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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 147 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: 51 out of 69
  2. Negative: 8 out of 69
  1. MarshallM.
    Oct 29, 2005
    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! Expand
  2. 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
  3. chw
    Sep 5, 2014
    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). 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. Jul 8, 2014
    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 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
  6. 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.
  7. BillC.
    Oct 11, 2005
    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. Expand

See all 69 User Reviews