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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "There is only one guarantee. None of us will see Heaven."
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...
Published on 27 Nov 2004 by Mary Whipple

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Two great stars (Tom Hanks and Paul Newman) make sure that this is an entertaining movie.
Published 1 month ago by Bert Dekkers


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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "There is only one guarantee. None of us will see Heaven.", 27 Nov 2004
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (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). 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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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably my most favourite film to date, 7 Oct 2014
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Michael Sullivan Sr., is an enforcer to John Rooney, an Irish-American crime boss in Illinois during the Great Depression. Sullivan, an orphan raised by Rooney, has worked for the crime boss most of his life. Sullivan and Rooney's son, Connor, are sent by Rooney to talk to Finn McGovern, a disgruntled employee. Sullivan's son, twelve-year-old Michael Sullivan Jr., stows away in his father's car, attempting to learn more about his enigmatic father's ambiguous profession. He witnesses Connor's impulsive killing of McGovern, and is soon after discovered by his father and Connor. Although Sullivan Sr. swears that his son will tell no-one, Connor attempts to ensure his own protection by attempting to have Sullivan Sr. killed, while murdering the rest of Sullivan's family himself. Connor kills Sullivan's wife, Annie, and younger son, Peter; Sullivan Sr. and his son, Michael Sullivan Jr., escape with their lives and flee to Chicago.

Sullivan requests assistance from a Lieutenant in Al Capone's crime syndicate, Frank Nitti, in order to get revenge on Connor, but when he is rejected, Sullivan and his son begin a string of mob-owned bank robberies in order to steal the syndicate's laundered money. Sullivan hopes to coerce Capone into giving Connor up for the money, but instead Capone dispatches assassin Harlen Maguire to kill Sullivan and his son. Maguire sets up a trap for Sullivan with the aid of Rooney's accountant, Alexander Rance. Sullivan arrives at Rance's hotel room, seeking assistance, and Rance stalls him long enough for Maguire to arrive at his room. Rance is killed in the crossfire of the ensuing gunfight, but Sullivan escapes with a bullet wound in his left arm. Maguire escapes as well, though his face is left disfigured from a debris wound. Sullivan Jr. takes his father to a farm in the country where a childless, elderly couple takes the two of them in. During his recuperation, Sullivan finds in ledgers taken from Rance's hotel room that Connor had been embezzling money from his father under the names of gang members that he had murdered.

When Sullivan Sr. recovers, he secretly meets with John Rooney during Mass and shares his discovery about Connor. Rooney not only reveals that he has been aware of Connor's treachery all along, but remains adamant in his refusal to let his son be harmed. Sullivan Sr. ambushes John Rooney and his bodyguards in the street, picking them off with his Thompson submachine gun from an alley before approaching Rooney face to face. Rooney says, "I'm glad it's you" before Sullivan Sr. tearfully unloads the last of his ammunition into him. With Rooney dead, Capone is bereft of any reason to protect Connor. Capone uses Frank Nitti as a middleman as he gives Sullivan Sr. Connor's exact location, on the condition that Sullivan Sr. gives his word that his spree will end with Connor's death. Sullivan Sr. leaves a letter for his son before going to the hotel at which Connor is staying. Connor's bodyguards allow him straight, unhindered passage to Connor, who is bathing in his room. Sullivan Sr., saying nothing, draws his pistol and fires three rounds into Connor's head, then leaves. Apparently free from pursuit, Sullivan and his son make their way to the town of Perdition, Michigan. A disfigured Maguire surprises Michael Sullivan Sr. in the summer house of Sarah (Annie's sister). Maguire shoots Sullivan Sr. from behind. He sets his gun on a table behind him and begins setting up his camera to take a picture of the dying Sullivan Sr., in accordance to his MO. However, Maguire soon finds himself at gunpoint by Sullivan's son with his own weapon. Maguire attempts to convince Sullivan Jr. to discard the weapon, and Sullivan Sr. pleads with his son not to fire, thereby following his father's path, which had always been his greatest fear. Sullivan Sr. shoots Maguire from behind before his son can pull the trigger, then dies in Sullivan Jr.'s arms. Sullivan Jr. mourns his father's death and finds his way to the same elderly couple that had helped him and his father, assuming the life of a farmer's son.

This film is excellent in many way, the artistry in the film is stunning and the period clothing brings a real sense of style.

Tom Hanks plays the lead character so well, and Paul Newman is excellent.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BLU-RAY REVIEW, 5 Jun 2010
By 
The usual suspect (2nd aisle on the right, top shelf) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 14 Jan 2004
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Personally, anything Thomas Newman is involved in is always moving and beautiful anyway. But throw in a cast of brilliant actors, gorgeous cinematography, realistic gangsters and a moving father-son storyline and you have the recipe for an awesome film. I own the DVD and Original Soundtrack, and whether I watch the film or listen to the score I can't help but feel enriched in everyway. There's somethign about this film and the score which just strikes a nerve...i dunno...I recommend this highly to anyone who has feeling.
Peace.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime and strangely beautiful, 1 Dec 2006
By 
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I absolutely hate all reviewers who think this film is style over substance and whilst it has a dark "sheen", has no guts. What rubbish! This film is not supposed to shock so much, if you want to see violence for the sake of it, the lead actor being a total bastard, then don't watch this film as you obviously can not look beyond visuals! HOWEVER, if you want a film that makes you think and looks at people as individuals and is ultimately about the father/son relationship, then enjoy this well acted and in my opinion gutsy film albeit with beautiful, old fashioned storytelling values.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film with great acting., 20 Aug 2005
By 
DVD Fan (london, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Crafted Escape Story., 15 Aug 2006
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Road to perdition is one of the best films i have had to pleasure to watch. This film will stay with you, especially the build up to the main confrontation scene, which is performed beautifully by the actors involved along with a fantastic and fitting soundtrack which is used well throughout the movie. Tom Hanks has performed in a variety of pictures and most have been groundbreaking blockbusters, if you like his work and consider him to be one of the living legends, you will not be dissapointed with this film. I dont know about the directors or writers, but he really can spot a good script these days. A must watch if you like mobster movies, as this film focuses on the escape from this criminal underworld rather than the rise and fall of characters around it, which is the typical story of most other gangster films. 10/10 - Excellent Sweeping Piano Soundtrack.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, 22 Mar 2003
By 
MR A SMEDLEY (DONCASTER, SOUTH YORKSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Having recently just purchased this movie, I didn't quite know what to expect. I thought, gangster movie with Tom Hanks? How would that work? Answer... Fantastically. Each actor plays his or her role with a passion. Hanks is his usual self - brilliant, Newman adds a lot to the whole movie. You don't know whether Hanks' character is evil or protective and you never quite work out whats around the corner until the end. If you want an enjoyable movie with a fantastic soundtrack and great performances then go for this. If you still aren't convinced then purchase anyway. You won't be disappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real Gem, 28 Aug 2006
By 
Devoto (Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I would urge anyone who has not heard of this film to buy it immediately-It really is a little gem.

I am not a lover of "Mob" movies but this is the exception.The dialogue is very clear and the plot easy to follow.Tom Hanks puts in a moving performance and Paul Newman is brilliant as the Mob Leader especiallly when slamming the table in a rage at his embarrassing son.

Turn down the lights.Grab the popcorn and enjoy a movie that will move you to tears,excite you and leave you wanting more.

A bargain at Amazon's current special price i should say!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 27 Jun 2008
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
My header says it all, I knew it was going to be good, I mean how could it not be? Tom hanks, Paul Newman.....Jude Law? Without giving too much away, Hanks plays a hit man for the mob lead by Newman, whom is also a father figure to Hanks, favouring him over his own son played by Daniel Craig...

The plot thickens when things turn sour due to the immature and irresponsible actions of Craig which have catastrophic consequences for all involved, especially when the terrifyingly deadly skills of Hanks comes to the fore.

The film however is not all violence, and in fact is truly a heart warming stroy of father and son bonding between Hanks and his son, finding themselves thrust into a situation which neither want, they decide to take the mob head on whilst at the same time constantly on the run from the twisted and psychotic hitman played by Law. It truly is beautifuly played, with sadness and joy along the way which really touches the heart strings.

The acting by the entire cast is superb, I believe Hanks is at his absolute best here, with Newman and Craig both turning in excellent performances too. The photography is also fantastic capturing middle America in the 30's beautifully, this also brings me onto the soundtrack which again is first class, I could listen to it all day, and it somehow capsulates the feeling of the film.

I won't give anymore away as it is a film everyone must see, its definatley up there in my top 10 films of all time. Much better than the Godfather as it has so much more feeling. On a par with Goodfellas although a completely different ride.
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Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD]
Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] by Sam Mendes (DVD - 2003)
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