Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Families don't come much more dysfunctional than the Hansons in
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
crime dissection by legendary 83-year-old director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry
Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network and The Verdict are just
a few of his classics) shows that he hasn't lost any of his touch for
telling complicated stories where moral lines are blurred and people almost
inevitably get deeper than they planned and just as inevitably make
absolutely the wrong move.
Made with a
twisty-turny clever screenplay which pops back and forth in time with little
obvious rhyme or reason and yet slowly reveals more and more of its story to
starts in a surprisingly graphic fashion, with Philip Seymour Hoffman
passionately riding Marisa Tomei doggie-style in a hotel room. Then we
are quickly cut to a suburban jewelry store where an armed robbery goes
disastrously and violently wrong.
We are not
sure what one has to do with the other, but this is quickly revealed, and
layer upon layer of deception and betrayal is steadily exposed throughout
the running time.
It is the
story of Andy (Hoffman) and Nick (Ethan Hawke), a grown pair of brothers who
decide to rob their parents' (Albert Finney and Rosemary Harris) jewelry shop to get some desperately needed
cash. It is insured, Andy assures his doubtful brother, and they know
the shop. It is the perfect crime.
anytime someone thinks they have planned the perfect crime, they are in for
a rude awakening.
goes awry and the two spend the rest of the film dodging all of the many
complications which inevitably pop up - affairs, drugs, anger, thugs,
betrayal... it goes on and on. There are a multitude of plot twists,
though it would be unfair to to reveal any of them here because it would
ruin the well-constructed flow of a truly original, well-made and acted film.
out and find it all
out yourself. You won't be sorry. It's worth the trip.
Copyright ©2008 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Posted: April 19, 2008.