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4.6 out of 5 stars137
4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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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
0Comment12 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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). Tyler Hoechlin, as 12-year-old Mike, Jr., reveals his fears and vulnerabilities at the same time that he shows his satisfaction as the center of his father's attention (winning Best Young Actor from the Broadcast Film Critics Association). Jude Law, made up to look like a true, wild-eyed psychopath, is terrifying. Hanks looks menacing and acts viciously until his concern for his son overtakes all other emotions in a moving, climactic scene, though it is difficult to accept him in the role of a hitman. Period music adds style to the film, and original music by Thomas Newman (and the title song by John Williams), mostly piano and strings, preserves the period tone. Filled with the horror of violence and considerable suspense, this noir film gives a human face to mob violence in the thirties.
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on 26 January 2016
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. Connor loses control and shoots McGovern too, causing Michael to have to take out some friends of McGovern who are present at the meeting. Michael Jr.is a witness to all this. Michael is sure of his son's discretion, but Connor -- perhaps doubting it and perhaps taking out some of his resentment of his father's love for Michael -- seeks to kill the boy. Instead he kills his younger brother and Michael's wife. Rooney won't sanction Michael's killing of Connor -- his son after all -- so Sullivan sets off to take his revenge knowing that his trying to do so will not only end his relationship with Rooney but will cause Rooney to come after him and Michael Jr. as well. So Sullivan and his boy take off, and the chase is on. Jude Law is the unusual hit man assigned to take the Sullivans out.

That's enough, I hope, to whet your interest in the plot, which is tense and riveting. At the same time, the film's high degree of formal organization gives an almost ritualistic timbre to the whole -- as if we're seeing enacted some kind of morality play in which the claims of family, affection, respect, loyalty of various kinds, and justice are brought before us to a degree that is both emotionally engaging (thanks to the screenplay and the actors) and philosophically satisfying. Movies like "The Godfather" and "Eastern Promises" also present the viewer with conundrums of loyalty and justice (and very effectively too), but their more veristic styles throw the emphasis more on individual psychology and pathology, while "Road to Perdition" seems starker in some ways.

Only one thing doesn't ring quite true -- without giving anything away, I'll just say that it seems implausible that the Michael we've seen throughout the movie would have made that visit to his sister . . .

About the movie's being based on a graphic novel, I can make no comment except to say that the visual style is NOT simply a reflection of that literary source. It has its effect as a choice within the director's vision of the movie for the purposes of the movie.
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on 26 March 2014
A little unlikely perhaps, that one man could cause all this mayhem and violence, without being cut down early on in the proceedings. As a revenge movie it's probably up there with the best of this type. It manages to be human and moving which gives it kudos, with an ending that is inevitable, as Hollywood is still reluctant to rubber stamp such activity.
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on 20 August 2005
I saw Road to perdition on the back of good reviews when it came out at the cinema but knew little of what it was about. I can see why it got such good reviews as the acting is superb and is well directed. Basically a young boy realises that his dad is a hitman for the local ganster in 1930's Capone era. Can't reveal much more without spoling the plot.
The film does come across as quite dark and broody, it's a bit slow to start but 20mins in it picks up and you will be engrossed until the end, which however is a bit predictable. Overall a good film well worth watching.
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on 18 October 2015
This started off a bit slow to begin with, but it definitely picked up pace as it went on.
The actors were all effective and made me feel everything I was meant to.
The camera photography was really pretty, especially scenes in the rain, was like a painting.
It did make me cry, I haven't seen loads of Tom Hanks films (Toy Story, You've Got Mail, Catch Me If You Can, The Man With One Red Shoe, Forrest Gump, The Terminal) I know he can do serious films, but this always had a darker side to it, unlike Forrest.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed this, not sure if I would watch it again anytime soon, I think I need to watch Toy Story again for some lightness.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 February 2011
When his son witnesses him applying a hit, mob enforcer Michael Sullivan finds that the man whom he likened to a father has ordered a hit on him and his family. Too late to save his wife and youngest child, Sullivan goes on the run with his eldest boy and plots revenge along the way.

How refreshing to find a gangster movie in the modern age, more so, how refreshing to find a gangster movie set in the early 1930s and not involving foul mouthed Mafioso types. Directed by Sam Mendes and starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Daniel Craig and Jude Law, Road To Perdition is an adaptation of the Graphic Novel that was brought to us by Max Allan Collins & Richard Piers Rayner. The film deals with themes of violence and its consequences and fathers and sons, set to a watery back drop during the Great Depression. It's also a pulse pinging treat of visual magnificence thanks to cinematographer Conrad L. Hall. Comparisons with great gangster film's of the past are inevitable, but Mendes' film has more in common with something like Eastwood's Unforgiven and John Ford's The Searchers, the journey of the lead protagonist is fraught and telling, and motivated by circumstance. But the trick for first time viewers that Road To Perdition has up its sleeve, is that we don't know how it will work out for Hanks' Sullivan. It makes for a riveting experience with many transcendent rewards along the way.

As regards the cast, Hanks is a touch miscast, but his play off relationship with the quite terrific Newman gives the film some solid ground from which to launch its sombre story. Daniel Craig does a nifty line in weasel and Law convinces as a mouldy toothed hired killer who enjoys taking photographs of his victims. With almost philosophical mediations on good and bad, and elegiacally drawn by Mendes, the film thrives as a poetic and atmospheric piece. It's story might be basic, but it rises above that because it be a superbly directed and well acted picture. One that just happens to be beautiful in spite of the bleakness that lingers on the main protagonist. 8/10
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on 30 March 2003
Road To Perdition is a 1930's classic gangster movie.
It doesn't have the violence and the epic feeling of other big gangster movies such as Godfather, Goodfellas or Casino. It has more of a feeling of intimacy and sorrow.
It has a few shocks that many main stream films would not put in your 'feel good' action/thriller movie. The crux of the plot is a young boy's realisation that his respected but somewhat distant father is a highly placed mob gunman.
Key moments of violence are portrayed less as gung-ho but in a more with world weary, down beat style. One act of revenge is particularly surprising in that its delivered coldly, briefly and virtually unseen.
The downbeat feeling is the heart of the movie. Newman ( who is particularly good ) and Hanks are reflective, sad and sensitive. It is never stated, but you can't help feeling Hank's gangster character is a decent man led astray in the past. Newman also shows regret at his life as a crime boss and his inability to control the events that unfold. Most scenes take place at night, in shadow or in the pouring rain giving a nice dark texture to events.
The ending is predictable and the final scenes had me gritting my teeth in frustration to stifle the need to shout 'behind you!!'.
Overall this is a good movie that satisfies. If you like Tom Hanks, Gangster movies or serious thrillers I would recommend
Road To Perdition.
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on 11 October 2003
After American Beauty, I was expecting great things from director Sam Mendes on this film and I was not really disappointed. Good, solid story involving a gangster and his son on the run from the gangster's mob 'family' after the son witnesses a shooting. So far so good. Getting Paul Newman to play the 'godfather' role was inspired and every scene that he plays, is a joy to behold. Then we come to Hanks. This is where I have a problem. Having seen this man play romantic, comedic and dramatic leads, I had to have a leap of faith that he would be good in this difficult role. My faith was not rewarded. Each scene with Hanks in, is a hard slog to get through. The performance is pulled from him instead of being given and results in a uneven film when everyone else is excellent. Maybe its because I have seen him in practically every film that he's done, that I cannot, in good conscience, say that this was a role that he did justice to. Having said that, it is a worthy enough film to stand on its own and, if you can overlook Hanks, you will enjoy it.
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