Road to Perdition (2002) Movie Review – A Sam Mendes Masterpiece?

Paul from Eleventy8 reviews… Road to Perdition (2002). Paul is on a solo mission to review a Tom Hanks film that doesn’t immediately come to mind when considering the actor’s finest work. A great father son coming together movie, Paul decided to review this because it always makes him think of his dad.

Road to Perdition is a 2002 American neo-noir period crime drama film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self from the graphic novel of the same name written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman (in his final live-action theatrical film acting role), Jude Law, and Daniel Craig. The plot takes place in 1931, during the Great Depression, following a mob enforcer and his son as they seek vengeance against a mobster who murdered the rest of their family.

Filming took place in the Chicago area. Mendes, having recently finished 1999’s acclaimed American Beauty, pursued a story that had minimal dialogue and conveyed emotion in the imagery. Cinematographer Conrad L. Hall took advantage of the environment to create symbolism for the film, for which he won several awards, including a posthumous Academy Award for Best Cinematography. The film explores several themes, including the consequence of violence and father-son relationships.

Road to Perdition was released on July 12, 2002, and eventually grossed over $181 million worldwide. The film was well-received by critics, who mainly praised the direction and visuals, performances (particularly of Hanks, Newman, and Law), cinematography, themes and setting. In addition to Hall’s win for cinematography, the film earned five Academy Awards nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Newman.