Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Reviews

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Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out
November 17, 2011
| Original Score: 4/5
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
September 18, 2008
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.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 11, 2008
Superior fare, packed with insight and suspense.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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November 28, 2007
As the Shadow used to say, the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, and Lumet has made a delicious pie out of it.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 16, 2007
You feel Before the Devil Knows You're Dead more than you watch it. And the feeling is far from warm and fuzzy.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
November 16, 2007
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 16, 2007
The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard " this thing is melodrama running a marathon.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 15, 2007
The family dynamics are skillfully rendered, the suspense is bruising and each man's performance is a revelation.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
November 15, 2007
[Lumet's] best film since 1982's The Verdict.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
November 9, 2007
What a movie. What a director.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 9, 2007
If God is in the obvious details, Devil is in the ones you might tragically overlook.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 9, 2007
There's no larger message other than that greed gives us something to hold on to even as it kills us.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 8, 2007
Mr. Lumet has forgotten nothing, and still knows more than almost anyone about the elusive art of directing actors.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
November 8, 2007
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is often an uncomfortable film to sit through, but the rewards it offers make it well worth the effort.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 3, 2007
[Lumet] proves that at 83 he's still the master of the game.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
November 2, 2007
Watching this impeccably crafted melodrama, you feel grateful for a veteran filmmaker who serves a gripping story with a confident efficiency that's lean, mean and focused like a laser.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
November 2, 2007
An invigorating, refreshing and unusual thing to see one done so expertly.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 2, 2007
This is no nostalgia trip taken by an 83-year-old director. It's a fierce, hot slap of a movie, a shameless melodrama with bite.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 2, 2007
Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is such a superb crime melodrama that I almost want to leave it at that. To just stop writing right now and advise you to go out and see it as soon as you can.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 2, 2007
This ambitious and well-directed crime thriller, with an intricate flashback structure redolent of Reservoir Dogs, gives Philip Seymour Hoffman a fascinatingly ambiguous character to work with.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 2, 2007
Lumet's film is a stunner.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
November 1, 2007
A sharply acted and highly entertaining morality play.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
November 1, 2007
Lumet directs the script with the actor-centered efficiency that has served him well over a surprising array of projects.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
November 1, 2007
In addition to being a study in great acting, this is a study in great directing. Filming with high-definition digital video cameras, Lumet weaves in and out of the action, proving to be as adroit with new technology as he was with old-school celluloid.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 29, 2007
The last 15 minutes of this film had me shaking my head in disbelief. Yet I found myself thinking about the performances, the tone, the perfection in certain scenes, long after the movie was over.
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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
October 26, 2007
I think you'll laugh a lot at what [Lumet] has wrought here -- but only well after the movie is over and the full scale of its perversity settles into your bones.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
October 26, 2007
It revisits [Dog Day Afternoon's] claustrophobic suspense and deep compassion for its characters -- abject, grasping everymen who truly believe they're only one act of violence away from everything they've ever wanted.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 26, 2007
This flick is fast and ferocious, [Lumet's] sharpest and best since Prince of the City -- and surely one of the year's finest.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
October 26, 2007
As deliberately provocative and in-your-face ugly as this film is, it still plays as second-rate Tarantino instead of first-rate Lumet.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 26, 2007
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is a chronicle of destruction -- physical, spiritual and moral.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
October 25, 2007
Lumet tackles this material like an old master, finding scenes to settle into and hanging out there longer than a younger director might.
| Original Score: B+
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
October 25, 2007
Family, and the core ideals that hold them in place, are blown to smithereens by the robbery at the ravaged heart of Sidney Lumet's scalding new thriller.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 25, 2007
What you see in it says more about you than it says about Lumet and his straightforward, throwback-style entertainment, which is richly played and dazzlingly blinged up with sex and drugs, but virtually devoid of human insight or narrative ambition.
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David Fear
Time Out
October 25, 2007
The movie, however, belongs to Lumet: The fact that he's produced such a vital work as an octogenarian is amazing enough, but the way this tragedy unfolds without a single false move puts the film among the best work of a very prestigious career.
| Original Score: 5/6
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
October 24, 2007
After a long series of artistic missteps, Sidney Lumet, 83, makes a smashing return to form with this bleak crime thriller that shows off the veteran director's many strengths.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
October 24, 2007
Proof that Sidney Lumet's talent is, in every sense, timeless.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
October 24, 2007
A botched-heist thriller with labyrinthine plot twists, suspenseful character revelations and out-of-sequence narrative elements befitting a grand opera mounted on a massive scale.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
October 24, 2007
The 83-year-old Mr. Lumet, who has handled such immortals as Brando and Magnani in his career, expertly extracts individually charismatic performances from Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Hawke, Mr. Finney, Ms. Harris and Ms. Tomei.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 24, 2007
This is not classic Sidney Lumet, but it's ample evidence that after more than 40 years working in this business, the director is still capable of crafting an entertaining and thought provoking motion picture.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
October 23, 2007
Three years after being presented a Lifetime Achievement Oscar, the 83-year-old director comes forth with a violent family melodrama that is his strongest movie in at least two decades.
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David Denby
New Yorker
October 22, 2007
[A] furious and entertaining little morality play.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
October 22, 2007
[Sidney Lumet's] touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it's hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 18, 2007
Working with the startlingly talented new screenwriter Kelly Masterson, Lumet fuses dark wit, suspense and tragedy into a time-shifting movie that vibrates with energy.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Lisa Nesselson
Variety
September 8, 2007
...the wrenching tale has something for anyone who likes their melodrama spiked with palpable tension and genuine suspense.