The NYT says, "The most arresting aspect of “The Road” is just how fully the filmmakers have realized this bleak, blighted landscape of a modern society reduced to savagery." The Guardian concludes, "It is an inexpressibly painful subject and Hillcoat has brought it to the screen with great intelligence." Rolling Stone closes with this: "In this haunting portrait of America as no country for old men or young, Hillcoat — through the artistry of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee — carries the fire of our shared humanity and lets it burn bright and true."
Time Out says,
the central purpose is to break your heart and shatter your soul. On which level, Hillcoat’s movie is a resounding triumph. Stunning landscape photography sets the melancholy mood, and Nick Cave’s wrenching score reinforces it. But it is the performances that ultimately hold the film together. We expect this kind of selfless professionalism from Mortensen.
Roger Ebert gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 75%.