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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)



Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 167
Fresh: 147 | Rotten: 20

A tense and effective thriller, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead marks a triumphant return to form for director Sidney Lumet.


Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 3

A tense and effective thriller, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead marks a triumphant return to form for director Sidney Lumet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 85,362

My Rating

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


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Kelly Masterson

Mar 4, 2008


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All Critics (168) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (147) | Rotten (20) | DVD (17)

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 Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Superior fare, packed with insight and suspense.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the Shadow used to say, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, and Lumet has made a delicious pie out of it.

November 28, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You feel Before the Devil Knows You're Dead more than you watch it. And the feeling is far from warm and fuzzy.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

At a time when family movies are usurped by fantasies of sentimental feelgood, Lumet's latest -- the mangled-heist melodrama Before the Devil Knows You're Dead -- delivers a swift kick straight to the jewels.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard â" this thing is melodrama running a marathon.

November 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

( ... ) so perversely fun that a few false notes-a pushy score and certain moments that veer toward a cheaper kind of melodrama-don't nag as much as they might have.

September 11, 2010 Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is an immensely disturbing and tragic morality tale, which focuses on the consequences and repercussions of a sinister act driven by greed.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Ferociously pleasurable

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

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 Full Review Source: UGO

Lumet proves he's still a master storyteller, and Philip Seymour Hoffman is fantastic.

August 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Times-Picayune

No matter how irredeemable and pathetic the behavior of their characters might be, Hoffman and Hawke evoke a squirming recognition and empathy.

April 23, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Lumet is still one of the best directors in the business.

February 27, 2009 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Lumet's latest film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is an unpleasant film with unpleasant characters. It would be easy to dismiss, if it weren't directed by maestro Sidney Lumet. But the movie is labored and repetitive.

February 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Fayetteville Free Weekly | Comments (2)
Fayetteville Free Weekly

Sometimes it feels like too much, but then again, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is an exercise in piling it on, with each plot twist all but guaranteeing the absolute damnation of its struggling characters,

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

My biggest problem with this movie is that underneath all the style and film tricks, I really didn't like or care what happened to any of these characters.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

This is one of the most gut-wrenching thrillers in recent memory, and it features a real sucker-punch ending.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Si William Shakespeare viviera y fuera guionista, el resultado podría ser algo bastante parecido a esto.

October 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

this somber reflection on crime is as much a breath of fresh air as any premier feature at a film festival.

July 30, 2008 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Traz o peso de tragédia grega que Woody Allen buscou com sucesso apenas moderado em O Sonho de Cassandra.

June 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

Director Sidney Lumet digs deep into the tawdry souls, peeling back the layers of arrogance and anger and self-delusion until all that's left is fury and fear and hate.

May 3, 2008 Full Review Source:

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 Full Review Source: MSNBC

This would be a vigorous film for a man of any age, but it's a special treat from our favorite octogenarian.

April 21, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Marisa's bored and frustrated sexpot trophy wife is pretty much kept around in the movie just for occasional guy sexual satisfaction, in Sid Lumet's human cesspool of murky madness.

April 19, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (2)

This masterfully-crafted, multi-layered murder mystery proves that the legendary Sidney Lumet hasn't lost his edge, despite being well into his eighties.

April 13, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

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.
February 9, 2014

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.
December 18, 2013
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A heist film that is all about the people more than the heist itself. Personally, I like heist films when they are about the heists themselves, I like a clever crime thriller, if I want personal drama I usually look elsewhere but in Lumet we trust. The multi-layered juxtaposition and somewhat repetitious jump from one scene to the next was not easy viewing for me, I'm not sure it added anything to the film overall, what was good was the performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Albert Finney. Not so much from Ethan Hawke though sadly, it's a miss this time for the hit & miss actor I'm afraid. My favourite thing in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is Marisa Tomei. I love that woman.
April 5, 2013

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.
December 7, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Andy Hanson: You sure I'm your son!
    – Submitted by Joe M (2 years ago)
    1. Hank Hanson: You're a prick.
    2. Andy Hanson: I always was.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
    1. Dex: You don't look happy. Mind if I call you "Groucho"?
    2. Andy Hanson: No, I don't mind.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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