281 user 253 critic

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

2:00 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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.



3,752 ( 889)
17 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Doubt I (2008)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

Director: John Patrick Shanley
Stars: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
The Savages (2007)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A sister and brother face the realities of familial responsibility as they begin to care for their ailing father.

Director: Tamara Jenkins
Stars: Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco
Serpico (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe
Capote (2005)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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.

Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of a young journalist who fell from grace when it was found he had fabricated over half of his articles.

Director: Billy Ray
Stars: Hayden Christensen, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn
25th Hour (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mild-mannered man becomes a local hero through an act of violence, which sets off repercussions that will shake his family to its very core.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Biography | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Based on the true story of Jack DiNorscio, a mobster who defended himself in court for what would be the longest mafia trial in U.S. history.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Ron Silver


Cast overview, first billed only:
Blaine Horton ...


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


Loyalty. It's all relative. See more »


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:





Release Date:

26 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Antes que el diablo sepa que has muerto  »

Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$73,837 (USA) (26 October 2007)


$7,083,025 (USA) (7 March 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| | (as dts)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the original script, Andrew and Hank Hanson were not brothers. Sidney Lumet made this change to increase the drama of the movie. He also removed the character of Andrew & Gina's daughter. See more »


When Charles is following Andy, the same woman can be seen walking down the street, in opposite directions before and after. See more »


Andrew 'Andy' Hanson: I've seen heaven, Gina. it's a nice place to stay.
See more »


References Easy Rider (1969) See more »


Change Your Life
Written by Mark Rozzo
Performed by Champale
Courtesy of Aloha Buffet Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Another Sidney Lumet Masterpiece
18 September 2007 | by (Toronto, ON, Canada) – See all my reviews

What an extraordinary crime thriller!! My wife and I saw this at the Toronto International Film Festival last week and it was far and away the best movie in an exceptionally strong festival. It's already my second favourite film of all-time after DR. STRANGELOVE and I was definitely on an emotional high as I walked home and discussed the film with my wife.

I don't want to spoil the plot because thrillers of this calibre are best enjoyed without preconceptions. A synopsis that I'd feel comfortable sharing is that two brothers, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke, are planning to rob a jewellery store in Westchester, New York. The film bounces back and forth in time over approximately a two week period of time (before, during and after the robbery), and one key scene is repeated at least three times. Ordinarily, that could disrupt the momentum of a film but that never happens during this masterpiece. The excitement, the tension, and even the quality of the acting only seemed to get better as the film progressed. By the end, I was on the edge of my seat breathlessly waiting to see how it would all wrap up. I know that I've used a few clichés in this post, but I literally was on the edge of my seat. I should mention that the non-linear storyline is quite easy to follow. This isn't the sort of movie where you'll overhear audience members asking their friend to explain the plot during the movie.

The acting is absolutely brilliant all-around, and I doubt I would have the same admiration for the film if the casting hadn't been so perfect. A tiny complaint is that Hoffman and Hawke don't look like brothers, but that's a minor quibble that I can easily overlook. Hoffman was at his very best and some of his scenes with Hawke were positively electric. Marisa Tomei (as Hoffman's wife) and Albert Finney (as the father of Hoffman & Hawke) are also very good in supporting roles. Even some cameo performances were so impressive that I can still remember every remark, gesture and facial expression by Brian O'Byrne and Michael Shannon – absolute perfection. The robbery scene felt more authentic than any other cinematic robbery scene I've ever watched, and I had the same feeling of authenticity in most scenes, especially the ones with Hoffman. The music helped to build up the tension throughout the movie, often the same notes played over very effectively. I had the music playing in my head the following day, even as I sat through other films. In addition to my minor complaint at the beginning of this paragraph, there was one plot twist that felt a bit unbelievable (major spoiler, so I can't describe the scene). Otherwise, this film is pretty darn close to perfect.

There were about a dozen great films at the festival that I would enjoy watching a second time but BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD stands in a league of its own. As an aside, the director Sidney Lumet spoke before the film and he introduced Marisa Tomei and Ethan Hawke onto the stage. Tomei didn't speak and she acted a bit shy so Lumet asked "Can you believe that someone so beautiful could be so camera-shy?" That comment is quite ironic considering the graphic opening scene!!

164 of 275 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Fargo without the dark humor Rgrfan1940
What was up with Gina? vestitude
love this film. thickybird1
Father walking into the heavenly light at the end girl_pearce
Anytime you try a decent crime, you got fifty ways you're gonna *beep* up filmnoirfilms-1

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: