The Road (2009) Script

(LOW RUMBLING)

(PEOPLE SHOUTING OUTSIDE)

(WATER RUNNING)

What's happening?

Why are you taking a bath?

I'm not.

Shit.

(SHOUTING CONTINUES)

MAN OUTSIDE: We got to find a way out. Everybody, come on.

WOMAN OUTSIDE: (CRYING) Where are you?

Where are you?


(RUMBLING)

Papa!

(SHUSHING)

It's okay. It's just another earthquake.

MAN: I'm right here.

Right here. Okay.

MAN: The clocks stopped at 1:17.

There was a long shear of bright light, then a series of Iow concussions.

I think it's October, but I can't be sure.

I haven't kept a calendar for years.

Each day is more gray than the one before.

It is cold and growing colder as the world slowly dies.

No animals have survived, and all the crops are long gone.

Soon all the trees in the world will fall.

The roads are peopled by refugees towing carts and gangs carrying weapons, looking for fueI and food.


Within a year, there were fires on the ridges and deranged chanting.

There has been cannibalism.

Cannibalism is the great fear.

Mostly I worry about food, always food.

Food and the cold and our shoes.

Sometimes I tell the boy old stories of courage and justice, difficult as they are to remember.

All I know is the child is my warrant, and if he is not the word of God, then God never spoke.

(COUGHS)

(GRUNTING)

MAN: "...flea, you could Iand on Lady Liberty's torch.

"If you flicked your tongue Iike a chameleon, "you could whip the food off your plate

"without using your hands.

"But what would your mother say?

"If you craned your neck Iike a crane, "you'd have to stretch your arm way up

"to scratch your head.

"If you had eagle eyes, you could spot a running rabbit."

(RUMBLING)


(EXPLOSIONS)


Let's take a look.

There could be something here. Corn or something.

No.

They ran out of food.

Maybe there's some hayseeds in the hayloft.

I doubt it.

MAN: It's not what you think.

They committed suicide.

Why?

You know why.


MAN: Two left. One for you, one for me.

You put it in your mouth and you point it up, just like I showed you. Hmm?

Okay.

Like this.

No.

Then just pull the trigger.

You got it?

Is that okay?

Okay.

(PLAYING PlANO)

Are you hungry?

Thanks. MAN: Here you go.

I'm thirsty.

MAN: Thirsty? Some water?

Okay. Hey.

You look pretty.

(MAN LAUGHS)

(WATER DRlPPING)

Oh, no.

(GASPS)

No.

No, we don't have to do this.

I don't want to do this.

I think we do.

No, I don't want to do this.

What kind of life is this?

You got to push.

(CRYING) No.

Come on,

push.

(SCREAMING)


(GROANS)

(COUGHS)

Quick! Get up!

We got to run. Go. Stay low. Go, go.

Papa. Papa. Let's go.


Check those junkers over there.

Shit.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

GANG LEADER: Where's your head?

(GRUNTING)

GANG LEADER: Watch the damn cars up ahead.

GANG MEMBER: Jog along beside them.

GANG LEADER: Damn it.

MAN: Don't look at them. Look at me.

You call out, you're dead.

Where you from?

Does it matter?

Where you from?

You got ammunition for those rifles?

I told you not to look over there.

What are you eating?

Whatever we can find.

Whatever you can find.

Yeah.

You ain't gonna shoot that thing.

You ain't got but two shells. Maybe one.

And they'll hear the shot.

Maybe, but you won't, because it'll be through your skull and inside your brain before you can hear it.

To hear it, you'll need a frontaI lobe and things with names Iike colliculus and temporaI gyrus, but you won't have them anymore because they'll just be soup.

You a doctor?

I'm not anything.

We got a hurt man. It'd be worth your while.

You look at him again and I'll shoot you in the head.

That boy looks hungry. Why don't y'all come on to the truck?

Get you something to eat.

Ain't no need to be such a hard-ass.

You don't have anything to eat.

Come on. Let's go.

I ain't going nowhere.

You think I won't kill you?

You're wrong.

You know what I think?

I think you're chicken-shit.

You never killed a man in your life.

(ENGINE STARTING)

GANG MEMBER: Where'd that come from? Right there!

Who's shooting?

(GANG MEMBERS SHOUTING)

Let's go. Come on.

At the tree line!

Come on!

GANG MEMBER 1: The two of you, that way.

GANG MEMBER 2: Move quicker.

Move! GANG MEMBER 3: I think I see him. Let's go!

GANG MEMBER: Over there!

(PANTING)

(COUGHING)

(GRUNTS)

You're okay. I'm right here.

Let's go.


MAN: I try to look like any common traveling killer, but my heart is hammering.

When it comes to the boy, I have only one question.

Can you do it when the time comes?

All right?

(BOY CRYING)

I won't let a nything happen to you.

I'll take care of you.

And I'll kill anyone who touches you,

because that's my job.

(CRYING)


You got to stop crying.

We got to go now.

We got to go find the cart.

Come on.

Take the gun.


WOMAN: That's all we have left.

I should've done it a long time ago.

I should've done it when we had more bullets.

I don't know why I listened to you.

They're gonna catch up with us and they're going to kill us.

They're gonna rape me, and then they're gonna rape your son and they're gonna kill us and eat us.

Whatever it takes. . . Stop it.

I told you. . . Stop it!

I will do anything. Anything.

Like what?

Hmm?

I don't even know why I ask you. I should just go ahead and empty every goddamn bullet into my brain and Ieave you with nothing.

That's what I should do.

Shh. Please don't talk like that.

You're right. There's nothing Ieft to talk about.

My heart was ripped out of me the night he was born.

We have to. We will survive this.

We are not gonna quit. We're not gonna quit.

(CRYING)

I don't want to just survive.

Don't you get it?

I don't want to.

Why won't you let me take him with me?

Don't touch it.

I would take him with me if it weren't for you. You know that.

Listen to yourself.

You sound

crazy.


Other families are doing it.


(SNIFFLING)

Mmm. (KISSES)

WOMAN: Let's go take a bath.


Listen, we have to talk.

That man back there. . .

There's not many good guys left, that's all.

We have to watch out for the bad guys. We have to just keep carrying the fire.

What fire?

The fire inside you.

Are we still the good guys?

Yes, we're still the good guys.

Of course we are.

And we always will be?

No matter what happens?

Always will be.


What is it?

It's a treat for you.

Go ahead.

Mmm.

Huh?

(BURPS)

(COUGHS)

It's really good.

You should have some.

No, you drink it.

Mmm-mmm.

I want you to have some.

It's bubbly.

(CHUCKLES)

It's for you.

(MAN COUGHS)

MAN: Come on.

BOY: I'm coming.

(DISTANT RUMBLING)


I'm hungry.

I know. So am I.

And we're still heading south?

Of course.

There might be food there.

Everything depends on reaching the coast, okay?

Okay.

BOY: I wish I was with my mom.

MAN: You mean you wish you were dead?

Yeah.

You mustn't say that. It's a bad thing to say.

I can't help it.

You have to stop thinking about her.

We both do.

How do we do that?

WOMAN: You did it right. You did it right.

(CHUCKLING)

(EXCLAlMS)

(PANTING)


(SIGHS)


Aren't you at least gonna say goodbye to him?

No. No?

No.

Why not?

I can't.

Why can't you stay till morning?

Because I can't.

Can't you spend one more night with me?

No, I have to go.

Why?

Why do you have to go?

Why? Why do you have to go?

What am I gonna tell him?

(CRYING)

What am I gonna tell him?

(SHUSHING)

(STAMMERING)

God.

You go south.

No.

You keep him warm and you go south.

You won't survive another winter here.

Why won't you help me?

Where are you going? You can't even see out there.

I don't need to. I don't need to see.

I'm begging. . . Don't.

Please. No.

Don't.

MAN: She was gone, and the coldness of it was her finaI gift.

But she died somewhere in the dark.

There is no other tale to tell.

Look, there's colors.

You want to go in?

(CHUCKLING)

(WHOOPING)

I got you!

(WHOOPING)

(YELLS)

(LAUGHING)


Come on.

(BOY GRUNTS)


Papa. (SHUSHING)

(COUGHS)


There's a reason this is locked.


Come help me.

Nothing's gonna happen.

(WHIMPERING)

It's okay.

(SHUSHING)

(GRUNTS)

What's that?

MAN: Oh, my God.

Help us. Please, will you help us?

(PEOPLE MOANING)

Help us.

Let's go! Let's go!

Help me. (BOY SCREAMS)

Wait! Wait!

They're taking us to the smokehouse.

(GRUNTING)

MAN: Go, go!

BOY: Stop! Wait!

No. No. No!

No.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

(GRUNTS)

(BOY GROANING)

(BOY GRUNTS)

Bad guys. Bad men.

Bad men. Bad guys.

BEARDED MAN: Who left this window open?

WELL FED WOMAN: I leave it open for the smell.

What smell?

You don't smell it anymore?

Who wants a drink?

WELL FED WOMAN: Don't waste the wine.

BEARDED MAN: Yeah, it's gonna keep raining. It's gonna rain all day.

WELL FED WOMAN: I'm going up to change.

(SHUSHING) They're bad guys.

Bad guys.

Take it. No. No.

Take it! Take it. Take it. No.

Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid.

When they get hold of you, you're gonna have to do it just like everybody else.

You have to be brave. You have to! You know how to do it.

MAN: You know how.

BEARDED MAN: Be right up.

Bad guys. Bad men.

(WHIMPERING)

What are you doing?

I'm so sorry.

Will I see you again?

When will I see you? No.

BEARDED MAN 1: What's going on?

BEARDED MAN 2: What the hell is that?

BEARDED MAN 1: Hey!

(CRASHING)

BEARDED MAN 1: Fuck!

He was out of the cellar. I pushed it over.

BEARDED MAN 2: God damn it.

Come on!

BEARDED MAN 3: Where do you think you're going?

(BEARDED FACE SCREAMING)

(INDISTINCT SHOUTING)


(BOY MOANS)

(SCREAMING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

BEARDED MAN: Hey, hold him. BEARDED MAN 2: I got him!

You son of a bitch!

Hey, come on. Wake up.

Wake up. Wake up.

We got to get out of here.

We got to go now. We got to get away.

BOY: Get off me.

Come on.

(BOY GROANING)

Let's run.

Last one.

We would never eat anybody, would we?

No, of course not.

No matter how hungry we were?

Mmm-mmm.

Even if we were starving?

We're starving now.

Because we're the good guys.

Yes.

And we're carrying the fire.

Yes.

This way.

What is this place, Papa?

The house where I grew up.

That's me.

(CHUCKLES)

This is where we used to have our Christmas tree when I was a boy.

And here's where we'd hang our stockings.

It's. . .

(CHUCKLES)

I don't think we should be doing this.

Huh?

You want to wait outside?


No, wait!

MAN: Hey!

Wait!

BOY: Wait! Come on!

I'm not gonna hurt you.

Hey. Hey.

What are you doing? No.

What are you doing?

What are you doing? What?

There's a little boy, Papa!

What little boy? What are you. . .

I saw a little boy! What the hell are you doing?

I saw a little boy.

There's no boy. What boy? Get off.

There is! Just like me.

Come on. No!

Hey!

Stop it! You scared the hell out of me.

No!

Come on, let's go. Stop it.

I need to see him!

Hey! What the hell. . .

What the hell are you doing? What?

I need to! Why?

I just do!

Stop it.

He's right there.

I understand.

I understand. It's okay.

Right there.

It's gonna be all right.

MAN: He imagines how things will be at the coast, and that there will be other children there.

He asks me what happened to my friends, and I tell him they died and that I miss them.

When I have nothing else, I try to dream the dreams of a child's imaginings.

(GROANS)

(COUGHS)

Are we gonna die now?

What do you think is gonna happen?

You think we're just gonna suddenly keeI over and die?

It takes a long time to die of starvation.

(MAN COUGHING)


MAN: Every day is a lie, but I am slowly dying.

That is not a lie.

I'm trying to prepare him for the day when I'm gone.

(COUGHS)

Nothing you haven't seen before.

(MAN COUGHS)

(SIGHS)


(GROANING)

(CRYING)


Papa!

What? Papa.

What's wrong?

Look.

We look skinny.

We are skinny.

Oh.

Come on. Let's get out of here.


Your mother played really well.

I don't remember.

Well, that was before.

(GRUNTS)

(METALLIC THUD)

(THUDDING)


(GRUNTING)

Don't. It's okay.

Please, Papa.

Please.

It's okay.

Oh, my God.

Come down here.

Come down. (COUGHING)

BOY: What did you find?

Everything.

I found everything.

What is all this stuff?

Food.

It's food.

Here. See? Can you read the label?

"Pe. . .

"Pears."

Yes, pears.

What do you want for breakfast?

(CHUCKLING)

What?

Nothing.

Is it okay for us to take all this?

Yeah.

They'd want us to.

Shouldn't we thank them?

Yeah, go ahead.

Um. . .

Like this?

Um, thank you for soup and Cheetas.

Cheetos.

And all this stuff, people.

(CHUCKLES)

That's good.

(COUGHS)

Your turn.

Thank you, people.

Mmm-hmm.

(GRUNTING)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(CHUCKLING)

You like that?

Mmm-hmm.

We did good, didn't we, Papa?

Yeah.

Go to sleep.

(MOANS)

Hmm?

Go to sleep.


(COUGHING)

(CLINKING)


Hmm.


(GASPS)

What?

Don't. . .

BOY: Don't touch my stuff.

MAN: Okay, sorry.

(MAN GRUNTING)

(MAN HUMMING)

Now I'll give you a treat.

What? Keep your eyes closed.

How does that feel?

MAN: Shampoo.

BOY: Shampoo.

MAN: Better?

BOY: Yep.

(COUGHING)

How do I look?

(CHUCKLES)

What do you think?


Can I try some?

Mmm-mmm. Mmm-mmm.

Why? You won't like it.

Huh?

Makes you feeI funny.

(COUGHING)

You okay?

(SIGHING) Mmm-hmm.

You think I come from another world, don't you?

Sort of.

(MAN COUGHING)

(CLANGING)

What was that?

Shh.

It sounded like a dog.

It's not a dog.

It is.

It is a dog.

If it's a dog, it'll be with someone.

But who?

I don't know.

I'm not waiting to find out.

Come on. No, I don't want to go.

It's not safe here anymore.

But. . . We're going.

What are we gonna do with all this stuff?

We'll just have to take what we can.

You always think bad things are gonna happen.

But we found this place.

Blankets on the cart.

MAN: I see him.

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(COUGHING)

I don't have anything for you.

You can look if you want.

I got nothing.

MAN: We're not robbers.

What?

I said we're not robbers.

Well, what are you?

We're just like you.

Well, what are you following me for?

We're not following you.

We've got food we could give him.

He's not getting any food.

BOY: He's scared, Papa.

MAN: Everybody's scared.

(GROANS)

Please, Papa.

All right.

Just one.

Here, take it.

What about a spoon?

He's not getting a spoon.

(SIGHS)

You pull it.

You got to eat it. It's good.

He's hungry.

I see it.

And I know what you're gonna ask me, and the answer is no.

What's the question?

We can't keep him.

You want to have dinner with us?

I don't know. What do I have to do?

You don't have to do anything.

MAN: Can you walk okay?

Yeah, I can.

BOY: Help him.

You help him.

BOY: I can't.

I can walk.

No, I can walk.

(COUGHING)

How old are you?

I'm 90.

Ninety, my ass.

Is that what you tell people so they don't hurt you?

Uh-huh.

Does it work?

Nope.

MAN: What's your name?

Ely.

"Ely"?

What's wrong with Ely?

Don't hold his hand.


That little boy, is he your little boy?

Your son?

Yeah. What's it look like?

I don't know. I can't see reaI good.

ls that right?

Yeah.

Can you see me?

No, but I can tell somebody's there.

Yeah.

Okay. Good little boy. Yeah.

Okay, time for you to go to sleep.

No.

Yes.

BOY: Good night.

MAN: Good night.

Good night.

Go to sleep. Good night, son.

You can see that, can't you?

Yeah.

When I saw that boy,

I thought I'd died and he. . .

He was an angel.

I had a boy one time of my own.

I never thought I'd see a child again, never thought that would happen to me.

MAN: He is an angel.

To me, he's a god.

But I hope that's not true.

To be on the road with the last god like that would be nothing

but a dangerous situation.

What happened to your son?

I can't talk about it.

Not with you, anyway.

I knew this was coming, this or something like it.

There were warnings.

Yeah, some people thought it was a con. I always believed in it.

Yeah.

Did you try to get ready for it?

What would you do?

Even if you knew what to do, you wouldn't know what to do.

But supposing

(CHUCKLES)

you were the last man left alive?

How would you know that, that you were the last man alive?

Well, I don't guess you'd know it. You'd just be it.

(COUGHING)

Maybe God would know.

God wouldn't know what. . .

God wouldn't know what he knows.

If there is a God up there, he would have turned his back on us by now.

And whoever made humanity will find no humanity here.

No, sir. No, sir.

So beware.

Beware.

Do you ever wish you would die?

No.

It's foolish to ask for luxuries in times like these.

He's gonna die and you don't care.

I care enough.

Maybe when we run out of food, you'll have more time to think about it.

Yeah, well, you always say, "Watch out for bad guys."

That old man wasn't a bad guy.

You can't even tell anymore.

(MAN COUGHING)

That'll keep it safe.

Do you know where we are?

About 100 miles from the coast, as the crow flies.

BOY: "As the crow flies"?

It means going in a straight line, which we can't.

There aren't any crows, are there?

Just in books.

Yep, just in books.

Do you think there could be crows somewhere?

I think it's unlikely.

Could they fly to Mars or someplace?

You know what? Let's go back.

What is it?

(INDISTINCT YELLING)

Let's go. Let's go. Run. Run.

YOUNG WOMAN: Go! Go!

No. No!

MAN: Let's go.

YOUNG WOMAN: (SCREAMS) No! MAN: Let's go. Let's go. Run.

(BOTH PANTING)

(RUMBLING)

(SCREAMS)

Hey! Hey! Hold on!

Stop!

ln there!

Keep your head down!

(BOY SCREAMING)

MAN: It's okay. It's okay.

It's okay. No!

It's okay.

It's gone now.


(COUGHING)


(MAN COUGHING)

(COUGHING)


I had a bad dream.

(COUGHING)

Stop.

MAN: I tell him, "When you dream about bad things happening, "it shows you're still fighting. You're still alive.

"It's when you start to dream about good things

"that you should start to worry."

Here?

No, we're closer than you think.

That's us, and this is all the sea.

This?

Mmm-hmm.

Is it blue?

The sea?

I don't know, used to be.

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(COUGHING)

Wait.

I'm sorry it's not blue.

We'll be all right. We'll just keep heading south.

BOY: What's on the other side?

MAN: Nothing.

There has to be something.

Maybe there's a father and his little boy, and they're sitting on a beach, too.

(WHIMPERS) You all right?

What is it? What is it? I don't feeI too. . .

Jesus!

You're burning up.

Sorry.

It's okay. You didn't do anything wrong.

I'm right here.

(THUNDER CLAPPING)

Can I ask you a question?

Of course.

What would you do if I died?

If you died,

I'd want to die, too.

So you could be with me?

Yeah, so I could be with you.

(COUGHING)

What are you doing?

I'm going out to that boat.

What are you gonna do?

See what I can find for us.

Here. You keep a good lookout.

Okay?

Okay.

Stay warm.


(GASPS)

Hey! What the hell happened?

I'm sorry!

They took everything!

Our food, my shoes.

Son of a bitch!

It's okay. Listen, it's okay. I'm sorry.

It's okay. I didn't mean to.

It's okay. I fell asleep.

Listen, don't lose heart. We're gonna get it back.

(COUGHING)

(GRUNTING)


Get away from the cart. Put the knife down.

Fuck you. I ain't putting down shit.

God damn you.

Papa, please don't kill the man!

Please.

All right.

All right, I done what you said.

Please, Papa.

Listen to the boy.

MAN: How long you been following us? THIEF: Following you?

How long?

Nobody been fucking following you.

I saw the cart in the sand, just took it, that's all.

I ain't touch the boy.

Take your clothes off. No.

Take them off! Every goddamn stitch.

You don't want to do this.

Do it.

All right. All right. All right.

Just take it easy.

I'll kill you.

Right where you stand.

I don't want no trouble.

THIEF: Please, mister.

You ain't got to do this.

And the shoes. Throw them in the cart.

Throw them in the cart!

Do it.

(COUGHS)

You ain't got to do this to me, man.

You ain't got to do me like this.

You didn't mind doing it to us.

I'm begging.

I'm begging, please. Papa!

Listen to the boy, man.

(CRYING) I is starving.

You'd have done the same thing.

I'll die out here.

I'm gonna die out here, man.

I'm gonna leave you just the way you left us.

Help me pull the cart.

Pull the cart!

MAN: What do you think would've happened if we hadn't caught him?

You've got to learn.

BOY: I don't want to learn!

I'm not gonna be around forever!

Sooner or later, you're gonna have to Iook after yourself.

Help me with the goddamn cart!

(THIEF SOBBING)

Would you stop sulking?

He's gone.

He's not gone.

What do you want me to do?

Just help him, Papa.

Just help him.

He's just hungry.

He's gonna die.

He's gonna die anyway.

He was so scared.

I'm scared. You understand?

I'm scared.

You're not the one that has to worry about everything.

I am so.

What? What'd you say?

Yes, I am!

I am the one!

Okay?

Okay.

Help me push.

BOY: Hello?

Hello?


Papa.

What? What do you got there?

Look.

BOY: What is it? MAN: It's a beetle.

Look.

(GASPS)

Get down!

(GROANING)

Papa!

Son of a bitch!

(GROANING)

(WOMAN SCREAMING)

No. No! Papa!

(INDISTINCT YELLING)

(GRUNTING)

(GROANS IN PAIN)

Cock-sucking motherfucker!

Who else is here?

You piece of shit!

Why are you following us?

We weren't following anybody.

You were following us.

(CRYING)

(MAN GRUNTING)

(GROANING IN PAIN)

(GRUNTING)

(SCREAMING)

Right there.

Right there. Right there.

Fuck.

(GROANING)

(COUGHING)

Wait.

(GROANING)

(COUGHING)

No.

We have to leave it.

I can't do it anymore.


MAN: If I were God, I would've made the world just so,

and no different.

And so I have you.

I have you.


(MAN GRUNTING)

(COUGHING)


You're okay.

Don't get too comfortable here.

You need to keep going.

You don't know what might be down the road.

No.

No, you're gonna be okay, Papa.

You have to.

This has been a long time coming.

Just keep. . . Just keep going south.

Do everything the way we did it.

Keep the gun with you, always.

Don't let anyone take it from you.

You need to find the good guys, but you can't take any chances.

You hear me?

But I want to be with you.

I want to be with you, too, but I can't.

You have to. . . You have to let me go.

No.

Just take me with you, please.

I thought I could.

Please, Papa.

I can't do it.

What should I do?

Just hold my hand.

You said you wouldn't leave me.

I know.

I'm sorry.

(CRYING)

Oh, my boy.

My boy.

You have my whole heart.

You always did.


Papa.

No.

Papa.

(SOBBING)

Papa.


(CRYING)

(SNIFFLING)


(WHIMPERING)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

Where's that man you were with?

Is he your father?

Yes, he was my papa.

I think maybe you should come with me.

Are you one of the good guys?

Yeah, I'm one of the good guys.

Why don't you put that pistoI away?

I'm not supposed to let anyone take it from me, no matter what.

I don't want your pistol, I just don't want you pointing it at me.

You see, you got two choices here.

You can stay here with your papa or you can go with me.

If you stay here, you need to keep off the road.

How do I know you're one of the good guys?

You don't. You'll just have to take a shot.

Do you have any kids?

Yes, we do.

Do you have a little boy?

We have a little boy and a little girl.

How old is he?

About your age, maybe a little older.

And you didn't eat them?

No.

So, you don't eat people?

No, we don't eat people.

And are you carrying the fire?

Am I what?

Carrying the fire.

You're kind of weirded out, aren't you, kid?

Well, are you?

Yeah, I'm carrying the fire.

And I can come with you?

Yes, you can.


I'll talk to you every day.

And I won't forget, no matter what.

No matter what, Papa.


I'm so glad to see you.

We were following you. Did you know that?

We saw you with your papa.

I'm so lucky.

I was so worried about you, and now we don't have to worry about a thing.

How's that sound? Is that okay?

Okay.