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Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law
  • Directors: Sam Mendes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Mar. 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FMG0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,349 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Tom Hanks stars in this gangster drama set in the American Midwest during the 1930s. Twelve-year-old Michael Sullivan Jr is curious about what his father (Hanks) does for a living, and one night decides to hide in his car as he goes off to work. It soon transpires that the elder Sullivan is a hitman for the mob, and when young Michael witnesses a killing carried out by the gangster boss' son Connor (Daniel Craig), it starts off a chain of events which will mark Michael's life forever. Co-starring Paul Newman and Jude Law and directed by Sam Mendes.

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A movie with an impeccable pedigree, Road to Perdition is director Sam Mendes' impressive follow-up to American Beauty, and features remarkable contributions from veteran cinematographer Conrad Hall, composer Thomas Newman and a cast of thespian brilliance led by Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law. Unfortunately, all their fine efforts have been lavished on an essentially predictable story, adapted from the graphic novel, which here unfolds in an overly leisurely fashion. The result is a movie that looks wonderful but feels a little too much like a contrived morality play.

Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, a family man but also a hit man in the employ of mob boss John Rooney (Newman). A surrogate father-figure to Sullivan, Rooney also has a wayward real son, Connor (Daniel Craig), whose duplicity leads to a deadly alienation between the Rooney family and Sullivan. Forced to go on the run with his own 12-year-old son, Michael junior (Tyler Hoechlin), Sullivan seeks both revenge and a way to prevent his boy from one day taking the same dark road as himself. Thus the Road to Perdition becomes both a literal and metaphorical journey for the protagonists.

It wouldn't matter that there's little tension or doubt about the outcome, except that Hanks' character is all too clearly a decent chap at heart, thus undermining from the outset any sense of a real "journey" towards redemption. It remains a delight to see all the principals acting at their peak and so capably directed, but ultimately Road to Perdition seems like a series of magnificently staged set-pieces that doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts.

On the DVD: Road to Perdition is presented in an anamorphic version of its original theatrical 2.35:1 ratio with accompanying Dolby 5.1 or DTS sound options. Both picture and sound make the most of the impeccable photography and production design. Extras are a feature commentary from Mendes, a series of deleted scenes also with optional commentary, a standard HBO making of featurette, plus photos, text notes and a trailer for the CD soundtrack. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Road to perdition is up there with all the great gangster movies I was extremely surprised by Tom hanks who played Micheal sullivan I could not invisage him as a gangster but I was very impressed with his performance.
This is a very good revenge movie after the sullivan family is killed off with only Michael and his son Michael Jr surviving by the big boss Rooney played by Paul Newman all he'll breaks loose.
Michael sullivan seeks revenge on the Rooney family taking both theyer business and theyer lives away from them doing all of this whilst being chased over 1930 s America by a hit an played superbly by jude law.
Whilst all this is happening you see before you on screen a father and son bonding whilst sullivan tries to extinguish a whole gangster family the film has loads of action it keeps on ticking on at a steady pace.
The American countryside looks wonderful one sceen of father and son travelling in theyer car along the road with trees each side of them the golden leaves looks fantadtic the clothing cars and scenery all look authentic.
The ending was great something I was not expecting well done sam mandes great job for directing a great film fantastic story telling thus is more than a gangster story it's heartfelt a father and son'so unbreakable bond.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Road to Perdition has a great story that's carried out by a fantastic cast. I've always felt it's a little too short though keeping it off my 'greatest' list. Still, it's a must for those that haven't seen it though. It is a gangster movie but then again it's not... part gangster, part father getting to know his son.

The transfer is good in that it improves the colours and levels of darkness (many dark scenes at the start of the movie). Lots of grain (as intended). It's worthy of the upgrade from DVD if it's reasonably priced (<£13) and you own a large TV. Audio is great, much more atmospheric than the DVD.

Another cover that doesn't give the languages but here's what are actually on the Blu-Ray:
Languages: English DTS master; Italian DTS; Castillian Spanish
Subs: English; Danish; Finnish; Italian; Norwegian; Swedish; Castillian Spanish; Croatian; Icelandic; Slovakian;

Region free
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Format: DVD
This suspense-filled story of Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), directed by Sam Mendes, has as much style and cinematic brilliance as American Beauty, though it is much darker. Sullivan, the adoptive son of John Rooney (Paul Newman), is a cold-blooded killer working for his crime boss "father" in the winter of 1931, when his own twelve-year-old son, Mike Jr., inadvertently witnesses a "hit" in which his father participates. Subsequently, the Sullivans, father and son, take off for Chicago to meet with Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci), underworld lieutenant to Al Capone. Mike Sullivan, Sr. is also hoping to get to Perdition, an appropriately named Midwestern town, so he can leave is son with his sister-in-law. Sadistic hitman Harlan Maguire (Jude Law), who enjoys photographing the death throes of his victims, is soon on the Sullivans' trail to the midwest.
Conrad L. Hall, to whom the film is dedicated, uses photography to its fullest advantage, winning a posthumous Academy Award for his cinematography. Shot in winter, the film preserves the flavor of early black and white films, with sharp, black and white contrasts, and the use of dark, somber colors, when colors are used at all. Snow, ice, rain, and fog perpetuate the cold darkness of the scenes, and Hall's use of architectural framing is stunning, particularly his repeated use of windows. He keeps the scenes simple, often focusing on individual characters in contexts which reveal their emotional states. In one memorable scene, for example, light from a streetlight outside a window casts the shadow of rain on an interior wall, suggesting both tears and cleansing.
Newman is terrific as an aging mob boss, playing his part with just the right mix of frailty and cruelty (for which he won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor).
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Format: DVD
This is a beautiful-looking movie -- there isn't a shot for which the framing, the color, the music, the costuming haven't been obviously deeply considered, and what's unusual is that you can't help but be aware of this degree of formalization even as you watch the movie. Of course, foregrounded formal features per se don't guarantee that a work of art will be effective, but the director Sam Mendes's judgements are good, and the film works beautifully. The director's judgements extend to the casting, of course, and clearly his vision for the movie must have had buy-in from Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and the others, for their performances fit the conception perfectly. It's a bit like watching a ballet -- what could be more "artificial" and yet the result, in a good performance, can be very moving. Gauging the degree to which the emotional power comes through because of or despite the formalization is a fool's game -- it has to come through the formal choices, and what these give this movie is a gravity and weight that for Mendes seem called for in a narrative in which deeply felt family ties are both betrayed and affirmed.

Tom Hanks is Michael Sullivan, a hit man for an Irish mobster, John Rooney (Newman), who took him in as an orphan and has come to love him more than his violent and erratic biological son Connor (Daniel Craig). But blood is blood, and Connor is family and Sullivan a trusted employee. The initiating action is when Sullivan's son Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) stows away in his dad's car and finds out what he does for a living when his dad and Connor pay a visit to Finn McGovern, ostensibly to try to shore up his support for Rooney, even though Connor has been responsible for the death of McGovern's brother.
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