8. The Road
For those who found the Coen Brothers' adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men too lighthearted, John Hillcoat's version of the author's post-apocalyptic novel might hit the spot. It's a sci-fi Waiting for Godot with cannibalism and family values. A father (Viggo Mortensen) and son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) push a shopping cart through a landscape of ash, dodging gangs of cannibals. The cause of the cataclysm is never revealed, and it doesn't matter — this isn't a cautionary tale, but it does teach a moral in its most wrenching sequence, a kind of reverse Good Samaritan parable. "We are carrying the fire," the Man tells his Son, and it is in such scenes that the fire burns brightest.
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