Road to Perdition, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

In this Depression era tale, 12-year-old Mike Sullivan (Tyler Hoechlin) lives a normal life with loving parents and little brother. But questions about his father, Michael’s (Tom Hanks), occupation only produce vague answers about working for his surrogate father, John Rooney (Paul Newman), a wealthy, grandfatherly figure. The Irish mob “family,” led by Rooney, has infested commercial markets, both legal and illegal, including banks, restaurants, gambling and prostitution rings. Less than 24 hours after Mike sees his beloved dad participate in a bloody shooting, his mother and brother are killed, with Mike and Michael running for their lives. Set in the midwest, THE ROAD TO PERDITION mesmerizes viewers with a stellar cast, breathtaking cinematography and the heartbreaking, unforgettable story of a father’s love for his son. Look for this film at Oscar time.

The sordid world of organized crime unveils itself to 12-year-old Mike when he and his dad become hunted outcasts. Mr. Rooney’s son, Connor (Daniel Craig), orchestrates an ambush to kill Michael out of jealousy and uncontrolled anger. Michael and Mike become “Robin Hood” style bank robbers, taking money only from special mob accounts and not the regular customer deposits. Many cold-blooded executions are performed within the mob – yesterday’s trusted partner becomes the tomorrow’s butchered corpse. Most killings are followed by a wake with plenty of alcohol and a hypocritical church funeral conducted by a mob-related priest. The bloody aftermath of killings is often graphic, excessively gory. Especially gruesome scenes are reserved for a crime photographer-assassin (Jude Law) who delights in slaughtering a victim, then selling photographs of the corpse to tabloids. Vulgar language permeates the dialogue with 13 obscenities and a dozen regular profanities. However, Michael does change from a cold assassin to a father determined to perform one heroic deed – free his son from the legacy of his father’s crimes. THE ROAD TO PERDITION paints a dark but vivid picture of evil and its dire consequences, but the intense violence and foul language make it a poor choice for discerning moviegoers.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Dreamworks SKG, 1000 Flower St., Glendale, CA 91201 and 20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Once – Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (13) times - F-word 8, s-word 2, other 3

Profanity: Many (15) times – Regular 12 (JC 3, J 4, C2, GD 3); Exclamatory 3

Violence: Continuous – Severe and graphic (many mob style executions with point blank shootings of unarmed helpless victims; machine gun ambush massacres gang members; killer/ photographer arranges bloody corpses in bizarre positions; beatings)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (prostitutes seen in brothel)

Drugs: Many times (drinking hard liquor/ at religious wake/ meetings)

Other: Hypocritical religious services; strong bond develops between father and son; mob leader states they are all doomed to hell; 12 year old helps father rob banks; life of crime not glamorized

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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