Road to Perdition

Road to Perdition

4.5 27
Director: Sam Mendes

Cast: Sam Mendes, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The acclaimed graphic novel from crime writer Max Allan Collins becomes this big budget Dreamworks drama from director Sam Mendes and screenwriter David Self. Tom Hanks stars as Michael Sullivan, a morally conflicted Depression-era hit man committing murder in the name of his employer, John Rooney (Paul Newman). A kindly, aging Irish crime boss who raised Sullivan as… See more details below

  • Checkmark DC Comics Collection  Shop Now

Overview

The acclaimed graphic novel from crime writer Max Allan Collins becomes this big budget Dreamworks drama from director Sam Mendes and screenwriter David Self. Tom Hanks stars as Michael Sullivan, a morally conflicted Depression-era hit man committing murder in the name of his employer, John Rooney (Paul Newman). A kindly, aging Irish crime boss who raised Sullivan as his surrogate son, Rooney is affiliated with Al Capone in Chicago and thus wields great power in the "Tri-Cities" of Moline, IL; Rock Island, IL; and Davenport, IA. Curious about his father's mysterious profession, Sullivan's son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), stows away in his father's automobile one night and witnesses the execution of a man at the hands of Sullivan and Rooney's biological son, Connor (Daniel Craig). Although Michael keeps his promise to remain silent about what he's seen, the paranoid and unstable Connor tries to wipe out the entire Sullivan clan anyway, succeeding only in killing Sullivan's wife, Annie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and youngest son, Peter (Liam Aiken). Enraged at this and another surprise betrayal by the Rooneys, Sullivan embarks on a path of bloody retribution, Michael in tow. Although he intends to leave his boy with relatives in the rural town of Perdition once the coast is clear, he ends up exposing Michael to the goriest aspects of his talents, slaughtering former associates as he dodges contract assassin Maguire (Jude Law) and cripples the cash flow of the Rooney and Capone organizations through a series of bank robberies, attempting to force either mob family to offer up the sequestered Connor as a sacrifice. Inspired by the popular Japanese comic book series Lone Wolf and Cub and based loosely on an episode from the life and career of notorious real-life crime figures John and Connor Looney, Road to Perdition co-stars Stanley Tucci as legendary Chicago mobster Frank Nitti.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Unquestionably one of 2002’s best films, this Depression-era crime drama demonstrates yet again that erstwhile sitcom star Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s finest actors. It also vindicates the judgment of critics who maintain that Sam Mendes (American Beauty) is among the most talented directors working today. Based on a graphic novel written by detective-story scribe Max Allen Collins, Perdition begins in a small midwestern city where Michael Sullivan (Hanks) works as an enforcer for his adopted father, Irish gangster John Rooney (Paul Newman). When Sullivan’s son, Mike Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), witnesses one of his father’s killings on Rooney’s behalf, the gangster decides that his ward and his family are liabilities that must be removed. Mendes, working from a script that considerably expands on the Collins story, tells several stories simultaneously; the plot principally revolves around Sullivan’s efforts to safeguard his son and get even with the man who betrayed him, but it also focuses on the boy’s efforts to bond with his emotionally distant father, and in a tertiary sense it’s about the internal conflicts of a lawbreaking man governed by his own peculiar code of honor while functioning in a hopelessly corrupt and amoral societal structure. Mendes eschews flashy visual effects and quick cutting in favor of elegantly composed shots and subtle camera moves. This directorial restraint is carried over to the performances, which are mostly understated (Hanks, for example, suggests far more than he shows, forcing viewers to use their imaginations). The one exception is Jude Law, whose turn as a hired assassin is delightfully eccentric and over-the-top. Road to Perdition could have been a florid, melodramatic shoot-’em-up, but Mendes's inspired direction and the solidly grounded performances of Hanks and Newman made it something very special. This is a film viewers will want to see many times.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
An elegant, mournful gangster picture that joins the ranks of Miller's Crossing (1990) and The Godfather (1972) as an example of the genre's best, this adaptation of a fact-based graphic novel is another showcase for the visual talents of director Sam Mendes, following up his Oscar-winning cinematic debut, American Beauty (1999). The film's power is due in no small part to a superb script from relatively new screenwriter David Self, who enlarges upon the source material's themes until they've reached Shakespearean proportions, while cleverly touching upon the tale's themes of fathers and sons, coming of age, violence, and damnation. Audiences may have a difficult time grappling with the emotional reserve, itchy trigger finger and ultimate fate of hit man Michael Sullivan, played by one of its favorite, most likable leading men, Tom Hanks, but the fact is that the character rings true to his circumstances and allows the star an opportunity to more freely employ the gruff, flinty toughness, the sharper edges of intelligence, and the irked, tired refusal to suffer fools gladly that are so often lurking just below the surface of his more popular roles (in many ways, Hanks' Sullivan seems to be the black sheep brother of Captain John Miller from 1998's Saving Private Ryan). Despite this, the film's one flaw is that it allows Sullivan so much screen time that not every viewer might realize that he's only a supporting player: the protagonist is not the father but the son, Michael Jr., well played by Tyler Hoechlin as a youth whose future prospects are cloudy at best but become more certain as events unfold. It's his point of view being shared, the ultimate fate of his soul that's at stake, and his character that's being emotionally tracked, but his denouement may feel anticlimactic compared to the father's spectacular, heart-breaking exit. It's a trifling flaw in an otherwise top-notch film that's certain to be reconsidered in later years as the century's first great gangster flick. The cast is terrific (Jude Law--in a role wholly invented for the film--and Paul Newman, in the underappreciated winter of his career, deliver awe-inspiring performances as well), but it's that corker of a script from Self, trenchant and devastating, breath-taking in its ability to ply the screen with elegant visuals followed up with sparkling dialogue and unexpected confrontations, that lights up the screen and the memory.
New York Times
It inspires a continuing and deeply satisfying awareness of the best movies as monumental 'picture shows.' Stephen Holden
San Francisco Chronicle
Directed by Sam Mendes, this movie might not be as flashy as his Oscar-winning American Beauty, but it's a smarter film, more mature and emotionally honest. Mick LaSalle
New York Observer
A rare and exemplary work of artistry and humanity that makes you think while it unfolds like the haunting pages of a novel you never want to end. Rex Reed

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
01/01/2013
UPC:
0883929300785
Original Release:
2002
Source:
Paramount Catalog
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:
18,030

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Hanks Michael Sullivan
Paul Newman John Rooney
Jude Law Maguire
Jennifer Jason Leigh Annie Sullivan
Stanley Tucci Frank Nitti
Daniel Craig Connor Rooney
Tyler Hoechlin Michael Sullivan Jr.
Liam Aiken Peter Sullivan
Dylan Baker Alexander Rance
Ciarán Hinds Finn McGovern
Mina Badie Betty The Waitress
Lance Baker Crime Scene Policeman
Ian Barford Ronney's Henchmen
Dylan Barker Alexander Rance
Michael Brockman Rooney's Business Associates
Nicholas Cade Boy Michael Fights
Jack Callahan Rooney's Business Associates
Jobe Cerny Bankers
Kevin Chamberlin Frank The Bouncer
David Darlow Jack Kelly
Diane Dorsey Aunt Sarah
Stephen P. Dunn Finn McGovern's Henchmen
Maurie Gallagher Michael's Teacher
James Greene Farmer Bill
Harry Groener Mr. McDougal
Timothy Hendrickson Bankers
Marty Higginbotham Bankers
John Judd Rooney's Business Associates
Kathleen Keane Irish Musicians
Ed Kross Young Bank Manager
Keith Kupferer Nitti's Henchmen
Lawrence MacGowan Bankers
Rob Maxey Drugstore Owner
Brendan McKinney Irish Musicians
Monte Carlos Living Corpse
Jackie Moran Irish Musicians
Kurt Naebig Tenement Murderer
Heidi Jayne Netzley Prostitute
Kieran O'Hare Irish Musicians
Roderick Peeples Nitti's Henchmen
Lara Phillips Ruby The Waitress
Phil Ridarelli Hotel Manager
Peggy Roeder Farmer Virginia
Lee Roy Rogers Secretary
Michael Sassone Motel Manager
Jon Sattler Rooney's Business Associates
Duane Sharp Father Callaway
John Sierros Rooney's Business Associates
Craig Spidle Ronney's Henchmen
Doug Spinuzza Brothel Maid
John Sterchi Cop At Diner
Christian Stolte Rooney's Business Associates
Paul Turner Finn McGovern's Henchmen

Technical Credits
Sam Mendes Director,Producer
Jill Bilcock Editor
Joey Box Stunts
Joan Bradshaw Executive Producer
Frank Calzavara Stunts
Patrick Caulfield Costumes/Costume Designer
Tara B. Cook Associate Producer
William Dambra Special Effects
Darrell Davis Stunts
Orbert Davis Consultant/advisor
James Fierro Stunts
Laurel Frushour Costumes/Costume Designer
Gretchen Gain Costumes/Costume Designer
Dennis Gassner Production Designer
Nancy Haigh Set Decoration/Design
Conrad L. Hall Cinematographer
Matthew Hall Special Effects
Scott A. Hecker Sound Editor
K.C. Hodenfield Asst. Director
Mark Howard Choreography
Jennifer Jobst Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard L. Johnson Art Director
William S. Judkins Stunts
Gary L. Karas Special Effects
Rick LeFevour Stunts
Tom Lowell Stunts
Jim Mammoser Stunts
Robert Marrocco Stunts
Cherylanne Martin Associate Producer
Harrison McEldowney Choreography
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Walter Parkes Executive Producer
Heather Pollock Costumes/Costume Designer
John Pritchett Sound/Sound Designer
John J. Rigden Special Effects
Allen Robinson Stunts
Kerry Rossall Stunts
P. Scott Sakamoto Camera Operator
Kerry Sanders Set Decoration/Design
David Self Screenwriter
Richard Shuster Stunts
Ron Snyder Makeup
Kevin Sorensen Stunts
Dan Striepeke Makeup
David Tennenbaum Set Decoration/Design
Andrew R. Tennenbaum Set Decoration/Design
Fred Thorne Stunts
Frank Toro Special Effects
Rich Wilke Stunts
John M. Williams Consultant/advisor
Albert Wolsky Costumes/Costume Designer
Debra Zane Casting
Richard D. Zanuck Producer
Dean Zanuck Producer

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >