Are we really heading for the apocalypse? Hollywood seems to think so.

In the last few years we've been witness to such dissertations on the end of the world as the 'Matrix' and 'Terminator' films, '12 Monkeys,' 'Children of Men,' 'District 12,' and most recently, '2012' and 'The Road' to name a few (and this doesn't even include such plague films as '28 Days Later,' 'I Am Legend,' and the 'Resident' Evil' series). Not to mention the granddaddy of them all, the 'Mad max' outings.

Now add to the list 'The Book of Eli,' directed by the Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen) and starring Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. The story takes place some 30 years after the final war that has turned the Earth in an ash-plagued wasteland. Washington plays a solitary man -- a kind-of Clint Eastwood "Man With No Name in the Apocalypse" -- who walks across what was once America clutching a book that he hopes will bring hope and salvation to what remains of the world. He's a warrior who won't let anyone get in his way, or steal his book. That includes a man named Carnegie (Oldman in another quite evil role), a self-appointed despot of a makeshift town of thieves and gunmen, who lives with his wife (Jennifer Beals) and adopted daughter (Mila Kunis). He's fascinated by Eli and wants the power of the book for his own.

The critics have been mixed about 'Eli,' chastising the film for taking itself too seriously or for its spiritual themes, or for its lack of "kick-ass" action or for stereotypical characters. And then there's those critics who like all of the above. One thing they all pretty much agree upon: Washington and Oldman are at their peaks.

Read what the critics have to say.
categories Reviews