Parent reviews for The Book of Eli

Common Sense says

Future-set action epic is heavy on comic book violence.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 39 reviews
Parent of a 11-year-old Written byThe Big E August 15, 2011

Those who claim this movie is anti-religious are wrong

I disagree very strongly with those who interpret this movie as having having a bone to pick with religion. In my opinion, this movie is very positive about religious faith. There may be some spoilers after this point, so read on at your own peril.
In my opinion, this movie is metaphor for for issues facing the Christian church today. The two characters, Eli and Carnegie, are the only two characters in the movie who seem to be aware that the Bible still exists. One of those characters, Carnegie, wants to use the Bible to exercise power over others, because he knows its been used for that purpose in the past. That is not an anti-religious message - it is the truth - there have been many unscrupulous people throughout history who have twisted Biblical teachings to their own aggrandizement and to build their own power over others. The other character, Eli, possesses what is apparently the last Bible in existence, and he reads the Bible daily, and tries to live by its teachings, though even he acknowledges that at times he has failed to do so. Eli is on a mission of faith, he believes God spoke to him and told him to take the last Bible west, though he (Eli) doesn't know why or exactly where, and he believes that God will protect him and provide for him along the way. For 30 years Eli has walked where faith directed, never finding his destination, but everyday reading the Bible. In the end, Eli is forced to relinquish the last Bible to Carnegie, and that's when thing get interesting, for it is then revealed that the last Bible was a Braille Bible. Carnegie cannot read it, and the only person he knows who can, refuses due to the way Carnegie has treated her and her daughter. In the end, Carnegie has lost control of his town because he lost so many men in the pursuit of Eli, and is dying of gangrene. Carnegie pursuit of the Word of God did him no good because he sought to use God's Word for evil. Eli, on the other hand, carries on to Alcatraz, where a group lives who seeks to restore the lost knowledge of the past. His admission to their colony is his possession of the last King James Bible - in his head. Before dying, he recites the Bible word for word so it can be printed again. AND - we learn that Eli is blind - and apparently has been for 30 years. Throughout the movie, Eli shot animal s for food (including a flying bird with a bow), and defended himself with blade and gun, and yet was blind the entire time. Eli was protected by God, because he sought only to follow and act upon his faith. So if this movie has a bone to pick with religion, it is with false religion, with those who seek to use God's teaching for selfish and evil desires, whose with true faith are protected by God and provided for by God.

Finally, a word about the violence in this movie - yes - it is very violent, and much of the violence is shocking. However, note that throughout the movie, Eli resorts to violence on when necessary to feed himself (animals), and when necessary to defend himself. Those who offered no threat to him were not harmed by him, only those who sought to kill him, or to keep him from completing the mission which God had sent him on.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byCW100 August 3, 2019

Very good movie

I am not normally able to watch movies with too much profanity, but this one was tolerable. As a mom with two teens, I would allow my 13 year old to watch it as the storyline is quite engrossing and the profanity was limited mainly to the bad guys and at times the Solara character. And in my memory it is not too constant. The violence is gory in the first few minutes of the movie, but then not so extreme during the rest of the movie. I have seen worse movies that have been more explicit, but this one is definitely tolerable. There are vague sexual references with no sex scenes, and an implied attack on a women. And one crazy lady seen in a skimpy outfit is seen twice, but nothing too indecent. Overall, the story line is intriguing and as some have stated, the maturity level of your child definitely is a factor in whether you want them to watch this.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byLucylola June 10, 2020

Great Message

This movie is great for families with teens who can be mature enough to understand and take away the powerful message this movie gives. There are positive messages and Eli (Denzel) is a positive role model. Whoever reviewed this movie for Common Sense is anti-religion doesn’t understand the Bible. Eli is being led by God to deliver the Bible to a unknown place keeping it safe from those who want to use the Bible to manipulate other people. Very powerful and Denzel, as always, is perfect. If your not religious, you will still enjoy the plot line, fight scenes, as well as Denzel and Gary Olman.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byADJ808 January 8, 2020

I don’t get that part?

In the Book Of Eli why did Denzel Washington‘s character let a woman get raped and her father or husband get murdered. In the movie he Says “stay on the path”. But then he meets another girl and keeps her from getting raped Mila Kunis character. Why are you reject one persons opportunity to be saved only to choose another?
Adult Written byNCFamily October 16, 2019

Great adult show.

Great movie for adults, not for children. Violent and bad language.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byJesmartuc September 30, 2012

Not For Babies

The role of Denzel Washington brings a positive message about obdedience, faith and perseverance. The movie does have a significant amount of violence however, the violence is analogous to situations in the Bible where the Israelites were commanded to annihilate their enemies on the way to the promised land. Denzel's role is a positive one because, like many Bible characters, he was willing to accept God's purpose at all cost. Whats more, the character continues to mature in the knowledge of the Word until the very end. There is a surprising twist at the end, solidifying the power of God in the bleakest of situations.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bythebeatlesrule July 16, 2012

Worthwhile movie that you will remember.

Good movie has is hard on violence, sex, and profanity.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written bykhan2705 December 15, 2010

good looking and stylish but weak plot and screenplay.

2.5/5

A post-apocalyptic Western, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.

well this movie was on my WILL SEE IT TOWARDS THE END OF THE YEAR list, i am completely shocked this movie turned out exactly opposite of what i was thinking. from the very beginning towards the end it was very slow moving if not annoying or boring movie. it is completely forgettable but you will might have some good time watching it, specially some scenes. i am confused about this movie man, should i rate it high or low, i have no idea i liked it or not. that is strange. most my Flixster friends rated it good. i thought it will be a silly no brainer or a adventurous action thriller with absolutely no plot but it turned out same same but different. lol i am confused.

Movie is very slow moving, no major developments or major twist or story for about an hour. it start with a very strange and weird scene which is breathtaking, well almost. i would however really appreciate the efforts of cinematographer, stunning and superb Locations, lovely. the special effects were good too. a visually stylish and stunning slow moving post apocalyptic- western action movie. this movie was very different and weird. it somehow reminded me of THE ROAD.

Denzel Washington was good in his role, looked good and he did well. Mila Kunis looked nice too. she could have been better. the guy that steals the show according to me even from Denzel is Gary Oldman. i absolutely love him in his crazy and psychotic negative guy and even in his sweet roles as in Batman and Harry Potter movies. he is amazing and was awsome in this movie. Direction of this could have been better, editing was decent though. Story of this movie thankfully was very new and different, that was good an absolutely fresh idea. this movie is a good story teller but i would say that there is not a perfect plot in it. screenplay is very weak too.

some of the fighting, shooting scenes are very good, admirable, stunning and awsome. it was a very rare movie. the ending of this movie absolutely left me stunned, a pleasure. this movie trips alot, some good scenes but on the wole this movie didn't hit me that much. i am so so about it so, i will leave it to you, watch it if you wish too, don't watch it if u don't wan't to. lol. i would have rated it 2 stars but .5 extra for the visual pleasure.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 11, 2010

Surprisingly good action sequences and a stellar performance by Denzel Washington!

This was a good movie, not filled to the brim with violence, which may be it's flaw. I am not a person who believes that a film needs to be filled with violence to be good. There should be plenty of things going on, but it doesn't need to be shootouts and explosions left and right. Although, this movie may have needed more action. The good news is that when the action does come up, it's unbeleivably impressive. The direction is fantastic, and the acting is really good, especially Washington. The only flaw is that it took a little too much time to get things rolling. Not just in the beginning, but all throughout the film. After an exciting action scene was finished, we were left with boring aftermath, then another action scene sometime later, and so on. Some dialogue pieces were really good, especially with Gary Oldman. But, there just wasn't enough fat trimmed in the editing room. Parents: This is a violent movie; it doesn't have nonstop violence, but it most certainly has graphic violence and shootouts, off-screen rape and cannibalism, on-screen sexual assault and sexuality (but no sex or nudity), and some strong language. Bottom Line: A well-made, if at time boring, apocalyptic action film that's a must-see for fans of Denzel Washington. And I am one of them! Thanks for reading! - Movie Man

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byHappyMom1964 September 13, 2010
This movie is action-packed and has a good twist at the end--however, it is also extremely violent, and there is an attempted rape scene which is very disturbing and certainly not appropriate for younger children and younger teens.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Adult Written byangrypanda90 August 14, 2010

Good for older teens.

This movie is a very good movie. Violent yes but not Over the top violent. Eli is a man who is following God's will for him. Yes he does fight a lot of people but those who say violence and Christianity shouldnt mix clearly havent read the book of Judges in the bible. Eli doesnt kill random people at will he defends himself. Its aso in a post apocalyptic world. SO you can bet most people's morals went down the drain.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of an infant, 2, 3, and 5-year-old Written bywilted6orchid August 4, 2010

Eli isn't just some violent guy!

I have to disagree with the author's ragging on Eli as a role-model. Eli is a man on a mission doing what he believes God wants him to do. He does kill a lot of people, but he never kills anyone who didn't attack him first...where I'm from that's self-defense!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive role models
Parent of a 3, 11, and 12-year-old Written byshelzmike July 24, 2010

Depends on the maturity of the kid

I'm not going to rewrite what others have written about regarding the violence and cursing, etc. Most have done an excellent job and they are pretty spot on. While there was a bit of cursing, it wasn't simply gratuitous for the sake of just saying it like many other movies are. Additionally, I was not cringing every time I heard it. Usually, there was enough action, or plot rather, going on that the words were not quite the focus.

As far as the violence - to be honest, I was expecting more based on the reviews that I saw here. From my recollection, there are only about 5 or 6 scenes that were fairly graphic, but nothing too off-putting. It's hard to say sometimes, but again I do not think it was gratuitous and fit with the movie, if that makes any sense. Most were over just as quickly as they began.

Finally, we are a Christian family and the plot of the movie was interesting and different and I was entertained the whole time; however, it wasn't really the best movie I have seen. There are some various Christian messages, but I am not sure it was really intended to be a full out Christian message. The story is more about Eli and his "mission" than it is the Bible or God. God does seem to play an important role and there are a few times that some good messages are shared by Eli. If I had to give one theme that stood out among the rest it would certainly be faith - Eli exemplifies faith in spite of adversity.

The main review of this movie above does bring up an interesting point that I thought myself - it is hard to tell if the director and writer of the movie was simply developing the "bad" character of the villain or rather presenting perhaps their own view of religion - but there are some hints that organized religion is simply a way to gain power.

As far as kids - we watched this with our 12 year old and I must say that as parents, we must know our own children and their maturity level. Age is just a number, and I know many 17 (and plenty that are older) who are very immature and know others that are younger that are more mature. I would have never let our 11 year old watch this movie - he has a problem with watching violence and doesn't know how to handle it. Our 12 year old though is very mature and quite a strong Christian. He can separate reality from the movies and understands what is okay and what is not okay. He, like myself, focuses more on the story than the cursing and the violence.

On that note, parents only you know your kids (at least, I hope that you do) and you should not let ratings alone determine what you let your children watch and not watch.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byrybro152 July 2, 2010

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byjesus3boy June 22, 2010
one of the best movies I have ever seen! I am a christian 20 year old and I don't mind the violence and language, this movie has christian influences like crazy! The main character is a true man of God surviving in a fallen world and carrying out His will. This is overwhelmingly evident in the last 10 min.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive Messages
Adult Written byFamilyofSix June 19, 2010
The other reviews give a good description of the violence, language, etc in the movie. On a positive note, I thought the main character was a good role model by defending the Word. He was very violent, but always out of necessity. The bad language was never used by the main character, that I remember. Overall the plot and turns in the movie were pretty interesting. I was a bit disappointed at the end when the book was put among others; that reduced the signifiance of the book. One reviewer said they took their 15 year old to see this R-rated movie and ask them to cover their eyes...that is ridiculous...how do you know when bad scenes will appear? It should only be seen by people out of high school.

This title contains:

Language
Positive role models
Adult Written byjoshua martinez June 16, 2010

17 and up.

great movie i love it perfect for your older teens but parents the book of eli has a lot of intense violence some strong language used and some characters drink in a bar.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent Written byPlague March 2, 2010

The Book of Eli

A well crafted movie. Plot is fantastic and Denzel plays his role with such flare.
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bySadygen February 12, 2010

Rated R for a reason.

I made the mistake of going into this movie without checking the reviews and I regret taking my son to it. He kept his eyes covered and 30 minutes into it, asked if we could leave. I completely agreed. Extreme violence/gore, nudity, vulgar language, etc. As much as I love Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman, I really couldn't stomach this one.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byybceran January 29, 2010
I took my 15 1/2 year old to see this movie. The movie has several violent scenes with lots of gore and blood and individuals die in very violent ways. However, these scenes are typically short and I asked my son to close his eyes during these scenes. The majority of the movie is Eli;s travel to the West and the savory people he encounters along the way. He delivers a underlying message of goodness even though he uses violence but only to protect himself. I think a mature 15 year old could see and the parent may need to monitor some of the scenes. However, I would not recommend for anyone younger.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Positive Messages

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