Before the Devil Knows You're Dead2007
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
Critic Consensus: A tense and effective thriller, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead marks a triumphant return to form for director Sidney Lumet.
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Critic Reviews for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Suspense and action would be enough to seal this film, but the feeling of dread, that under different circumstances this could be us, makes this a heist picture for the ages.
The movie's title comes from the Irish toast, 'May you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you're dead.' Unfortunately, everyone in the film is running about 35 minutes late.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead won't do much for anyone's feelings about human nature, but it will definitely restore your faith in gritty crime movies.
The film's director, Sidney Lumet, is 83 but he hasn't lost his feel for bleak New York stories programmed to end in tears.
Audience Reviews for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Sidney Lumet's final film is purely an actor's movie. Every performance is first rate and while the drama at times becomes overly melodramatic, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is heart wrenching drama told from multiple perspectives about one horrific action and the consequences that follow.
Domineering Philip Seymour Hoffman talks his weak willed younger brother into helping him rob their parents' jewelry store to solve both their financial difficulties, but when the heist goes wrong their lives start to unravel. Sidney Lumet has been making quality thrillers for 50 years, but in his latest effort he takes a few cues from his younger pretenders. The plot themes have a lot in common with Fargo and A Simple Plan and the execution is reminiscent of Jackie Brown and its familiar disjointed timeline. In fact there is little here that hasn't been done before so don't expect much in the way of originality or surprises, but the quality cast all put in solid performances and Lumet certainly still knows how to pace a story and crank up the suspense. No gimmickry, no pointless frills; just an extremely well crafted and intelligent thriller.
Very dark, realistic and with outstanding acting this dramatic thriller tells the story of a jewelry robbery gone wrong and the catastrophic consequences it has for the family involved. The non-linear way to tell the story through the eyes of the protagonists adds an additional level of suspense. While some parts could have used some trimming, the result is still gut-wrenching as the noose tightens around the character's throats and you can't help but wonder how this mess is gonna end. Well done.