When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
Sharon Stone plays a street-wise, middle-aged moll standing up against the mobs, all of which is complicated by a 6 year old urchin with a will of his own who she reluctantly takes under ... See full summary »
Needing extra cash, two brothers conspire to pull off the perfect, victimless crime. No guns, no violence, no problem. But when an accomplice ignores the rules and crosses the line, his actions trigger a series of events in which no one is left unscathed. Written by
Sidney Lumet was introduced to digital film techniques through this production and reportedly loved working with digital film, primarily due to it's convenience. This was his first and ultimately only film to be shot in the digital format. See more »
When Charles is talking to the fence, items on the table change from shot to shot. See more »
Andrew 'Andy' Hanson:
We don't want Tiffany's. We want a Mom and Pop operation, in a busy place, on a Saturday when the week's takes go in the safe. We both worked there. We know the safe combinations. We know the burglar alarm signals. We know where everything is. I figure, between the week's take, the jewelry and the cases, the vault, there's a $500,000 haul. I figure probably six. The old dumb old lady that works there, she's alone till noon. She's not going to be a problem.
Henry 'Hank' Hanson:
Andrew 'Andy' Hanson:
Henry 'Hank' Hanson:
That's mom and dad's ...
[...] See more »
The world is an evil place Charlie. Some of us make money off that and others get destroyed.
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Kelly Masterson. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney, Rosemary Harris and Amy Ryan. Music is scored by Carter Burwell and cinematography by Ron Fortunato.
Two brothers with differing financial problems plan to rob their parents' jewellery store. But when all does not go to plan and tragedy strikes, it sends them, and those close to them, into a world of fear, shame and violence.....
It opens with a raunchy sex scene, man and wife in the throes of committed passion, for these brief moments there is pleasure. Once over, though, it proves to be a false dawn, the last time anyone on screen will taste pleasure in Lumet's biting morality tale. From here on in the film unfolds in a dizzying array of multi-perspectives and over lapping of narrative structure, a three pronged assault on the senses as a family implodes in a haze of greed, lies and inadequacies. A botched robbery underpins the plotting, the aftermath of which is what is most cutting, we zip around learning the wherewithal and whys of the key players, learning exactly what we need to know to fully immerse in this bleak world. This is a world populated by love cheats, drug abuse, embezzling, bad parenting and blackmail, a world where the brothers Hanson (Hoffman & Hawke) now dwell, either ill equipped (Hawke's Hank) or stuck between idiocy and smug evil (Hoffman's Andy). Their folly, their greed, impacting with a juddering severity on the family circle.
My life, it doesn't add up. Nothing connects to anything else. I'm not the sum of my parts. All my parts don't add up to one...me.
It would be Lumet's last film (he passed away in 2011), thankfully it is a fitting final offering from the talented Philadelphian. He's aided considerably, mind, by a razor sharp script from debut screenplay writer Masterton. It's full of nastiness and tension, but still observational as a family tragedy, with major bonus' being that it never resorts to stereotypes or cops out come the crushing denouement. Where Lumet excels is in drawing near faultless performances from his cast. Youthful and downtrodden haplessness portrayed by Hawke, Hoffman's powerhouse manipulator with emotional issues, Tomei proving that over 40 is still sexy while dialling into a very touching performance. Finney, a cracker-jack of grief from the wily old fox, Ryan's hard edged ex-wife and Michael Shannon strolling into the picture late in the day exuding notable menace. All splendidly guided by the great director who asks them to portray characters convincing in going deeper for motivations and means.
Bleak, brutal and near brilliant across the board. 9/10
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?