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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Road to Perdition


Starring: Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law and Tyler Hoechlin
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 15
Available 24 May 2010

He shouldn't have been there. But in the moment that Michael Sullivan's son witnessed a brutal slaying, the lives of this 12 year old and his gangster father are shattered irrevocably. Now, targeted by the mob he's devoted his life to, Sullivan and his son find themselves with nowhere to turn and a sadistic killer in pursuit. It's here, in a fierce and primal struggle to stay alive and protect his boy, that this lifelong gangster will discover honour and redemption...

Based on the original graphic novel by Max Allan Collins, Road to Perdition is riveting, powerful and visually stunning - easily ranking among the classic gangster movies of all time. Tom Hanks's performance is enhanced by a fantastic supporting cast that includes Paul Newman, Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh. All the main actors seem to be cast against type, which was a bold move and pays off incredibly well.

The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor (Paul Newman), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall), Best Original Score (Thomas Newman), Best Sound, and Best Sound Editing. It won a single award which went to Hall for his amazing cinematography. While the music is interesting, I was pleased that it didn't win an Academy Award - mainly because to me it felt like it had been swept up off the cutting room floor from Newman's earlier, and more impressive, work on The Shawshank Redemption.

Extras on this Blu-ray, which were also included on the DVD release some years ago, include an audio commentary by director, Sam Mendes; Deleted Scenes (22 min, 09 sec with optional director's commentary); and HBO Special: The Making of Road to Perdition (25 min, 02 sec)

Extras that are new to the Blu-ray include: Introduction with Sam Mendez (1 min, 17 sec); A Cinematic Life: The Art and Influence of Conrad Hall (26 min, 37 sec look at the work of the movie's cinematographer); and The Library: A Further Exploration of the World of Road to Perdition (an interactive feature that looks at numerous aspects of the filmmaking process). There's also a second disc included which allows you to create a digital copy for portable movie playing devices.

Whether you already own this movie on DVD, or have yet to purchase it, now is the perfect time to add this incredible movie to your home movie collection.


Nick Smithson

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