Saturday, December 1, 2007

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Movie Review

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (R) 117 minutes A
"Break up the Family"

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Amy Ryan and Marisa Tomei

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a masterpiece. This film grabbed me from the opening scene and never let go until the closing credits... even as I walked out the theater, mentally I was still in the film.

It's a wicked and emotional tale of two siblings whose lives are increasingly filled with anguish and despair. Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a real estate executive with a nasty drug habit and a troubled marriage, while his brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) is broke, divorced, and struggling to make his child support payments. Both are in need of quick cash so they devise a plan to rob a jewelry store.

Andy is the older more domineering brother, but he leaves it up to Hank (nervous and less competent) to execute the heist. Needless to say things go terribly wrong.

The film is a mediation of desperate men, in desperate times, taking desperate measures. Director Sydney Lumet does a brilliant job of creating a dark, moody and edgy film recounted in choppy segments from varies perspectives.

The entire cast shines, Hoffman and Hawke are superb, and Marisa Tomei is seductively mesmerizing. This is truly one of the best films of the year, a can't miss!

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