Everyone has one, that movie you only watch once and never want to see again. And it’s not to the fault of the flick. It could very well be good, but there comes a time when a movie is so heavy you only need one viewing to get the picture. One of those films for me is The Road, based on the book of the same title written by Cormac McCarthy.
Full disclosure: I rewatched it.
I didn’t want to. I wasn’t looking forward to it. But I thought this was an important movie to revisit in times like these. I felt obligated because I’ve recommended it to almost every person that’s asked me about a post-apocalyptic flick worth watching.
The Road was released in North America in November 2009. It was shopped around for major Hollywood awards but walked away with just a British Academy Award for best cinematography. It also landed a certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 73 percent with more than 200 reviews of the film.
The skinny: The apocalypse has happened. Everything is grey and time has passed. Nobody is safe. Cannibalism is real and food is scarce. All the while, a boy and his father are heading west to reach the coast in the hope of finding a better situation at the edge of the world.
Why I love this movie
There's real truth to the world the man and his boy are living in. The story of survival is minimal but packs a powerful punch by the end. You feel the sense of starvation and the thrills of finding a can of food. The fear of cannibalism and uncertainty of death with random run-in strangers creates a well crafted bleak environment that is all just part of life on the road.
The majority of this movie is very believable and plausible if something were to hit Earth and humanity was wiped out. The lack of the resources and the ethical questions you're left with if the roles were reversed linger.
Why annoyed me the most
I understand the son in this film is supposed to be very young, but there were times he really annoyed me. Nothing against the kid. I’m just a natural-born hater, and I felt like I sympathized more with Viggo Mortensen’s character, the man. I also feel like the random scenes of trees falling down was a weird flex. I didn’t feel that theme was well rooted in the overall plot.
Why it's worth watching
I was always fascinated with the world surrounding The Road. It leaves the viewer with a lot of questions ethically and morally as well as what happens after the credits roll. I also think this is an important movie to watch. It made me feel grateful for how good we actually have it during this global pandemic and quarantine. The decay of society scavenging for what's left of food before turning to human prey. Is mortality the better option than survival? These questions popped into my head when I thought about whether the roles were reversed.
Here are four other apocalypse movies worth your time.
I love this movie as well as the book it was based on, The Hot Zone by Richard Preston. Outbreak has a stellar cast that has aged well and it’s also on Netflix. Throw it on, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Deep Impact
I've said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love this movie. It's a classic late 90s disaster flick also on Netflix with a young cast that grew into Hollywood royalty and featured an epic tidal wave that was ahead of its time.
3. I am Legend
Who doesn’t love Will Smith? This also is a great book that's vastly different from the Hollywood adaptation. Hug your dogs and grab your popcorn because this post-apocalyptic zombie flick has aged well since its release 13 years ago.
4. This is the End
My roommate suggested I throw something funny on here. This is an underrated resident funny movie. Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg double-dip in starring roles and as the film's directors. James Franco throws a rager at his house and every comedian, musical influence and Judd Apatow Hollywood type is invited. The apocalypse breaks out mid-party as the plot thickens. Turn it on. We could all use a good laugh.
Julian Del Gaudio was once Nevada Sports Net's self-proclaimed Minister of Culture before losing that title in landslide fashion. But he knows about movies and will post a Film Friday review every week. You contact him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JulianDelGaudio.