Road To Perdition (2002)

Sam Mendes’s elegiac gangster movie may not be to everyone’s tastes but it’s his clear love of the genre that raises it above most other modern attempts. The acting is top-notch with a cast-against-type Tom Hanks giving his most sour performance to date, ably assisted by Daniel Craig, a truly creepy Jude Law and the peerless Paul Newman in his last film role as a troubled patriarch stuck between the son he has and the son he wishes he had. The film hits all of the expected beats with tommy guns, Fedora hats, silhouetted men and religious iconography all present and correct, but it’s in a climactic scene where it manages to both subvert and reinforce genre stereotypes at the same time that the film truly soars and demands your attention. 


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