This may not seem like much of an endorsement, but the film is just as bleak and almost as heart-rending as the book. It's an endorsement, because bleak and heart-rending are the point of Cormac McCarthy's story of a post-apocalyptic world. Yet it's also heart-warming to witness the father's love for his boy, and for life, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
From the beginning you wonder if this can have a happy ending, especially in the classic Hollywood vein. For a while you keep hoping for one, and then you realize that such an ending would demean the journey. It ends pretty much the way it must end. And that is as satisfying as it gets.
Interestingly, the film actually flinches and diverts its eyes from some of the atrocities the book includes. That's a switch from other films that always seem to want to add more violence and gore. It's probably better this way, because it makes the film a little more accessible and human (in the face of inhumanity).
It's too bad this didn't have more life at the box office. It's really good. So is the (Pulitzer Prize winning!) book.
The Road (IMDb)