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Road to Perdition (2002)

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A mob enforcer's son witnesses a murder, forcing him and his father to take to the road, and his father down a path of redemption and revenge.

Director:

Sam Mendes

Writers:

Max Allan Collins (graphic novel), Richard Piers Rayner (graphic novel) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
1,980 ( 102)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 81 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyler Hoechlin ... Michael Sullivan Jr.
Rob Maxey Rob Maxey ... Drugstore Owner
Liam Aiken ... Peter Sullivan
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Annie Sullivan
Tom Hanks ... Michael Sullivan
Paul Newman ... John Rooney
Daniel Craig ... Connor Rooney
Ciarán Hinds ... Finn McGovern
Craig Spidle Craig Spidle ... Rooney's Henchman
Ian Barford Ian Barford ... Rooney's Henchman
Stephen P. Dunn Stephen P. Dunn ... Finn McGovern's Henchman (as Stephen Dunn)
Paul Turner Paul Turner ... Finn McGovern's Henchman
Kathleen Keane Kathleen Keane ... Irish Musician
Brendan McKinney Brendan McKinney ... Irish Musician
Jackie Moran Jackie Moran ... Irish Musician
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Storyline

1931. Mike Sullivan and Connor Rooney are two henchmen of elderly downstate IL-based (Quad City area, though much of the action takes place in the Chicago area) 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 ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pray for Michael Sullivan See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox [UK]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Camino a la perdición See more »

Filming Locations:

Aurora, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,079,481, 14 July 2002, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$104,454,762

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$181,001,478
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is set in 1931, and Costume Designer Albert Wolsky had real trouble finding distinctive clothing from the period. As this was the height of the Depression, fashions lacked the flamboyance of the 1920s, and the style of the later 1930s, when gangsterism was "fashionable". Failing to find any usable real clothes from 1931, Wolsky came across a weaver in upstate New York, who was able to make all of the required clothes, using the same weight of fabrics that were used in that period. Once woven, the costumes then had to be aged and dyed. See more »

Goofs

(at around 9 mins) In the first scene with Connor, the first shot shows his cigarette with a long build-up of ash on the end. In the very next shot, however, the cigarette has regenerated to near-full length, with very little ash. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Spectre (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Alma Redemptoris Mater
Written by Juan García de Salazar (uncredited)
Performed by Choir of Kings College Cambridge
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Rolls-Royce Movie
13 July 2002 | by mpofarrellSee all my reviews

I f you thought Sam Mendes' first film, the much heralded American BEAUTY was a movie with style to spare, wait until you see his highly anticipated second effort, the unrelentingly grim 30's gangster melodrama ROAD TO PERDITION. Some critics have hailed this new movie as a worthy successor to THE GODFATHER, a rash judgment made by several reviewers taken with Mr. Mendes' extraordinary technical prowess. If the mechanics of movie making are what make a picture great, then yes, ROAD TO PERDITION is a distant cousin to THE GODFATHER in terms of what it achieves in cinematography, editing, music scoring and sound. What it doesn't have is a resonance that all great stories and some very rare movies have that stay with the viewer long after the experience of reading or seeing it is over. As with American BEAUTY, there is a cold, distancing feel to this movie, despite some very tense scenes involving paternal love, loyalty and betrayal.

This story of a hit man (Tom Hanks) and his relationship to a surrogate father - figure who is also his boss, an elderly Irish mob leader (Paul Newman) , seems to have been culled from innumerable gangster movies of years past. The father /son motif that hangs over this picture is so heavy handed in its treatment that there is not much room for spontaneity ; the entire enterprise has been very carefully wrought , and nearly all the dialog is delivered with an air of great portent : this is obviously a gangster film , hence the requisite amount of violence and bloodshed , but the film is nearly devoid of any humor to speak of ; only in scenes involving a young boy driving a getaway car in a cunningly edited montage is there any sense of lightheartedness to leaven the pervasive sense of doom.

That being said , I have nothing but the highest praise for the stunning look of this film ; indeed , it is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most beautifully photographed and designed movies I have ever seen. Veteran cameraman Conrad Hall will very likely win another Oscar for his work here . The production 's sets and costumes are just as exemplary ; in fact , the entire film is a technical marvel. Mr. Mendes continues to astonish with his vivid use of color, and he and Mr. Hall again make very dramatic use of red blood splattered against pale colored walls , all the more effective and disconcerting due to the preponderance of blacks, blues and grays that dominate the movie's color scheme.

If I have failed to duly note the acting , it is not because the actors do not purport themselves ably ; everyone in the film is top notch, with special mention going to the two malevolent bad guys : Daniel Craig is the classic "man you love to hate", the spoiled, impulsive son of Newman's gangster father ; and an almost unrecognizable Jude Law as an especially slimy miscreant who goes on pursuit of Hanks and his son and figures very importantly in the film's riveting second half. But acting in a movie this dazzling is bound to take a back seat to the photographic fireworks on display here. If a Rolls-Royce was a movie , I've no doubt it would look like ROAD TO PERDITION.


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