'The Road': movie review

Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel, 'The Road' is a slow trek through the debris of a postapocalyptic world.

The novelist Cormac McCarthy was served well by the Coen Brothers' adaptation of his novel "No Country for Old Men" but comes a cropper in "The Road," a lugubrious trek through postapocalyptic debris starring Viggo Mortensen (although I could have sworn it was Grizzly Adams). The characters are nameless, for that timeless effect: He's the Man; his young son, the Boy, is played without much vigor by Kodi Smit-McPhee. Careful to avoid the scavengers and crazies eager to turn them into a full-course meal, they make their way across torched and blasted landscapes to the sea. Flashbacks to the duo's more halcyon days keep intruding, which gives director John Hillcoat a chance to work in some quality screen time for Charlize Theron. (She's the Wife.) I was happy when Robert Duvall showed up on the trail playing a dingbat coot, but you know he's a goner as soon as he appears. He had the right idea. Grade: C- (Rated R for some violence, disturbing images, and language.)

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