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19 of 23 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

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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but flawed
This is a pretty typical gangster flick, with a pretty predictable storyline. It is a good film, and has exciting parts, but it is no masterpiece. It has a typical slushy ending 'when people ask about whether my father was a good ma, i say he was my father'. To rank it alngside greats such as the Godfather, Goodfells or Once Upon a Time in America is a travesty, as they...
Published on 8 July 2003 by meyrick69


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19 of 23 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 100 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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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
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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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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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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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intimate Dark Gangster Movie With A Predictable End, 30 Mar 2003
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sam Mendes does it again.....shame about Hanks, 11 Oct 2003
By 
N. Oliver ""pinky"" (barnstaple, devon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Whenever people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man...I just tell them he was my father", 6 May 2007
This review is from: Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Great film with fantastic acting and cinematography. The storyline focuses on two very different father/son relationships and the consequences of them; therefore Road to Perdition is not really a 'gangster' movie. There isn't much talking in the film, but this is where the cinematography kicks in: relying instead on music and symbolism. However, the message at the end is hard hitting all the same.
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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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Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD]
Road to Perdition [2002] [DVD] by Sam Mendes (DVD - 2003)
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