year - or whatever.

This movie uses misleading advertising to draw us in. (which goes against the messaging in the movie....) What we expect is an apocalyptic thriller with a super strong survivor trying to make his way through life. We know from the advertising that he has a book he must protect - but we are not told that it is a bible. The last bible.

The movie progresses normally for about the first 1/3rd or so. And then the propaganda begins. Despite Eli's best efforts, his friend and the villains become aware that he has a bible. The villain wants the bible to begin a cult in his own name, Eli wants the bible because a voice told him to go to a place where the book was, and then, vaguely, to go west. He reads it every day. The premise of the film is that he followed the voices instructions, found the book, and has been walking west for the past 30 years. (it seems Eli could have used some help from Forrest Gump) The movie devolves into actions segments spaced between dialog about the bible and faith. If that is your thing enjoy. My feeling on it was that the acting was not bad, the feel established by the cinematography for the movie was good but overall this film was a transparent vehicle for religious cheer leading and not much more.

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