|DreamWorks Distribution | Release Date: July 12, 2002||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
This movie would be worth feting in any season. It's wrenching but never manipulative, stoic but never dull, exhausting but never wearying.
It's a dark, brooding, moody film that follows a grim narrative to a logical inevitability and is nonetheless fully infused with a spirit of humanity.
The movie misfires: It's numbingly cold and soulless, and the zeitgeist stays far beyond its reach. But it's so visually striking you almost don't notice, its relentlessly somber mood has a certain masochistic appeal and, while hardly a career-redefining performance, Hanks is as winning as ever. Read full review
Long and winding though it may be, Road to Perdition gets to places that are well worth the trip.
Mendes -- wants to have it both ways, to get close to mob life, but be no part of it. And he keeps us at a dime-novel distance, too. He has made a dreamy, poetic impression of a world that exists only on film and in comic strips, and that has no resonance for most of us.
There's much that's simplistically grand, worthy, and fine in Perdition. If I yearn for less measured filmmaking that cries out with more reckless despair, it's because I think hell on earth is a meaner, much more interesting, and far less tidy cinematic place than Mendes trusts his audience to handle. Read full review
For all the beauty and power of Road to Perdition, there's not much spontaneity in it, and the movie's flawless surface puts a stranglehold on meaning. [15 July 2002. p. 90]
On screen, Road to Perdition becomes a lace-curtain shoot-'em-up about fathers and sons. The graphic novel is more kinetic and more powerful than the motion picture.
Self-conscious to the point of suffocation.
Law gives a doozy of a performance: He's fond of bulging his eyes, curling his head like a gargoyle, and displaying a set of rotten yellow teeth. This is some of the most flamboyantly bad acting since Brad Pitt in "Twelve Monkeys" (1995). An Oscar nomination would appear inevitable. Read full review
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