Road to Perdition

Pray for Michael Sullivan

This is the second film from Sam Mendes, the man who brought us American Beauty (which I will say I am not a huge fan of). This though is nothing like American Beauty.

Set in the 1930s Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) works as a hit man for Irish crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman). Sullivan is affectionately known in the trade as the Angle Of Death. However after his son is witness to a killing, Sullivan finds his family at risk from the man he works for. In a bungled attempt on his life his wife and other son are killed leaving him 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.

This film was hideously hyped when it came out. The cast is something out of an epic with a director many thought couldn't handle the pressure of having Hanks and Newman on the same stage. Like most films that come out to this hype it is always unfair to watch them with that in mind. The art direction/cinematography is by far the best of any film made in the last couple of years and yes I am remembering that Lord of The Rings is currently out at the cinema. The sets are large and authentic, the colours vivid and true to the gritty underbelly of life in Chicago in the depression. Oscar rumours are rife for this film and it should be a strong contender for a few of them: the best picture Oscar, best cinematography, supporting actor (Paul Newman) to name but a few.

This is not a Mafia movie. As a fan of the Godfather films (and an even bigger fan of the book) as a mafia film this is not in the same league. This is a gangster film. In terms of gangster flicks this does rate highly on the list.

Despite what you might think of gangster/mob films this is not a long film. For a film a shade under 2 hours there is quite a bit of plot to get through which is does very well.

Reasons for seeing this film? You're seeing one that will live on in the memory for some time to come.

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Adventure, Crime, Drama, Thriller


David Self


Sam Mendes


Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh


Thomas Newman


117 minutes








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