Movie Review

The Book of Eli also known as “Le livre d’Élie,” “Le livre d’Eli,” “Knjiga odresitve,” “O eklektos,” “Книга Илая”

MPAA Rating: R for some brutal violence and language.

Reviewed by: Laura Busch
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Western Action Adventure Drama
Length:
1 hr. 58 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
January 15, 2010 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: June 15, 2010
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
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Blindness in the Bible


Featuring: Denzel Washington (Eli), Gary Oldman (Carnegie), Mila Kunis (Solara), Ray Stevenson (Redridge), Jennifer Beals (Claudia), Evan Jones (Martz), Joe Pingue (Hoyt), Frances de la Tour (Martha), Michael Gambon (George), Tom Waits (Engineer), Chris Browning (Hijack Leader), [more]
Director: The Hughes Brothers: Albert Hughes, Allen Hughes
Producer: Alcon Entertainment, Silver Pictures, Brad Arensman, Yolanda T. Cochran, Susan Downey, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Erik Olsen, Steve Richards, Joel Silver, David Valdes, Denzel Washington, John David Washington, Richard D. Zanuck
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.”

review updated January, 23, 2010

Imagine a world ravaged by the horrors of war, where shelter, clean drinking water, and food, are rare luxuries, and the freedom to read God’s Word is something that many of these post-war citizens have never known. This is the post-apocalyptic world that protagonist, Eli (Denzel Washington), has trekked his way through over the past 30 years, fighting off bloodthirsty gangs that rule the roads of this lawless civilization. Eli is a Godly man, who is guided by his faith and call to protect and preserve the only copy of the Bible that survived the war. As he journeys across the desolate wasteland that is now the western United States, Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the power hungry despot who rules over a makeshift town, apprehends him. Carnegie wishes to seize the last copy of the Bible for his own selfish purposes, so that he can misuse God’s Word to gain ideological control over this war-torn society. Eli and Solara (Mila Kunis), a young woman from the town, guard the Bible from Carnegie, as they attempt to transport it into the hands of people who will respect and revere this sacred text, which holds the key to saving humanity.

Spiritual Content

“The Book of Eli” has an incredible Biblical message, which tells the story of Eli’s unwavering faith as he honor’s God with his life and follows God’s will no matter how hard the journey may be. We see Eli’s faith remain steadfast as he faces many trials and tribulations, including: gangs of bloodthirsty criminals, the power hungry Carnegie, and a lack of basic necessities, such as fresh water, food, and decent shelter.

Solara, a young woman whom Eli meets from the town, was born into this war torn society and knows nothing of the Bible or Christ’s teachings. She cannot even read. Eli mentors Solara and teaches her how to pray. When Solara asks Eli what the world was like before the war, he tells her about people’s wastefulness and how they wouldn’t think twice about throwing away things that people would kill for today. Later, Solara teaches her mother, Claudia (Jennifer Beals) how to pray.

After Solara joins Eli on his mission to preserve the Bible, she inquires about Eli’s inner-strength. He explains to her that he walks by faith and his commitment to follow God’s will has kept him strong. Later in the film, Solara asks Eli to read some passages from the Bible to her, so he recites several passages that he has memorized, and the beauty of the words move her.

“The Book of Eli’s” depiction of the depravity and chaos that reigns supreme in this Godless society that knows virtually nothing of Christ’s teachings, serves as a warning to those who wish to eradicate Christian principles from our modern culture.

This poignant film also reinforces the importance of studying Scripture and hiding it in our hearts, as the Bible commands us to do in Psalm 119:9-11,

“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

What advice do you have for new and growing Christians? Answer

“The Book of Eli” is a well-crafted film with stunning cinematography, a haunting score, and moving performances from the ensemble cast. Denzel Washington especially brings the amazing character of Eli to life with his passionate performance. All of these theatrical elements come together to tell a refreshing story of unwavering faith and obedience to God.

Objectionable Content

While “The Book of Eli”’s respect for the sanctity of God’s Word and the depiction of Eli’s obedience to God is refreshing and inspiring, especially in a mainstream film, brutal violence and language are pervasive throughout. “The Book of Eli” has a dark tone to it, and the directors’ (The Hughes Brothers—Albert and Allen) portrayal of this corrupt society is made more poignant through their use of gloomy sepia-tones.

The graphic violence depicted in this film may be disturbing to some viewers and was at times hard to watch, but it should be noted that Eli acts out in violence only in self-defense or to protect the Bible. Eli chops a highway robber’s hand off, and the bloodied hand can be seen lying on the ground as blood spurts out of it. Eli then proceeds to stab this man in the stomach, and he falls to his knees and dies. In several scenes, Eli must fend off a band of highway robbers, who are wielding, metal pipes, large knifes, and a chainsaw. We see blood, limbs, and heads fly as Eli fends off this band of men (this scene is largely shot in silhouette). Later in the film, this gang of robbers captures Solara, and they beat her violently and attempt to rape her (no nudity is shown), however Eli kills the men just before they can get to her. There are several scenes throughout the film where Eli and other men are involved in bloody gunfights. Men can be seen being shot in various parts of their bodies, bleeding, suffering, and dying. Machine guns and other explosives are used in another large fight scene. Several men are brutally stabbed throughout the film and fall to their deaths.

Other disturbing elements in “The Book of Eli” include several discussions of cannibalism, which further speaks to the depth of the depravity and desperation of this Godless civilization. At the beginning of the film. Carnegie forces Solara to offer herself up to Eli as a prostitute, as leverage to try to get Eli to relinquish the Bible to him. When Solara comes to Eli’s bedroom door to offer herself to him, he refuses and tries to send her away, but Solara pleads with him to let her stay or Carnegie will hurt her mother. Eli takes pity on Solara and lets her stay. He takes the opportunity to teach her how to pray and tell her about God.

A woman, who is being held by the band of robbers, wears very low-cut and cleavage bearing clothing in several scenes.

Some of the things that Eli must do to survive may be disturbing to some viewers. Eli kills a cat with an arrow, picks up the dead animal, and forcefully pulls the arrow out of the cat. He later roasts and eats the cat. Eli also removes shoes from a man who has been hung to death, and he puts them on his feet.

There are approximately 12 uses of the f-word, and the Lord’s name is profaned approximately two times in the film.

While I was disappointed to see the end of the film momentarily stray from its powerful Biblical message by subtly implying that the Bible is equal to other religious texts, this implication pales in comparison to Eli’s last amazing act of faith at the end of the film. Eli’s last act of faith and his obedience to God is powerful and moving and will leave every Christian in the theater wanting to renew their commitment to their faith.

Summary and Recommendations

Despite the heavy violence, mature thematic content, and offensive language, “The Book of Eli” is a thought-provoking film that has much to offer mature audiences, as it asks viewers to reflect upon their own commitment to Christ. Eli’s steadfast commitment to his faith and obedience to God no matter what the price, embodies Christ’s words in Luke 9:23,

“Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’.”

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—“The Book of Eli” is a good movie—not a great one but it’s very good. For a product of Hollywood, I’m surprised that it had some great Christian themes to it. Normally, mainstream Hollywood films aren’t like that. While I object to the violence and cannibalistic tendencies, I do like the fact that Eli teaches Solana how to pray, how to “walk by faith and not by sight,” and the 23rd Psalm. It’s not a Christian film per se; it just shows Christianity and the Bible in a positive light.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Shannon H., age 28 (USA)
Positive—“The Book of Eli” is an astounding film that was amazing to see in theaters. It revolves around an explicitly Christian message in a bleak world, and it moved me immensely.

The movie contains graphic violence and some profanity, however, and should only be viewed by adults who can handle it. But its message is heartwarming and the character of Eli is terrific. He’s a moral character (minus the violence), and he has a lot of raw humanity to him. His faith drives him, as well, which is so unexpected, but incredibly welcome in secular movies.

There’s prayer. There’s Biblical teaching. Even some examining of the Bible’s messages. There’s a great explanation of people’s take on the Bible as well, one wants to use it for power, one for a positive message. It’s a great commentary on contemporary Christianity to a degree.

Visually its a gray film with a lot of dust and dirt, seeing as it’s post-apocalyptic. But the music alone was worth the film, the main theme is inexplicably emotional and welled tears in my eyes with its sorrowful sound.

The plot has some great twists and turns and the world they have created is detailed and gritty. The action is stylized, but still not for the squeamish, as many scenes involve gunshots and machetes, knives and explosives. There is also some slang and profanity, but I find it was put to good use in order to create a contrast between the “good” and “bad” characters.

I recommend this film. It left me with a warm feeling and security in my faith I haven’t felt for a while. Which is something, coming from a movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Tim, age 22 (Canada)
Positive—This was an excellent movie. While it does depict the depravity of man in great detail, it redeems itself in the manner Eli honors God. It is a rare movie, full of imagery and symbolism. Denzel Washington’s performance is excellent. The plot, while admittedly slow to unfold, was coherent, with some profound surprises. The language and violence contained in this movie would normally earn it a thumbs down based on my Christian standards, but the story line here was so powerful it won me over. In fact, it is the only movie I can remember wanting to return to the theater to see again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michael, age 56 (USA)
Positive—This film is a strong testament to the power of the Word of God, even if some of it’s subtleties do not hit the viewer over the head. In the world of this film, we can clearly see life without God and how it devolves to a hellish-like existence. This film, despite it’s flaws is more a testimony than “The Passion…” ever was. Its message is strengthened by excellent cinematography featuring a bleak almost monochromatic world.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Keith, age 43 (USA)
Positive—How do you measure the entertainment value of a movie? Did it give you your money’s worth? Did it have positive themes? Certainly good, believable acting. How about audience applause at the ending credits? We found all of these with The Book of Eli.

It’s the story of a man on a mission trekking through a post-Apocalyptic America, where medieval highwaymen run in packs and rape-and-pillage gangs terrorize a bleak, sepia-toned landscape plundering anything of value, especially food and water. Bartering is a way of life, and the most prized currencies are lip balm and sanitary towelettes.

Eli is endowed with unique characteristics. First, he’s one of the few people remaining (30 years after “the flash”) who can read The Book he is carrying. He studies it every day “without fail.” He can also take care of himself in a fight against near-overwhelming numbers of hand-to-hand adversaries. And, Eli has an inner strength and pious nobility based on a sense of purpose in protecting The Book until he can turn its contents over to those who would properly preserve and revere it.

Some movie goers may wonder if Denzel Washington, a Christian in Hollywood, might have had an extra affinity for the role of Eli, a man with a devout purpose in the midst of worldly chaos and abject degradation. The objections viewers might have to the movie is the violence and overuse of the f-word.

Oh, and the positive themes? Good triumphs over evil, and truth always endures (especially, The Truth).
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—H. A. Stanley, age 60 (USA)

FOR FURTHER READING: Truth in the Bible / Goodness / Goodness of God / What kind of world would you create?

Positive—I saw the movie, “The Book of Eli” and loved it! Just as a side note, I have a personal walk with The Lord Jesus Christ and love Him to the extreme and will worship Him endlessly! Back to the movie, although I did not appreciate the offensive language and the vulgarity of mostly every scene, I respected the movie as a whole, because it displayed a REALISTIC view of how awful the world is WITHOUT the Lord. Real life is not so pretty, it’s vulgar, it’s violent, it’s ugly and offensive. Most Christians try to hide from these truths, but the bottom line is, terrible things are out there, and it is our job not to conform to them, but to oppose them with the Living Word of God. That is what Eli did in the movie; He displayed Jeremiah 31:33, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts,” and He fought against evil with the most power weapon given to mankind—The Word of God! I believe it was a very inspiring and awesome movie! If you can’t take the language (there were a lot of F-bombs), I recommend buying a edited version; it is a must see!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—R. Garcia, age 24 (USA)
Positive—“The Book of Eli” was, to me, an excellent movie. Not since seeing the movie “The Passion of the Christ” have I been so moved spiritually and positively in my faith. In response to some viewers who found the movie scenes of violence and language to be objectionable and extremely offensive, one must put these scenes in the proper perspective and context. The story takes place following a devastating nuclear war. All law and order, people’s sense of morality, pretty much all signs of civilization, have been lost. This is the world in which the main character Eli (Denzel Washington) finds himself in and tries to make the best of the situation.

A strong man of faith, Eli literally lives Psalm 23:1-4. He actually walks through the valley of the shadow of death and fears no evil, for the Lord was with him. Focused in purpose, he puts on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) to deliver to the west coast what appears to be the last remaining Bible on the planet.

True, Eli does sometimes commit shocking acts of violence, but he does so only in self defense of the Bible, himself and for innocent others. The Old Testament is filled with battles that were commanded by God to take place for the physical and spiritual safety of the Israelites in the Promised Land. One can only imagine the level of violence that took place during these wars. Are we as Christians to judge these acts of violence in the Bible to be objectionable and extremely offensive as well?

As for the language, Eli never says any words of profanity throughout the entire film. The only ones who do so are those who also choose to also physically attack Eli. These people are lost souls, who illustrate what can happen to people when they lack God’s guidance and wisdom in their lives.

As for objections to the scene placing the Bible next to other religious books, this also needs to be taken into context. If one has ever been to a public library, one will see the Bible as well as books from other religions placed side by side on the shelf. This does not mean that the Bible is in any way less in importance as other books or is it in any way a sign of disrespect for God’s Word. If you are a Christian and a true follower of God’s Word, you will see the Bible as the truth no matter where it is placed on the shelf at a library, bookstore, or in other other place. Placement does not always equal importance, and that was clearly shown in the film.

“The Book of Eli” was a terrific film that I would recommend to all people as a must see. The film has an R rating, and rightly so for some scenes, so it’s clearly not for children, but rather more for adults and teens, in the company of either their parents or legal guardians, to view. I am definitely seeing this again when it comes out on DVD. Bible study groups would greatly benefit by discussing the many Christian themes found throughout the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Les, age 39 (USA)
Positive—As a believer living in our immoral world and our lukewarm churches with an anti-christ government. I felt this movie was very realistic and appropriate for the audiences of today. The theatre was packed and at the end most silent and still reminiscent of the audiences in The Passion of the Christ. I was very touched to the point of tears in a good way. Sad to say, I felt I got more out of this movie as a Christian than I did sitting in my church listening to Pastors lukewarm sermon. I was inspired to read my bible more and try to get more scripture memorized as Eli showed us in the movie how powerful that is!! Especially if the day comes as in the movie they take our bibles away from us.

I believe this movie was an act of God to be shown to unbelievers as something to give them to consider—the reality of life without God and his Word! Many of these audience members will never come thru Church doors, but this movie allowed for them to think over their path in life and where this world maybe heading if it continues to reject God and his Word. As for the violence it was realistic for a world post apocalyptic, if you read the Old Testament and how God gave his prophets supernatural abilities to kill armies of heathen men, i.e., Samson or Elijah, you can relate to Eli and his sword.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Miriam, age 50 (USA)
Positive—This movie is sensational and extremely thought-provoking. The scenes of violence are quite graphic much like “300.” There are a good amount of F bombs. This is an adult movie but the message is remarkable and one that is rarely scene in anything produced by Hollywood. The movie really does not pick up until the second half but the ending will change your perspective on most things that we take for granted. This movie does not just point the things in daily life we take for granted, but things in our spiritual lives as well.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Clint Akin, age 30 (USA)
Positive—I won’t go to watch much Hollyweird garbage, but when I heard about the latest post apocalyptic movie that had a powerful depiction of an unwavering man of faith, I was intrigued. I was impressed with the message of hope it ended on and the reverence, though imperfect (what do you expect from Hollyweird), for the Bible. I am not at all offended by the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, being next to the Bible. I think they were bowing to political correctness in having the Koran placed there, but, once again, what do you expect.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chris N., age 42 (USA)
Positive—While this film contains some unnecessary bad language, as well as a few crude shots, it is very intriguing from a Biblical standpoint. It reflects the importance of the Word of God and the effect that it has on people. It also takes into account the negative manner in which people have used the Bible to elicit personal gain from the masses. The direct, miraculous working of God, through man, to preserve His word is very evident throughout the entire film.

This film is not for the weak in heart or mind. It raises some very important questions about the character of God, as well as the importance of the Bible in following Him. Overall, I would recommend this film to mature believers who know how to look past the few “F Bombs” and violence and see what is being said about God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jeremiah, age 25 (USA)
Positive—Overall, excellent, with great BIBLE undertones. Is violent and has language, but, overall, is a really great movie. One of Denzel’s best. Give it a try. Not for kids or maybe older peoples.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Pete, age 26 (USA)
Positive—The end of the world is quite the obsession in Hollywood these days. “The Book of Eli” is no exception. It’s one part Mad Max, one part Sunday sermon. I went in expecting it to be a typical end of the world movie. What I found was one of the best Christian tales from a secular company.

Denzel Washington plays a wandering vagabond heading out West.He carries a mysterious book in his satchel. His mission unknown, his skills however are flawless. In the first ten minutes he dispatches a group of bandits. Later on he comes across a town that is in the grips of the mayor bent on controlling the villagers by manipulating the words inside the “Book”.

The film contains hope and a strong message amid a bleak and desolate world. I found myself thinking about my own faith and taking things for granted. It made me think about how to spread the word to others and how to walk by faith. I really wish more Christian produced movies were this good. Sadly they are sunk down by bad dialogue not so much a bad budget. I recommend to 13 and up
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—B. Cerasi, age 22 (USA)
Positive—When I was a younger Christian, I watched movies that I now don’t have an interest in, but I would often wonder things like, “What if they just told the Monster to shut up in Jesus’ name?” The movie “Signs” which came out about a decade ago, was the first film I saw that actually attempted to answer that question—what would happen if you just had a regular movie depicting people overcoming great trials by using faith in Jesus Christ? “The Book of Eli” is another movie in the same vein.

This is not a movie for children, or even teens, due to the graphic nature of the depictions of depravity (rape, suicide, killing) and language, but I never felt that these depictions were gratuitous. They were a sobering reminder of how lost humanity becomes when Jesus is removed from the picture.

There were so many good messages in this movie—enough I felt that the good outweighed the bad by a landslide. Both Eli and Solara are willing to die rather than let The Bible’s message be warped and twisted and the hope it contains silenced.

It also reminds us gently that sometimes we can become so fixated on doing God’s work that we miss opportunities to reach out to people that are truly hungry for God’s message of love and redemption.

I also read comments about The Bible being shown as being equal to the Torah and the Qur’an. I didn’t get the impression that the movie was trying to imply equality. I think that they were merely showing that free will to choose God was being honored once again. And to clarify for any readers that don’t know—The Torah IS the word of God. It is the first five books of the Bible written by Moses, and is often grouped separately by Jews when studying the word of God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jennifer, age 32 (USA)
Positive—I just watched “The Book of Eli” and really liked it. I would NOT call it a Christian film, but it’s not exactly your standard Hollywood action, sex and violence film. It seems to be an attempt at reaching the masses who consider themselves “religious” or “spiritual”.

The story centers on Eli’s faith in God to accomplish what he’s been called to do. As a Christian, I was thrilled to see that. I was impressed by the moral character of Eli and that he didn’t curse at all in the movie. However, the cursing of other characters more than compensated to earn the R rating. I believe I counted 12 F-bombs throughout the film. I wasn’t thrilled with the language, but I’ve heard far worse. Considering this is a secular Hollywood film, all in all, I’d have to say the language wasn’t too bad.

As for the violence, I didn’t think it was overly gratuitous. I was glad to see there wasn’t a single sex or nudity scene.

The overall action and storyline, I thought, were very enjoyable and a step in the right direction from the average Hollywood blockbuster. If you’re sensitive to language and violence I would not recommend this movie. I personally enjoyed it and would recommend a mature Christian watch it. The themes in the film open doors of conversation with non Christian friends and acquaintances.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Justin, age 29 (USA)
Positive—Violence: Heavy / Sexuality: Moderate / Nudity: None / Language: Heavy / Morality: Good

Eli, a hardened survivor of a nuclear war, wanders the wastelands. Called upon by God, his only motivation is to protect the last remaining bible on earth, and to carry it west to safety. I will say right away that this film features a violent, harsh depiction of a post-nuclear war environment. language and bullets fly, people are beaten, molested, shot, stabbed, and blown up. Blood is minimal compared to other R rated movies, but still prevalent. All of this brutality however, is portrayed in a negative light. Those acts committed by the antagonists are vilified, and the blood shed at the hands of the protagonist Eli are shown as regrettable necessity, and he acts only in self defense.

Though Eli begins the film in a hardened, and unmerciful state, he slowly learns to follow the teachings of the bible he carries. Where this film truly shines is in its unflinching support of christian morality. God’s presence is clearly shown and a guiding and protecting force, and Eli’s faith affects those around him (A woman born after the war follows Eli on his quest and learns of God, and an enemy dies with an expression of repentance on his face for instance).

All in all the message of the movie is powerful and accurate to the Christian worldview. However, as an R rated movie, It is only recommended for those who can handle the brutality depicted. I’m pleased to see movies that affirm the Christian faith specifically instead of religion for religion’s sake.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andre, age 19 (USA)
Positive—As a frequent movie goer, I was pleasantly surprised by “The Book of Eli.” I expected this movie to be another post-apocalyptic tale (e.g., the Mad Max series of films). This turned out to be much more. The film focuses on Eli’s (Denzel Washington) mission from God. It is a story of faith and sacrifice, in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. The Bible is often quoted, and unlike in many movies, it is not done out of context or just to be clever.

There is no doubt that there is violence in this movie, as well as some (not excessive though) language. There is also suggested sexual content (though nothing actually taking place on camera). I assume these are the reasons for the R rating. I think those considering seeing the movie should be aware of what I mentioned above, and if easily offended should skip the movie. For those who understand why the film is R rated, and are able to deal with gritty/real type situations in movies, I would definitely suggest going to see this movie.

This movie really speaks to the strength of faith and the purpose derived from following God, even in the most challenging of circumstances. Rarely have I seen such an overtly positive and accurate Christian message in a Hollywood film, and for this reason I think we as Christians would be wise to support this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—John, age 36 (USA)
Positive—There are enough positive comments that articulate what I felt when I saw this movie, so I won’t elaborate! Giving it a “Moral Rating” was tricky because on one hand, there is graphic violence and language that would normally keep me from viewing it; on the other hand the overall message is very powerful and moving and, in the end, the Word of God, The Bible, is honored. I made up my mind to see it when some very well known Christian movie reviewers recommended the movie on the radio; something I don’t hear often. The truth is that if we wanted to avoid sin in all of it’s ugly manifestations in the lives of people, we would have to avoid the Bible. Most of the heroes of the faith fell very short of ideal in some way. So to anybody who, like me, wants to honor The Lord in all they do but may be reluctant to view this movie I would say, I did not feel like I was compromising my values AND give this movie until the end before making a final judgment!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Roland, age 40 (USA)
Positive—…a great movie! It was action packed, and it had an awesome message. I believe that this movie will reach a lot of non-Christians, even though it is not a “Christian” film, and for that, I am thankful. Of course, there is a ton of violence. In this movie, it’s pretty much the end of the world, and so that’s to be expected. There is also language that I didn’t care for.

I choose to rate this movie “offensive” because of the language and violence. There is no sex or nudity, and that made me very happy. I actually cried at the end of the movie because it moved me so much. I wish that more Christians would be willing to do what Eli did.

I will also say that I know Denzel has professed to be a Christian, but I don’t feel as if all of his roles have been good ones. That’s not to say that I think Christians can only act in “Christian” movies, but that I think if you profess to be a Christian, and you are an actor, choose your movies wisely. I was happy because I felt as if he finally wasn’t afraid to tell the world that he was a Christian with this film.

If you are a follower of Christ, this is such a great movie to see. What a thought to know that when the end of the world comes, people will be turning to us for many reasons.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Sarah, age 26 (USA)
Positive—I have never been more emotionally moved by a film than I was by “The Book of Eli.” I’m not exactly sure why, but I found myself overcome by tears throughout the entire end credits and for half the drive home in my car! The whole film exalts the Word of God as not only the most important book, but also the most important possession in the whole world.

The story takes places in a post-apocalyptic world after “The Flash” happened, creating a hole in the sky that allowed the sun to scorch the earth and all her inhabitants except those that had hidden underground. Emerging from his shelter a year later, Eli (Denzel Washington) had received a vision telling him the location of the last Bible on Earth, and entrusting him with the task of protecting it while he carries it west where he will “find a place where it will be safe.” (All the other Bibles had been burned as a suspected “cause” of the War.)

The movie begins “30 winters” after the start of Eli’s journey west. As the movie’s tagline says “Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.” Eli’s protector role has trained him into a warrior, able to fight for his cause in a world where the rule of law has broken down and mankind has become as wicked as it must have been in the days before Noah’s Flood. In the process, Eli manages to prevail in so many one-man-versus-many battles that only his promise of Divine protection allows you to suspend your disbelief.

The acts of violence and bloodshed (i.e. a hand cut off on screen, arrows piercing through sensitive body parts, cold-blooded murders) have earned the film an R rating.

There is also profanity from the bad guys, including some “F bombs,” though I never felt like I was being bombarded with it continually.

This film will likely not reach those Christians who shun all R-rated movies. However, in this case the use of profanity and violence seemed necessary to depict the wickedness of a culture without God and the Bible in contrast to the virtue of Eli, the man of God who reads “the same book everyday.”

Eli maintains his moral integrity throughout, even when tempted. In fact, the dichotomy between Eli’s virtue and the extreme Godlessness of almost everyone else in the film presents a ratings dilemma for the reviewer.

While our hero would rank as “Excellent,” most of the rest are, of necessity, “very offensive.” Taken together, I think the film presents a “better than average” overall message because evil is portrayed as evil, and good as good. All of this is worth it to get to the ending, which has an absolutely beautiful twist to it. I won’t give it away. I’ll just say that I felt convicted as a Christian for not loving and cherishing my Bible enough compared to all the “more things than I need” that Eli refers to in an earlier scene where he describes life before the War. Even if the film fails to reach a large Christian audience, we can pray that its powerful message will create a deep interest in and curiosity about the Word of God among the non-Christians who go to see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Edith, age 49 (USA)
Positive—Last year, we have “The Road.” This year is “The Book of Eli.” There’s already a comparison between the two end of the world films, but however, here is a popcorn action flick while “The Road” is more mellow, take your time is what I heard.

Anyhow, “The Book of Eli” is a strange apocalyptic movie. It tells the tale of Eli (Denzel Washington), a lone traveler who carries the only known surviving Bible in the world after a nuclear holocaust that laid waste the land and it’s desperate people. Being the sole carrier of the book, in a desolated township, the ruthless Carnegie (Gary Oldman) will stop at nothing to get his hand for the powerful rallying words in the book. Here is a surprising overtly religious work coming out of Hollywood.

I was profoundly moved by Eli as he shared a few words of blessing over dinner with Solara (Mila Kunis), who is under the shelter of Carnegie, and in turn, without knowing exactly what the merciless man really wanted, she recited the prayer to her mother, Claudia (Jennifer Beals) at breakfast under the watchful eyes and ears of Carnegie. This in turn prick his attention that Eli was the one who has the Bible that he so desperately need for his own vices. The film is all about the Bible and how valuable is the book and what men will do with it. More than any book including other religious books, none is more soul stirring and troublesome than that of the Bible, so stated the film, according to my interpretation.

Evil men will seek it and use it to no good deed. It’s like “killing in the name of God”—which sometime this film blurred that line a little bit where Eli kills without remorse or cowered away while innocent people were killed and tortured. This film is gritty and bloody from the Hughes Brothers who brought us “Menace II Society” and “From Hell.”

There is a passage where Eli prayed for his past sins and also when Solara apologizes for losing Eli’s book but Eli responds that it’s time he put the lessons he learned to use: “to do more for others than you do for yourself.” Although the film opened with a grim world where everything is dead, and most of the film is a tinted saturation where some scenes are dark to see the details, by the end, we are left with hopeful afterthought.

This film is not for children. There are extreme decapitations, shot by arrows, rapes (off-screen) and attempted rape, quite a few profanities and other action violence abound, including cannibalism.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Mang Yang, age 37 (USA)
Positive—Apocalyptic films are reaching a new height of popularity and maybe it’s something in people’s spirits that seems to know things in the world are getting bad, or maybe it’s just interesting for them to entertain the thought of what could happen in the not-so-distant future. “The Book of Eli” is a brilliant film about life for the human race after cataclysmic events. And while the film will greatly offend many viewers with the violence and language, it should be noted that if our world were ever to suffer such a trauma, the same conditions of lawlessness and evil would prevail. Humans, without law and spiritual guidance become depraved beings that give into their animal desires and push aside their conscience of what is right and wrong.

Denzel Washington’s performance was amazing as Eli, a lone wanderer on a mission from the Lord. He has the world’s treasure in his possession: a Bible. And apparently, it’s the last one. He knows that he must take this priceless book out west and deliver it into the hands of people who will be sure to protect it, and use it for the redemption of humanity. Eli walks through wastelands and sin-ridden towns, defending himself against raiders, gangs and even cannibals. Although the film is very dark and brutal, there is always glimpses of light as Eli recites scripture, teaches people to pray, and seems to conduct himself in an almost saintly manner.

I don’t want to give anything away about the plot and other characters, for I feel that “The Book of Eli” is worth your pennies and your time. A lot of thought material and challenges are presented to Christians and non-Christians alike. As I watched the film, I asked myself, “Do I take the Bible for granted? Do I take my faith in Christ for granted?” And with every terrible deed that lost souls committed on the screen, I could only believe that one day it really could become that terrible. Without God, there is no light, no justice and no hope.

I really hope people will go and see this film. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it is touching… and it’s probably the closest thing to a respectful “Christian” film that Hollywood had made.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Amber, age 29 (USA)
Positive—Denzel’s character Eli is a man on a mission, a 30-year mission (why 30-years?), to get a King James version of the bible to the West. The world at the time it is shown is 30 years after the “flash,” the world, barren. The air is of ashes. The people left are dangerous in the extreme. Rapists, cannibalistic and ever ready to jump those who seem defenseless. Eli defends himself and the Bible with a calm within himself, and uses his skills as a fighter. As an example, when he tells someone if they touch him again, they won’t get that hand back, he means it. The real kicker is when he does end up losing the Bible. He states to the girl he was protecting, that he had lost track of his mission. He needed to do more for others than for himself. And the man he “loses” the Bible to ends not being able to use it.

***SPOILER ALERT!!*** Did anyone even notice “Eli’s” blindness? It’s why the Bible was in the format it was. ***END SPOILER
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—J. Combs, age 56 (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie last night with my wife, we were looking for a movie to go see on a “date.” Thankfully for me she likes action movies and was supportive in going to see “The Book of Eli.” As many people have stated in the “negative comments” area and was well noted in the main review there is quite a bit of violence. Much of it was directed towards women and those scenes were the hardest to watch. The battering of a woman before she was raped near the beginning and the attempted rape of the main female in the film were disgusting. My wife was about ready to leave because it is a very sensitive issue, and she found it gratuitous. I, however did not, it could have been much worse, and in the world the film makers created, it was quite a realistic situation.

I thought it was quite interesting how in one scene describing the world before “the flash” Eli comments on what we had. “We had more than we needed, we threw away things men kill each other for now.” How much do we take for granted?

***BEGIN SPOILERS*** I was disappointed to see the bible placed between the “holy” books of other faiths at the end, though one commenter said they only made one copy, I don’t think that’s true, there was ONE copy placed with the other “holy” books, but that doesn’t mean it was the only one, God would not have led him there for THAT. There were no miraculous stories of the koran or any other books getting there. The film still gave the message that the God of the Bible lives, which is good, but if they were saying the God of the bible and the other books is the same… well they only have to compare the religions to see that is impossible.

I was glad to see that Eli repented of not living the way the bible had taught him and only focusing on the bible itself, especially when he abandoned a woman to highway robbers at the beginning. Another disappointment was when asked about what he had learned from the Book, he recited the golden rule. Guess the life, death and resurrection of Jesus weren’t too important, the lostness of man and our slavery to sin and the saving Grace of Christ weren’t quite as important as that… but it was better than nothing I suppose…

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, I thought that it was great how the film ended apart from the copy of the Bible being placed with the other holy books.***END SPOILERS***

The movie is dark, as the world would be in the presented story. I would suggest preparing yourself for some hard to watch scenes, if you decide to watch the movie, I think it’s worth it, though you may be like my wife and have some quite disturbing content ruin the film for you.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Cody Forsman, age 21 (Canada)
Positive—When Hollywood makes a film which deal with Biblical matters, I typically expect the worst, and am not surprised. This is a Hollywood film, it has gruesome fight sequences and the associated crashes and gunfights etc. It portrays a post-apocalyptic world in which there effectively are no Christians or even much memory of them, except for the film’s protagonist. If people are disappointed that such a world is brutal, violent, even sadistic, I think that makes natural sense.

The treatment of Eli’s faith and of the Word is far above what I would expect of a Hollywood film. The scenario of such a world is probably not biblical, but that’s where filmmaking and something called the conceit of the film enter. Take the scenario as it will, and willingly suspend belief, same thing as you’d do in Bond film. Within that context, the film is superb in its message.

For young Christian males who are fans of Terminator/Mad Max—and some older ones—like me;)—it was a terrific and welcome surprise. I would heartily recommend this film to any believer, provide they are the type who can handle this sort of violent post-apocalyptic, arms and legs being severed, cannibals, that sort of thing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Rigs, age 45 (Canada)
Positive—This was an excellent movie! I would not recommend that parents take children due to the amount of violence in the movie. The best thing about this movie is the fact that any adult can enjoy it. It was a movie with a very Christian purpose in a very immoral place. Non-Christians will be drawn to this movie and may even learn something from it! While there is foul language (less than in most movies) I don’t recall the main character using it at all. The main character is very accurate with his scripture. This is a MUST SEE!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jessica, age 26 (USA)
Positive—“The Book of Eli” was by far my most favorite movie, maybe in years. First of all, I am not a person that generally like violent movies with foul language, but, if you can get past that, it has an amazing Christian message of love and falling your call from God. I left the movie theater being very thankful for the ones that made this movie. Not too many movies today desire to give a Godly message of hope and someone following God to the point of what Eli did. Great movie, with a great message. Wish that the language would have been a bit cleaner though, but I have a very positive movie experience with this movie. Will be hard to beat!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Teri, age 51 (USA)
Positive—It’s an absolutely brilliant film, which even caused some “accuse” the film as Christian propaganda. I was amazed by the Christian spirit and strength of the movie.

***SPOILER*** Some people are offended that Holy Bible is placed along with other holy texts including Torah, but it’s a library and it was rightfully placed with the rest of the religious books. Now, why it doesn’t matter is because, it’s no longer the only copy of the Bible, they were printing in large scale, a mass production of Bibles, they are not printing any other texts like Koran but the Bible to guide the people of the world. That’s what really matter.
***END OF SPOILER***

Book of Eli, is a great saga of faith, humanity and morality in a dark world (one of the best visual effects of the post apocalyptic worlds in screen), where the protagonist unchanging faith is the key to the whole plot, where God wants to rebuild the world whom he loved so much (John 3:16).

Yes, there are a massive amount of graphic violence in the film, but again more than half of it is under the shadows, or off the screen. Directors tried to avoid blood whenever possible. Still, the violence and profanity were included to show how dark the world really is. And there are great lines which will make you smile and muse.

Solara: You said you’ve been walking for thirty years, right?
Eli: Right
Solara: Have you ever thought may be you were lost?
Eli: Nope
Solara: Do you know you’re walking the right direction?
Eli: Walk by faith not by sight.
Solara: (Sighs) What’s that even mean?
Eli: It means that you know something even if you don’t know something
Solara: Doesn’t make any sense
Eli: Doesn’t have to make sense, it’s faith… it’s faith, “It’s the flower of light in the field of darkness… giving me strength to carry on.” You understand?
Solara: Is that from your book?
Eli: No, it’s “Johnny Cash Live from Folsom Prison.”

It’s an action movie, filled with violence and gun-play and brutality but all those demerits will be diminished in front of the great message the Book of Eli gives. It’s not a movie for children but a definite for adults. I hope it will even make atheists to make interested, even start reading, Bible.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Cyril Thomas, age 29 (UK)
Positive—I have just come away from viewing this film, and I admit I may still be under it’s spell, so to speak, but this may be one of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen. To those who speak negatively because of a few curse words (uttered by the villains) or some violence, have you ever read the Bible? Honestly, this story feels strongly like it might have come right out of the pages of some kind of alternate-reality Old Testament. The end is so moving, I was in tears. Every believer ought to see this film. We ought to be giving this kind of thing our full support.

***MILD SPOILER ALERT*** Yes, the Bible is, in the end, placed in a place of honor among other religious texts, and histories, and great music and other literature.
***END SPOILER***

This is not silly Christian-eze pabulum for the churchgoer. This is a work of art that speaks volumes about the power of the word and the power of “story,” and the power of history in general, and about the power of the Word of God in specific. And in the end, when Eli’s great act of faith is revealed, and the viewer suddenly realizes what’s been happening, it’s revelatory—it feels so authentic. I am in awe.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Timothy Blaisdell, age 46 (USA)
Positive—I thought this movie was a powerful movie for Christians. Although there is objectionable content in this movie, if watched with TV Guardian it is not that bad. There was NO nudity, and as the film is dark and in sepia tones throughtout most of it, the violent scenes are not that gory. Some do not like that Eli fought and killed people to protect the WORD, but I think this is a great example of how important the WORD is!

God killed those who touched the Arc of the Covenant, also. And, although, some people don’t like that Eli stood by while a woman was raped, I think that it was quite evident that he was doing so because of God’s leading. He had to tell himself NOT to intervene several times! His flesh cried out to save her, but the LORD was telling him to stick to the path, and not to stray!

The whole movie is about protecting the WORD of God, and hiding those words in our heart! And to those who think that the end of the movie lessened the importance of it, I disagree. They placed the Bible on a shelf with other books, BUT they DID print more than one copy. If you watch it coming off the printing press, the first page of Genesis is printed over and over!

Overall, it is an excellent example of what we should be willing to do for God. And it spreads the truth that HIS WORDS WILL NOT PASS AWAY!! The WORD of GOD WILL last Forever!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Deanna and Jeff C., age 30 and 39 (USA)
Positive—I thought the movie was really awesome. The movie kind of reminded me of the game “Fallout 3,” but with a sipiritual context. This movie showed me what’s really important in life—what we take for granted on a day-to-day basis. The plot was pretty good, a few twists and turns and the message of faith has been restored within me. The music really made me connect with the character.

A lot of the people’s reviews say it is offensive, morally because of the violence and swearing. I don’t think that its offensive because thats the world we live in and I think that’s a good way for people (non-believers as well) to actually watch the film and relate to it. Saying that, I’m no “holy joe”, but when you watch it in the right context you understand why they used it.

The message of faith and the Word of God is what truly matters and I believe the same goes with our relationship with Christ. I’ve been inspired to better myself from this movie, like to learn and know the Word verbatim and spread the Word and wisdom with the world. It is a rare movie to watch and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Daniel, age 23 (South Africa)
Positive—“The Book of Eli” has a strong Biblical message, which was a surprise coming from Hollywood. Eli’s strength was found in his unwavering faith in God—the God of the Bible (I might add). On a positive note, Eli demonstrated good Christian moral conduct when he turned down Solara’s offer of sex. The picture drawn of a post apocalyptic world was depressing, and the violence was intense, yet in a way, believable for that kind of society. Overall, I applaud Hollywood for finally getting something right.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dawn, age 39 (USA)
Positive—One might object to the violence in the film, and not want to see it because of same. However, the violence in this film pales in comparison with the wars at the time of King David. While violence may indeed be frightening, and reason for some to object, it is not reason for a moral equivalency. Saul killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dad, age 54 (USA)
Positive—Just finished watching this movie (should have viewed it some time ago!). Those who say they were offended by the language, violence and it’s graphic nature certainly have a good point and a case to be made for toning it down a bit.

During the first 30 or so minutes my wife and I did ponder whether or not to continue watching. When it became apparent, though, that ‘the book’ Eli was protecting was the Bible, we decided to continue watching to see how Hollywood would treat this story. I was very surprised!

The movie did not at all denigrate Eli’s faith, love for God, emotional or intellectual disposition towards his commitment to God or his apparent ‘walk’ with God. Nor was Eli portrayed in any other way as a ‘wacko Christian’ with crazy ideas about God. If nothing else, and despite all of the carping by other viewers about where the Bible was placed in the last scene or the language and behavior of the ‘bad guys’ or whether or not Eli got the great commandment right or not…the message of being sold out to God and walking by faith when He calls is one of the most powerful I’ve seen in a movie.

Even though I agree that the violence and language was over the top, Eli’s example of faith and commitment to the God of the Bible was, I think, more dramatically amplified against the backdrop of depravity as depicted in the movie! Think about it. We see, live and experience it every day in our own lives and are unable to turn it off or otherwise ignore it. It is REAL; and oftentimes unavoidable.

And the portrayal of man’s inhumanity and sin nature in this movie was done in a very real way. I’m not giving it a free pass; nor am I trying to justify it for art’s sake. But I was not dissuaded in any way from the good impact Eli’s example had on me and my faith by the questionable scenes in this movie! The Bible is full of stories involving bad guys, wars, murders and other salacious behavior.

Like the Bible, the movie illustrates no great reward or benefit to such living. Quite the opposite. There is condemnation and consequence for disobedience and rebelliousness to God. Eli lived as a man at peace with God; with a purpose; and a comfort knowing where his destiny was. He was sold out to God; to the point of literally trusting his next breath to Him!

The bad guys had no such comfort or peace or sense of destiny. Nothing about the way they lived in the movie should be attractive to anyone. Eli, on the other hand, is shown to be a man admired; an example of just how far God expects us to demonstrate our faith in and obedience to Him! Two thumbs up!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David M., age 64 (USA)
Positive—“Book of Eli” is a great, action-packed movie. I loved the depth of the movie and how all the gruesome scenes slowly turned into a God-glorifying film. To be honest, I hated the brutality, and I couldn’t look, at times, but, somehow, it was like talking to me, that this is reality. Open your eyes! People are killing each other far more brutally than what we saw! People are raping each other and are wearing far worst clothing than the women there! The movie depicted what our society is like right now—Godless and lost. People do what they want and people want power, above all.

See how they depicted that Gary Oldman is the head of the “foodchain” in terms of power but in the end, he will be forgotten but the man who walked the walk of faith will be remembered for providing us with the last copy of the Bible.

The greatest emphasis on the film, for me, is following without seeing what will happen to you—faith. Faith beyond wonders, faith beyond anything we can imagine. As I focused on that aspect, no matter how brutal the scenes are, I feel touched, because of the great faith Eli has. David killed men for the Name of God —similar to what Eli did, he fought against those men to protect God’s Word, so that it may be passed on.

I remember this scene where he saw a couple attacked by a bunch of bandits, killing the man and then raping, later killing, the wife. It was a disturbing scene, but Eli said something simple, “Don’t stray from the path”. No matter how offensive the scene is, we must continue looking at what God wants us to look at! Stop glancing from left to right, because it won’t benefit us! Let’s persevere in our walk of faith and stop glancing from side to side! We have one goal, one faith! Though we have different callings, we have one God.

Lastly, I would like to say that this is a better than the average film because, yes, it showed a great truth, but the scenes just disturb me so much, so it won’t be a good watch for the younger generations.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Meg, age 20 (Philippines)
Neutral
Neutral—First of all, God did not say anything about a nuclear apocalypse, and then ten thousand years later Jesus will come again.

***BEGIN SPOILER*** At the end, the Bible is placed with the Qur’an (the Muslim bible) and the other “religious books,” meaning the Bible is equal to the other religious books.
***END SPOILER***

The main character does live by the King James Version Bible, though. I will, however, be buying this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Colt, age 25 (USA)
Neutral—I walked away from this film with very mixed emotions. Yes, the language was horrible and the film violent, but you had a character that was portrayed as doing what God called him to do and was not a complete crazy Christian. I was disappointed in a portion of the film where the main character stands by and watches a man and women be attacked by several men in a motorcycle gang and does nothing to stop the woman from being raped and both of them killed. He tells himself to stay out of it and go on with his God given mission. Disappointed there but… when the situation arises again with the young lady he is traveling with he learns from the mistake and even says in the film something to the effect of “reading the Bible and knowing it is different than living it.”

We all know that even the devil can quote scripture. His character seems to grow in that sense and gives the viewer the idea that although not perfect the character grows in his understanding and faith. He is righteous in his intensions with the young lady and does not do anything to tarnish the fact he is a follower of God in that sense. That is refreshing. Teaching her to pray, showing kindness and respect.

The final issue as many others have indicated was that it was very disappointing to see that although it obvious in the film God was with “Eli” and that a miracle had taken place to get both him and the girl to a place where the Bible could be taken care of, that it appeared to be treated like every other book after all that. A long and obvious shot of one copy being printed and slowly stuffed ostensibly on a self between the Koran and the Torah. (As if no more or less important than these other books.).

Although I believe you go away with the feeling that God exists and did in fact direct and ensure his will was completed by delivering this Bible to “save keeping,” it is difficult to determine if the directors goal was to say… people are given the gift (His Word telling of the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ) and stick it on a shelf and don’t understand or appreciate it’s power any more than any other religious book, or if they (the producers) were just trying to be politically hip and say at the end “well we aren’t saying that the Bible is or is not any more important than these other religious books, see we stuck it in there in the middle of the Koran and Torah, no harm no foul. So all you followers of those books don’t be mad at us ok? That is a question I am still pondering…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—M M, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—This movie raises some interesting questions. If there was only one Bible left in the world how is it a ‘weapon’ in the wrong hands? Well, people often distort the truth for their own gain. In the book of Eli we see that most people were raised illiterate in a post apocalyptic world because books were burnt and scarce. In the wrong hands the bible could be used to indoctrinate the masses to follow a particular leader. In our history so many leaders have raised up different denominations from the bible. And not all of them practice sound doctrine! It’s a call to know the truth by receiving the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all the truth (John 16:13).

Secondly, is murdering people to carry the very message ‘do not murder’ justifiable? In the movie, Eli only murdered those who wanted to murder him in order to preserve the truth. Now, maybe in the last 42 months of the Great Tribulation (see Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:15-21 and Revelation 11:2-3) where I expect bibles will be burnt, there could be a situation remotely similar to this with a lack of bibles in circulation.

However, for Eli to murder so many people on his quest flies in the face of so many scriptures, let alone ‘faith without works is dead’! (James 2:20). Eli may know the word of God by heart but sins against the truth by murdering people. His actions make a mockery of the golden rule “… whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” Matthew 7:12 (NKJV), the very scripture that he quotes and has learnt in life!

Do we side with Eli because of the lawless society he has to survive in? Yet he was told he would be protected on his journey. And why go it alone? Thanks be to God that the Book of Eli is only fictional and is not how the world is going to end. In reality The Lord throughout history has always found a way to keep his word known. I am sure God is quite capable of doing that through servants who honour his word! I have much to say about this movie but in short it’s a murderous, violent romp that makes you think.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Martin C, age 39 (Australia)
Neutral—I was persuaded to see this film because of the many positive comments here at ChristianAnswers.net. Wow! Did those viewers see the same film I did? First of all, I can’t believe the reviewer gave the film a moral rating of “average”—the number of f-bombs alone drops the film into at least the “offensive” category. Second, and more important, there is little, if any, redeeming spiritual quality. Eli completely missed the most important lesson to be learned from his precious book; having memorized the entire bible, one would think he would remember Matthew 22:36-40. Loving your neighbors is only the second greatest commandment—the first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. I found it difficult to reconcile the fact that God supposedly told Eli that he would be “protected” on his journey, but most of Eli’s protection came from his own hand and was dealt at the end of a gun or word. Eli was quick to dispense wrath, but never once bothered to share the message of salvation that is the central theme of the book he carried.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Chris, age 46 (USA)
Negative
Negative—First of all, see the movie; it is not without Christian merit, as evidenced above. My complaint is with the profanity. It seems that Hollywood has forgotten the capability of the English language to express strong emotions. In a misguided quest for reality, today’s scriptwriters feel they must always use profanity, but those great lines that become immortal rarely need it: The hoodlum portrayed by James Cagney is not likely to have said simply, “You dirty rats!”, and Clint Eastwood’s angry cop probably didn’t stop at “Make my day!”. But would we remember those lines if they were more realistic? Call it a hang-up, but it is one that I am proud to share with the apostle Paul: Dirty stories, foul talk…these are not for you. Ephesians 5:4
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brian Schacht, age 63 (Canada)
Negative—I am very surprised at all the positive ratings. I thought the movie was very dark, very predictable, and I found the language very offensive. To have a curse words and a vulgar word for a female part in a movie about the Bible is offensive. I understand it was about saving the scriptures, which by the way was placed next to the Koran and Torah at the end, as if they were all the same (which again was offensive as a Christian), but it was just another violent movie that happened to have a Christian element. That does not make it a good movie. I wanted to walk out, but my husband wanted to watch til the end, so I just put my coat over my eyes and tried to sleep til it was over.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Gloria, age 44 (USA)
Negative—Not having read or seen any reviews, I went to it because someone mentioned it was a good movie. What a disappointment. But what’s more disappointing is how people will attempt to spiritualize this violent movie and actually recommend it. Don’t be deceived, this is not a Christian movie. It is an anti-christian movie. There were three strong negative impressions the movie left with me:

1. Carnegie, the little kingpin’s explanation for wanting the Bible. It was a direct slam against Christians.

2. ***SPOILER ALERT*** Only ONE copy of the Bible was printed and placed among other reading material, in effect declaring the Bible is of no real importance. ***END SPOILER***

3. In the end, Eli looks to be dressed in a muslim attire… Just another jab at the Christian right.

I nearly walked out a couple of times, but persevered to the end.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—WT, age 58 (USA)
Negative—I am disappointed by the number of Christians who are so excited to see a movie where the Bible is featured prominently that they are completely ignoring the un-Biblical and un-Christian nature of the film. Our “hero” is basically a butcher who chops people’s hands off for touching him, there are numerous rapes and attempted rapes depicted on film (whether they were explicit or not is irrelevant), and even some of the theme was disingenuous. For example, the villain subscribes to the myth that the Bible is a weapon that holds power over men’s minds. In fact, the Bible was ILLEGAL in the Middle Ages precisely because it freed men’s minds and put no human between us and God. Eli never explains this to the villain, and we are left to wonder if it is true. Even from a cinematic standpoint, the revelation at the end regarding Eli’s eyes was more laughable than spiritual. He was basically a cold blooded butcher who killed in the name of protecting the book. That is not a message we need to hear right now.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—David C, age 42 (USA)
Negative—Well, it’s a “dark” movie with lots of violence. It reminded me of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” but the only good in it was the Bible.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Jerry, age 57 (Canada)
Negative—If you liked Mel Gibson’s “Mad Max,” you will enjoy this one. It is very dark showing man’s capacity for depravity with a Bible thread. Much violence, attempted rapes, many bloody killings, maimings and heavy cursing. Personally, I would have left early, except for all the positive reviews above kept me waiting for it to get better. The ending was “nice,” but one has to wade through a stinking swamp to get there. My wife had the same reaction—wish we had done something better.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Ray, age 58 (USA)
Negative—…4 stars should have been 1 star… What an enormous and astounding disappointment this film was! My wife and I went out to see “The Book of Eli” based on all the hype it was receiving as a “must see” and “great” film for Christians to support, from several Christian media sources. Without going into all the problematic details, which others have mentioned, watching this movie was like purchasing a bag of popcorn after smelling that irresistible aroma of freshly popped popcorn, and then opening the bag only to find a mass of burned, over cooked kernels filling the air with that putrid burnt smell that is nauseating. Yes, there were a half of a dozen redeemable kernels in the bag, but that did not make us feel any better about being mislead and ripped-off (because we’d like our money back). “The Book of Eli” is a “great” religious film for religious people. True Spirit filled Christians will leave the theater filling empty and disappointed.

The Bible was just a religious book (as in an important literary and influential work of history that was good to have persevered, but not understood as the only true and authoritative word of God) and Denzel Washington’s character could have just as easily been portraying a good Buddhist or a dedicated Muslim, who felt lead to preserve their historical roots. Jesus Christ, repentance, witnessing to the truth when opportunity arose was censored out by Hollywood in this film, as usual. Denzel, as a co-producer and lead actor, I believe could have changed that and saved the film from being a complete disaster. The film is superficial and hollow spiritually, from the perspective of the kingdom of God. I guess I should not be surprised that so many Christian leaders and media outlets give it such high praise, as it is a film that has such a passionate appeal to the shallow religious mind.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Terry, age 51 (USA)
Negative—…This movie was very offensive, from the extreme use of the f-word and other offensive language, to the rape scenes and the extreme violence.…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Marcie, age 52 (USA)
Negative—I would have to disagree with the reviewer in saying this film was Average in it’s Moral Rating. To mention the Bible or have a story line about the Bible does not make the rest of the content irrelevant. I have noticed other reviews on this site as Offensive while this is Average, and I have to shake my head in confusion. As others have said, there are rape scenes. One where a gang goes after a woman and Eli finds her on the road later, topless. Carnegie offers women up to men like he’s running a brothel; the violence is heavy; the language is foul. I knew as an R movie this would not be a nice one, and I knew he was protecting the last copy of the Bible, but this movie is offensive in its content. There is no getting around that. I am no prude, in that I do see R movies, but call a spade a spade.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Andrea, age 37 (USA)
Negative—Viewers should note that this movie is “R” rated and for good reason. For anyone who loves the Lord, there is plenty to offend your senses. Two broad themes in this movie are, first, a religious theme, and, second, a violence/profanity theme. The latter way outperforms the former, by far. From violently using a blind woman as a hostage, to a violently attempted gang rape, from using the “F” word 50 to 100 times, there is plenty here to assault anyone’s sensibilities who loves the Lord and the Bible. If you loved “Kill Bill,” this is more of the same. But, if you love Phil. 4:8, stay away from this trash—you will regret every moment you wasted on this violent and very vulgar wasteland of a movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—C Franklin, age 50 (USA)
Negative—No! No! No! Do not see this film! After reading so much positive; descriptions like our church should study this movie, I felt compelled to see this in hopes that it would move me forward with my walk with God. This movie is full of powerful images of depravity, killing and evil. This totally overrides the small glimpses of good, which after 3 weeks I didn’t remember, but just last night I had a nightmare of evil men ravishing a town that were similar to these characters (never dream like this). The NEGATIVE is very strong and will register strongly in your minds-Once it has entered it is imprinted permanently and can only be diluted.

Sometimes I make wrong movie choices, and this was one of them. We need to guard our minds—and BE HOLY as our Father IS HOLY! The movies that make my heart soar are movies like Return of the King, or Avatar, I see imbedded in the author’s creativity whether they’re Christian or not, OUR greatest hope and expectation, that the SON IS RETURNING the quest for “the one.” Open Genesis and read and read, let us all draw nearer to our God (I am at Joshua now) / movies a couple of times a month (if there are any good ones!!) Reading EVERY day!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—havarainbowday, age 40 (Canada)
Negative—Christians, please do not watch this film! I am a Bible believing Christian who believes in the second coming of our Lord Jesus, and a great tribulation after the rapture of his Church, but I cannot recommend the film. A good ending is no excuse for all the F-bombs and the expletive GD in a movie that appeals to Christian audiences. It is very violent and full of offensive language. There is, also, much violence against women, including rapes and beatings. I do know that these will be common in the end times, but we have a good imagination and expect these things to be left out of a film that is supposed to appeal to us.

I shredded my copy to avoid offending anyone else. The acting was very good, the movie quality and special effects were good and believable, but this movie is very offensive and only has a few redeeming qualities. The end does not justify the means. I wish I didn’t see it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—John Brown, age 52 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie is one the very best movies I have seen in a long time, both from a moviemaking perspective and a Christian perspective. It does earn its “R” rating with violence throughout the movie and a few cuss words (none of them by Eli) and is also realistic in portraying what becomes of societies when they turn away from God’s word (cannibalism, mass prostitution, murders). That being said, this is certainly not a movie for children or immature teens but I strongly believe that the deep themes of the movie outweigh the violence and objectionable (yet realistic) content by far.

This movie touches on the importance of knowledge (especially biblical knowledge), society’s need for the absolute truth and guidance of God’s word, God’s omnipotence, the power and importance of absolute faith in God, and many more worthwhile themes and undertones that one is able to benefit from if you pay attention. Overall, a fantastic movie with a very positive outlook on Christianity and a lot of deep content to consider.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Tyler, age 17 (USA)
Positive—My father and friend, who is only a year older than me, went to go see this movie with high hopes of that it’d be good, quality-wise and religion-wise. We hit the nail on the head. The score of the film was fantastic, as well as the post-apocalyptic setting. Ms. Kunis, Mr. Washington, and Mr. Oldman were excellent in portraying there characters, too. Although very dark and eerie, their world left me feeling like something would pop out at any second.

Eli is VERY set on keeping his word to God, no matter how hard it is and how… persuasive people are to him. He encourages Solara to believe just as he does and to always follow God’s word. He reads from the Bible every moment he can and absorbs God’s teachings. Although the overall theme and moral is very positive, sometimes you may forget about it due to the violence.

***SPOILER ALERT!!*** Although in shadow, there is one extremely violent scene where there is blood squirting, heads falling, limbs flying, chainsaw/large machete action that some viewers may find disturbing. A skinless cat gets pierced with an arrow for Eli’s dinner, there is a bloody bar fight where long knives, chainsaws, axes, etc. are involved, Solara is nearly raped until Eli saves her (by shooting one man in the neck and the other in the crotch… both as bloody as the next), there are many shoot-outs, and an elderly couple are shown as cannibals (although you don’t see them actually eat anybody, you can tell by the graveyard in there backyard and the unusually bloody meat in their fridge what they really are. Even though they want want to eat them, they also help Eli and Solara in fighting off Carnagie and his goons). ***SPOILERS OVER***

Although bloody and violent, and though it did deserve it’s rated-R rating, it was expecting a whole lot worse. Like, District 9 worse. The violence was heavy and it was NOWHERE NEAR a kid’s movie, but I feel like the point of the film and it’s Christian point of view seemed to overshadow it. Not by much, but just barely enough to make it a refreshing movie and… left me thinking.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ruthie Moore, age 13 (USA)
Positive—I saw “The book of Eli” with my older cousin, not at all knowing what it would be like, I didn’t even know the plot. I read all the negative comments and chose to go see the movie. This movie is very gory and if you can’t stand that or have a weak stomach I advise you not to view this film. I personally do not condone the profanity (there is a moderate amount, all of it is not needed) but I try not to focus on it. I don’t think this movie is for anyone fifteen and under.

I think this movie was a great description of our journeys towards Christ, we do not know where we are going we are just lead by a voice, “His voice.” We have to trust fully on God. We are all heading the same place we are just taking the path Christ has chosen for us and if we are faithful God will take care of us and remove distractions that come in our way. The path that Eli takes is the one that was chosen for him, and he had to battle for his life to finish the journey set for him. Eli always gives the ones in his way a chance to back down. He had to fight his own battles to trust that God had his back and what he was doing was right.

In the movie there is a great need for water and food because of the happenings of previous years, and Eli tells someone that things that were thrown away before are so important now that they did not have them at their disposal. We need to appreciate everything and not take anything (or anyone) for granted. don’t get so caught on the unimportant materials. The overall look on this movie is we need to strive for Christ, in a Godless world don’t spend too much time on the distractions they come and they go. If you focus on God He will take care of them and he will always take care of you. Don’t take necessaries for granted. Bad things happen to everyone sometimes that brings us back to Christ. don’t look away from him so the trials will not affect you as much because there is always sun (Son) after rain. Look towards the Son. I really urge you to see “The Book of Eli.”

***SPOILER ALERT***
Eli, in the end, turned out to be blind the whole time. Just like him we are blind to what Christ has for us but if we obey Him and listen we will always get through our trials.
***END SPOILER***
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dara, age 17 (USA)
Positive—I think that this is a great action movie. The effects and camera movements were spot on, and the modified tones gave the effect of a dark and dreary environment in the viewer.

Acting? Denzel Washington. Nothing else to say. 5 for movie quality.

Morals: The language was fairly annoying, but didn’t spoil the movie for me. After all, the bad guys will do… yes… bad things. It’s expected. Movie makers need to make the antagonists offend you, that way you won’t feel sorry for them when the protagonist defeats them. This is why the bad guys were so offensive to some of the Christians that saw this movie. With a morally strong christian on one end (Eli), they had to have the opposite on the other side.

I think this movie showed a good Christian standing out in a world of evil, and working hard to protect the Bible. I like to watch good action movies, and enjoy them most when they are cleaned up for TV. This movie will be great when it’s put on TV and all the curse words are removed. The blood/gore isn’t that offensive to me, after all I’m a teenage boy. As for all of the religious differences such as for the Bible being next to the Quran, I don’t believe that doing that is right. The BIBLE is God’s word, not the Quran. Although, I didn’t feel like this was directly stated, and it’s not like they were trying to convert people to Islam. So, I just kind of ignored it.

Overall, this movie was slightly offensive to me. The drama, action, and biblical elements are a great combination. Without the curse words, and just not caring about the violence, this was a good movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Luke, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I thought this movie was barely offensive. the few f-words could’ve been replaced, but that’s life and they truly do show the aspects of the villains that use them. Denzel should win big things for his performance. it has a great christian message and the violence in the film is needed to explain into the movie. Its a must see for drama movie lovers who are also christians. Its in my top 5 favorites. Its a little dark, but I found any thing wrong in the movie was necessary to enhance the film. It was Great!!!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Matt J, age 15 (USA)
Positive—After reading all the comments/reviews on this page, I was a little bit disappointed that half the comments/ reviews were negative, I thought this was an awesome movie, before I watched this movie my faith was slipping away, I was starting to lose sight of Jesus, now when I read all these comments/reviews I saw quite a few of them said, “Do not Watch this movie!!!” Good thing I did not read those comments before seeing this movie, the thing is if this movie was so bad and so offensive, WHY DID IT MAKE ME RENEW MY FAITH, I was heading the wrong way, now I believe that God wanted me to see this for a reason, I think God let this movie happen for a reason, more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—David, age 14 (South Africa)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I got up and left after the second scene where several people were cut up and limbs and heads were cut-off. It is sickening that viewers laugh at such scenes.
—Gary, age 49 (USA)
Negative—After reading the positive comments from this site, my boyfriend and I decided to go see the Book of Eli, a movie others claimed “strengthened their faith.” Much to the contrary, we left after about a half hour. My only regret is that we didn’t leave sooner.

To begin, the foul language was awful, with several f-words. The violence was extremely grotesque, with footage of limbs and heads being sliced off and blood squirting everywhere. To compare, it was far worse than other films like “Gladiator” or “Saving Private Ryan.”

Finally, while the sexual conduct of the main character may be positive, he does absolutely nothing to stop a gang from raping and killing a woman. While this is not shown, the nude upper half of her dead body is.

All in all, while the movie may have had a good message, the way in which that message was conveyed was ultimately disturbing. I could not recommend this movie to anyone. It was neither appropriate nor entertaining.
—Jessica, age 18 (Canada)
Neutral—“Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you” is the message of the Bible? Are you kidding me? Not the Bible that matters? How else would you know God other than the book HE gave us to know him by. The message of the Bible is we are all sinners and will go to hell, eternally in torment and separated from God if we don’t follow Jesus Christ. The only Lord and Saviour. The entire Bible is about Jesus Christ.

This movie is technically heresy. What is heresy you ask? A denial or deviation of true doctrine. This movie is all about that. And putting the Bible on equal footing with books of other, false, religions? What is that saying? All religions are equal? All religions lead to the same God? All religions lead to the same place? Come on… This is another example of Hollywood dictating what Christianity is about and warping the message that Jesus brings. Twisting the message and leading people astray, onto the wide path rather than the narrow path.

Sad part is that people believe Hollywood even knows what Christianity is about. Or if they did they would want you to know… They don’t on either front. If you are wanting a post-apocalyptic, action, movie then you will enjoy this. If you are wanting a movie that will change peoples lives with the true message of Christianity, you will be sorely disappointed. Even so called Christian movies have a hard time doing that, and typically do a poor job. Don’t be fooled by the message of this movie. It is not Christian. If you want Christ, go find a church that teaches the Bible. Read the Bible

You will not find Christ in the movies. As an action movie it is fine, as anything Christian it is utter drivel. This movie is part of the war on Christianity. And is is on the enemies side.
—Robert, age 44 (USA)
Positive—My family was watching this movie, and I came in about a quarter of the way through and watched it till the end. I’d say it was a decent, moderately enjoyable movie. There was some language and sexualized dancing. I think this movie is appropriate for fifteen-year-olds and up, as it’s too much for kids younger than that. The movie probably should have been rated PG-13, as it really did push the PG boundaries. However, it did have a good message about pursuing something you love with people who love you. It discussed how success, money, and prestige, aren’t the most important things. I found the final group performance very touching and inspiring.

That said, this movie certainly wasn’t the best of its kind. It focused on too many characters, and thus they lacked depth and development. The scenes seemed heavily edited and cut down too much. Overall, this was a good movie to older teens, as it raises some thought-provoking questions. But it’s not a movie for all ages, the inappropriate content should stop parents from letting their tweens view this film.
—Beth, age 20 (Canada)
Negative—Like many people who commented on the negative side, I was under the impression by fellow Christians that this was a great movie. My husband and I turned it off. After using God’s name in vain in a way that I consider the worst, I could take no more of the movie. Of course, after considering how much we already saw, we felt we should have left after the use of the female body part in a profane way.

To think that Christians could relate to this movie in a positive way is beyond me. As Christians, we need to be extremely careful about what we are watching. Just because a Hollywood movie has a Bible in it does not make it a Christian movie or a movie that is relevant to a Christian. I would really like this comment to be a shout out to fellow Christians. What are you thinking? We represent JESUS CHRIST. Our bodies are His temple. Our eyes are the windows to our souls. If we let darkness in, we will be filled with darkness. If light, we will be filled with light. Hollywood has a really tight hold on the spirit of Christians. Would it not be better to let go of the grasps of Hollywood and the guilty pleasures it offers to use our time more wisely to strengthen our relationship with Christ—rather than watching things that are aimed at tearing that relationship down? Just a thought. I have lent this suggestion to other Christians, but many times I am criticized and looked on as a young prude. Oh well, in the end we will see.

Honestly, I think that having a conscience and listening to the convictions God gives us is a GOOD thing. The Book of Eli is not a movie about Christ, Christians, or the power of the Word of God. It is an exploitation of religion and the brutality of man. It is perverse and offers no spiritual food for the Christian.
—Ashley, age 24 (USA)