"The Road to Perdition" has a great cast, a good script and high production values, although its ironically expensive, Depression (1931) setting seems oddly out of place in post-9/11 production. Tom Hanks, fresh from the remarkable HBO production of "Band of Brothers", seemed to nudge "Perdition" into Oscar nomination territory by the sheer resonance of his transportable, good-guy character. There are days, these days, when Hanks might be the only honest person left in the Western world.
He's too good for the role of Sullivan, a family hit man who works for "Mr. Rooney", the latter played with great depth by an appropriately wizened Paul Newman. Picture Gabriel Byrne, dressed for "Miller's Crossing", in Tom's place, and you have the needed twist. And yet, such is the lovability factor of Hanks, he'd be sadly missed.
The "Perdition" story's undertow goes essentially like this: Your puppy is fine - he's been sent, along with a Gladstone bag of money, to live on a particularly desirable and believable, midwestern pre-vinyl farm.