Departures (2019)

Director:  Peter Hutchings

Writer: Fergal Rock (Screenplay)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev, Ken Jeong, Tyler Hoechlin, David Koechne, Peyton List


Plot: A hypochondriac working as an airport baggage handler is forced to confront his fears when a British teenager with a terminal illness enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list.

Tagline – Living in the moment is hard to do alone.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Emotional Rollercoaster


Story: Departures starts as we see Skye (Williams) receives the news that her terminal cancer isn’t giving her much more time, even though she takes the news positively. Meanwhile teenager Calvin (Butterfield) believes he has cancer with his hypochondriac state, even though every test says he is completely fine.

Calvin attends cancer support groups where he meets Skye, who wants a ‘To Die List’ which sees Calvin reluctantly help Skye complete, even though he can’t find the courage to tell her the truth, even though she is teaching him to live hi life more, than he could ever imagine.


Thoughts on Departures


Characters – Calvin is a hypochondriac luggage handler, he goes through tests believing he is ill even though every test says he is fine. He attends cancer support groups in a hope to get prospective of his mindset, only to meet cancer victim Skye who brings him out of his shell, he goes from shy to outgoing through his time with Skye. Skye is a British teenager that has been given the terminal diagnosis for her cancer, she has gotten to the stage where she just wants to make the most out of her remaining life, which sees her befriend Calvin, mostly because he is the only friend she can find in the world, using humour as her biggest defence to what is going to happen to her. Izzy is a flight attendant that has been having no luck in love until she meets Calvin and sees a different type of guy in him. The remaining characters we meet include the parents that have been through their own problems, two random police officers that end up helping the two complete the goals which will get the laughs.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield takes the leading role here and over the past for years he has handle a few of the teenage coming of age roles, he has never put a foot wrong with his own performances in these, with this film once again showing him to be a big talent in the future. Maisie Williams steps out of Game of Thrones to a role that is full of energy, which should be lower in her character, to show us a character that just wanted to live life to the fullest. Nina Dobrev is the best of the rest, with the supporting cast getting their moments when needed for an extra emotional moment or a laugh.

StoryThe story follows a teenage girl that is going to die who befriends a teenage boy that is scared he is going to and the two help each other learn to make the most of their life, through their time together. The story doesn’t hide any facts about the two characters from the audience, which with other films using the same subject matters have used as a late twist in the film. This story is about friendship, adventure, enjoying life and taking chances. While the story might be easy to read just where everything is going to go, you will still need to bring the tissues for this film.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure elements used in this film are a lot simpler than you would imagine, this is because we get to see how Calvin learns to make life an adventure instead of being scared about what could happen. The comedy in the film is handled tastefully, I have always seen people say ‘you can’t have comedy in a cancer film’ this comedy comes from seeing how Skye is dealing with everything, she wants to laugh and not feel sorry for herself.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, using the airport as one of the main backdrops, elsewhere we see how Calvin ends up going places he never would have considered until he met Skye.

Scene of the Movie –
The real list.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I am going to pick timescale, not sure if it was days weeks or months.

Final ThoughtsThis is an emotional rollercoaster of a film, it will make you laugh, smile and cry, sometimes in the same scene.


Overall: Must watch with tissues.





Road to Perdition (2002)

logoDirector: Sam Mendes

Writer: David Self (Screenplay) Max Allan Collins, Richard Piers Rayner (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Newman, Daniel Craig, Jude Law, Ciaran Hinds, Liam Aiken, Stanley Tucci, Tyler Hoechlin


Plot: Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman’s son witnesses what his father does for a living.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Gangster Revenge Film


Story: Road to Perdition starts with the idea that Michael Sullivan has many stories about him and we will be focusing on one six week journey with our narrator. We are in 1931 America where we meet the Sullivan family, we have father Michael (Hanks) mother Annie (Leigh) and children Michael Jr (Hoechlin) and Peter (Aiken). We learn the Michael works for notorious crime boss John Rooney (Newman) and his partner is John’s son Connor (Craig).

Michael is a hitman for John but when the latest talking turns messy Michael Jr becomes a witness as he learns what his father really does for a living. John is all out to make whoever pay for the murder but can’t take out his own son. Connor decides to take measures into his own hands setting up Michael while he takes out his family. John knows the consequences he will have to face so puts Connor into hiding and Michael and his surviving son Michael Jr looking for revenge.

John ends up having to make the decision to let Frank Nitti (Tucci) find someone to finish the job and take Michael out which leads to the hiring of eccentric Maguire (Law) a hitman in his own right with a day job of a photographer. Michael decides to work on getting their attention in his own way while spending time bonding with his son teaching him the tricks of the trade.

Road to Perdition does manage to give me a gangster film I actually enjoyed watching, I have always found gangster films repetitive and tend not to enjoy them too much. I like the revenge angle but I really did enjoy the fact that it wasn’t just the leader going for the kill but he has the reluctantly has to agree the kill. We also get to have a coming of age bonding film between father and son who haven’t spent the time together they could have before the catalyst. I do like the pace the story unfolds and the final moments are shocking even though the opening does hint at something happening. This is an enjoyable even if it is slightly bleak gangster film that changes the way you will see the genre. (8/10)


Actor Review


Tom Hanks: Michael Sullivan is the hitman with a family who ends up having to go on the run from his former boss after his family is murdered. Michael ends up planning his revenge his way by making the criminal underground fall apart. Tom plays the role you wouldn’t be used to seeing him play here as an almost anti-hero showing that he can step away from his good guy persona. (9/10)


Paul Newman: John Rooney is the crime boss who has to make the difficult decision once his son takes things too far, he does respect Michael and is devastated by their murder but has to call for the kill on one of his most trusted men after his son starts the job. Paul gives a good performance as the criminal boss. (7/10)


Jude Law: Maguire is the hitman assigned kill Michael, he has his own way of doing his job which includes taking photos of his crime scenes before selling them. Jude gives a good performance but I really wish we would have seen more of his character. (7/10)


Daniel Craig: Connor Rooney is the hot head partner of Michael whose execution of well-respected mob member leads to him going after the Sullivan family before being hidden for his own protection from a vengeful Michael. Daniel shows how his acting was improving and his stardom was ready to rise. (7/10)


Tyler Hoechlin: Michael Sullivan Jr is the son of Michael who witnesses the execution before having to go on the run with his father after the rest of his family is killed. He spends 6 weeks with his father learning life lessons including driving and fending for himself. Tyler gives a great performance in a role with big name actors where he never looks out of place. (8/10)


Support Cast: Road to Perdition has supporting characters they turn up to help both sides in the battle, they all end up being generic gangster film characters though.


Director Review: Sam Mendes – Sam does a great job directing this one making the film genre watchable without being all about the gangs and an inside revenge film. (8/10)


Crime: Road to Perdition puts us into the shady world of crime boss and how easy it is to get onto the bad side of them however loyal they seem to be. (9/10)

Drama: Road to Perdition manages to give us a great drama about a father and son relationship going on with a gangster revenge story being built up around it. (8/10)

Thriller: Road to Perdition does keep you guessing to what will happen next right up to the end. (9/10)

Settings: Road to Perdition creates an authentic group of settings making us feel like we are in the 1930s. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Road to Perdition doesn’t have too many effects but the blood splatter thrown the gun shots all look very good. (8/10)

Suggestion: Road to Perdition is one to watch, I think most people will enjoy this and it really is one that has to be seen by all. (Watch)


Best Part: I like the intense scene at the diner.

Worst Part: Hard to find one but being picky the beginning gives away the ending.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hotel shoot out.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: Won Best Cinematography and nominated for another 5 Oscars.

Box Office: $181 Million

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: Pray for Michael Sullivan


Overall: Easily the best gangster film since the Godfather just with an emotional level that it never achieved.

Rating 82