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8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 216 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 216
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  1. chw
    Sep 5, 2014
    10
    I could not believe Road to Perdition was as good as it was. Sam Mendes' best movie, even better than American Beauty, and Skyfall (which is amazing that Skyfall didn't top it).
  2. Jan 20, 2013
    9
    Beautifully shot; I love the way the images almost match the cells in the graphic novel on which it
  3. Dec 13, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A very underrated film. Tom Hanks was the perfect actor for the role. It was a little hard taking him seriously after Forrest Gump. Anyway, the acting was excellent by Jude Law, Paul Newman, Daniel Craig and the rest of them. Great cast too. And because the acting is good so is the directing. My favorite scene was when Tom Hanks took out Paul Newman. Very emotional, especially with the silence. This film also tests your morals and values. Making you think, if you have a farther like Michael Sullivan, is he a good man? Your response might be, "well, he was my farther". Which is not the response I would give. A murderer is a murderer no matter who he is to you. In conclusion, Michael Sullivan was not a good man, no matter how much money he gives to the elderly. Although the message is not a responsible one it doesn't affect the rating of the movie. I didn't forget about the cinematography. The film was very well filmed. Loved the lightning. it gives it a more classic feel to the astonishing master piece. There's also something at the end that I wasn't expecting. If you haven't seen this film, go see it know. If you love great films you won't be disappointed. Expand
  4. Jul 8, 2014
    8
    Overall, this one is quite good. The acting, as expected from a cast of this kind of talent (Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, AND Stanley Tucci?!) is awesome. I was kind of worried about Hanks playing an against type character, but he did so very well and really stood out. In addition, the cinematography is breathtaking at almost every turn. Each image is beautifully craftedOverall, this one is quite good. The acting, as expected from a cast of this kind of talent (Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Daniel Craig, AND Stanley Tucci?!) is awesome. I was kind of worried about Hanks playing an against type character, but he did so very well and really stood out. In addition, the cinematography is breathtaking at almost every turn. Each image is beautifully crafted and not enough praise can be given to it. Road to Perdition is a definite slow burner, but never fails to completely grip you and really pays off at the end with a very touching, tragic, and moving, ending. For the most part, this one really rises above what you would expect from a typical gangster film and really finds a way to make all of these people seem entirely human. In addition, in a short period of time, all of the characters are well crafted, in large part thanks to a great script. Now, is this a great film? No, but it is certainly a damn good one that lives up to the hype for me. Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Once again, Sam Mendes manages to successfully craft a truly powerful drama with "Road To Perdition". The movie cohesively blends together very deep and moving themes that explore the repercussions of violence, the relationships between fathers and sons, and the path to vengeance. With incredible performances from Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, an awesome soundtrack by Thomas Newman, andOnce again, Sam Mendes manages to successfully craft a truly powerful drama with "Road To Perdition". The movie cohesively blends together very deep and moving themes that explore the repercussions of violence, the relationships between fathers and sons, and the path to vengeance. With incredible performances from Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, an awesome soundtrack by Thomas Newman, and stunning camerawork by Conrad L. Hall, "Road To Perdition" remains, in short, superlative. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    At first, I had never heard of this movie until just last year. And after watching it for the first time ever, I got to say, this was magnificently triumphant in everyway possible. I just don't understand why I had never heard of this movie before. This movie truly is underrated. Anyway, this movie has some tremendous acting from Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Paul Newman, etc. But I wasAt first, I had never heard of this movie until just last year. And after watching it for the first time ever, I got to say, this was magnificently triumphant in everyway possible. I just don't understand why I had never heard of this movie before. This movie truly is underrated. Anyway, this movie has some tremendous acting from Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Paul Newman, etc. But I was really surprised to see Daniel Craig (James Bond). He was fantastic playing Connor Rooney. Plus, I never really say this about a movie, but it really has some tremendous cinematography. Conrad L. Hall really knows how to get the perfect shots. Also, the storyline is exciting and captivating. It really keeps you interesting. Finally I have to say that Thomas Newman's original score is breathtaking. I mean, he's done some amazing music for other movies such as "Shawshank Redemption", "Finding Nemo", "WALL-E" and even "Green Mile". He really knows how to set the tone of the story. Overall, it's a fantastic gangster movie that needs to be more well known. Expand
  7. Dec 9, 2013
    9
    It was a absolutely stunning movie.They gave a great effort in every scene.They used the perfect proposition in the movie.The sequence.I liked the acting.Such a interesting movie.
  8. Aug 1, 2013
    8
    As the rain falls heavily during pivotal points of Road To Perdition, the realisation that the thematic use of water represents what the film pertains to be, a cold-hearted and merciless journey, but while the film is visually beautiful from the sincere art of cinematographer Conrad Hall, it always feels like it is turning the other way and won't let anybody in, with most of its mainAs the rain falls heavily during pivotal points of Road To Perdition, the realisation that the thematic use of water represents what the film pertains to be, a cold-hearted and merciless journey, but while the film is visually beautiful from the sincere art of cinematographer Conrad Hall, it always feels like it is turning the other way and won't let anybody in, with most of its main characters lacking emotional clarity towards their goal, perhaps this is a deliberate attempt to push the purpose and ideals of the Rock Island-based mob in depression era America, the setting of the film.
    We are introduced to quite a unique and quieter role for Tom Hanks as he plays Mike Sullivan, a hitman for the mentioned mob, lead by the man who raised him as his own, Peter Rooney (Paul Newman). The film plays out after the hot-headed son of Rooney, Conor (Daniel Craig), who becomes to trigger happy and ends up creating some tragic moments in the film, and in very little time.
    Mike must protect the remainder of his family, which involves running from his boss and the man who raised him. While the film deals with issues that where common ground in its era, it's main focus is that of the relationship between father and son, but although this should serve as the emotional standing point of the film, the plot lacks the proper pacing to have the viewer get emotionally engaged, we go from one scene to the next at such quickened pace that we barely have time to bathe in the excellence.
    The performances are truly encapsulating, from Hanks to Newman and also the man on the other side, played by Jude Law, who brings an eery and commanding personality to his hitman character.
    But the best moments consist of the cinematography which cannot be criticised at all, the whole tone of the film can be told through the lighting, the weather and the moments of despair as the rain pounds down upon our characters.
    The film just moves a bit too quickly, with not enough time spent on the development of relationships within the film, and while some one on one conversations create some emotional moments, there is still a lacking in overall growth.
    If the plot isn't enough to go see the film, it should be the wonderful filming that draws you in.
    Expand
  9. Mar 24, 2012
    8
    It is so good-intentioned, well-shot, and well-acted that it is hard to say anything bad about it even when matched up against a predacessor like American Beauty.
  10. Nov 12, 2013
    8
    A deep sorrowful cinematic treasure.
    Road to Perdition depicts the conflict of a father and son who's family is ripped apart by gang violence, Tom Hanks engulfs his audience with this realistic crime drama.
  11. Feb 24, 2014
    9
    While not as strong as American Beauty, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition still succeeds thanks to strong performances by both Tom Hanks and Paul Newman, the breathtaking cinematography, and it's father-son themes.
  12. Jul 21, 2013
    5
    Beautifully shot, well-acted and dull. This is a movie that is so in awe of itself that it appears to be staring at it stunned, like a deer in the headlights.
  13. Niko
    Oct 3, 2002
    2
    Yep; great shots, camera just smoothly scrolls and zooms/focuses. and that's it. mare boredom of saying "daddy i luv you". watch the godfather again if you want this message of respect in decent way or read the puzo's book. skip this movie.
  14. PhillipR.
    Jul 19, 2002
    7
    Well made and beautifully photographed. Tom Hanks' performance is the film in microcosm: sober, competent, and workmanlike - nothing dazzling though (if he gets another Academy Award for this then there is NO justice). Jude Law - while good - is badly miscast. Paul Newman is very good. The superb Stanley Tucci is wasted in a small role as is the terrific Harry Groener (in a tiny Well made and beautifully photographed. Tom Hanks' performance is the film in microcosm: sober, competent, and workmanlike - nothing dazzling though (if he gets another Academy Award for this then there is NO justice). Jude Law - while good - is badly miscast. Paul Newman is very good. The superb Stanley Tucci is wasted in a small role as is the terrific Harry Groener (in a tiny role). The film would have benefited from some tightening and more creative casting of leads. In spite of a very predictable ending it is still worth your while. Expand
  15. SteveM.
    Jul 15, 2002
    9
    A very good movie. Hanks, Newman and Law all turn in great performances. The (unknown to me anyway) child actors do a fine job as well, which is rarely the case with young actors such as these. I will admit, the bank robbery of all the dirty money was, perhaps, a little "thin" on the believability scale, but that is only a slight criticism in the wake of a very good movie. Mendes is could A very good movie. Hanks, Newman and Law all turn in great performances. The (unknown to me anyway) child actors do a fine job as well, which is rarely the case with young actors such as these. I will admit, the bank robbery of all the dirty money was, perhaps, a little "thin" on the believability scale, but that is only a slight criticism in the wake of a very good movie. Mendes is could quit now, and already he has accomplished more than 90% of the directors out there. Kudos. Expand
  16. AndrewE.
    Jul 21, 2002
    10
    I'm still torn between Road to Perdition and Minority Report as my current pick for best movie of the year, but they both are among my favorite movies ever. Great.
  17. SantinoS.
    Oct 19, 2002
    8
    With this movie sam mendes proves that "american beauty"wasn't a fluke.to be frank though,this is not as good as his debut feature,but still he's the most talented director to come out of britain or anywhere else in recent years.hanks proves yet again why he's one of the most talented actors in hollywood and newman proves why he's such an acting legend.both newman andWith this movie sam mendes proves that "american beauty"wasn't a fluke.to be frank though,this is not as good as his debut feature,but still he's the most talented director to come out of britain or anywhere else in recent years.hanks proves yet again why he's one of the most talented actors in hollywood and newman proves why he's such an acting legend.both newman and hanks are excellent,specially newman but if there's anyone wo deserves an award for this film its conrad hall,the cinematographer,whose cinematography is simply breathtaking.jude law and tyler hoechlin and the rest of the supporting cast lend strong support though a gifted and talented actress like jennifer jason leigh is grossly wasted.i'll be waiting with great anticipation for mendes's next film which could be 3 years away. Expand
  18. SamB.
    Jul 12, 2002
    10
    I just recently saw American Beauty and I thought it was the finest film ever made. So, naturally, I decided to see this too. Being a Tom Hanks fan had something to do with it as well. Before I saw it, I thought, "How could this be better than American Beauty? It's not possible." So I didn't expect it to be. And I was right. It's not as good, but it is still incredible. It I just recently saw American Beauty and I thought it was the finest film ever made. So, naturally, I decided to see this too. Being a Tom Hanks fan had something to do with it as well. Before I saw it, I thought, "How could this be better than American Beauty? It's not possible." So I didn't expect it to be. And I was right. It's not as good, but it is still incredible. It is different than other mob films. It has a moral. And Tom Hanks is, as usual, terrific. Likewise with Newman. A definite keeper. Mendes does it again. Expand
  19. DanB.
    Jul 12, 2002
    7
    Pretty decent movie, seems slow at times, but simple would be a better term...as much as i admire Tom Hanks, i just don't think he fit the role...gasp!
  20. ChadS.
    Jul 13, 2002
    4
    First of all, ardent Jennifer Jason-Leigh fans will be disappointed to see the fearless actress so utterly defanged in a small role as The Housewife. Also, the boy recovers awfully quick following the film's pivotal moment. And last of all, it seems like a contrivance that the Tom Hanks character couldn't figure out the dirty dealings of Rooney's son. Which could all be First of all, ardent Jennifer Jason-Leigh fans will be disappointed to see the fearless actress so utterly defanged in a small role as The Housewife. Also, the boy recovers awfully quick following the film's pivotal moment. And last of all, it seems like a contrivance that the Tom Hanks character couldn't figure out the dirty dealings of Rooney's son. Which could all be overlooked if "The Road to Perdition" wasn't such an ordeal to sit through. If not for the people's good will towards Hanks, they'd be leaving in droves during the film's first hour. This is not a near-miss. It's a misfire. Expand
  21. Steve
    Jul 13, 2002
    4
    Ponderous and boring with characters popping up unexpectedly. Very well acted. Beautifully photographed (some shots appear to be choreographed) with very rich atmosphere, it's the kind of film that is going to be seriously overated. Stick to "Bonnie and Clyde".
  22. TedK.
    Jul 15, 2002
    8
    This is the best movie I've watched this year. It's visually stunning, and at first look, the plot might seem flimsy, but it really bursts with interesting foils. Compare Michael (son) and Connor Rooney. Compare their fathers. Paul Newman and Tom Hanks are two men who are entrenched in the same business, who are murderers, but raise their sons with fantastically different This is the best movie I've watched this year. It's visually stunning, and at first look, the plot might seem flimsy, but it really bursts with interesting foils. Compare Michael (son) and Connor Rooney. Compare their fathers. Paul Newman and Tom Hanks are two men who are entrenched in the same business, who are murderers, but raise their sons with fantastically different results. Both love, both cherish, both are ravaged by their crimes, but in the end, Paul Newman's charm is fruitless, Tom Hanks's melancholic goodness yields hope. Please see this. Expand
  23. SeamousS.
    Jul 22, 2002
    3
    Self important, unconvincing, predictable. Jude Law was the only one worth watching in this. Miller's Crossing by the Cohen Bros is about a hundred times better than this waste of time.
  24. JoshuaW.
    Aug 16, 2002
    8
    This film was excellant except for one detail. I just never felt that the reason for Hanks' family being murdered were that credible. Considering the time in which the film is set and the closeness of Hanks' family and his mob boss' family there really was no reason to take action against Hanks and his family, even if you are the spoiled, idiotic, doomed by hubris son of a This film was excellant except for one detail. I just never felt that the reason for Hanks' family being murdered were that credible. Considering the time in which the film is set and the closeness of Hanks' family and his mob boss' family there really was no reason to take action against Hanks and his family, even if you are the spoiled, idiotic, doomed by hubris son of a mob boss. With that aside this film was beautifully acted, directed and filmed. I love films that are well made with great stories and this was one of them. Mendes developed such complex characters that I am unable to get by what I feel is a flimsy motive for murder, but still this film is an excellent follow up to his flawless "American Beauty". Expand
  25. NolanB.
    Aug 4, 2002
    9
    It's no godfather, but it is a touching movie, one of the best in years.
  26. FrancisM.
    Feb 9, 2003
    10
    It's truly a great film.
  27. Norvegico
    Mar 12, 2003
    5
    Hollywood has a real problem in daring to make controversial films and to take real artistic decisions. They always play it safe. That reduces the films to something that does not offend anyone but do not surprise either. The Road to Perdition is yet another example of this. I give the film a 5 thanks to good visuals. Long live european film!
  28. ShaunT.
    Apr 14, 2003
    9
    This rain-drenched movie is not only a spectacularly entertaining adventure, but also a deep story of a father and son, working in unison for a common cause. The cinematography is amazing and the story is the same. Hanks serves up another Oscar-worthy performance in a surprisingly downbeat role. This film is creative and dramatic and lags on no levels. The acting is fabulous and the This rain-drenched movie is not only a spectacularly entertaining adventure, but also a deep story of a father and son, working in unison for a common cause. The cinematography is amazing and the story is the same. Hanks serves up another Oscar-worthy performance in a surprisingly downbeat role. This film is creative and dramatic and lags on no levels. The acting is fabulous and the dreary atmosphere only excentuates the character's yearning for revenge and the longing he now feels as a result of his profession. This is powerful film making and is, by far, one of the best films of 2002. Expand
  29. PatC.
    Jan 5, 2004
    4
    It's a cautionary tale: If you're naughty, you might live a boring pointless life then get shot. But not soon enough.
  30. FK
    Nov 18, 2005
    10
    Oustanding.
  31. JeanC.
    Aug 11, 2006
    9
    A brilliant film, actors are very good. A very simple movie, but very stylised also. It's realy a great film.
  32. JohnJ.
    Oct 21, 2002
    9
    Just missed being perfect.
  33. FestusD.
    Oct 26, 2002
    5
    As emotionally gripping as a Tylenol commercial.
  34. MichaelS.
    Oct 9, 2002
    9
    Great performances (give the oscar to Paul Newman NOW!) and beautiful cinematogrophy! But, it's not really a Capone-film and it goes more to the drama way. But the soundtrack en the director brings everything in it's wright order! Sam Mendes' suprising movie is excellent!
  35. MarcD.
    Jul 10, 2002
    9
    An excellent film. The use of contrasting levels of sound throughout the film really heightens the drama in the shoot-em-up sequences. Hanks hasn't been this good since "Philadelphia," and Newman's role is understated and well-executed. Sam Mendes is clearly a solid 2 for 2 after this one. I have a feeling when he hangs 'em up, he'll be right up there with the greats. An excellent film. The use of contrasting levels of sound throughout the film really heightens the drama in the shoot-em-up sequences. Hanks hasn't been this good since "Philadelphia," and Newman's role is understated and well-executed. Sam Mendes is clearly a solid 2 for 2 after this one. I have a feeling when he hangs 'em up, he'll be right up there with the greats. Oh, and I appreciated his use of the Uroboros. Expand
  36. JerryH.
    Jul 11, 2002
    9
    This is high quality stuff. I think Mendes shows his hand a bit to much with the opening shot (wouldn't it have been nice to just use sound there) and the movie feels a touch slow pacing wise, but overall the words are strong, the acting is strong, and the cinematography and sound are spectacular. This is a director using all that film has to offer to compose a quality picture with This is high quality stuff. I think Mendes shows his hand a bit to much with the opening shot (wouldn't it have been nice to just use sound there) and the movie feels a touch slow pacing wise, but overall the words are strong, the acting is strong, and the cinematography and sound are spectacular. This is a director using all that film has to offer to compose a quality picture with humanity and a touch of grace. Well done by everyone. Expand
  37. KevinR.
    Jul 12, 2002
    4
    A lot of shooting and driving, but not much else going on here. None of the action sequences develop any sort of momentum, and in the serious moments no one seems to have much of anything to say. This movie was so thin and uncompelling it made me desperate to see Goodfellas.
  38. JinC.
    Jul 13, 2002
    8
    I hate the idea of 'coverage'. the practice of getting a bunch of closeups, med, long shots, etc in the hopes of editing something coherent out of that. it seems to smack of the complete lack of 'visual design' and a vision for the final work. this movie has a definite visual design. staid, paced, poetic. BEAUTIFUL cinematography. many shots where you know it must be aI hate the idea of 'coverage'. the practice of getting a bunch of closeups, med, long shots, etc in the hopes of editing something coherent out of that. it seems to smack of the complete lack of 'visual design' and a vision for the final work. this movie has a definite visual design. staid, paced, poetic. BEAUTIFUL cinematography. many shots where you know it must be a vfx shot but you just can't tell at all. and in all, just completely authentic. in addition. it's cinematic. so many films cut and compose simply because it's got to be done. there is no underlying purpose or rationale. this movie has everything thought out and every decision is meant to evoke and to express. great performances from everyone, despite the fact that this has got to be one of the sparsest utterance of lines in a modern movie. everyone is just tremendously stoic but you get a read on what's going on inside anyway. cool retelling of lonewolf and cub too for fans of the manga. Expand
  39. NateM.
    Jul 13, 2002
    9
    This movie was near perfect. My complaints are in the failure to develop three characters: Jude Law, Hanks's wife, and Connor Rooney. These failures are forgiveable in that the movie is certainly among the best of the recent past and certainly will be a major Oscar contender. Just wished for another 30 minutes to figure out what was going through those 3 characters' heads.
  40. JesseS.
    Jul 14, 2002
    10
    While not as good as American Beauty, it is still a powerhouse of a film from beginning to end. I'm not sure if I would rate this the best movie of the year over Minority Report, but it's certainly one of the two best of the year so far.
  41. Richard
    Jul 15, 2002
    5
    Soggy and very convinced of its heaviness, but ultimately not much worth here caring about beyond the cinematography. Hanks shows some fire, Newman is terrific, and Law is just weird. The kid is awful.
  42. PhilZ.
    Jul 15, 2002
    7
    Gorgeous cinematography as the plot unfolds itself in a very pre-determined way. Are Newman and Hanks the right actors for their roles? To me, Newman lacks the underlying power and menace of a mob boss and comes across just plain ineffective. How did he run the mob so effectively in the past? Hanks' face is just too soft and smooth for someone who has grown up as an enforcer in 20s Gorgeous cinematography as the plot unfolds itself in a very pre-determined way. Are Newman and Hanks the right actors for their roles? To me, Newman lacks the underlying power and menace of a mob boss and comes across just plain ineffective. How did he run the mob so effectively in the past? Hanks' face is just too soft and smooth for someone who has grown up as an enforcer in 20s and 30s. Both Newman and Hanks do ok, but better casting could have made this film really superior. Expand
  43. ChristopherN.
    Jul 18, 2002
    5
    Dull. Boring. Predictable. Script was horrid. Good performances from most involved, but what a lackluster film.
  44. SusanS.
    Jul 20, 2002
    9
    A solid, beautiful movie about fathers and sons. I agree with the choice to show the son at the beginning--it took away the tension anyone would have about his fate, and allowed the focus to shift to the events and relationships on the way. No scene was wasted (although the robbing banks was a tad thin), and one of my few complaints is the short-changed development between John and A solid, beautiful movie about fathers and sons. I agree with the choice to show the son at the beginning--it took away the tension anyone would have about his fate, and allowed the focus to shift to the events and relationships on the way. No scene was wasted (although the robbing banks was a tad thin), and one of my few complaints is the short-changed development between John and Conner; I wish there had been some parallel between Michael and young Michael--some of that fear of the son growing up to be the father. I would complain of the lack of strong women, but the only thing I'll say is that I wish they had cast a lesser known actress for the wife, so that viewers are less dissapointed in the one-dimensional role. I do wish that the wife had had a deeper role, but of all the sacrifices to make, that was probably a reasonable one. The bits of narration at the beginning and end could've been revised and, at the end, perhaps left out entirely; especially at the end it felt redundant and slightly hokey--something I would expect from a lesser movie. The performances were all strong and subtle, and the cinematography lovely. The end was predictable, but it felt sadly inevitable rather than cheap--it came off as hopeful, but not innocent. Expand
  45. JulianG.
    Aug 10, 2002
    7
    Good, very good. Powerful yet predictable, charming yet cliched, it's original yet it poses. The film started off slightly badly for me, with the son's voiceover, which was not well written and not necessary. Voiceovers are usually placed at the beginning and ends of a film when the filmmakers felt the story wasn't working so they needed someone to explain it. The story Good, very good. Powerful yet predictable, charming yet cliched, it's original yet it poses. The film started off slightly badly for me, with the son's voiceover, which was not well written and not necessary. Voiceovers are usually placed at the beginning and ends of a film when the filmmakers felt the story wasn't working so they needed someone to explain it. The story works in this movie, it's just the voiceovers at the beginning and end showed that they were trying to make it something more than it was, because the kid seemed to analyze the movie in a rediculous way. The film fell out of it's thrilling pace once they were on the road, things started to get humorous and the father and son seemed to stop mourning their loss of family members immediately, a day after the mother and wife and son and brother were murdered. This humor took away the necessary sense of danger that the film posessed. The same goes for the bank robbing sequence, which should not have been a montage, and seemed all too easy and lighthearted. That's all in the way of complaints, but times of the film going offbalance entirely was a large complaint of the two. The rest, is magnificent. Tom Hanks starts off the movie in a great character acting role which he wouldn't be guessed to have been casted in, and then falls back into his style of just being himself the rest of the movie. Luckily for him, he's not an oscar winner for his character acting, it's for being himself. The boy is good, not much to say about him, he does a good job portraying someone in his situation. This film--and this includes Butch Cassidy'--has Paul Newman's greatest performance. He is the most interesting character, and he just brings every aspect of Rooney through incredibly. Outstanding. Jude Law will soon be one of the most famous actors around, I'm sure. He is coming up with his character acting roles, and does them all with perfection. Law vs. Hanks is a good portion of what makes this movie so thrilling, you really feel like you're watching the masters duel off. It's Law's feminism that gives him his impeccible grace. Thomas Newman has overdone himself with one of his greatest musical scores, great choice to have him again by Mendes. Besides my former complaints, this film being predictable really doesn't hurt it, it hurts watching what you know is going to happen more because you were expecting it. Very well done. Expand
  46. EricS.
    Aug 12, 2002
    10
    Critics who compare "Perdition" to "The Godfather" are doing so only on grounds of subject matter; in truth, "Perdition" is first and foremost a love story between father and son. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman are brilliant as always, but I confess I was most impressed with Jude Law, who proves he is the best up-and-coming actor working today. An excellent combination of pathos, emotion, Critics who compare "Perdition" to "The Godfather" are doing so only on grounds of subject matter; in truth, "Perdition" is first and foremost a love story between father and son. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman are brilliant as always, but I confess I was most impressed with Jude Law, who proves he is the best up-and-coming actor working today. An excellent combination of pathos, emotion, drama, irony, and truth. Highly recommendable. Collapse
  47. RyanM.
    Aug 18, 2002
    10
    It's beautiful, just plain beautiful.
  48. JackD.
    Aug 19, 2002
    7
    Silly me...I thought this was a remake of those old Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road pictures..Paul Newman is no Bing Crosby! The film is beautifully photographed. It is a little slow and Tom Hanks has only a little more dialog than Wilson had in Cast Away, but I am sure it will be a contender come Oscar time.
  49. Allan
    Aug 4, 2002
    3
    The most overrated movie of the year. It's both boring and implausible. The relationship portrayed are superficial. It provides yet another reason not to trust the critics.
  50. FatClemenza
    Aug 5, 2002
    8
    Nolan describes this precisely how I would.
  51. CriticalByNature
    Feb 24, 2003
    2
    Good christ, this movie is dull. the sort of oh-so-self-important nonsense that would've seemed important in 1986. no scene is delivered without ominous strings, tinkling piano, & all the other hackneyed touchstones of a particularly witless Alan Parker film. how any self-respecting filmmaker can continue to use the "innocent youth looking through keyhole at impending danger" shot isGood christ, this movie is dull. the sort of oh-so-self-important nonsense that would've seemed important in 1986. no scene is delivered without ominous strings, tinkling piano, & all the other hackneyed touchstones of a particularly witless Alan Parker film. how any self-respecting filmmaker can continue to use the "innocent youth looking through keyhole at impending danger" shot is beyond me. all involved should be forced out of their respective guilds & all who loved it should be avoided like one avoids rheumatism. Expand
  52. JohnO.
    Feb 28, 2003
    5
    So s.....l.....o......w and so artfully set up I felt manipulated.
  53. ButteredPopCorn
    Mar 5, 2003
    6
    Sorry, but I have real problems with a father-son movie in which the father tries to bestow a sense of right and wrong to his son while gainfully employed in the business of killing. (Daddy, can we not kill anyone today please?!) The movie works real hard to make the stretch, but can't pull it off. It is in fact, two movies. One espousing family values, the other giddily endulging Sorry, but I have real problems with a father-son movie in which the father tries to bestow a sense of right and wrong to his son while gainfully employed in the business of killing. (Daddy, can we not kill anyone today please?!) The movie works real hard to make the stretch, but can't pull it off. It is in fact, two movies. One espousing family values, the other giddily endulging itself in the thrill of gangster style killings. Result: a soggy and confused muck of a movie. But in pieces, it is very enjoyable. In its entirety, completely forgettable. Expand
  54. JR
    Apr 5, 2003
    0
    Particularly artless, guileless, and needlessly protracted, this dud of a film mistakes being drawn-out for suspenseful, tinkly piano music for art, and atmospheric shot for heart. It lacks heart, lacks any sense of realism, fails to engage on any level, and is, without a doubt, one of the most disappointing and insipidly boring pieces of drivel I have seen in many years.
  55. DaveC.
    Sep 18, 2003
    6
    This film is flawlessly acted but suffers from an occasionally flawed script, lack of emotional involvment with the characters, gimmicky camera work. To be honest, I even disagree with the people who said this film was beautifully shot. The fact that this was digitally shot makes it look somewhat ugly and unconvincing. There are no really powerful images in the film. Never did I feel any This film is flawlessly acted but suffers from an occasionally flawed script, lack of emotional involvment with the characters, gimmicky camera work. To be honest, I even disagree with the people who said this film was beautifully shot. The fact that this was digitally shot makes it look somewhat ugly and unconvincing. There are no really powerful images in the film. Never did I feel any empathy for the father and son, never did I feel that the film was trying to teach me a valuable lesson. At the end of the day, this film never seems to strive for anything more than a pseudo-moral lesson that is less inspiring than some episodes of Power Rangers. "Violence and guns are bad, don't let your kids get dragged into it". Thanks for that. But for a film so seemingly determined to be politically correct and wholesome in its purpose, it sure is quick to show stereotypical portrayals of women and homosexuals. Make no mistake. This film was made with one thing in mind, WIN AN OSCAR, and to its credit, it does have some of the hallmarks of an oscar winner, none of the performances are second rate, the story is well constructed and often uses visual narrative in a very clever manner, the editing not overdone and the film never descends into soppy sentimentality until the cringe-inducing closing narrative. So if you want my advice, don't listen to the critics, this is no masterpiece or cinematic triumph by any stretch of the imagination. On technical terms, it's brilliant (if you're not like me and you don't mind digital filming) and at times is interesting as a gangster film with an unusually atmospheric tone but is otherwise an unfortunate example of the soullessness of Hollywood. Expand
  56. MichaelM.
    Oct 23, 2004
    10
    [***PLOT REVELATIONS***] One of the best gangster films ever made; it has all the best qualities to a movie = great writing, direction and a cast that will blow you away! I cannot stress on how much of an outstanding movie this is. It is just so great! It is a great movie about organized crime, and the kill scenes are nicely directed. The story is about a very talented hitman called [***PLOT REVELATIONS***] One of the best gangster films ever made; it has all the best qualities to a movie = great writing, direction and a cast that will blow you away! I cannot stress on how much of an outstanding movie this is. It is just so great! It is a great movie about organized crime, and the kill scenes are nicely directed. The story is about a very talented hitman called 'The Angel of Death' (Tom Hanks) who was adopted by a mean old crime boss John Rooney (Paul Newman - In his Academy Award nominated performance) at a very young age. Since John treats Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks - a.k.a. The Angel of Death) as his favorite son, John's real son Connor Rooney (Daniel Craig) gets very jealous and tries to have some business man secretly (without his father's consent) kill Michael. Well, that doesn't go as well as planned, and Michael ends up killing the business man and some of his associates. But, Michael's family isn't so lucky, when Connor himself kills Michael's wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and youngest son, leaving Michael only with his oldest son, Michael Sullivan, Jr. Since John must kill Michael in order for him to protect Connor, Michael and his son hit the road to Chicago to hide out. In Chicago, John has everyone looking for Michael including Frank Nitti, Al Capeone and a warped hitman named Maguire (Jude Law) who poses as a reporter, takes pictures of his victims, and wears a 'Charlie Chaplin'/'Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork Orange' hat. The movie really moves along quickly and isn't slow at all. The story is really interesting, but the movie only got 1 major Academy Award Nomination. It should have been nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor - Tom Hanks and Best Director - Sam Mendes, instead of just Paul Newman getting nominated. This film is all around excellence, but isn't as good as Mendes' first feature 'American Beauty'. 22 February 2003. Expand
  57. BillC.
    Oct 11, 2005
    3
    This film should have been better and it could have been.The Jude Law charactor is a waste,the screen writer should have stayed closer to the novel.Hanks and Newman were both up to the task and their talents were largely wasted.Read the novel,it's a much better story. It's a good example of someone pushing the art of film making while botching the story within the film.Bill C.
  58. RobertH.
    Jul 12, 2002
    9
    Just came back from seeing the movie. It was suspenseful and absolutely brilliant. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman were simply great. The cinematography was breathtaking. Sam Mendes is starting to look like a superstar of a director. Kudos to all.
  59. MichaelF.
    Jul 12, 2002
    9
    It's a very very, almost excellent film. What keeps the film from being as good as it should've been is the fact that it wasn't long enough, like 30mins. too short. There's nothing I would've cut out but there needed to be more scenes that really gave the charaters more depth, more development. I also felt that, call me insane, none of the actors had a scene where It's a very very, almost excellent film. What keeps the film from being as good as it should've been is the fact that it wasn't long enough, like 30mins. too short. There's nothing I would've cut out but there needed to be more scenes that really gave the charaters more depth, more development. I also felt that, call me insane, none of the actors had a scene where they could really SHINE. If they added those last 30mins., then this would be probably the best mob movie, short of Godfathers Part 1 and II of course. It's totally different from most, if not, all past mob movies. If I had to compare it, I'd compare it to Miller's Crossing meets The Shawshank Redemption. Great musical score by the genious, Thomas Newman. Brilliantly filmed and well written. If only there was just more, I didn't want it to end. More Tucci, more Hanks, more Newman, more Hoechlin, more Baker, more Jennifer Jason Leigh, more everything. It's is not a slow movie by the way. Expand
  60. MikeS..
    Jul 14, 2002
    10
    Look everyone that doesn't give this a 9 or higher is smoking some serious crack. This is one of the best films ever. If you love Mob movies you will love this movie. It's right up their with the godfather and scarface. That's all I have to say, people that i see that gave this a 4 or lower or any low score, you people probably sit home and watch movies like the ya-ya Look everyone that doesn't give this a 9 or higher is smoking some serious crack. This is one of the best films ever. If you love Mob movies you will love this movie. It's right up their with the godfather and scarface. That's all I have to say, people that i see that gave this a 4 or lower or any low score, you people probably sit home and watch movies like the ya-ya sisterhood type movies. I'm finished here. Go see the movie and i'm talking to ones that have good taste. Expand
  61. MarcK.
    Jul 28, 2002
    8
    The film started out a bit heavy-handed, but I found the plot interesting, and got hooked early. Hanks, Newman, and the kid are all very good. The guy who played Connor Rooney was also very good. I fail to see the big deal in Jude Law's performance, though. So far, I think it's the best film of the year (of course, it's only July).
  62. J.B.
    Aug 12, 2002
    6
    Here's my generalized opinion. It looks good, and most of the acting's fine. But this movie was so heavy-handed, it feels more important then it actually is. It has big, grand ideas, but it was so ponderous and reserved, I couldn't connect.
  63. ChadS.
    Sep 21, 2002
    0
    "Elf" is a small miracle. It's funny. Bob Newhart just has to sit there in that elf get-up and we're laughing. Director Jon Favreau could've gone the PG-13 route and had James Caan's character spout profanities and land punches at his seemingly freak of a son, but he wisely sacrifices a few cheap laughs for warmth and good cheer. "Elf" seemed so poised to be another "Elf" is a small miracle. It's funny. Bob Newhart just has to sit there in that elf get-up and we're laughing. Director Jon Favreau could've gone the PG-13 route and had James Caan's character spout profanities and land punches at his seemingly freak of a son, but he wisely sacrifices a few cheap laughs for warmth and good cheer. "Elf" seemed so poised to be another stupid comedy. In the trailer, we see Ferrell burp and hurl himself on a Christmas tree; but within the context of the film, it actually works. "Elf" isn't high-brow stuff, but it certainily raises the bar, a bar that's been lowered by the collective ouevres of past SNL-cast members. Expand
  64. MikeM.
    Feb 19, 2003
    10
    This film deserves all the accolades it recieves. There is not a weak performance in the film. Newman, Law and Hanks are terrific.
  65. DanE.
    Feb 27, 2003
    10
    Saw this movie when it was in theaters and enjoyed it immensely. I don't understand how it got a 74. IMHO, it's better than director Sam Mendes' previous movie, American Beauty.
  66. TyS.
    Mar 14, 2003
    7
    Firstly the score..... what an absolute beauty . Filling all the little nuances of the film perfectly ..... As far as the movie I fell the intro was superb setting the scene and allowing the viewer to get caught up in this whole nasty situation. Should have been atleast a 9/10 from me but it was ruined by some awkward comic sections in the middle and an ending which was so obvious it was Firstly the score..... what an absolute beauty . Filling all the little nuances of the film perfectly ..... As far as the movie I fell the intro was superb setting the scene and allowing the viewer to get caught up in this whole nasty situation. Should have been atleast a 9/10 from me but it was ruined by some awkward comic sections in the middle and an ending which was so obvious it was a shame... Anyway the film looked beaut as well... Expand
  67. [Anonymous]
    Mar 27, 2003
    2
    This movie is so dull and boring. There's no suspense, not much action, and no reason to care about the characters. Yes, the cinematography is great and so is the music, but that doesn't make it enjoyable.
  68. MarshallM.
    Oct 29, 2005
    10
    Amazing, it was nominated for 7 academy awards. but it was missing from the most important category, BEST PICTURE! it was strongly underrated, this is one of the best gangter films i've seen, great acting, perfect cinematography, a masterpeice!
  69. May 6, 2014
    7
    When Road To Perdition hit theaters, it was critically acclaimed and was eventually nominated for six Academy Awards. While it was a great film, it was very dark and fails to deliver the emotional impact that it intended to have on it's audience. In the 1930s, Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is a family man living in the suburban mid-west. By all accounts, he is a normal man, who is hidingWhen Road To Perdition hit theaters, it was critically acclaimed and was eventually nominated for six Academy Awards. While it was a great film, it was very dark and fails to deliver the emotional impact that it intended to have on it's audience. In the 1930s, Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is a family man living in the suburban mid-west. By all accounts, he is a normal man, who is hiding one very dark secret, he is a hit-man for an organized crime syndicate. His secret is safe and life continues on as usual until one day, his son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), witnesses his father execute someone. Sullivan assures his bosses that everything is fine and his son won't say anything, but when has the mob ever taken that chance? Sullivan and his family are targeted for elimination and only he and his son manage to escape to Chicago, where he plans his revenge. As with most films based on a novel, the story here is top notch and very well written. Tom Hanks is the premier actor of our time, a man who will be remembered for centuries, but was he really the right choice to play Michael Sullivan? Hanks has many amazing skills as an actor, but playing such a cold, sedentary character, Hanks is unable to use his many tools and gives a performance that is very dry. The audience simply doesn't relate to Sullivan the way they relate to his son, and that brings the emotional impact of the film way below what it was intended to be. Tyler Hoechlin is fairly well known now, but when he got this role, it was his first, and he beat out over 10,000 other kids to get it. I don't know who any of those other kids were, but Hoechlin couldn't have had much competition, because he was out of this world good. It's a shame that the Academy rarely recognizes kids and that Paul Newman got the Best Supporting Actor nod over Hoechlin, because this kid is really the only one who comes off in a way that the writers originally intended. Road To Perdition was a tremendous story and was full of award winning actors, but the star power was more important to the producers, then finding actors who fit the characters as they were written. Aside from that and a painfully predictable ending, that you have to see coming, this was a pretty good film. I loved the setting and how dark it was, as well as the originality of a film that takes places nearly 60 years ago. I just find it ironic that in a cast full of Academy Award winning actors, it's a kid who steals the show. Expand
  70. Apr 19, 2015
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The year is 1931, and dapper immigrant mobsters are running an icy America with big guns and deadly honour codes. You know, the stuff of cinematic pearls since time immemorial, and the canvas on which Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner painted their graphic novel (posh comic book).

    It's this emotional exploration of the gangster myth that Yank-fixated Brit Sam Mendes was drawn to after his blistering debut, 'American Beauty'. 'Perdition' translates as 'damnation', and with wry whimsy is also the name of the elusive Midwest town planned as sanctuary for enforcer Michael Sullivan's young son, desperate to find love in his cold-blooded father.

    This is a moody, pristine study of paternal woe, localised to an Illinois chapter of the mob run by Newman's ageing patriarch, a man tormented by a trigger-happy dolt of an heir, Connor (Craig, slimeballing with relish). His is the devilry that rips apart Sullivan's life, sending echoes up to Chicago, in the form of a slick Stanley Tucci as real-life Capone general, Frank Nitti. Gangsters are the ultimate dysfunctional family.

    Chastely violent and sombre, the movie is a blood-rush of visual magnificence (take a bow, cinematographer Conrad L. Hall). However, it's at times weighed down by its own gravity, and perhaps too eager to touch its forelock to Mendes' forebears, Scorsese and Coppola, not to mention John Ford's scope and Michael Powell's lushness.

    Comparisons with 'The Godfather', 'The Untouchables' and 'Miller's Crossing' will fly, but the true reference point here is 'Unforgiven'. Sullivan's journey into a hell of his own making is pure William Munney. It falls short of Eastwood's classic, but not by very much.

    Mendes conducts with a grace the material can't quite handle, and we do not hear clearly the earnest notes of the designated quest for salvation. Look, it's Hanks and Newman together! As crooks! Worry not, though, we've still got Jude Law as the real scumbag, a Weegee-styled hit man with stained molars and a porkpie hat, who shoots his victims with both gun and camera.

    Hanks - hunkered down in a heavy skin with a threadbare moustache and the rigid posture of moral deep-freeze - works hard not to force things. Neither hero nor anti-hero, for the audience it proves too taxing to shake the notion that this is Forrest Gump doing his best Clint Eastwood. Amoral? Ambiguous? Evil? Too big a leap.

    Newman, meanwhile, is electrifying. Coating Rooney in dead eyes and a soft smile, his conflation of the jovial grandfather with flints of absolute darkness is a performance that chimes with (and betters) Brandon's Don Corleone. His is the crowning speech, power's inevitable corruption writ heavy across his soul: 'This is the life we chose... And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see heaven'.

    When he and Sullivan finally cross swords, Mendes pulls out a moment of transcendent cinema: a speechless sequence washed in the film's signature downpour, lit to throw Tommy guns and fedoras into stark silhouettes - you watch agape as simple celluloid transforms into poetry. Mendes has the eye, if not yet the ear, to be amongst the greats he honours so much. The luxury is that this is only film two.

    Verdict
    This is supremely crafted, grown-up moviemaking that never escapes its pulp origins. The themes are well worn and the structure predictable, but these are gangster cliches as gift-wrapped by Fortnum & Mason, and the grandeur of the film slips down like fine caviar.
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  71. Apr 19, 2015
    10
    Following a messy murder, hit man Michael Sullivan is betrayed by the man he called father, formidable Irish hood John Rooney. Leaving behind a murdered family and with a killer on his tail, Sullivan goes on the run, hungry for revenge.

    Chastely violent and sombre, the movie is a blood-rush of visual magnificence (take a bow, cinematographer Conrad L. Hall). However, it's at times
    Following a messy murder, hit man Michael Sullivan is betrayed by the man he called father, formidable Irish hood John Rooney. Leaving behind a murdered family and with a killer on his tail, Sullivan goes on the run, hungry for revenge.

    Chastely violent and sombre, the movie is a blood-rush of visual magnificence (take a bow, cinematographer Conrad L. Hall). However, it's at times weighed down by its own gravity, and perhaps too eager to touch its forelock to Mendes' forebears, Scorsese and Coppola, not to mention John Ford's scope and Michael Powell's lushness.

    This is supremely crafted, grown-up moviemaking that never escapes its pulp origins. The themes are well worn and the structure predictable, but these are gangster cliches as gift-wrapped by Fortnum & Mason, and the grandeur of the film slips down like fine caviar.

    One of the best soundtracks and films ever made!
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  72. Apr 21, 2015
    10
    Following a messy murder, hit man Michael Sullivan is betrayed by the man he called father, formidable Irish hood John Rooney. Leaving behind a murdered family and with a killer on his tail, Sullivan goes on the run, hungry for revenge.

    EARLY in "Road to Perdition," a period gangster film that achieves the grandeur of a classic Hollywood western, John Rooney (Paul Newman), the crusty
    Following a messy murder, hit man Michael Sullivan is betrayed by the man he called father, formidable Irish hood John Rooney. Leaving behind a murdered family and with a killer on his tail, Sullivan goes on the run, hungry for revenge.

    EARLY in "Road to Perdition," a period gangster film that achieves the grandeur of a classic Hollywood western, John Rooney (Paul Newman), the crusty old Irish mob boss in a town somewhere outside Chicago, growls a lament that echoes through the movie like a subterranean rumble: "Sons are put on the earth to trouble their fathers."

    n surveying the world through Michael Jr.'s eyes, the movie captures, like no film I've seen, the fear-tinged awe with which young boys regard their fathers and the degree to which that awe continues to reverberate into adult life. Viewed through his son's eyes, Sullivan, whose face is half-shadowed much of the time by the brim of his fedora, is a largely silent deity, the benign but fearsome source of all knowledge and wisdom. An unsmiling Mr. Hanks does a powerful job of conveying the conflicting emotions roiling beneath Sullivan's grimly purposeful exterior as he tries to save his son and himself from mob execution. It's all done with facial muscles.

    In the flashiest of many visually indelible moments, a cluster of gangsters silhouetted in a heavy rain are systemically mowed down on a Chicago street in a volley of machine-gun flashes that seem to erupt out of nowhere from an unseen assassin. But no shots or voices are heard. The eerie silence is filled by the solemn swell of Mr. Newman's score. It is one of many scenes of violence in which the camera maintains a discreet aesthetic distance from the carnage.

    Road to Perdition is a true tour de force! A remarkable film!
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  73. Apr 25, 2015
    10
    Over the course of his illustrious career, which is well into its third decade, Hanks has played a cross-dresser, a man infatuated by a mermaid, the manager of a women's baseball team, a child in an oversized body, an idiot savant, an AIDS patient, and a man stranded on a desert island. However, during more than four-dozen TV shows and movies, he has yet to challenge himself with the mostOver the course of his illustrious career, which is well into its third decade, Hanks has played a cross-dresser, a man infatuated by a mermaid, the manager of a women's baseball team, a child in an oversized body, an idiot savant, an AIDS patient, and a man stranded on a desert island. However, during more than four-dozen TV shows and movies, he has yet to challenge himself with the most difficult role for a well-liked actor - that of a bad-to-the-bone villain. He comes close in Road to Perdition, but doesn't quite reach that destination. For, although Michael Sullivan is a murderer for hire, he also has a conscience and a soul, loves his family, and kills not because he likes it but because it's his job. In short, Sullivan is portrayed sympathetically. The script's positive spin and Hanks' instant likeability ensure that Sullivan will be viewed not as a bad guy, but as a flawed man. There's some darkness there, to be sure, but not the pitch black of pure evil.

    The film, director Sam Mendes' eagerly anticipated follow-up to American Beauty, is based on the "graphic novel" (a term that is applied to a very long comic book printed on high-quality paper and sold in bookstores) by Max Allan Collins and Richard Piers Rayner. As with many adaptations from this medium, Road to Perdition stuns with its atmosphere and visuals, but arguably underachieves in some aspects of its characterization and plotting.

    Road to Perdition allows you to feel, smell, and breathe the air of 1930s Chicago. To some extent, Conrad L. Hall is as big a star as any of the actors, since there are occasions when the setting overwhelms the characters. At its heart, Road to Perdition is a little drama about fathers, sons, and the covenants they make and break. Rooney betrays Sullivan to save Connor, even though, to the very end, he loves Sullivan best. Sullivan risks everything, including his life and reputation, to protect Michael. A telling conversation between Rooney and Sullivan italicizes this point. "And there is only one guarantee--none of us will see Heaven," says Rooney. "Michael might," replies Sullivan. Rooney then notes that it's Sullivan's primary duty to make sure that happens.

    Road to Perdition romanticizes gangland Chicago, but no more so than other films set in the same period. And, like almost every movie about the mob, this one deals with themes of family, loyalty, and betrayal - albeit without the intensity of some of the great ones (The Godfather, Goodfellas). As was the case in American Beauty, Mendes illustrates how accomplished actors will respond to an assured director. Serious movie-goers embarking upon this journey will find that Road to Perdition leads to a satisfying destination.
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Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Results are classy entertainment with little to interest women viewers but very shrewdly and cleverly put together, and probably more rewarding in long-range terms if you invest in Fox or Dreamworks than if you actually see the movie.
  2. 100
    Overflowing with melancholy and tragedy, Road to Perdition is one of the most somber gangster pictures ever made.
  3. 50
    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.