Road to Perdition

7.71 h 57 min2002X-RayR
Sam Mendes
Tom HanksPaul NewmanJude Law
English [CC]
Audio languages
EnglishEnglish [Audio Description]
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Supporting actors
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Richard D. ZanuckDean ZanuckSam MendesWalter Parkes
R (Restricted)
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4.7 out of 5 stars

3439 global ratings

  1. 81% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Matthew D'SouzaReviewed in the United States on March 4, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Stunning Gangster Film of Quiet Manner
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Sam Mendes directed what is likely going to be remembered as his greatest film with Road to Perdition (2002). Mendes approached his direction with a steady hand alongside his cinematographer, Conrad L. Hall, to create haunting visuals for his mobster drama.

Every scene is shot so beautifully that many of the images from Road to Perdition are burned into my brain now. The rain sequences, in particular, are so visceral to witness that they offset the brutal violence so nicely.

David Self's script is a wonderful testament to fatherhood and loyalty with many crime saga themes. Max Allen Collins' comic series is brought to life with punching lines of intense bluntness and clever dialogue of biting wit.

Thomas Newman's score is composed of lovely piano melodies and tender sweeping symphonies that sound of forlorn pains akin to those suffered by the gangsters within the film. Road to Perdition's score underscores the serene tone and bittersweet excitement of bloody gunshots throughout the film.

The cast of Road to Perdition is phenomenal all around. Tom Hanks is gripping as the hit-man gone rogue for revenge. Hanks plays a stoic father and a menacing figure dealing out a hail of bullets with ease. His quiet nuanced performance gives you everything you need in a leading man. Hanks is cool, strong, thoughtful, and patient as Michael Sullivan. Tom Hanks gives, perhaps, his peak acting in Road to Perdition.

Paul Newman is a revelation of subtle, yet intimidating acting in Road to Perdition. In what was Newman's last great role, he finds the heart of Irish mob godfather John Rooney with his gentle and likewise fearsome performance. Newman understands the character is a man who has killed his whole life to attain peace for his sons, while regretting all his bloodshed. His final words on screen are ground shaking. Paul Newman was a classic cool actor and Road to Perdition is a respectable way to go out with a bang!

Jennifer Jason Leigh is excellent as Hanks' wife Annie. She is the kindly mother that can be stern as needed. Leigh completely captures a realistic suburban mom involved with the mob. Jennifer Jason Leigh is always a top tier actress and Road to Perdition is no exception.

Jude Law is terrifying as Macguire. His sleazy assassination and corpse photographer persona is an unsettling combination. Law gives one of his best performances as you cannot forget his cruel and sudden violence.

Similarly, Daniel Craig gives one of his most memorable roles in Road to Perdition. His rapidly unnecessary violence feels so monstrous and callous. Craig plays the self-righteous creep with ease.

Lastly, Stanley Tucci and Ciaran Hinds both display fantastic quietly threatening characters in their respective supporting roles. They manage to mesmerize while they are on screen. I must mention the excellent performance from the young Tyler Hoechlin as Michael. His attachment and respect for Tom Hanks is clear as his acting is very convincing for such a young boy.

In conclusion, Sam Mendes might never have matched his early success with his erotic drama American Beauty (1999), if not for his riveting gangster thriller Road to Perdition. This film should have won Best Picture over The Pianist in all honesty.
40 people found this helpful
BixReviewed in the United States on January 11, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
They're Making Some Fine Ciné Films These Days.
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The other reviews will tell you all about the great acting, story, etc., so I'll skip that stuff. I would give this FIVE stars, but what do I then give "Citizen Kane"? Or, "The Third Man"? Folks, we gotta' start rating with a tad more strictness, otherwise the ratings become inflated. 3 stars SHOULD be a pretty good flicker.
The photography in this film is amazing. This is NOT made from CCD chips, freinds. The A.S.C. on this one is none other than Conrad L. Hall. Wow. Mr. Hall has painted with light on emulsion to perfection. The processing, colour timer is a magician. Yes sir. God bless all the, now jobless, colour timers out there because they are truly whizzes at their art / craft. In the early 1980s, I once was a professional dark room tech and came to appreciate colour balance people. In this flick, ALL the photography professionals out-did themselves. —Thank you, lads for shooting Paul Newman's last film WITH FILM! Indeed, —he IS beautiful. Those Panavision Primo lenses wrap around Paul Newman's character, head, skin, body, bone structure, and, oh yes, blue, I said, BLUE eyes. —Like the tight hug of someone you love. And the man still looks as good as Cary Grant in a drape-shaped suit.
Dear lord, I don't care how much they can make CCD digital video look like film; —unless it IS film, it's just too damn easy. There is still a subtle, but SOULFUL difference between real film emulsion and those damn CCD chips. Anyone can point a CCD chip camera and make an acceptable professional ciné film image, because it is the computer that is running the show. A computer still has no soul. This may change, but I pray, not in my lifetime.
The story about the great Conrad Hall crying after looking through his line-up lens for a shot of Newman is touching. And it's true; —the man was, IS, "beautiful". I believe, that this was also Conrad L. Hall's last film. —Pure poetry of light. Conrad L. Hall, A.S.C., passed away, 3 January 2003.

Info for Amazon's "trivia".
I am no Thompson sub-machine gun expert, but I assure the one shown in this film is the real deal. Stop-still the film at the point when the inside of the Thompson case is shown. This is an original case made by the Geib Case Company. I know this because, 1920s and 1930s Gibson F-5 mandolin instrument cases of that same EXACT size, with the same outer covering, inner green/olive felt, leather handle and hardware were also used to hold the one and only Lloyd Loar Gibson F-5 mandolin made and signed by Mr. Loar from 1921 through 1924. —Find one and win $250,000. Find a Thompson and win a lot less.
It seems that the Geib Case Company simply used the same case for both the Loar Gibson mandolin AND the Thompson sub-machine gun. Ironic. All that is different, is the inside storage stay-form. Pretty cool, I thought.
In this flick, the props are frighteningly accurate. In fact, the supposed "costume goof" is NOT a goof at all. The people dancing in the speak-easy are said to be wearing Sheik and flapper clothing (styles from Valentino's film, "The Sheik") that is stated in the Amazon comments to be "wrong" for 1931. The text further states, that the clothes would have not been worn after 1928. —NO, NO, NO! Think of time AND PLACE. This is a small town in the Midwest, —1931 DEPRESSION time. People did not so readily throw out clothing. Clothing was still mostly tailored and far more expensive than today (far better made, as well). So the styles were NOT wrong for a small town at that time. A few of the automobiles were post 1931, but they were not in the main action. I saw no car newer than, I think,1933. Between the period sets and the streets, the set designers did cracking job. Bravo.

Side complaint. Most films these days think nothing about showing a character with a side arm (e.g., a 1911 .45 Colt), cocked for single action, yet the hammer has NO FIRING PIN! I did NOT see that in this flick, but, in almost EVERY film made in the last 20 years, this is being done (e.g. "Saving Private Ryan") —Hey, film makers, we are NOT that stupid. There is nothing that breaks my concentration more than to see a guy shaking in his boots, acting his arse off, with a cocked 1911 Colt that has NO firing pin. Yeah. I know it's just a movie; but we are supposed to be suspending our reality senses, temporarily, to enjoy the story. This is kinda hard when you are seeing props that blatantly look like nonsense.
Hey Amazon, the ONLY significant prop mistake I saw in this film was the use of a circa, 1940 - 1950 Stromberg-Carlson telephone. (A Connor Rooney scene) How can I know this? Because I own and use, the same 1943 Stromberg-Carlson telephone connected to the original copper, hard-wired American grid. And yes, I am still hard-wired to the copper wire American grid. I use this phone. It works, even when the power is out. E.g., during the two hurricanes and the great power grid shut-down, I had a working phone. Real phones, also sounds a heck of a lot better. The ring comes from a 70 volt powered, copper bell, via the original 70 volt system. I had to pull all sorts of strings to keep the hard-copper-line with pulse analogue dialing and analogue sound. All others within my area were converted to optical, digital line, 2 - 3 years ago. I am trying to be the last man in America with an analogue hard-wired phone.
The other phones in the film were off-era as well. 1931 was the era of dial-less candlesticks, and pedestal phones. Not until c. 1936 did you see more dial phones than non-dial phones. In 1931 rural Midwest, almost NO ONE would have had a dial phone. America was still small enough to simply have the operator connect you manually. E.g., "Operator, please connect me to Murray Hill 7309, thanks". —Yes, only 6 digits., and 4 and 5 digit numbers in rural areas. As Sinatra would say, Nice and Easy, eh?
And, yes; when I was a boy, you could pick up a receiver and ask the operator (a human being) to be reconnected to the last call.
14 people found this helpful
Bare BonesReviewed in the United States on May 7, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
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This product arrived quickly Via Amazon prime.

Video quality for this Blu-ray is great, but not fantastic. I expected to see a bit more fine detail from this transfer. While there were moments where this Blu-ray delivered a solid visual performance, there were also several instances where detail was more subdued. Though given the style of this film, that is not surprising. It is still the best the film has ever looked on home-video, and a definite cut above the old DVD release.

I noticed no issues with the audio quality. The dialogue was clear, and Newman's orchestral score was just as striking and enveloping as ever. The special features are basically comprised of the same content found on the DVD version, with one or two short documentaries specific to the Blu-ray.

Even after all this time, it's still such an immense film. The performances are perfect, the casting is perfect, the writing is perfect, the cinematography is perfect, and the orchestral score is one of the most famous in modern movie history. For every individual involved with this film, this was their magnum opus. It shines above all others in its genre, and towers above most as a film.

If you've never seen this film before, you have done yourself a great disservice. For those looking to experience it for the first time or the fifth, this Blu-ray edition is the highest quality available.

I encountered no issues playing this Blu-ray on my 2017 model LG Blu-ray player. No update to my machine was necessary.
13 people found this helpful
Lisa M.Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Blown Away
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A mob enforcer's son witnesses a murder, forcing him and his father to take to the road, and his father down a path of redemption and revenge. When I first saw this movie on the big screen, I was alone and just mesmerized! I loved the angles that the director filmed and even the dirt under Jude Law's fingernails!

Every actor's performance in this movie is brilliant: Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Paul Newman (Oscar-nominated), Daniel Craig and Tyler Hoechlin (Tom's son). So much is said with just their eyes and body movements and no words. It's about revenge and loyalty. It's Tom Hanks as both hero and anti-hero. The scenes between Michael Sullivan (Tom) and his son are so touching.

I loved so much about this movie...the time taken to develop the characters, the attention to detail, the superb performances, the stunning lighting and cinematography, the wonderful soundtrack... Let me put it another way: after seeing this film in the theater on a Saturday afternoon, I walked out and called my sister to meet me at the theater. I decided to see it again, but with someone who could experience what I just did. Now, many years later, I buy the movie so that my husband can see it. He was blown away.
7 people found this helpful
TrinculoReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Come at me bro. (Wait here, son.)
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One of my all time favorite movies with a stellar cast. Tom Hanks is at the top of his game in a role that he manages to nail. All the more remarkable in that it is such a departure from anything else he's done in my recollection--there's no comic relief, and he's an anti-hero. I feel as if I can see how challenging the role is for Hanks, which makes it all the more a triumph. Not sure that Daniel Craig has ever been better on screen, but I'm of the small camp who dislike his cyborg of a Bond. Come to think of it, I don't think Jude Law is more compelling anywhere else (that Dr. Watson though). And then there's Paul Newman, who lights up the screen in his final film role--almost feels like a passing of the torch. Overall, a very unique take on the gangster film that manages to be macho and heartfelt by blending a complex father-son theme with a straightforward "come at me bro" storyline.
16 people found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on May 29, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Family & Revenge as Hanks proves he can play roles outside his usual casting
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The Road To Perdition is about family and revenge. It’s set in Illinois during the Great Depression and stars Tom Hanks as mobster strongman Michael Sullivan. He works for Irish gangster John Rooney (Paul Newman) who always thought of Sullivan as his adopted son. That’s because his real son Connor (Daniel Craig) is a loose cannon. That creates the dilemma in the story as Connor kills Sullivan’s wife and youngest son. Sullivan and his surviving son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) go on the run, but with the goal of destroying the Rooney family for what they’ve done. You thus have adopted son going against his adopted father.

The first thing that hits you is that this is not your usual Tom Hanks role. He’s not the good hearted all-American, but an anti-hero mobster. At the same time, there’s some of the traditional Hanks as he bonds with his son while they’re on the run. He also doesn’t want Jr. to turn out like him.

The theme plays out over and over throughout the film. For instance Sullivan shows up at John Rooney’s church and tells him he’s not going to stop until Connor is dead. John replies that he’s always treated Michael like a son, but he’s not going to give up his real son.

Overall, this was an impressive movie and quite the change for Hanks showing that he could play roles outside of his traditional casting.
2 people found this helpful
Frequent Amazon BuyerReviewed in the United States on May 25, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Different Tom Hanks From What You Knew!
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In 1988 I worked in the GM Building where the famous FAO Schwartz Toy Store was located. During this time, Tom Hanks was filming what would become his breakout movie role, "Big". I was able to watch through the lobby glass windows while they were setting up to film his famous "Heart and Soul" walking piano duet scene with Robert Loggia.

During a break, I observed Tom Hanks sitting by himself next to the walking piano, seriously studying his script. I'll never forget the expression on his face...this was not the comedic Tom Hanks that I knew from previous movies and TV shows. With all the outside Fifth Avenue noises, all the people rushing around, a lot of curious bystanders, and even the music that FAO always had playing in their store, his concentration never waivered. I remember thinking to myself, "Well, this is a side of him you don't get to see all the time!" I was very impressed and felt that he was headed to great things with that kind of determination to block any distractions.

When "Big" was released, I went to see it in a movie theater and found it wonderfully entertaining and light-hearted. I highly recommend you watch it if you can! I realized it took someone with that kind of ability to focus so well to make his role feel so effortless.

Why did I write all of this for a review for "Road to Perdition"? Many previous reviews gave very detailed descriptions of the movie, unfortunately sometimes including spoilers, so I felt it wasn't necessary to repeat all that. Instead, I hope that if you are familiar with his comedic roles, you will watch Tom Hanks in this one that shows a side of him that may surprise you. I watched "Road to Perdition" when it first came out, and again recently. I was very impressed both times with the versatile actor that is Tom Hanks.
movie afficonadoReviewed in the United States on June 9, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Tom Hanks at his best .
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Tom Hanks is perfect for the role of Michael Sullivan and Jude Law is excellent as the villain. Also the boy actor that plays Hank's son is excellent. His expressions of how he is feeling whether sad, happy or scared are shown by his face. Of course, Paul Newman is 100% perfect as the head of a Mafia family who favors Tom Hanks over his son, the future James Bond, Daniel Craig who shows a various forms of the character's evil sides which are many. The cross country trek where Tom Hanks and his son have to go to escape from Jude Law, is nice to see as the scenery is real USA at the time of the thirties and magnificently done by the art director and all who worked so hard to make everything look so real for the era the story is taking place. Blu-Ray makes everything very professional and enjoyable for the viewer and adds immensely to the telling of the story. A gangster film with a heart and a lot of suspense and surprises for the viewer. I am glad to add this fine film to my collection. Wonderful performances by everybody.
14 people found this helpful
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