Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.
A post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind.
Future Dystopias, Priceless Artifacts and Prized Objects, Lone Wolves, Future Barbarians
Thirty years after a nuclear apocalypse, Eli (Washington) travels on foot toward the west coast of the United States. Searching for a source of water, he arrives in a ramshackle town built and overseen by Carnegie (Oldman), who dreams of building more towns and controlling the people by using the power of a certain book. His henchmen scour the desolate landscape daily in search of it, but to no avail.
In the local town bar, Eli is set upon by a gang of bikers and he kills them all. Realizing Eli is a literate man like himself, Carnegie asks Eli to stay, although it is made clear the offer is non-negotiable. After Carnegie's blind concubine Claudia (Beals) gives Eli some food and water, Carnegie asks Claudia's daughter Solara (Kunis) to seduce Eli. Eli turns her down, but she discovers he has a book in his possession. Eli refuses to tell her about the book, but offers to share his food with her. Before they eat, though, he has her pray with him. The following day, Solara prays with her mother. Carnegie overhears them and realizes Solara's words were likely from the contents of the book he has been seeking, and so forces her to tell him Eli was reading a book; she says she does not know what kind, but forms a cross with her two index fingers. Carnegie realizes Eli has a copy of the Bible, the book he has been seeking. Eli sneaks out of his room and goes to the store across the street, where he had earlier asked the Engineer (Tom Waits) to recharge a battery which he uses to play his portable music player.
Carnegie attempts to stop Eli by having all his henchmen shoot at him, but the bullets seemingly just graze him, as if he is being protected. Eli shoots most of Carnegie's henchmen and wounds Carnegie in the leg. After Eli leaves, Solara follows him and leads him to the source of the town's water supply, hoping she can accompany him on his travels. Eli traps her inside and continues on alone. Solara escapes and soon finds herself ambushed by two bandits who attempt to rape her, but Eli appears and kills them.
As they continue on, Eli explains to Solara the nature of his journey. According to Eli, his book is the last remaining copy of the Bible, as all other copies were destroyed following the nuclear war. He says he was led to the book by a voice in his head, which then directed him to travel westward to a place where it would be safe. The voice assured him that he would be protected on his journey. Thus, for the last thirty years he has traveled west, guided by his faith.
Eventually, Eli and Solara arrive at a strange house. They stop to investigate and quickly fall through a trap door. The residents, Martha (Frances de la Tour) and George (Michael Gambon), invite them in for tea; however, the travelers are soon found by Carnegie. Eli, Solara, Martha, and George hole up inside the house. A shootout ensues, leading to the deaths of some of Carnegie's men, as well as George and Martha. Eli and Solara are captured. Carnegie threatens to kill Solara, which prompts Eli to hand over the Bible. Carnegie shoots him, and leaves him for dead.
While in transit, Solara escapes and drives back to help Eli. Rather than chase her, Carnegie chooses to return to the town with the Bible, since his vehicle is running out of fuel. Solara picks Eli up and they continue west until they reach the Golden Gate Bridge. They then row to Alcatraz, where they find a group of survivors. Eli tells the guards that he has a copy of the King James version of the Bible, and they are allowed in. Once inside, they are introduced to Lombardi (Malcolm McDowell), the curator. Eli, who is revealed to be blind, begins to dictate the Bible from memory.
Meanwhile, back in the town, Carnegie manages to open the locked Bible with the help of his Engineer, but he is horrified to discover that it is a