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Road to Perdition (2002)

aka Road to Perdition

"The innocence of a son is surpassed only by the father's will to save it."

Directed By: 
Details: 117 mins · English · R (USA)


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Small Michael Sullivan
Small Annie Sullivan
Small Peter Sullivan
Small John Rooney
Small Connor Rooney
Small Finn McGovern
No_movie_poster Jack Kelly
No_movie_poster Frank the Bouncer
No_movie_poster Calvino
Small Harlen Maguire
Small Frank Nitti
No_movie_poster Tenement Murderer
No_movie_poster Father Callaway
Small Michael Sullivan Jr.
Small Alexander Rance


Small Sam Mendes Director
No_movie_poster Thomas Newman Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Debra Zane Casting
No_movie_poster Nancy Haigh Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Jill Bilcock Editor
No_movie_poster Dennis Gassner Production Design
No_movie_poster Conrad L. Hall Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Richard L. Johnson Art Direction
No_movie_poster Albert Wolsky Costume Design
No_movie_poster Max Allan Collins Novel
No_movie_poster Richard Piers Rayner Novel
No_movie_poster David Self Screenplay
Small Sam Mendes Production
No_movie_poster Richard D. Zanuck Production
No_movie_poster Max Allan Collins Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Richard Piers Rayner Story Contributor


"The innocence of a son is surpassed only by the father's will to save it."


Michael Sullivan, Sr. (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for Rock Island Irish mob boss John Rooney (Paul Newman) during the Great Depression. Rooney raised the orphan Sullivan and loves him more than his own biological son, the unstable Connor (Daniel Craig). Connor snaps and kills disgruntled associate Finn McGovern (Ciaran Hinds) when meeting him with Sullivan, resulting in Sullivan's gunning down McGovern's men. Sullivan's twelve-year-old son Michael Sullivan, Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin) had hidden in his father's car and witnesses the event. Despite Sullivan's swearing his son to secrecy and Rooney's demanding Connor's apology for the reckless action, Connor murders Sullivan's wife Annie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and younger son Peter (Liam Aiken), while sending Sullivan to an ambush at a speakeasy. However, Sullivan escapes to Chicago with his son to seek Al Capone, for work and for the location of Connor, who is in hiding.

Capone's associate Frank Nitti (Stanley Tucci) rejects Sullivan's proposal to work for Capone and Sullivan's request for permission to kill Connor, and Rooney is aware of the meeting. Rooney reluctantly allows Nitti to dispatch crime scene photographer and assassin Harlen Maguire (Jude Law), who likes to photograph his victims, to kill Sullivan. Maguire tracks him and Michael to a roadside diner, but fails to kill Sullivan, who realizes Maguire's intentions and punctures Maguire’s car tire before escaping.

In response to the hit ordered on him, Sullivan begins robbing banks that hold Capone and Rooney’s laundered money, hoping to trade it for Connor, and teaches Michael to drive the getaway car. Sullivan is impeded when the account money is withdrawn by the mob, so he visits Rooney's accountant Alexander Rance (Dylan Baker) at his hotel for information. However, it is a set up as Rance stalls him until Maguire enters. Rance is killed in the ensuing crossfire, Maguire is injured when a bullet sends shattered glass into his face, and Sullivan escapes with ledgers, but as he flees, Maguire shoots him in the arm.

Michael drives his father to a farm, where a childless elderly couple helps Sullivan recover. Sullivan bonds with his son and discovers from the ledgers that Connor has been embezzling from his father for years, using the names of dead gang members. As the Sullivans depart, they give the couple much of the stolen money. Sullivan then confronts Rooney with the information while he attends Mass. While Rooney already knew about the embezzlement and that it must end with Connor's death, he refuses to be the one to give up his son.

One night, cloaked by darkness and rain, Sullivan dispatches Rooney's entire entourage with his Thompson submachine gun and, as he walks up to Rooney himself, Rooney mutters he is glad it is Sullivan, while an emotional Sullivan pulls the trigger, killing him. Seeing no further reason to protect Connor, Nitti reveals his location to Sullivan, after making Sullivan promise that this will end the feud. Sullivan goes to the hotel where Connor is hiding and kills him.

Sullivan then drives Michael to stay at his Aunt Sara's beach house in Perdition, a town on the shore of Lake Michigan. However, he is ambushed and shot by a disfigured Maguire. As Maguire prepares to photograph the dying Sullivan, Michael appears and points a gun at Maguire, but cannot bring himself to fire. Sullivan then kills Maguire, before dying in his son's arms. Mourning his father's death, Michael finds his way back to the elderly farm couple to live with them. Michael states growing up that his father's only fear was his son would be like him, and that when asked if Sullivan was a good man or a bad man, he would always give the same reply: "He was my father."

Release Dates:

DVD : 2003-02-25