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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
2,186 ( 208)
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:

The innocence of a son is surpassed only by the father's will to save it. 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

After his success with his directorial debut American Beauty (1999), Sam Mendes was the flavor of Hollywood and was sent all the top scripts. Some of these included A Beautiful Mind (2001), K-PAX (2001) and The Shipping News (2001). He was attracted to Road to Perdition (2002) because it was a film of few words, something of a change after the wordy screenplay to American Beauty (1999). 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

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #1.4 (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Torn Petticoat
Traditional
Performed by the "Irish Musicians" (John M. Williams, Kathleen Keane, Brendan McKinney,
Jackie Moran and Kieran O'Hare)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

`Road to Perdition' is a rocky road of revenge and reconciliation, punctuated by some gorgeous Conrad Hall cinematography.
9 July 2002 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

`Road to Perdition' is a rocky road of revenge and reconciliation, punctuated by some gorgeous Conrad Hall cinematography. Tom Hanks is a 1930's mob hit man whose 12 year-old son sees him commit a murder. The rest of Director Sam Mendes' (`American Beauty') film is the boy's coming to terms with that knowledge. Paul Newman plays a `godfather,' a father to his errant son and like a father to Hanks.

Laced throughout are 3 father-son relationships, which seem to move toward the violent ends reserved for mobsters. Hanks' son is ambivalent about his dad, whom he seems to adore yet hold accountable for his crimes. Newman's son is like Sonny Corleone, too loose to be in charge and no heir apparent; Hanks owes his lifestyle to Newman-all these relationships are subsumed by the business needs of the larger organization.

This is noir with a dark palette, costuming in clothes metaphorically heavy, and sounding often as stylized and minimal as the murders Hanks commits. `Road to Perdition' lacks the grandeur of Coppola's `Godfather' epic, but it succeeds in evoking an old-testament judicial system where eye meets eye and tooth savages tooth. The revenge motif is too dominant to let the film rest on the promising father-son motif.

Hanks' son learns about morality and decides about following in his father's footsteps. Hanks gives another controlled performance, and Paul Newman lets us know there is room for one more powerful screen godfather.


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