The Apocalypse is not pretty. You just about couldn't make a bleaker looking movie than "The Road". That is what makes the movie feel authentic; it feels like the world really did come to an end. The first third of the movie is bleak to the point of depressing, but the remainder gets more interesting and there is sort of a payoff at the end. The payoff wasn't what I expected but I found it to be very satisfying.
This is not as much of an action picture as the trailer would lead you to believe. It is different than the action oriented "Book Of Eli" which also lacks an emotional center. The core of "The Road" is the emotional bond between father and son trying to survive under the worst possible circumstances. This bond gets stronger as the movie progresses.
Robert Duvall's part in the movie is very short, but a pleasant surprise and worth the price of admission. He is already a great actor, but this may be one of his best performances ever.
I felt that the story might only be 3 stars, but this film gets extra credit for being unique. We have seen post-apocalyptic movies before, but never one that looked quite like this. Movies shouldn't just be measured on the quality of the story but also on the emotional impact, which for me is 4 stars. I don't think that I will ever forget it.