Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

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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Movie Info

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, and Marisa Tomei star in director Sidney Lumet's thriller concerning two brothers who hatch a plan to rob their parent's jewelry store. When the job goes awry, the entire family is set on a collision course with tragedy. Andy (Hoffman) is an overextended broker in desperate need of some cash. His brother, Hank (Hawke), isn't much better off, so when Andy hatches a plan to rob their parent's modest jewelry store, it seems like a foolproof way to make a quick buck. But Andy's trophy wife, Gina (Tomei), is secretly sleeping with libidinous younger brother Hank, and when the robbery proves a complete disaster it isn't long before loyalties start to shift. Now Andy and Hank's father, Charles (Finney), is determined to make the unidentified robbers pay for their crime. What's a father to do when he discovers that the ones he loves have become his worst enemies? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Amy Ryan
as Martha
Leo Cimino
as William
Arija Bareikis
as Katherine
Adrian Martinez
as Security Guard
Alice Spivak
as Receptionist
Natalie Gold
as Secretary
Keith Davis
as Attendant
Mateo Gomez
as Doorman
Chris Chalk
as Officer
John Knox
as Desk Sergeant
Marcia Jean Kurtz
as Hospital Receptionist
Meredith Patterson
as Andy's Secretary
Paul Butler
as Detective
Anita Sklar
as Mourner
Josh Mowery
as Mourner
Bob Coletti
as Ambulance Driver
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Critic Reviews for Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

All Critics (179) | Top Critics (55)

I enjoyed it all the way through the last second.

September 12, 2017 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

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.

August 14, 2009 | Rating: A-
Top Critic

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.

September 18, 2008 | Full Review…

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.

May 1, 2008 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

March 21, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Conceptually bold and unnervingly suspenseful, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is one of the best films Lumet has directed in a very long and at times uneven career.

March 19, 2008 | Rating: 4/5

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.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


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.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

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