This 2009 movie was in very limited release in the Houston area, I think only one theater was showing it. I had read the book, and although it was just about the most depressing book I'd ever read, I liked it. I finally got to see the movie on DVD last weekend.The movie is pretty depressing as well. What makes the movie watchable is the all consuming love of a father for his son. The same theme, of course, is what made the book readable. Mortensen plays "the man" struggling through soul devouring landscape trying to find a place of safety and/or hope for his son. The boy is 10 years old and this is all he has ever known. Just before he was born, some unknown catastrophe struck the earth. It's never explained in the book or the movie. It doesn't really matter. Through flashbacks, the movie briefly hints at the life the man had with is wife both prior to the catastrophe and the years after as the boy grows. But the bulk of the screen time is the man and the boy heading south, hoping for some place of safety there. Along they way they scrounge for food among ruins, avoid cannibals, and try to stay warm.
The filming of this movie must have been brutal. It was almost all filmed outdoors, in the winter, in Pennsylvania, Mount Saint Helens and Katrina ravaged Louisiana. Mortensen starved himself to look the part and slept in his movie clothes for days on end to make the movie look more realistic. And I can't say enough about Kodi Smit-McPhee, the 11-year-old actor who played the boy. He was fantastic.