Although many of us think of the holiday season as a joyful time, for those being chased by cannibals across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, it can be difficult. Luckily, The Road understands those feelings, and presents a cold and desolate future to match the pain that we feel in our hearts when we’re forced to eat our friends and family. Based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name, the film never captures the page-turning excitement or emotional depth of the book, though it does have some impressive visuals. Viggo Mortensen is perfectly adequate as a man who walks across post-cataclysm America with his 10-year-old son, and Charlize Theron is heartbreaking as the wife who appears to him in flashbacks of a happier, less-blown-up time. The story is episodic, with almost no plot, which isn’t a problem in the book, where McCarthy’s strong prose expertly blends internal and external perspectives. In the movie, though, there’s no hook, and things get a bit dull. By no means a terrible film, The Road is nonetheless disappointing, coming as it does from such a forceful source.