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
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.
As the Shadow used to say, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, and Lumet has made a delicious pie out of it.
You feel Before the Devil Knows You're Dead more than you watch it. And the feeling is far from warm and fuzzy.
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.
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.
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