[Screen It]

 

"ROAD TO PERDITION"
(2002) (Tom Hanks, Paul Newman) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Heavy Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Moderate Extreme Moderate Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: After his wife and son are murdered by a mob associate, a hitman and his 12-year son set out to avenge their deaths.
PLOT:
Michael Sullivan (TOM HANKS) is a Depression era hitman who works for mob boss John Rooney (PAUL NEWMAN) who took him in years ago and raised him just like his own son, Connor (DANIEL CRAIG), now the number two man in the organization. Michael is a loyal and effective worker who's now a family man himself, raising sons Michael Jr. (TYLER HOECHLIN) and Peter (LIAM AIKEN) with his wife Annie (JENNIFER JASON LEIGH).

The two are careful not to allow the boys to learn what their father does for a living, but one night Michael Jr. sneaks out to watch his father and ends up seeing him mow down some people after Connor abruptly executes an associate. Everyone in the organization is understandably concerned about the 12-year-old being able to keep quiet about what he saw, but Connor decides to take matters into his own hands.

Ordering a hit on Michael, the lose cannon sets out to kill Michael Jr. as well, but instead ends up murdering Annie and Peter. When Michael Sr. discovers this, he realizes the world he once knew no longer exists and thus heads to Chicago to meet Frank Nitti (STANLEY TUCCI), Al Capone's right-hand man. Michael proposes that he join Nitti's organization in exchange for them turning a blind eye to his pending revenge, but Nitti says he can't help.

Instead, and with the approval of John who has to make the toughest decision of his life in favoring his biological son over his adoptive one, Nitti hires Maguire (JUDE LAW), a press photographer and hitman, to find and kill Michael before things get out of hand.

Michael has other plans, however, and thus sets out to get his revenge, any way he can, on those who wronged him, all while protecting and ironically finally getting to know his son.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teens may be interested in it, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but it doesn't seem likely that younger kids will have much interest in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For violence and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TOM HANKS plays a mostly stoic hitman who kills several people under orders and then does so in various acts of revenge for his wife and child being killed. He also drinks some.
  • PAUL NEWMAN plays the mob boss who raised Michael as a son but must decide between supporting him or his biological son, Connor. He drinks some.
  • TYLER HOECHLIN plays Michael's 12-year-old son who inadvertently sends things spiraling out of control when he sneaks out to see what his father does for a living and witnesses a mob murder.
  • JUDE LAW plays a hitman and press photographer who's sent to kill Michael.
  • STANLEY TUCCI plays Al Capone's right-hand man who Michael goes to see for help. He uses strong profanity and orders a hitman to kill Michael.
  • DANIEL CRAIG plays Rooney's corrupt son who kills people, smokes, and uses strong profanity.
  • JENNIFER JASON LEIGH plays Michael's supportive wife.
  • LIAM AIKEN plays Michael's youngest son who's curious about what he does for a living and briefly uses strong profanity in mimicking what Connor earlier said.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 9 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is also present, while some prostitutes are briefly seen with men, but nothing more than a hooker in a bed and brief kissing involving another couple occurs.

    Violence consists of various people murdering and executing others in cold blood, often with rather bloody results. Those scenes and others may be unsettling or suspenseful to viewers, and many of the various characters have extreme cases of bad attitudes.

    Some characters drink, some smoke and some tense family material involves family members discovering and reacting to the fact that others in their family have been murdered. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various people drink during and after a wake, including John and Michael. There, the brother of the deceased also mentions that his sibling was a "pain in the ass" when he got liquor inside him.
  • Connor drinks from a flask.
  • We see a bottle of liquor next to a man in a warehouse filled with barrels of what may be booze (it's briefly mentioned).
  • Various mob officials drink.
  • People drink in a club where the owner appears to be snorting something when Michael arrives.
  • Connor drinks from a flask.
  • Michael pulls out a flask in a diner and then feigns being drunk to fool someone else.
  • A man drinks from a flask.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a dead body in a coffin, but beyond being dead, it's neither bloody nor gory.
  • We see a lot of blood on a man's head after he's been shot dead.
  • Some men who are shot dead are bloody.
  • We see some blood on Michael's hand after he's killed someone.
  • Maguire shows up at a murder scene to photograph a victim who's bloody and has a knife sticking out of his chest. When the victim then turns out to be alive and gasps for air (with blood running out of his mouth), Maguire smothers the man.
  • We see some of Maguire's black and white photos of murder victims, some of whom are bloody.
  • A man who's been wounded in the face is bloody (face and hands) while another man who's been shot is bloody.
  • A man's shoulder is bloody after he's been shot there (and his hand is bloody as well). We then see the bloody wound again (as a knife is heated in an open flame to perform surgery) and then see the bloody slug dropped into a bowl.
  • As a mirrored door swings around, we see a man who's just been shot and he, the wall behind him and the floor beneath his bathtub are all bloody.
  • A man who's been shot is rather bloody, while some blood is also on the window in front of him.
  • A man has many scars on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Nearly everyone in the film has a bad attitude of one sort or another, particularly those who are involved in organized crime and responsible for various deaths.
  • Michael Jr. steals a pipe from a pharmacy.
  • Connor kills several people in cold blood to protect his own interests.
  • Michael kills various people while working for Rooney and then does so again while seeking revenge. He also robs some banks at gunpoint, but only steals "dirty money" from them (money the banks were holding for the mob). He then tells a bank manager to keep some for himself (and he does).
  • Several of Michael's associates turn on him.
  • Maguire is a hitman who kills various people.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and/or "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Michael goes to visit a man who owes money to Rooney. Unbeknownst to Michael, this man has hidden a gun under a magazine on his desk and the tension builds once Michael arrives.
  • Michael realizes his family is in danger and races home to save them. Back there, Annie sees a hitman in their house and turns her back, while holding Peter, as the man approaches.
  • Michael Jr. races up to his house, only to see a hitman coming down the stairs. Michael freezes, believing the hitman can see him through the window, but the hitman can only see his own reflection from the inside. Michael then hides as the hitman exits and then slowly goes toward the bathroom where he and we know that people have just been killed.
  • Michael sneaks into a room and then holds his gun to a man's head to make him talk.
  • Michael just manages to squeeze out of a closing elevator when he realizes a hitman has arrived.
  • Maguire shows up at a murder scene to photograph a victim who's bloody and has a knife sticking out of his chest. When the victim then turns out to be alive and gasps for air (with blood running out of his mouth), Maguire smothers the man.
  • Maguire shows up at the same diner where Michael is having dinner and strikes up a conversation with him (with Michael unaware that he's the hitman sent to kill him).
  • Michael holds a gun on a mob associate in a hotel room, while Maguire spots this occurring and races across the road with his shotgun. Maguire then bursts into the room and he and Michael then get into a gun battle. Michael finally fires a shot that causes something to shatter and impale Maguire's face (we see lots of blood) and then sees that the other mob associate was hit and killed in another room by the gunfire.
  • Michael Jr. holds a gun on a hitman who slowly approaches him and wants the boy to give up the gun.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Shotguns/Machine guns/Knife: Used to threaten, wound or kill various people. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see an illustrated picture of a fictional character holding a gun.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "It's all so f*cking hysterical," "F*ck should I know," "What the f*ck is this?" "I feel like a f*cking prisoner," "F*ck you," "Oh sh*t," "You're a big baby who doesn't know his thumb from his d*ck," "Pain in the ass," "What the hell are you thinking?" "Screw" (nonsexual), "How the hell are you?" and "Piss" (urinate).
  • Although repercussions eventually follow, some impressionable kids might get the wrong idea about killing people after seeing such occasionally nonchalant behavior.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person is suddenly shot.
  • The sound of another gunshot might startle some viewers.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 9 "f" words, 2 "s" words, 1 slang term each for male and female genitals ("d*ck" and "p*ssy"), 2 hells, 1 ass, 1 damn, 4 uses of "Jesus," 2 of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Michael passes through a nightclub where we see a couple standing and making out in the shadows as well as various prostitutes waiting for men (and one leading one man off to another room).
  • In the background of a shot set in a nightclub office, there appear to be photos/drawings of topless women, but they're so small and out of focus that it's hard to be certain. The owner asks Michael why he's arrived there and then adds that he "can't imagine it's the p*ssy."
  • A hooker in Maguire's bed asks how many more days he's going to want her as he stands and looks out the window (there's no nudity or activity). He then pays her to leave.
  • SMOKING
  • Connor smokes several times, as does Nitti, while Michael Jr. briefly smokes a stolen pipe and various minor and miscellaneous characters also smoke in various scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see people at a wake (including the deceased's brother) and John mentions his wife dying in the past.
  • Michael and his son react to discovering and seeing that Annie and Peter have been murdered.
  • John is severely disappointed in his son's behavior and actions.
  • Michael Jr. asks his father if he loved Peter more than him because he was different with him (the father says he didn't).
  • A person sees his father die before him.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The life of those involved in organized crime.
  • Whether Michael Sr. is a villain, a flawed character, and/or a man simply doing a job to support his family.
  • Father/son dynamics and Michael's quest not to allow his son to follow in his footsteps.
  • John's support of his biological son despite the havoc he has wrought.
  • Although repercussions eventually follow, some impressionable kids might get the wrong idea about killing people after seeing such occasionally nonchalant behavior.
  • Why coins were put over the eyes of the dead (we briefly see that at a wake).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Connor suddenly shoots a man in the head execution style and Michael then reacts and mows down at least one other man (and maybe another) with a machine gun.
  • We briefly see Michael Jr. at school fighting with another student. They tussle a bit and Michael then repeatedly punches the other boy (we don't see the impact).
  • Michael grabs a man's partially hidden gun and shoots him (in the head) and a bouncer dead.
  • We hear but don't see a man shooting and killing two people.
  • John repeatedly hits Connor on the back in anger before finally hugging him with mixed emotions.
  • Michael repeatedly shoots a man in the head, killing him (we hear but don't see the impact).
  • Maguire shows up at a murder scene to photograph a victim who's bloody and has a knife sticking out of his chest. When the victim then turns out to be alive and gasps for air (with blood running out of his mouth), Maguire smothers the man.
  • Maguire opens fire on an escaping car (after his tire has been flattened by a knife), shooting a hole through the back window. He then repeatedly shoots a police officer, killing him.
  • Connor violently overturns a hotel table in anger.
  • Michael holds a gun on a mob associate in a hotel room, while Maguire spots this occurring and races across the road with his shotgun. Maguire then bursts into the room and he and Michael then get into a gun battle. Michael finally fires a shot that causes something to shatter and impale Maguire's face (we see lots of blood) and then sees that the other mob associate was hit and killed in another room by the gunfire.
  • A man is shot in the shoulder when a man opens fire on an escaping car.
  • We see a man who's been killed.
  • Various people are mowed down and killed by machine gun fire (no blood).
  • Michael shoots a man with a machine gun (but we don't see the impact).
  • Michael shoots and kills another man (we don't see the impact, but do see the bloody results).
  • A man is shot and mortally wounded (with bloody results).
  • A man is shot and killed.



  • Reviewed July 8, 2002 / Posted July 12, 2002

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Collateral Beauty] [La La Land] [Manchester By The Sea] [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.