Road to Perdition

  • 15
  • Sam Mendes (2002)
  • US
  • 112 min
Road to Perdition
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Director Sam Mendes here follows up his superlative Oscar winner American Beauty with another riveting, intelligent drama imbued with lyrical imagery. Based on a graphic novel set during the Depression era, it features Tom Hanks as a feared hitman working for Irish-American Mob boss Paul Newman, who regards him as a son. Professional and familial loyalties become blurred when Hanks's own family is targeted, forcing him to take to the road with his eldest son, as he embarks on a systematic course of revenge against his betrayers. Comparable to the Coen brothers' Miller's Crossing, this evocative gangster movie boasts superb photography, production design and score, which utterly transport the audience back to moody 1930s Chicago. Cast against type, Hanks - whose haunted eyes speak volumes - is a model of unruffled understatement, while an intimidating Newman radiates his usual strong presence. Jude Law's eccentric killer feels too much like a colourful movie creation, but is the only minor setback in a remarkable second feature from Mendes.

Plot Summary

Period crime drama starring Tom Hanks and Paul Newman. The Midwest in the 1930s: when the profession of ruthless hitman Michael Sullivan is discovered, a killer is sent to eradicate him and his family. But Sullivan and his 12-year-old son escape and embark upon a life-changing journey of revenge.

Cast and crew


Michael Sullivan
Tom Hanks
John Rooney
Paul Newman
Jude Law
Annie Sullivan
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Michael Sullivan Jr
Tyler Hoechlin
Frank Nitti
Stanley Tucci
Connor Rooney
Daniel Craig
Peter Sullivan
Liam Aiken
Alexander Rance
Dylan Baker
Finn McGovern
Ciaran Hinds


Sam Mendes

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
20th Century Fox
Violence, swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 20 Sep 2002
Certificate 15