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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 76,033 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 278 user | 248 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dex
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Danielle
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Blaine Horton ...
Justin
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Katherine
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William
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Jake
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Doctor
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Storyline

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 Carol Green

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Loyalty. It's all relative. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of strong graphic sexuality, nudity, violence, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 September 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Antes que el diablo sepa que has muerto  »

Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£118,510 (UK) (11 January 2008)

Gross:

$7,083,025 (USA) (7 March 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Charles is talking to the fence, items on the table change from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

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: Andy...
Andrew 'Andy' Hanson: Yeah?
Henry 'Hank' Hanson: That's mom and dad's ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Blame It on Rio (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Morning Star
(2001)
Written by Mark Rozzo
Performed by Maplewood
Courtesy of Aloha Buffet Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The world is an evil place Charlie. Some of us make money off that and others get destroyed.
17 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

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


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