Daily Dose Pick: The Road

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Gray, empty, and full of collapsed architecture, the godforsaken landscape of The Road — which opens in theaters today — is true to author Cormac McCarthy’s lean, illustrious source.

Less a trained road warrior than a weary yet determined father, Viggo Mortensen carries this post-apocalyptic film and his family — namely The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) — on his raggedy back. The plot is as spare as McCarthy’s prose: father and son must rely on each other as they trek across this eerie, desolate world to the sea.

En route, the two scavenge food and face the permeating cold, on-the-prowl cannibals, and the fact that half the color spectrum (as with so much else) is nonexistent. A stark depiction of humanity at its outer limits that’s shaded with hope, John Hillcoat’s knockout also features Robert Duvall as a biblical old-timer and Charlize Theron in palliative flashbacks.

Check out our interview with Hillcoat, stream a song from the soundtrack, read A.O. Scott’s NYT review, and explore the film’s quote-filled site.