Bleak Road Not as Good as Book
Critics split on adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic epic
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2009 7:19 AM CST

(Newser) – It’s a thankless job adapting a literary darling like The Road, and, sure enough, director John Hillcoat hasn’t gotten much thanks. Critics have mixed feelings about the bleak post-apocalyptic film. Here’s what they’re saying:

  • Despite good acting, the film is merely adequate, “an honorable attempt at filming an unfilmable book,” writes Kenneth Turan of the LA Times. “To do more than horrify and depress us, The Road is in need of a finer sensibility.”

  • A devoted Cormac McCarthy fan, Roger Ebert wrestles with his review. “It is powerful, but for me lacks the same core of emotional feeling,” he writes. “I'm not sure this is any fault of the filmmakers.”
  • The movie can only “dully visualize horrors the best writers hint at,” says Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. Still, it’s a “welcome rebuke to the happy-face apocalypse of 2012.
  • The Road isn't a masterpiece,” writes Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer. But it stuck with him, “its images of dread and fear kicking around like such a terrible dream.”