Road, The (2009)

Drama Rated R

The Road is only half as traumatic as the Cormac McCarthy novel on which it’s based – which of course means that it will still leave you a wreck. Viggo Mortensen gives a brave performance as the father who wanders a desolate, post-apocalyptic landscape with his son; he isn’t afraid to put the man’s terror at the forefront. Director John Hillcoat ( The Proposition ), meanwhile, gives the film a dismal realism instead of a sci-fi sheen, which is in line with McCarthy’s lean prose. Somehow the horrors here – including the constant threat of cannibalism – are only intensified by the lack of cinematic embellishment. A stark consideration of the limits of morality, The Road is tough, often excruciating stuff.