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Road to Perdition (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  12 July 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 188,235 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 1,001 user | 220 critic | 36 from

Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living.



(graphic novel), (graphic novel), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 25 wins & 62 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Maxey ...
Craig Spidle ...
Rooney's Henchman
Ian Barford ...
Rooney's Henchman
Stephen P. Dunn ...
Finn McGovern's Henchman (as Stephen Dunn)
Paul Turner ...
Finn McGovern's Henchman
Kathleen Keane ...
Irish Musician
Brendan McKinney ...
Irish Musician
Jackie Moran ...
Irish Musician


1931. Mike Sullivan and Connor Rooney are two henchmen of elderly Chicago-based Irish-American mobster John Rooney, Connor's father. In many respects, John treats Mike more as his son, who he raised as his own after Mike was orphaned, than the volatile Connor, who nonetheless sees himself as the heir apparent to the family business. One evening, Mike's eldest son, twelve year old Michael Sullivan Jr., who has no idea what his father does for a living, witnesses Connor and his father gun down an associate and his men, the situation gone wrong initiated from an action by Connor. Caught witnessing the incident, Michael is sworn to secrecy about what he saw. Regardless, Connor, not wanting any loose ends, makes an attempt to kill Mike, his wife and their two sons. Mike and the surviving members of his family know that they need to go on the run as Connor, who has gone into hiding, will be protected through mob loyalty, especially by John, who cannot turn on his own flesh and blood. Still,... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every father is a hero to his son. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Camino a la perdición  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,079,481 (USA) (12 July 2002)


$40,935,560 (Europe) (10 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to author Max Allan Collins, the "Road to Perdition" graphic novel was an American homage to the Manga series "Lone Wolf and Cub" by Kazuo Koike. Collins quotes Koike at the beginning of the book: "You must choose a road for yourself". See more »


Michael Jr. reads "The Lone Ranger" in 1931. It was created for radio in 1933; the books were published even later. See more »


[first lines]
Michael Sullivan, Jr.: There are many stories about Michael Sullivan. Some say he was a decent man. Some say there was no good in him at all. But I once spent 6 weeks on the road with him, in the winter of 1931. This is our story.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to all at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London See more »


References Peeping Tom (1960) See more »


There'll Be Some Changes Made
Music by W. Benton Overstreet
Lyrics by Billy Higgins
Performed by Chicago Rhythm Kings
Courtesy of Timeless Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A true masterpiece
19 August 2005 | by (Odessa, Ukraine) – See all my reviews

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, 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

174 of 222 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Your problems with this film. Seriously. clearAlex
Why cast Tom Hanks for this role? gordml
Great movie, but that shootout scene..... dsh1998
Musical score... hugely underratead? slapnutz777
One one the most underrated movies..... liljayl23
why wasn't the photographer called off, since it all ended? AbdulRahman789
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