Following his breakout success with American Beauty, director Sam Mendes had a variety of projects to choose from, including films like A Beautiful Mind, K-PAX, and The Shipping News. Mendes chose instead to adapt a graphic novel about a hitman and his son on the run in the Prohibition Era Midwest. Starring Tom Hanks, Jude Law, Stanley Tucci, a pre-Bond Daniel Craig, and featuring Paul Newman in his last on-screen film role, the film draws on gangster flicks, Kurosawa, Once Upon a Time in America, and Lone Wolf and Cub to bring the story from page to screen. Nominated for six Academy Awards, cinematographer Conrad L. Hall won a posthumous Oscar for his work, and Tom Hanks himself counts his turn as hitman Michael Sullivan among his most underrated roles. The night is dark, the wind is cold, and we’re on the Road to Perdition!
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