The Finest Film Ever Made

book-of-eli-denzel-washingtonPoMoCo’s Robert Cheeks just saw “the finest film ever made.”  No, not Highlander, which reportedly won the Oscar for “best movie of all time.”

On about six different levels The Book of Eli is the finest film ever made, though I’ll require a couple of additional viewings to come up with a comparative analysis between it and Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. While it would not be appropriate to discuss the film in depth, simply because there’s a “surprise” factor (or two, or three) involved with this film, I can say the plot, the acting, the cinematography, and particularly the music are unmatched in cinema history.

Wowsers.  That’s pretty enticing.  Were I his target audience, however, he should have stopped there.  I wasn’t and he didn’t.

If I were to reduce the film to a simple sentence I would quote St. Francis when he said, “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.”  This film is a brilliantly executed symbol that expresses the tension of the experience of Infinite Being in metalepsis with being at the eschaton. Brilliantly written and beautifully executed the film reflects the effects of Original Sin on the nature of man, where man is moving to that point where he no longer remembers the Logos or seeks the redemption and salvation of Jesus Christ.

I’ll probably see it, anyway, although methinks I’ll wait for the DVD.   (Of course, I pretty much wait for the DVD for anything other than big special effects movies.  I prefer dramas and comedies in the comfort of my own living room.)

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Religion, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dan Collins says:

    He never metalepsis he didn’t like.

  2. Mr. Prosser says:

    “In a metalepsis, a word is substituted metonymically for a word in a previous trope, so that a metalepsis can be called, maddeningly but accurately, a metonymy of a metonymy.”

    Bloom, Harold (1975), A Map of Misreading, Oxford University Press,

    Um, does this mean the sword fights are really cool?

  3. Alex Knapp says:

    After reading this review, I’m reminded of the stirring section of the end of the Gospels where Jesus is being arrested. Peter pulls out his sword and cuts off a guard’s ear, and is told by Jesus that “Whoever lives by the sword is totally, awesome, dude!” The disciples then proceeded to wipe out the Temple guards and drive the Romans from Jerusalem.

  4. Herb says:

    Huh…From the trailers, The Book of Eli looks like a big-budget rip-off of Steel Dawn. The Post-apocalypse…with swords! I like Denzel, I like Mila Kunis, I like Gary Oldman, but the Hughes Brothers make some really bad, really pretentious films.

    Thankfully Wikipedia has (for now) a detailed description of the plot, and while I won’t spoil the surprise, I can see how a certain type of religious person would think it was the best movie EVAR!

  5. Maybe I’m alone, but I don’t think history has to hang in the balance in a good Ripping Yarn. The first Hobbit book, about treasure and adventure was good enough for my young self.

    I just read a Go-Go Girls Of The Apocalypse, by Victor Gischler. I’ve got to say that’s my kind of thing. Adventure, some good laughs, go-go girls, and at the end of the story life is going on. The world was never once in the balance.

  6. Highlander says:

    Just saw the movie. Best movie ever! Well I don’t know about that, but I say Denzel is Sarah Palin in drag.

    What say all you Jewish and Liberal Jesus haters?

    Come on now get creative. I know you can do better than Oldman and his cast of post Nuke barbarian freaks. Are your hands shaking yet?

  7. sam says:

    Huh…From the trailers, The Book of Eli looks like a big-budget rip-off of Steel Dawn.

    Not to mention Zatoichi, the Blind Swordsman.

    What say all you Jewish [really?] and Liberal Jesus haters?


  8. I say Denzel is Sarah Palin in drag.

    Good Line.

  9. William d'Inger says:

    I tend to avoid films where the body count exceeds an average Detroit weekend, but Mila Kunis is hot, so if my neighbor happens to rent the DVD …

    But “the finest film ever made”? Give me a break! Nothing can beat John Carpenter’s Dark Star.