Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 2007

When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax...

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Solar rating: 6.2

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Imdb rating: 7.3

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really good movie!!!!! 8 out of 10
well, that project didn't shake out well at all. it unwound, imploded and self-destructed. made a good flick, though.


I apologize in advance since I decided to write this at 5AM instead of sleeping, and it will probably be evident.

I knew so little about this movie that I didn't even know it's title before it came up in the opening credits. It was screening at a film festival today, which was held in a theater with a long row of huge recliners, so I just figured that if I didn't like the movie, I could easily sleep.

Well, I didn't even find myself tempted to sleep through Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Directed by the iconic Sidney Lumet, it was a powerful, witty, thrilling, and deeply engrossing drama. The terrific cast didn't hurt things either. Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Albert Finney (the guy from another Lumet hit, Network) were all incredible. And although Marisa Tomei's part was basically limited as the trophy wife who went topless through half of the film, she still rounded off a perfectly impressive cast.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is about a small-time robbery gone horribly wrong, and the devastating effects it has on the family involved.

Cutting around in sequence and focusing on one character at a time, it also gives you a different sort of perspective on how the events unfolded and how each character reacts. It's sort of a mesh of the Pulp Fiction and Run Lola Run styles, but less entangled.

One complaint: The ending. It was kind of abrupt and left a few things incomplete. I don't mean it's the kind of ending that leaves everything up to the viewers, but it just left out an important character's fate completely. But it was still a good movie. See it.
This is one sick film. I am pissed to have spent good money on such sick crap. No wonder we got kids going on killing sprees and not feeling any remorse when they kill their own parents. Give this a rotten full of maggots tomato.
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," from the prolific and protean director Sidney Lumet, is an extraordinarily dark film. If you thought that Lumet would soften in his 80s, you're wrong. This is one of the toughest, darkest films you'll ever see.



He's the smarter and more crafty one, and he develops a scheme that will benefit both brothers. It involves armed robbery, but there's an extra tidbit of detail that makes it a scheme like none you've seen before. The devil's in the details. It's worth seeing the film just to learn this detail.

And it even gets better than that. When the armed robbery takes place, something else happens that is horrifying, yet completely believable. From there, the film gets darker and darker and darker. Yet at every turn, it's completely believable. This story (by newcomer Kelly Masterson) really is outstanding. I just wish a more energetic directorial approach had been brought to bear. In that case, this film might have been a masterpiece.

At first it seems like the only creep in the film is Hoffman's character, as he is the one who dreams up this sick undertaking. But gradually the treachery of the other characters is revealed. A quieter, more insidious deceit. Almost everyone, it turns out, is a snake. This includes Hawke's character and Hoffman's wife, played extremely well by Marisa Tomei.

Pretty damn good. The reoccuring flashbacks and flashforewards really make it feel like you're discovering the horrible truths about each character at just the right time. Step by step you uncover the motives behind every move, the complexities of each person's sad situation that causes a snowball effect from benevolent circumstance to bloody selfcenteredness. Supurbly acted, expecially by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the whole film builds up to almost unbarable intensity with emotions running high.
What is wrong with these people? The movie is demented. Who relishes in delight from watching such cruelity? Come on folks, its time to demand good movies that make you think, reflect and enjoy life. If you feel like slowly drowning in murky waters or slowly falling into an endless pit of depression then maybe this is the movie for you. If you want to to be happy skip it and find something else to do.
I rate movies by how I feel at the end. Do i feel better than when I went in?

If you like torturing animals you will love this movie. Meaning you like watching self destructive unconscious people. If you like violent sports with a lot of injuries, you will love this.

If I want feel a lot of pain I can just go work or talk to relatives. When I go to a movie I want to be uplifted and feel better about life.

In this case I was tortured for 2 hours by spending time with awful people for 2 hours.
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" starts with Andy(Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his wife, Gina(Marisa Tomei), having wild sex on vacation.

Hank(Ethan Hawke) flees from a jewelry store robbery gone badly awry. Three days before, his older brother, Andy, has a solution to Hank's economic woes which include his being three months behind on his child support. It is to rob a mom and pop jewelry store. After Hank agrees, Andy reveals that the mom(Rosemary Harris) and pop(Albert Finney) in question are their very own. Knowing he cannot go through this by himself, Hank recruits an ex-con acquaintance(Brian F. O'Byrne) to assist.

Directed by Sidney Lumet with verve, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" is so dark and unforgiving that it can make a person lose their faith in humanity. And I mean that as a compliment. Like "The Falcon and the Snowman" and "Bully," the central lesson is that it is never a good idea to enter into a criminal enterprise with a serious drug user.(How Andy could ever think this is a good idea is beyond me.) The moral of the movie is that children are the root of all evil. Hank's child support payments and need to make his daughter happy drive him into the scheme. What their parents did to make Andy and Hank as flawed as they are can only be hinted at but I think it is true that they wanted to make a better life for them in any case.(Parents can do a lousy job of raising their children but at adulthood they have to take responsibility for their own lives.) Yes, it is easy to say that Hank is weak but he is nowhere near as bad as his older brother who is only artifice and bluff and views his wife as just another possession in a tastefully decorated apartment.(I can only imagine that Andy had hundreds of hours of pleasure tormenting his younger brother when they were growing up.)
This movie is a total waste of time. Very unrealistic.