Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A portrayal of two families whose fates are determined by the complex and often combative relationships between fathers and their sons. (DreamWorks Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    Overflowing with melancholy and tragedy, Road to Perdition is one of the most somber gangster pictures ever made.
  2. This movie would be worth feting in any season. It's wrenching but never manipulative, stoic but never dull, exhausting but never wearying.
  3. 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.
  4. 75
    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").
  5. 70
    I'm not sure Sam Mendes' latest is a masterpiece as so many critics are exclaiming but it is very probably the most artful and earnest drama ever adapted from a comic book.
  6. 70
    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]
  7. 40
    Like a date who's primped too long to arrive at dinner with something to talk about, Road to Perdition is beautifully groomed and a perfect drag to be with.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 67
  2. Negative: 8 out of 67
  1. Nov 28, 2012
    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, and stunning camerawork by Conrad L. Hall, "Road To Perdition" remains, in short, superlative. Expand
  2. Apr 13, 2013
    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 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
  3. Dec 13, 2011
    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. Feb 24, 2014
    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. Expand
  5. Aug 1, 2013
    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 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.
  6. Nov 12, 2013
    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. Expand
  7. Jul 21, 2013
    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. Expand

See all 67 User Reviews