There have been a lot of great gangster movies throughout Hollywood. You have The Godfather and its sequel, Goodfellas, The Public Enemy and countless others. Another one to add is Road to Perdition. Based on the Max Allan Collins graphic novel, this movie gets up in the ranks of every classic gangster film.
Michael Sullivan, Sr. (Tom Hanks) works as a hit man for John Rooney (Paul Newman), a Irish-American crime boss in Depression-era Illinois. Sullivan sees Rooney as a father figure, which makes Rooney's own son Connor (Daniel Craig) envious. Sullivan and Connor are sent to a disgruntled employee. Sullivan's son Michael, Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) accidently witnesses Connor's impulsive killing of the employee. Sullivan tells Michael not to tell anyone about what he witnessed, but Connor plans to kill Sullivan's family. He kills Sullivan's wife Annie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and younger son Peter (Liam Aiken), thinking he murdered the young Michael, but Michael and Sullivan had fled to Chicago upon seeing the murder scene.
This is the second movie from director Sam Mendes. And boy, it's that good. Tom Hanks was great in the lead. I pretty much forgot about his previous roles as I watched the movie. This was Paul Newman's final on-screen role (though not his last role) and he was also brilliant. The one actor that made me raise an eyebrow was Daniel Craig. Having seen Casino Royale before Road to Perdition, I was surprised that he had no accent whatsoever in this. Jude Law, who plays photographer/assassin Harlen Maguire, was just downright cruel from the first time he appears.
My Rating: *****