Road To Perdition (2002)

(In theaters, July 2002) Dour, slick and professional effort that spends a lot of time trying to masquerade a familiar plotline straight out of countless mob dramas. Tom Hanks steps oh-so-far-away from his nice guy persona by playing a hitman… who’s a really nice guy. (All of his murders are, of course, fully justified) This B-movie plot (mob sets up a member… who vows terrible revenge!) is given the full A-list treatment with big stars (Paul Newman!), fantastic cinematography, fatherhood musings, 1930s period details and ponderous direction. It looks great and feels eminently respectable, but its languid pacing can’t hide its pulpish origins. Not bad, but a touch pretentious for what it is.

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