Search - Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition) on DVD

Road to Perdition (Widescreen Edition)
Road to Perdition
Widescreen Edition
Actors: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey, Paul Newman, Liam Aiken
Director: Sam Mendes
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 57min

In Road to Perdition, Tom Hanks plays a hit man who finds his heart. Michael Sullivan (Hanks) is the right-hand man of crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman), but when Sullivan's son accidentally witnesses one of his hits, h...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey, Paul Newman, Liam Aiken
Director: Sam Mendes
Creators: Cherylanne Martin, Dean Zanuck, Joan Bradshaw, Richard D. Zanuck, David Self, Max Allan Collins, Richard Piers Rayner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Dreamworks Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 02/25/2003
Original Release Date: 07/12/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 07/12/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 57min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 5/24/2023...
Solid Hanks and Newman entertaining but it still seemed to be missing something by the time you got the end.
Lisa B. (redbusc) from YORBA LINDA, CA
Reviewed on 1/8/2012...
Well worth watching! As another reviewer has said, it is slow in some spots, but has a terrific story line and is touching.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Robyn P. from WAYCROSS, GA
Reviewed on 11/27/2007...
One of my favorite movies. If you love the Godfather, you'll love Road to Perdition. It's my favortite Tom Hanks movie.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

"There is only one guarantee. None of us will see Heaven."
Mary Whipple | New England | 11/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This suspense-filled story of hitman Michael Sullivan, directed by Sam Mendes, has as much style and cinematic brilliance as his American Beauty, though it is much darker. Sullivan (Tom Hanks), 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 through 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 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 was nominated for an Academy Award). 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. Mary Whipple
Only Michael Jr. has a chance to get into Heaven
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 07/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sam Mendes' "The Road to Perdition" is a film about family: extended, brother against brother, father and sons and ultimately father against sons. It's about the world of Men in much the same tradition as "East of Eden," which it thematically resembles. Mendes tackles big ideas here: the sanctity of the family, a father's love of family, a father's right to protect his family and a natural versus an adopted son's place in a family (the right of succession). But Mendes uses the small details of life to develop these themes so that his lofty ideas have a pervasive as well as persuasive effect on the viewer.
Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is a family man (2 sons, Michael Jr. and Peter) who works for John Rooney (Paul Newman) as a bodyguard and hit man. John has a son, Connor (David Craig)who is intensely jealous of his father's relationship with Michael. It is obvious that John prefers Michael: strong, obedient, intelligent, over his natural son, Connor: weak, smarmy, conniving, underhanded, hotheaded.
One evening, Michael Jr., eager and curious to find out what exactly his father does for a living, hides in his father's car while Michael Sr. goes out on a "business call" with Connor to strong arm an associate that ends with Connor recklessly killing the associate with Michael Jr. witnessing the entire event.
This proves to be the turning point in the film and the event that sets the remainder of the film in motion: can Michael Jr. be trusted to keep his mouth shut? Connor has some definite ideas about this.
One of the most impressive set pieces of the film is a showdown between Michael and John Rooney and his henchman on a public street at night in the pouring rain, shot with absolutely no sound nor blood in sight. It is as effective in it's way as the last, very bloody scene in "Bonnie and Clyde."
Conrad Hall has shot the film in a dark, grayish, almost colorless palette very similar to
"The Yards," also coincidentally a film about a family involved in crime. The criminal life for Hall and Mendes then is not the chiaroscuro life that Coppola envisions it in his Godfather trilogy, but one of black and gray signifying a life of hiding, back alleys and drudgery devoid of color, enjoyment and living. The music is also extremely effective and evocative especially since Mendes has shot large portions of the film without dialogue.
The acting is top drawer with Tyler Hoechlin as Michael Jr. almost stealing the picture away from the always effective Tom Hanks, Jude Law and Paul Newman.
Sam Mendes has fashioned a film of the utmost purity and beauty: a tone poem to the family and to the father-son relationship in particular.
"The Road to Perdition" is a film that resonates with regret and sadness but more importantly an over-riding feeling that, as gangsters "getting into heaven"as John Rooney states... is not a possibility."
No warm and fuzzy Tom Hanks here
Joseph Haschka | Glendale, CA USA | 07/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"ROAD TO PERDITION is a major departure for Tom Hanks. He kills people. And don't expect to see Meg Ryan as a cutely tousled co-star. Besides, it rains so much in this film that it would've made her look like a wet doggie.It's 1931, and Hanks plays Michael Sullivan, an enforcer working for crime family head John Rooney (Paul Newman). Though Rooney has an adult son, Connor (Daniel Craig), he regards Michael with the affection reserved for the son he wishes he'd had. Sullivan himself has a wife and two boys. In the film's first half-hour, Connor botches a job assigned to him and Michael by the elder Rooney. In the aftermath of the debacle, Connor kills Michael's wife and his youngest (and favorite) son for reasons too complicated to explain here. For the remainder of the film, Sullivan goes on the lam with Michael, Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) seeking revenge against Connor while evading a hit man named Maguire (Jude Law) reluctantly hired by John Rooney to pre-empt the reprisal slaying of his own badly behaved offspring.Those who are turned off by ROAD TO PERDITION because of the bloody deeds performed by Hollywood Good Fella Hanks, akin to watching Jimmy Stewart in the role of someone who kicks puppies, are perhaps missing the point. This is a powerful tale of the dynamic that exists between fathers and sons: John and Connor, Michael and Michael, Jr., and John and Michael. This is a Guy Story to be sure. Indeed, in the entire film there's no female lead worth mentioning and very little softness. Much of the magnificent cinematography is done in the dark, brooding atmospheres that one could expect in the Male's Cave. That's not to say that there's no humor. There's a sequence of scenes depicting the young Sullivan's mastering of driving skills that, in the context of the storyline, is positively priceless. Early on, Newman, the mega-star of yesterday, and Hanks, the mega-star of today, play a piano duet (for real). But the sentimental favorite of ROAD TO PERDITION has to be the former, and I foresee a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Newman's blue eyes continue to shine out of a face that age (and perhaps cosmetic surgery) has only made more striking. Moreover, Paul's Rooney expresses more raw emotion in his relationship with his son than Tom's Sullivan can manage in his. Perhaps this was an intentional part of the script, or perhaps it's a reflection of the accomplished old pro that Newman is and Hanks has yet to be. And Law is especially good as the sinister and creepy Maguire whose hits provide fodder for his day job.I liked this film a lot because it focuses on the nature of the father/son relationship, something which Tinseltown usually ignores. This is likely to be one of the better films of 2002."