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Road to Perdition (2002)



Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 210
Fresh: 171 | Rotten: 39

Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.


Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 11

Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 186,639

My Rating

Movie Info

A hit man for an Irish gang in the Depression-era Midwest, hit man Michael Sullivan is known to friends and enemies alike as the Angel of Death. Uncompromising in his work, Sullivan is just as devoted to his private life as an upstanding husband and father of two young boys. But when those worlds collide, taking the lives of his wife and younger son, Sullivan and his surviving son, Michael Jr. leave their sedate home life behind and embark on a startling journey of revenge and self-discovery.



David Self

Feb 25, 2003


DreamWorks SKG - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Road to Perdition

May 22, 2013:
Comic Book Movies You Can Watch Online
Comic book movies are all the rage these days, and every year we see more of them hitting theaters...
August 5, 2010:
Road to Perdition Sequels Coming?
According to Max Allan Collins, author of the graphic novels that inspired "Road to Perdition," he's...


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All Critics (211) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (171) | Rotten (39) | DVD (38)

So is Perdition still a must-see? No question. But it's tough to fuss about it much when a picture is this fussy.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Visually, the picture is all of a piece, but it's a self-conscious piece of work -- all dark-toned academic classicism.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes the movie pay off is moving pictures of real action and of intimate scenes between man and boy that are all the more moving for being understated.

April 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While crisply edited and unindulgent, Mendes' work is gratifyingly old-school in its rejection of modern-day stylistic agitation, the better to achieve a slow but inexorable build to its climax.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sam Mendes's 2002 follow-up to American Beauty finds him every bit as adept, arty, and Oscar hungry.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ploughing a furrowed brow, Hanks is fatally miscast -- except that the story turns so sentimental and bathetic, he's actually in his element.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Crisply, starchily self-conscious in its efforts to be a gangster epic. A pretty-enough remote place, with its rain and snow and fedoras and trenchcoats, but it's still a long way from Boardwalk Empire and Miller's Crossing.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Powerful, beautiful film; ok for mature teens.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The top-billed actors deliver: Hanks with his resonant reserve and Newman in conveying Rooney's failed attempt to live up to his self-image as the ultimate just and loving patriarch. [Blu-ray]

August 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

...something more than the sum of its parts; namely, a gripping, touching, entertaining motion picture.

July 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

This last motif surges in the film's coda with a sequence that is 2002's most rapturous, a long, undulating shot that combines serenity and horror.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Director Sam Mendes is on course to become one of the great directors of this decade.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

A true work of art from [director] Sam Mendes...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed | Comment (1)
Cinema Crazed

It's Newman who really stands out. Despite his advanced years -- he's 77 -- the man still has remarkable presence.

October 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Hanks and Newman are the personification of anguish and torn loyalty in a gripping, violent film that is part character study and part cat-and-mouse chase with classic western embellishments.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Road is so beautiful, so well composed and so tidy in its sense of justice that it never quite gets its hands dirty enough to evoke any true emotion.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

A simple parable, starkly outlined, with talented actors shading these sketches with wisdom and detail.

December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

An enjoyable, well-acted, written, and directed two hours.

October 7, 2004 Full Review Source:

It's wonderful to see Paul Newman in a great role again.

June 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)

Mendes has proven that he must be counted among the greatest directors

April 2, 2004 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Road to Perdition

Sporting a terrific ensemble cast, stunning cinematography and an intriguing insight into fatherhood amidst the chaos of the mob, Sam Mendes' crime drama manages to explore familiar themes in a fresh and emotionally resonant fashion.
August 6, 2014
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Enforcer Tom Hanks is forced to go on the run when his son witnesses a mob hit in his gloriously photographed gangster related road movie from Sam Mendes. In fact little about the film can be faulted technically; all the performances are first rate, it looks absolutely gorgeous and the score is haunting and beautiful. The brief explosions of violence counterpoint the warmth of the father-son relationship well and Mendes' particular brand of visual elegance is particularly pleasing. In fact it's hard to believe that the film is an adaptation of a comic book as it all feels very adult, preferring to explore the characters and their relationships to the kind of comic strip violence you'd usually associate with the genre, which makes for an unusually moving story considering the story revolves around Tommy gun toting gangsters. A refreshingly different take on the crime thriller.
November 4, 2012
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Awwwwwwwww snaaapppp. Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, & Daniel Craig. Sam Mendes, the director of "American Beauty". Game over everyone. lol, too bad this is one of the most cliche mafia movies I've ever seen, but it executes it with high production values, an excellent screenplay, and cinematography that is done to a perfection that makes the familiar feel fresh. One thing to note is that there is a particular scene in "Road to Perdition" that is one of the most incredible scenes I've ever seen in cinema history. "Road to Perdition" may feel familiar at times, but it takes the familiar and perfects it.
March 8, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

    1. John Rooney: I'm glad it's you...
    – Submitted by Max L (9 months ago)
    1. Michael Sullivan: I saw then that my father's only fear was that his son would follow the same road. And that was the last time I ever held a gun. People always thought I grew up on a farm. And I guess, in a way, I did. But I lived a lifetime before that, in those six weeks on the road in the winter of 1931. When people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man, or if there was just no good in him at all, I always give the same answer. I just tell them... he was my father.
    – Submitted by Bkas M (2 years ago)
    1. Peter Sullivan: Why are you always smiling?
    2. Connor Rooney: 'Cause it's all so fucking hilarious.
    – Submitted by Kase V (3 years ago)
    1. Michael Sullivan Jr.: When people ask me if Michael Sullivan was a good man, or if there was just no good in him at all, I always give the same answer. I just tell them, he was my father.
    – Submitted by Robert R (3 years ago)
    1. Maguire: I shoot the dead. Dead bodies, that is. I don't kill them.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Michael Sullivan: Is that, uh... your profession or... your pleasure?
    2. Maguire: Both, I guess. To be paid to do what you love... ain't that the dream?
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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