A man with no name wanders across a barren desert. He forages for food and supplies. He doesn’t pick fights, but he certainly settles them. We’ve seen these vistas before, but not with as much punch or panache. The Book of Eli is stylish and smart, a post-apocalyptic western perfectly suited for our era of economic reassessment. It offers a heroic version of Christian faith in action, defending a rare and endangered Word of God. The Book of Eli rocks, rolls and delivers a whopping dose of soul.

Denzel Washington offers a laconic and athletic performance as Eli. He is a man of few words. He tries to avoid conflict. But when threatened, he responds with considerable force. Those who push him too far may suddenly find themselves missing a limb. Denzel joins a long line of iconic cinematic cowboys like Toshiro Mifune’s samurai in Yojimbo, Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack, and Clint Eastwood’s Outlaw Josey Wales.

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