(Review originally written at 19 September 2004)

When you say gangster movie, you immediately think about movies like "The Godfather" and "Goodfellas". "Road to Perdition" is also a gangster movie but it's different. It's more stylish and focuses even more and goes deeper in on the characters.

Visually this movie is absolutely wonderful! The atmosphere is brilliant thanks to the likewise brilliant cinematography by Conrad L. Hall who won a well deserved Oscar for it. Unfortunately the brilliant Mr. Hall died 11 weeks before he could collect his second Oscar. "Road to Perdition" was a worthy last movie for him. Also the sets and costumes and last but not least the subtle and soft music by Thomas Newman all add further to the atmosphere.

Tom Hanks is absolutely wonderful in this film. At first he plays a strict father and tough gangsters but as the movie progresses his character becomes more and more loose and open. The way the father/son story is told is brilliant and almost touching. Not only the Sullivan/Sullivan Jr. story but also the Sullivan/Rooney father/son story. I can't say that I'm always happy the way Jude Law's character is used throughout the movie and about the character in general. Veteran Paul Newman of course is a wonderful addition to the solid cast.

The story is told in a wonderful way by director Sam Mendes with lot's of visual beauty. Result is a unique gangster film with some unforgettable scene's such as the rain shootout, which is absolutely a brilliant scene thanks to the cinematography, music and the sound or better said the lack of sound.

A wonderful character driven, crime drama.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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