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Plot: Mike Sullivan works as a hit man for crime boss John Rooney. Sullivan views Rooney as a father figure. However after his son is witness to a killing he has done Mike Sullivan finds him self on the run trying to save the life of his son and at the same time looking for revenge on those who wronged him. Jude Law co stars as a hit man hired to kill Sullivan. Runtime: 117 mins Release Date: 11 Jul 2002
Road to Perdition, a movie undeservedly overlooked at that year Oscars is the second work of Sam Mendes and in my opinion his best work , a director who three years before won Oscar for his widely acclaimed but controversial American Beauty. This is a terrific movie, and at the same time ultimately poignant and sad.It's a story of a relatively wealthy and happy family from outward appearance during difficult times of Depression when the, Michael Sullivan, a father of two children, played by great Tom Hanks I'm not his admirer but ought to say that is a hit-man for local mafia boss, <more>
played by Paul Newman. His eldest son, a thirteen years boy Michael Sullivan Jr., perfectly played by young Tyler Hoechlin, after years of blissful ignorance finds out what is his father job and on what money their family live. Prompted by his curiosity and his aspiration to know truth he accidentally becomes a witness of a murder, committed by John Rooney, son of his father boss. Such discovery strikes an innocent soul and it caused numerous events that changed his life forever. The atmosphere of the period, all the backgrounds and decorations are perfectly created, editing and cinematography are almost flawless while the story is well written. But the main line of the movie, the most important moments and points of the movie and the key factor of the movie success are difficult father-son relations in bad times. They are shown so deeply, strong and believable. Tom Hanks does excellent and has one of the best performances of his career in a quite unusual role for him and all acting across the board is superb. Finally worth to mention a very nice score by Paul Newman and in the result we get an outstanding work of all people involved in making this beautiful but one more time sad masterpiece. I believe Road to Perdition belongs to greatest achievements of film-making of this decade and undoubtedly one of the best films of the year.My grade 10 out of 10
Among the most beautiful films in history (by ctuavocado)
Acting This film is a very well acted film. I will say that the performances are slightly weak at times; but for the most part, the acting is very good. The only actor that blew me away with his performance was Jude Law as Harlen Maguire. He was incredible! Tom Hanks seemed alittle unsure at at a few points throughout the film but he too was incredible. Paul Newman, good as always. Cinematography This is what made the movie a masterpiece and I rarely use that word . Conrad Hall is a true genius. If at any point in the movie you were to pause it, you will see the delicately crafted work of <more>
this man. He sets up every shot so that nothing is left out. When the camera is still, there is a postcard like quality to the screen. When the camera is moving, every shot is planned to understated perfection. But it doesn't stop there. Conrads choice of colors and contrast between light and dark settings is a work of art. The way he lights the set is some of the most amazing lighting work I've seen. His work on this movie made it what it is. This movie is at the top of the list for best Cinematography with LOTR, Black Hawk Down, Hero, CTHD, Moulin Rouge, and Vertigo. Story People will say this movie is a 1930s gangster flick but, I believe they missed the point of the movie. It is a love story about a hit-man who fails in trying to protect his son from the life he chose. It is a brilliantly crafted story that unfolds into a beautiful bond between two people who have nothing but each other. The screen Writing is worthy of an Oscar. Music Thomas Newman conducts a sad but hopeful score to intensify this sad but hopeful story. The music is some of the most beautiful and moving scores I've herd. Direction Sam Mendes is a new director with a feel of an experienced director. The symbols he uses and the performances he gets from his actors is a rarity in todays film-making world. I will be on the lookout for the next Sam Mendes Film. 10/10 one of the most moving and beautiful movies I've ever seen.
I loved so much about this movie...the time taken to develop the characters, the attention to detail, the superb performances, the stunning lighting and cinematography, the wonderful soundtrack...It has a combined intensity and lightness of touch that won't work for anyone who wants the typical fast-paced action flick. If we lived in Elizabethan days, I'd say this movie's a bit like a Shakespearean tragedy. But since we don't, let's say it's more like a Drama-Suspense movie.The plot is simple, but the story is complex. The movie is intelligent in the way relationships <more>
and issues are explored. Much of the story is shown rather than told, which I find makes it more subtle and moving - and which also works well for a story based on a comic book or graphic novel . At times I felt I was actually there in the 1930s, part of this story - there was such a realistic yet dream-like quality in the style of its telling.I don't often prefer movies to the books they were based upon, but in this case I do. Though I did enjoy the book too. I've bought the DVD, which is great because it has some wonderful deleted scenes and insightful commentary. I also took my little cousin, who's a little younger than the boy in the movie, to see it after I saw it for the first time, because he has issues at home and I wanted to use this as a way of starting a discussion on father-son issues with him. He loved it - and the discussion.
A subtle masterwork of a great forthcoming director! (by brooksmurphy-1)
This couldn't have been better. The strong restraints on Mike Sullivan's expressions couldn't have been portrayed in any other way. Tom Hanks delivers the best performance of his career. Young Tyler Hoechlin drives an emotional wheel; playing the basis character for the story. And veteran Paul Newman gives one of his best character performances in a long time. This film is based on a bold graphic novel by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. This is a father/son story which basically employs the two candidates solely unfit for the roles. Mike Sullivan had no father as a <more>
child, so John Rooney took him in. Although a generous man, Mr. Rooney involved himself in organized crime. Therefore, the debt of Sullivan was only to be paid off in involving himself in the business. Now, Sullivan has a wife and two children and is trying to keep his children safe, but at the same time pay back his boss. The events to follow, will test Sullivan's loyalty and embrace his family's fate.With a great adaptation by David Self, the dialogue comes out seldomly, but yet very virtuous. The story unfolds in a beautiful 1930's setting Brilliant Art Direction by Richard L. Johnson & Nancy Haigh covered with a dark rainy snow on the ground exterior. Driving the story, is Thomas Newman's wonderful Irish score, settling in only when necessary. But the most important technical element in the film is Conrad L. Hall's beautiful photography. This is some of the best cinematography I've seen; and I watch a lot of films. The scene when Mike and Michael are in the car, entering Chicago is quite impressive. The shot starts at the front of the car, revealing Mike Hanks through the windshield. It subsequently dollys around to the side of the car, to see Michael Hoechlin awakening and peering out his side window. As it continues, it trucks sideways and dollys back, completely around the car and reveals a gorgeous scenic 1930's Chicago.With a great cast and crew, the principle man creates a brazenly amazing film. I'm talking about Sam Mendes, who made his feature film debut in 1999 with American Beauty. won him various awards Before American Beauty, Mendes worked as a play director for the British Theater, but decided that he wanted to move on saying that there was nothing new for him in theater. With only two films, Sam Mendes has marked himself in my book as one of the great directors In a list of about twenty-five .The film illuminates a brazen genre that has its hits and misses and expresses the true theme brilliantly. The photography, acting and story is phenominal. I'm still waiting for Scorcesee's Gangs of New York, but for now, I'm fully confident in saying that this is the "Best Film of the Year". Considering it's competition Signs, Insomnia, Minority Report thats a strong statement.
Conrad Hall went out with a bang. The great film photographer finished his illustrious career with this movie before passing on. He did himself proud as this is one of the best-looking crime films you'll ever see.Of course, the acting ain't bad when you have Tom Hanks and Paul Newman playing the leads! The amount of action in here is just right, too: not too much; not too little.None of the characters in here, frankly, are "good guys" as Hanks is a professional hit-man for town boss Newman. Hanks' only redeeming quality is not wanting his young son to wind up a killer <more>
like him, although he does teach him how to be the getaway man in robberies! Huh?As good as the acting is and as interesting as the story is, the real star of this film is cinematographer Hall, who paints scene after beautiful scene with his lens. His work is just awesome.
Sometimes familiar, but always good (by rbverhoef)
This is one of the best made movies from 2002. Maybe it is not the best movie, but it looks the best, has great acting and is directed perfectly by Sam Mendes, who debuted with 'American Beauty'.It tells the story of a gangster named Michael Sullivan Tom Hanks who is seen by his son Tyler Hoechlin on one of his jobs. Michael's boss, John Rooney Paul Newman , thinks things will be okay but his jealous son Connor Rooney Daniel Craig sets both his father and Michael up, leading to the death of Michael's wife Jennifer Jason Leigh and second son. Michael thinks Rooney is <more>
responsible and Rooney has to choose for himself and sends a hit-man Harlen Maguire Jude Law to finish the job. Since Michael is a respected man within the organization he tries to win some friends who can help him including mob boss Frank Nitti Stanley Tucci .In a way 'Road to Perdition' is a standard gangster movie but it is so well made you almost can not see that. This movie is good in its production design, art direction, sound, music and most of all in its cinematography. All these elements are able to surprise and create suspense although the outcome is pretty certain. That Hoechlin is not a annoying kid and Hanks, Law and Newman know how to act helps, of course.Based on a comic this movie is so much better than you would expect and although it has it flaws it belongs to the better movies in the genre. Sometimes there are events where you realize you have seen it so many times before, but for some reason it also feels fresh at the same time. The scenes between the adult Hanks and the child Hoechlin help in that area. See this movie that will look familiar at times but is totally new on a lot of areas.
Great Performances Paper Over Any Minor Flaws (by Theo Robertson)
ROAD TO PERDITION can be summed up by Thomas Newman's score . It's haunting and beautiful but you're aware that this music is similar to Newman's other work and while listening to the soundtrack you're reminded of SCENT OF A WOMAN , MEETING JOE BLACK and THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION you're reminded of other films as the story unfolds on screen . As the Sullivans drive round America trying to escape from a psychotic hit man you think of THE GETAWAY , Irish gangsters is MILLER'S CROSSING whilst the subtext of guilt and redemption can be summed up by Coppola and <more>
Leone's gangster epics. Despite having a seen it all before feel this shouldn't be taken as a heavy criticism of Sam Mendes film which I repeat is haunting and beautiful and the only flaws that work against it is a very slow opening twenty minutes and I was slightly confused as the events that caused Michael Sullivan to be betrayed . But if you stop to consider how much of a sentimental mess Spielberg might have made with the story that revolves around a father and his twelve year old son running for their lives you can't help thinking what a superb director Mendes is ROAD TO PERDITION is a film where the entire cast give flawless performances . I've never been all that keen on Tom Hanks but he's every bit as good here as he has been in any starring role , probably better . Paul Newman plays a character with an Irish accent but at no point did I believe I was watching an American screen legend putting on a false accent - Newman's performance works due to the subtle body language , his character is torn up by guilt but Newman never milks it or goes over the top . While never upstaging Newman who gives the best performance in the movie the two Brit supporting actors Craig and Law are also very memorable as American gangsters and while Law will still have a long career as a leading actor one wonders how Daniel Craig might have progressed as a character actor if he hadn't decided to become James Bond , a role which heralds the end of an actors career
From director Sam Mendes, he follows the outstanding American Beauty with this fantastic period gangster crime drama. Basically for ages young Michael Sullivan Jr. Tyler Hoechlin believed his father, Michael Sullivan Tom Hanks was a man who worked for the man who brought him up since childhood, John Rooney Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated Paul Newman . With his father, Michael goes to the funeral of one of John's friends, and there a drunk guy makes bad comments at the wake. Curious to know what his "Pa" does, Michael Jr. hides in his car, and witnesses his <more>
"Pa" killing the drunk guy, and he is caught peeking. John after this, secretly, hires assassins to kill them. They only managed to kill Michael Jr.'s younger brother Peter Liam Aiken and mother Annie Jennifer Jason Leigh , so now him and his "Pa" are on the run from the mob, and along the way trying to find the man/men responsible. John meanwhile has hired professional hit-man Harlen Maguire Jude Law to find and kill them. It is through this journey of robberies and killing that Michael and his son get closer than they ever did before. Before finding out it was John that hired them, he also found out that John's snivelling son, Connor Daniel Craig, 4 years before becoming James Bond had been stealing from his Dad. It ends in tragedy though when after killing John, that Michael is gunned down by scarred from glass Harlen, before being shot, and he dies in his son's arms. Also starring The Terminal's Stanley Tucci as Frank Nitti, Happiness's Dylan Baker as Alexander Rance and Ciarán Hinds as Finn McGovern. Filled with marvellous action, gun firing and chase sequences, and the teary ending, it is a fantastic drama. It won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, and it was nominated the Oscars for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Music for Thomas Newman, Best Sound and Best Sound Editing, and it won the BAFTAs for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. Jude Law was number 60, Paul Newman number 16, and Tom Hanks number 3 on The 100 Greatest Movie Stars, Law was also number 10 on The 50 Greatest British Actors, and Hanks was also number 39 on The World's Greatest Actor. Very good!
Unbelievable cast and crew make this film a timeless piece. (by hiproductions)
Mendes is turning out to be in the class of Peter Weir in that he bides his time and takes a script with depth, meaning, and weight. This is refreshing. His grasp of visual story telling is uniquely superb. Nothing is wasted and every element: writing, casting, set decor, acting, cinematography is integrated masterfully by Mendes as it was in American Beauty . If you enjoy story 1st and have no patience for gratuitous gangland violence, then this is a film for you. Its gangland Chicago during the depression and the local mob boss Rooney played by Paul Newman has two sons: a surrogate son, <more>
Michael Sullivan Tom Hanks and a natural born son, Conner played beautifully by Daniel Craig . Connor inflicts atrocities out of jealousy on Sullivan, who is an ingenious hit man with supernatural excellence. Sullivan, driven by revenge, seeks to save his son Michael from the same "Road" that he has taken. The visual imagery was amazing. It takes a person to the era and Conrad Hall did such a great job of capturing Mendes' vision without lighting too much "on the nose". Editing was brilliant, this movie doesn't get slow, or needlessly 'cut around'. The editing is invisible and the pacing is perfect to the story. This is a DVD worth owning.