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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
1,766 ( 359)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 22 wins & 82 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

Producer Dean Zanuck had never seen a graphic novel before, until he was pitched the idea of "Road to Perdition". Flipping through the pages of the novel, he was immediately hooked. He then sent a copy to his father, Richard D. Zanuck, who was in Morocco at the time. He was also smitten with the project, and instructed his son to dispatch a copy of the novel to Steven Spielberg, who called back two days later, saying that he wanted to do it. See more »

Goofs

(at around 34 mins) When Mike Sullivan walks through the nightclub to get information from the owner, the club members are wearing "Flappers" and "Sheiks." Both were very popular clothing styles from 1925 to 1928. In 1931, they were considered outdated. 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

References The Lone Ranger (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

Sidewalk Blues
(1926)
Music by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Ferd "Jelly Roll" Morton)
Lyrics by Walter Melrose (uncredited)
Performed by The Orbert Davis Sextet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Road to No Where
15 June 2009 | by dafuzzbuddSee all my reviews

Let me start this off by saying this movie is beautiful. By a technical standpoint, perfection was achieved. I'll remember this movie as proof of example; outstanding direction/cinematography cannot fully compensate for a lackluster plot.

On paper, the plot is an average set up. Relationships in a crime family are tested, but none are ever stretched too far. In this sense it feels somewhat familiar and not very original.

But what does keep this movie from being average-blah, is the care put into EVERY shot. I give a huge amount of credit to the cinematographer. A good amount of noticeable techniques were used. I particularly liked one symmetrical pillar shot that used a zoom in dolly in trick. A slight variation of the Vertigo introduced, zoom in dolly out.

But with all of these wonderful shots I noticed something. There was so much technically stunning camera work, I found myself completely drawn out of the story. Was this done intentionally? To some degree I think so. This nicely compliments the dark and rainy 1930's settings.

Noticing this I tried to put more thought into the plot. There basically was none. The characters were cold and lacked development. Any dialog is important and used sparingly. I couldn't stop myself from drawing comparison to The Godfather. What Road to Perdition lacks is any underlying intensity between the characters. I never feel like they were a tight-knit family and do feel as if I'm simply watching characters play their parts. The story has no poetry and feels more like a collection of parts that aren't worth its sum.

I appreciate it in its stunning visuals, but once the credit rolled I felt nothing. And I find no reason to return back to it.


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