40 user 48 critic

What Doesn't Kill You (2008)

2:29 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

Two childhood friends from South Boston turn to crime as a way to get by, ultimately causing a strain in their personal lives and their friendship.


1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The lives of two families change forever after a fatal tragedy takes place on Reservation Road.

Director: Terry George
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Three unconnected Brooklyn cops wind up at the same deadly location after enduring vastly different career paths.

Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing.

Director: Mark Ruffalo
Stars: Christopher Thornton, Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An indiscretion between two close friends tears down their respective marriages.

Director: John Curran
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Light, he meets a widow who might be involved in a series of murders.

Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Kulig
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo
Good Kill (2014)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.

Director: Andrew Niccol
Stars: Ethan Hawke, January Jones, Zoë Kravitz
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The lives of three residents of New York's Staten Island intersect as they struggle to get ahead.

Director: James DeMonaco
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Seymour Cassel
XX/XY (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Three friends begin a dangerous three-way relationship that spirals out of control, leading to dire consequences that haunt them ten years later.

Director: Austin Chick
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson, Maya Stange
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young actor from Texas tries to make it in New York while struggling in his relationship with a beautiful singer/songwriter.

Director: Ethan Hawke
Stars: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Laura Linney, Mark Webber
Apartment 12 (2001)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An L.A. artist with everything seemingly going for him suddenly finds a change in his life when an art curator cancels his upcoming one-man show. His model girlfriend immediately leaves him... See full summary »

Director: Dan Bootzin
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Beth Ulrich, Alan Gelfant


Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Yebba ...
Roundman / Old Lady (as Mike Yebba)
Brian Connolly ...
Nathaniel Smyth ...
Mark (5 Years Old)
Mark (10 Years Old)
Thomas Regan ...
Young Brian (as Jean Pierre 'JP' Serret)
George Khoury ...
Delivery Man


An armored car is robbed by three men. A passing police officer and one of the robbers exchange fire. The robber is Paulie. In a flashback we follow him and his closest friend, Brian, as they grow up together in South Boston. They're tough guys, thugs, doing jobs for the local boss and chaffing to do more. Paulie's the leader. Brian drinks too much and free bases, ignoring his wife and two young boys. Life-changing events lead him to try to go straight, look for work, take what comes his way, and go to A.A. meetings. He struggles. Paulie shows him the plans for the armored car job. Will they do it? "I am who I am," Brian tells his wife. Is crime his only skill? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everyone has a choice. Every choice has a consequence. See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use, some violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

10 September 2009 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Real Men Cry  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie is based on Brian Goodman's own life up to the mid 1990s. See more »


Paulie ordered a Chivas on the rocks in the bar but when he picked his drink up, it was straight up in a shot glass. See more »


Brian Reilly: What? You got no balls, u run out on in the middle of a score? Here's a couple bucks. You're lucky you're gettin that. Naw, don't sit down here. Go sit over there! Nah, I'm just fuckin with ya. Sit down.
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Avengers Special (2012) See more »


Funktastic Galactical Rock
Written by Swamp Dogg (as Jerry Williams)
Performed by Swamp Dogg
Courtesy of S.D.E.G. Records
By arrangement with MS-Pro
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

And yet another kids to criminals to wake up call movie
7 May 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is yet another rehash of that glut of films about kids who begin lives of crime early on, go to jail, and come out either enlightened or unchanged. Set in South Boston, WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU happens to star some fine actors in Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, and Amanda Peet, and their presence makes the film watchable. It is just tiresome to watch repeats an this 'bad kid' (Ruffalo) turned junkie turned convict turned negligent husband and father turned AA whose ability to make decent decisions finds him clueless until the end of the film.

The flavor of South Boston and prison and petty crimes becoming major crimes is well paced by writer/director/actor Brian Goodman. But this rambling story is ultimately boring - except for the pleasure of watching Mark Ruffalo inhabit this loser of a character. An OK movie, not a great one. Grady Harp

17 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
So who shot Brian??? famourt
So Brian (Mark) got 3 bullets roxist
Anyone have any idea... shamrock1847
winter in every scene THIS DID NOT MAKE SENSE jaybob
Just glad they changed the title rafdes15
Good for bottom feeders... huitzilipochtli
Discuss What Doesn't Kill You (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: