The Book of Eli | Chicago Reader

The Book of Eli

Brothers Albert and Allen Hughes (Menace II Society) redeem themselves from their overrated 2001 Jack the Ripper thriller From Hell with this entertainingly screwball take on the postapocalyptic survival yarn. Denzel Washington plays an ass-kicking former Kmart associate on a mission from God to carry the last Bible on earth to fertile spiritual ground on the west coast. Passing through the devastated red states, he falls into the clutches of erudite thug lord Gary Oldman, who would misuse the book to ideologically reenslave the few remaining humans. The sepia-toned palette gets a little wearying, but the dialogue is hilarious, the violence is crunchy, and cameos by Tom Waits and topflight Brit character actor Michael Gambon are worth the ticket price alone. R, 118 min.



  • Allen Hughes
  • Albert Hughes


  • Denzel Washington
  • Gary Oldman
  • Mila Kunis
  • Ray Stevenson
  • Jennifer Beals
  • Evan Jones
  • Joe Pingue
  • Frances de la Tour
  • Michael Gambon
  • Tom Waits
  • Chris Browning
  • Richard Cetrone
  • Lateef Crowder
  • Keith Davis
  • Don Theerathada
  • Thom Williams


  • Joel Silver
  • Denzel Washington
  • Broderick Johnson
  • Andrew A. Kosove
  • David Valdes
  • Steve Richards
  • Susan Downey
  • Erik Olsen

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    As far as bad movies go, The Book of Eli is a good one.
    • Jan 21, 2010

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