Tom Hanks Doesn’t Think His Greatest Movie Gets Enough Attention

Tom Hanks says that his 2002 neo-noir Road to Perdition does not get the attention it should.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

tom hanks road to perdition
Road to Perdition

Two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks thinks that his greatest movie, Road to Perdition, does not get the critical or popular attention that it merits. In a recent appearance on the ReelBlend podcast, the 2002 Sam Mendes film came up in conversation and the actor leapt on it. According to Tom Hanks, “no one references Road to Perdition. And that was a[n] incredibly important movie for me to go through,” going on to praise individual details of the film. 

Specifically, Tom Hanks noted that Road to Perdition was shot by legendary cinematographer Conrad Hall, who photographed other iconic films like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, and American Beauty and eventually won three Academy Awards and three BAFTAs. Tom Hanks also noted that Road to Perdition should be noteworthy just for the fact that he wore a “Don mustache” (presumably referencing the cinematic Mafia archetype) and he wore a hat.

Equally as important as the mustache and hat, Tom Hanks said that Road to Perdition also starred “two guys who turned out to be two of the biggest motion picture presences in the history of the industry,” meaning Daniel Craig and Jude Law. As we recently pointed out, the pre-Casino Royale Daniel Craig played fascinatingly against his current image, depicting a cowardly villain, while Jude Law went against his heartthrob status and portrayed a creepy, Nosferatu-like hitman. 

On the surface of it, it is fair to say that very few Tom Hanks films do not get enough attention, particularly Road to Perdition. While the 1930s-set neo-noir did not have the monumental impact of Forrest Gump or Toy Story, it still made over $180 million at the box office and was nominated for five Academy Awards. If Tom Hanks wants to mention a movie of his that did not last in the cultural memory for even a minute, he could probably bring up the 2017 techno-thriller The Circle or his 1988 stand-up Punchline.

Tom Hanks was on the podcast to promote his latest film, A Man Called Otto, a comedy-drama about a suicidal man (which is still somehow not as dark as the plot of Road to Perdition). The film is a remake of the 2015 Swedish film A Man Called Ove, itself adapted from a 2012 novel by Fredrik Backman. The film also marks the first time Tom Hanks and his son Truman have appeared in a film together, with the younger Hanks appearing in flashbacks.

Tom Hanks seems to have a great deal of fondness for Road to Perdition, which makes a great deal of sense. The movie came during a miracle run of his films that included The Green Mile, Toy Story 2, and Catch Me If You Can, and should rightfully be considered part of some of his best years. The fact that Tom Hanks played against type to play a stoic, brutal man of violence rather than his usual affable persona maybe should get a bit more attention.