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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

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2:00 | Trailer
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

Writer:

Kelly Masterson
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Popularity
2,503 ( 38)
17 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Andy
Ethan Hawke ... Hank
Albert Finney ... Charles
Marisa Tomei ... Gina
Aleksa Palladino ... Chris
Michael Shannon ... Dex
Amy Ryan ... Martha
Sarah Livingston Sarah Livingston ... Danielle
Brían F. O'Byrne ... Bobby
Rosemary Harris ... Nanette
Blaine Horton Blaine Horton ... Justin
Arija Bareikis ... Katherine
Leonardo Cimino ... William
Lee Wilkof ... Jake
Damon Gupton ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei later appeared in The Ides of March (2011). See more »

Goofs

When Andy and Hank break into Justin's apartment, a camera shadow can briefly be seen on a wall tracking past. See more »

Quotes

Dex: You don't look happy. Mind if I call you "Groucho"?
Andrew 'Andy' Hanson: No, I don't mind.
See more »


Soundtracks

Bad Man Blood
Written by Michael Kisur & Darren Coverdale
Performed by Michael Kisur
Courtesy of Barbara L. Jordan/Heavy Hitters Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
The world is an evil place Charlie. Some of us make money off that and others get destroyed.
17 June 2012 | by hitchcockthelegendSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,837, 28 October 2007

Gross USA:

$7,084,227

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,038,466
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS (as dts)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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