What Doesn't Kill You (2008) Poster

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Heartfelt and Tough in equal doses
guiltron22 January 2010
This powerful true story is brought to life with great directing and the amazing acting of both Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke. Everything in this film screams "real". Realism is the key as the film captures the story of two men trying to live their life with the 'cards they've been dealt'.

Brian's life is not uncommon. There are countless men (and women) that have grown up not knowing any way of getting by in life without living a life of hustling and grinding.

This film captured me from the get go. Showing realism in its characters and making you understand their actions even if you can't condone them. The fact that it's all a true story simply enhances the impact of the story.
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A Hidden Gem
SeriousJest8 October 2012
I started watching this film with no idea what it was about. I had added it to my Netflix queue a while back, and forgotten why. Right from the first scene, though, I knew I had found a hidden gem. According to Wikipedia, the movie premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, and was released on a very small scale in December 2008 due to the collapse of its distributor, Yari Film Group. It is a straight- forward crime drama, showcasing the struggle of gangsters who want to change their lives. It is set apart, however, by the fact that it is based on Goodman's real life until the mid-1990s. Some guys deal with their demons with telling their story in a meeting…Goodman made a bad-ass movie about his…and Ruffalo, Hawke, and the rest of the cast (including Goodman) played the hell out of their roles.
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This is a very underrated film.
themightyredemption26 November 2009
This is a very underrated film. I think its a shame it never has gotten publicity. I randomly picked it up on the fly for free a local library on DVD and was amazed that I never even have heard of it. There are no gimmicks or high wire stunts this was true to life. We need more of these films to rejuvenate what the cinema has become lately. I was thoroughly impressed on all levels with this film. This could of done very well in the box office if it had marketing at the time. Sadly CGI and fake acting has trumped modern cinema lately. This gritty true to life story beats them all hands down. I give it an 8/10, simply based upon the rehashing of older story-lines together. It still holds its own charm. Rent this movie and you will be surprised how well it was done.
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Deeply personal movie
rich_au_koch20 June 2009
The guys who made this movie sure have a lot of heart, the title says it all.

A beautiful movie that holds at its centre a story of personal transformation. While Paulie (Hawke) tries to play the best hand with the cards he is given, Brian (Ruffalo) plays along, craps out and eventually learns a different game. An inspiring story of what can happen when someone loves something past themself and gets a little help along the way.

The soundtrack is special. A repetitive, echoed and slightly haunting motif reflects the unspectacular, cold & sparse urban scenery. The music brings a sense of gravity & continuity to the movie, binding the characters & landscape together into 'the cards they have been dealt' as well as pacing the plot development.

The stylistic shooting acts as a vehicle for the story and quickly dissolves into the background as Ethan & Ruffalo capture centre stage from the first scene.

Highly recommended. Leave expectations at the door. This is not 'The Departed'. This is a movie with an emotional sensitivity that no amount of violence or 'leave you guessing' plot line could ever deliver.

Well done Brian, Paul & Donnie. Great job!
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Excellent film that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!!
BronzeKeilani269 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Expecting this film to be another predictable action movie, I was in for a HUGE surprise. Wow!!! Everything, the acting, writing, editing, and the music score, all made a brilliant contribution to this masterpiece which observes the childhood and lives of two relentless criminals. Mark and Ethan's stunning performance elevates the film from a standard gritty fare into an emotional, brutal, bitter realism that will hit home for so many! I would've never imagined Mark and Ethan's individual acting styles to be so forceful when combined. The two are a perfect match for this movie. Ruffalo did his homework and steals the show by giving a flawless, Oscar deserving performance as Brian Reilly, a man who feels trapped in crime to financially support his family while discreetly maintaining a growing drug addiction. Ethan Hawke was at the top of his game as Brian's non-stop, butt-kicking, pulsating, break yourself or die crime-partner, Paulie McDougan. As criminally insane as his character was at times, he was exhilarating to watch! Never a dull moment! Amanda Peet vibes well with Ruffalo. She plays the unpredictable, naive wife of a stone-cold criminal (Ruffalo)who enjoys the security of living in a big house and enrolls her son in private school. In that style of life though, nothing is guaranteed and both become overwhelmed which puts a strain on their marriage. At times he can put a wad of cash in her hand and get by with being gone half the day/night, other times he can't. She starts despising the time and energy he has to invest for the money but can't contribute enough to help keep the bills paid. This puts him between a rock and a hard place when all hell breaks loose! This is just a brief description of the film without giving away the juicy sub-plots, lol. I won't give the ending away either but I'm giving it a 10 because it doesn't get any realistic than this. I know because I've been there. I loved every thrill and emotional moment of this film and I am sure you will too
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You eat life or life eats you
Richie-67-48585219 January 2012
This is a down to earth movie in ways the average person cannot know about. There is a way to make a living going day to day lying, cheating, robbing and stealing and this movie keys into it. What you will see here is nothing new. The actors and story effectively convey the hopelessness and no future in this street fighting life. The film captures how you live from one problem to the next buying time in between. Child hood friends growing up with dysfunction is well portrayed here. When love and stability are missing at home, the streets serve as a pseudo mother and father loving you for all the wrong reasons. Getting high, drunk, showing off, bullying people and wanton disregard for woman and authority is in your face showing itself to be not acceptable, but that is all there is in this life. The prison scenes were mild compared to what really happens in there. The actors and the plot effectively convey that it takes more courage to not live this life than to live correctly and earn your right day by day. We are also reminded that when one of the lead actors to atttempts break free, he definitely changes the course for the better for all people in his life. This film will convey a sobering thought. We may not know what things are and which way to always go, but we sure know what they are not and what not to do...Popcorn, a tasty drink and some snack for this one...and look forward to some quality acting by both lead players...Well done
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Not a bad movie.
mm-392 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Not a bad movie. I found What doesn't kill you a okay film. What doesn't kill you" was done on the cheap. The editing and film quality could have been done better, but however, the actors more than made up with their strong performances for the films short comings. The story is interesting. The details were so well done. I would bet the script has to be based off a true story. I would bet my bottom dollar many university will use this movie as a study on how hard it is for criminals to break the cycle of crime and violence. All in all a good movie. I give this movie a seven out of ten. I got family around the Boston area and I have say I was impressed with how well the actors picked up the areas accent.
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Based On A True Story....
Rob Welsh8 March 2009
...normally indicates that the film you are about to watch is almost unbelievable - this film is an exception to the rule.

Like The Departed and Gone Baby Gone, What Doesn't Kill You is an engrossing, gritty, sharply written and well-acted drama set on the mean streets of South Boston, which, by the number of movies being set there, is fast becoming as notorious as the bronx.

What Doesn't Kill You has to be the film that will catapult Mark Ruffalo into the big time, his performance is sublime, he plays a character that stirs a number of emotions from inside - easily the star of this gritty, intense tale of two dysfunctional friends.
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Well acted slice of life crime drama about two friends on the bottom rung trying to get ahead
dbborroughs5 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Story of two guys from Boston. Both are petty criminals on the low end of the Boston crime organizations. As they try to make a human wage, both have to deal with their demons. When one decides to try for one last score the other has to decide whether to go along. Well acted and well made examination of the effects of crime on the criminals and their family. Stars Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke are excellent as the two friends who are trying to just get ahead. This is a real slice of life film (based it says on a true story) that makes you feel as though you are in and around the suburbs of Boston. I really liked this film and its often left turns that mirror the way life is. If I have any complaints its that the film at times seems to be going nowhere. Yes the characters in a way are stuck going no where, but a film shouldn't feel as though it doesn't have a point. Still the pluses out weigh the minuses and this is a film that I'm going to recommend to friends and family who want a good crime story that doesn't follow the same old path. Definitely worth a look.
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engrossing and well-made
Spaceygirl25 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Well-made with engaging performances and a good script, 'What doesn't kill you' makes for an afternoons decent entertainment. Allegedly based on real-life events which is a scary thought that life can be so hard for some people. Comparisons to 'The Departed' are inevitable, although a far superior film, 'The Departed' suffered from a lack of humanity. Mark Ruffallo provides a human heart to this film with an affecting performance that stays with you long after the film has ended. Ethan Hawke suffers with a one-dimensional character and bad editing and Donnie Wahlberg provides able support. All in all, a very competent film well told.
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And yet another kids to criminals to wake up call movie
gradyharp7 May 2009
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
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Great Acting & Strong storyline
Karthik Gowda19 April 2009
I had not seen any promos or hear about this movie movie from anyone. I picked up the DVD for one reason that it had Ethan Hawke & Mark Ruffalo in it. And boy I'll tell they have done great justice to the characters.

I expected a little too much out of the movie, but I wasn't too disappointed either. Movie runs at a very decent and a balanced pace Acting, writing & directing - Yes Brian Goodman has done a good job.

What impressed me the most was the acting of Ethan & Mark. The chemistry is fantastic through out the movie.

I wasn't too impressed with Amanda Peet's acting. She wasn't strong enough for the character she played.

The best thing out of the movie was the music score. Great work!!! All in all, a good watch. Not a great movie but still good enough..
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Fascinating and well acted movie spoiled by poor pacing halfway through
nascent7 May 2009
I had no knowledge of the existence of this movie until the day I saw it, so when I started it I was pretty blown away by it. The gritty drama and really well told story of these 2 boys/men is fascinating, very well acted and initially very interesting. The score is beautiful, as is the initial pacing and storytelling. I was thinking this is one of the best movies I've seen for months, and then something odd happened.. the pacing shifted, suddenly long beautifully acted scenes were becoming clips of a few minutes here a sentence there, the character development that was so successful early on suddenly seemed to be redundant as stories become pointless and predictable. It's almost as though the movie changed to a different director and editor half-way through.

I found myself caring less and less about the characters as they became victims of over-editing. The only 2 scenes that lasted more than a couple of minutes in the last third that had any 'substance' were overly dramatic if not soppy father-son scenes where all other members of the family become low priority.

It's really quite a shame, I was enjoying the film so much during the first half, I was willing to give this film a 9 if only a little more of the plot would begin to unravel itself, but instead I got less plot, less character focus and more "this is bad" and "this is good" moments... It's a true pity as I shan't be recommending this movie due to it's second half.
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Wow!, best film this year so far.
seeksSilence11 March 2009
It's not often you come across a film that just blows you away, this film does it all on every level.

An Oscar winning performance by far for Mark Ruffalo, not a name I instantly new but a face I recognized from somewhere.

His decent into a drug riddled alcoholic existence is a heartfelt performance that shines the brightest in this movie. The visual torment he goes through trying to improve his families financial crisis mostly brought about by his own criminal activities, drug and alcohol abuse is without doubt a blistering performance and a testament to his skills as an actor.

Ethan Hawke, yet another solid supporting role that is only diminished by the screen presence of Ruffalo, but some how still manages to make an impact has a sex-addicted low-life that brings so much to the story and his relationship with Ruffalo's character.

As for Brian Goodman, well again a face I definitely knew from his bad-ass performance as Ryan Price in the TV-Show 'Lost', takes a small but pivotal role in his own penned story.

But it's the role of Director that he truly shows us a master-craft performance, there's no rush here, a perfect balance of character building and story telling. Allowing the characters to come alive and carry the story forward in their own time. Mr Goodman it seems is a man of many talents - Writer, Actor and Director - all I can say is, in this film all of them worked in perfect harmony.

Watch it now, you won't regret it..
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South Boston
jotix10013 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Paulie and Brian, two would be wise guys living in South Boston, are seen as teenagers working on petty deals for the area's boss, Pat Kelly. They just act as gofers, while learning their profession. The two grow up into full time criminals. Paulie is the strongest of the two. Brian, who marries his sweetheart, Stacy, is more of a follower. There is a strong bond between these two men.

Pursuing a career in crime did not come easy for the duo. When Brian turns into drugs, he begins a spiral road that will get him and his partner in jail for something that goes wrong; they must pay for what they did. In prison, Brian meets Sully, a former alcoholic, who is now an advocate for staying clean and sober. Trying to get even with a pedophile, both men get into a lot of trouble just a few days before they are to be released. Paulie, knowing Brian needs to go home to his family takes the blame and stays behind for his bad conduct.

Paulie has always been dead set against trying to rob armored vehicles. The way he figures, it is a crime that must be done in daylight, the odds are against the perpetrators, so he stays clear away from this type of action. Brian, now a free man, suffers from a lack of a job, not being able to make ends meet for Stacy and his sons. When Paulie proposes for him to go along, the allure of money weighs heavily on his situation, but he reckons, at last, his family is worth more to him now than whatever he can get out of the deal.

This is an interesting crime film directed by Brian Goodman, an actor that is making his debut with the film. Mr. Goodman also wrote the screenplay with Donnie Wahlberg and Paul Murray, which we are told is based on a true story. "What Doesn't Kill You" has a look of older films of the genre. The Boston in which the story takes place is in the middle of a bad winter making it look bleak and miserable just to be out on those snowed streets. What Mr. Goodman accomplished was an ensemble piece which does not disappoint, in spite of minor flaws that can easily be overlooked. Chris Norr, the cinematographer takes us to places that movies do not dare to go. The incidental music is by Alex Wurman.

Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo match one another perfectly. It is clear to see the bond Paulie and Brian had all their lives. Mr. Hawke has the flashier part as Paulie, but do not be too hasty to discard Mr. Ruffalo's contribution to the film with his take on Brian. Mr. Ruffalo proves why he is one of the best actors of his generation, bar none. Amanda Peet has a good opportunity to shine with her Stacy. There are surprises in the supporting roles, Mr. Goodman, the director, being one of them as the crime boss Pat Kelly. Will Lyman is also excellent as Sully, the man that wants to sincerely help Brian find his way, and Donnie Wahlberg is seen as a detective that knows what Paulie and Brian are made of.
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I've Seen This 200 Times Already
bryan-ross-molinelli8 December 2009
This movie was your typical connect-the-dots street crime drama. You have your cookie-cutter bad-guys as good-guys setup, Ethan Hawke playing against type, the dumb mom with a heart of gold who can't resist her sadistic, flunky husband, etc., etc, etc. All of this would have been fine if not for three major problems: 1) the acting sucked. (2) the editing sucked. (3) The pacing was awful.

I'm not going to get too into the bad acting. Bad acting is bad acting. A bunch of guys shouting "hey, where you going?" to each other for the better part of 2 hours gets old fast, and requires little subtlety or range. I won't linger on the film's pacing, either. You can see for yourself that there are several slightly interesting street scenes among the main characters, and then these slow, tedious, pointless domestic scenes that try to illustrate just how low these low-lives really are.

The true sin this film commits is in its editing. First question - why is it ALWAYS winter? This entire film supposedly spans about 20 years. Yet every scene is set in gray, cold, bleak weather. Adding insult to injury is the director and editor's inability to be consistent about what kind of permanent winter they're trying to capture here. Repeatedly throughout the entire movie there are juxtapositions of scenes where one scenario plays out with six inches of fresh snow on the ground - then cuts away instantly to what logically plays out as something that is happening only a few hours or even just minutes later - with NO SNOW on the ground! This happens constantly, back and forth, back and forth, snow/no snow, snow/no snow. It's like, what the hell's the deal with this? Is it winter or not? Or is it late October? and how can it go from looking like the middle of January one minute, to the beginning of November the next, with reddish leaves on the trees and softer sunlight? Truly an editing disaster, and unless it was supposed to be symbolic of something, utterly pointless. As is most of this movie, aptly titled "What Doesn't Kill You." The rest of the phrase is, "Makes You Wish It Had." At least, that's the case here.
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Very well done
Krag15 April 2010
why does IMDb require 10 lines, are they insane or just control freaks?

All I have to say about this movie is WATCH IT. You will not be disappointed. It is a great film about a "class" or "group" of people, could be just about any group, Irish, Mexican, Italian, Puerto Rican, Iranian, Polish, Cuban... who live in a small community and have limited opportunities because of education and upbringing... not that everyone in such a situation will end up like these guys but this story is being played out day after day in each of America's ethnic communities. Bravo to the actors and director.

MORE LINES ARE NEEDED SO....this story is being played out day after day in each of America's ethnic communities. Bravo to the actors and director.
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What doesn't kill you... may bore you.
*(CableGuy)*30 April 2009
I'm not one for straight-to-DVD fare, and this reminded me why. I'll say first off, Ruffalo and Hawke are both excellent in this, but honestly, what's the point? You've basically got another crime-doesn't-pay vicious-circle yadda yadda movie about crappy people living crappy crime-ridden lives. The movie tries to make Amanda Peet trashy by giving her horrible bangs. We know that handsome, chiseled Ethan Hawke is on the wrong side of the law because he has a silver tooth. Mark Ruffalo basically goes from just a thug to a level-10 crack addict in about two scenes.

This is a nicely shot, nicely cut, nicely acted movie that just doesn't have a purpose. There's no themes explored here we haven't seen covered before, and better, down to the Boston setting. It's just two hours of depression, ended by a really cheesy ending with text telling us what happened to the characters afterwards. You don't get to do that with fiction! It's pointless! Telling us with two lines of text that Mark Ruffalo became a good dad? You can tell us Ethan Hawke flew out of jail and became king of the Moon Men, because it's fiction! The whole point is to leave that up to the viewer, leave them with something to think about.

Sorry if you liked this one, but there's just better ways to spend two hours of your life.
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a crazy movie!
ismahill22 April 2009
if you haven't seen this one yet, you just got to. Ethan and Mark (mainly Ethan) simply gets into his part performing a spectacular figure with motives seems to be invented by him! his "acting" is so real, it doesn't seem at all he's there but rather invented a figure which he remarkably fits into while making the watcher really want to watch and understand it. Mark isn't put on the side by it though, they both fit into the script as two guys actually been there, it actually gives the viewer the feeling, he's not watching a movie but rather there is a cam' following these people life's though with all the film quality coming with'at. you do not feel swollen into it cause its not really a story but rather a following through the life of those two guys, even due, those almost 2 hours pass as if they were fifteen minutes and u actually can't believe, the film is ended at that. thats maybe the only deficite, cause u wished it would hold you for another hour and a half, going through they're experiences which you can't even go on without after the movie is done. this is maybe one of the best movies ever seen a specially due to Ethan's part, through some scenes are simply unbelievable, it is just to hard to be explained by words - that. it got 8, due to it's being short a bit and due to Amanda Peet's act (which was o.k after all but was a bit kept aside). other than that, a real masterpiece of acting by those two guys, and the others, just enriches the atmosphere and environment which gives a sincere powerful and overwhelming view into the American criminal's life.
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What Doesn't Kill You
Andres Benatar Luque10 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
What doesn't kill us makes stronger sure. At first strength and survival may come as the ultimate gift in the end of a difficult ordeal. However in the end, what does this concept truly do for us? Does it change us for the better, or for the worse. These questions come with 2 different answers. Paulie McDougan (Hawke) and Brian Riley (Ruffalo), two thugs from the rough streets of South Boston, have been living the very life of crime that constantly plague's Boston from their years of childhood, to their true moments of their independent definitions as men. Director Brian Goodman, a known felon in his days of youth, has given viewers both a harsh reminder of his past, as well as a lesson in making the right choices, even when having very little to start with. Working here and there for the very scum that run the small stuff in Boston, Paulie and Brian continue in what they believe their own two timing, making worthless sums of money for their mentor of a boss, as well as this film's director Pat Kelly (Goodman). In the very few scores they make on the side, viewers are introduced to the very horrors of quality theft, drug addiction, as well the social destruction the life of crime brings towards the criminal's family. Ethan Hawke is brilliant as always playing a very fun character, exhibiting anger, impulsive anxiety to acquire better, and even so much as showing an undying loyalty to the man who is as close a brother to him as any, Brian. As Brian, Ruffalo gives a truly magnifying performance as a man who's whole life was crime, booze, and self destruction through the actions of his job, or just his nature to stay high and hooked. As the victim, and eventual role model for most addicts, and criminal looking for a fresh start, Brian's life is seen in two different view points as the film's introduction is narrated in his own grief stricken anxiety to make a choice. It all starts with an armored car robbery, and then goes back all the way to the very years of their youth, to the even tougher times to face. We viewers will see the lessons brought to attention about addiction, commitment to ones family, and the very struggles of deciding what is best. Brian's life has been a screaming nightmare, as he not only suffers from the morally questionable life of crime, but his very tendency to continuously destroy the life he started with is wife Stacy (Peet) and his 2 boys is what truly directs his character. His addiction to crack cocaine, and his own job were what brought him into the slammer, and 5 years of it brought the very promises men like him keep today. He stayed sober, following Paulie to the life he himself continued to live, only to witness and not act. He faced the many troubles we as honest citizens have struggled with, and often felt tempted towards avoiding, such as payable bills, and setting mature examples for the kids, even when the going got tough and it felt pointless. I say this to be true. An honest life is not a load of bull. It's a test of how much we are willing to take in this life, so we can finally say in the end that we did that, and we stayed strong through all those tough times. As fictional, and merely example based as these characters may be, Director Goodman is showing viewers a lesson of how much more rewarding it is to survive honestly, than it is to live the shameful ways of crime. As we are brought back to the very beginning scene of the armored car robbery, we see to the end as it fails miserably, destroying Brian's life even more, only to sooner realize it is but a thought in the back of his head, as much as it at first seemed like his latest temptation. Alas, the reformed felon throws it all away, living life to the best concerns of those he truly loves, and for what it truly defines him as a man. Paulie on the other hand didn't turn out so lucky. It's interesting isn't it? Whenever were sure of something we're going to do, we don't hesitate, believing we have no choice? Paulie sure thought that, and in the end he paid for it with the remaining years of his life, unlike the better half of this criminally charismatic crew. Directed by Brian Goodman, as well as written by him and Donnie Wahlberg , "What Doesn't Kill You" is a brilliant crime film, using various elements of the South Boston hood to specifically show viewers that even when times are tough it's the choices we make in those close corners that truly make us the people we look at in the mirror every morning, afternoon, and night.
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Reality sucks
sorin_baias10 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Welcome to one of the most "real" films Hollywood managed to spit out in these recent years. And by "real" I don't mean only the fact it was true to it's original story.

The shots of a snowy Boston, the overall tense atmosphere, the fast pacing (at some points) and Hawke's and Ruffalo's depiction of petty criminals/street thugs, all contributed to making this one seem believable and to seem to relate to any of us. *What doesn't kill you* succeeds in transmitting more than one message and to tell more than one story. It manages to include the notions of family, friendship, addiction, fear, and all of it while keeping us on the edge of our seats.

**Here be Spoilers** The film doesn't really shock but imo it does leave a bad aftertaste, Ruffalo's portrayal of an addict is saddening for the viewer and so is watching him talk to his sons. However that is intended as Ruffalo managed to make Goodman look like a vulnerable man, that experiences frustration and remorse in the later stages of the film.

Ethan Hawke has an easier job playing Paulie, Goodman's friend, nevertheless not easy overall, Paulie is seen with a smile on his face most of the times, whenever he isn't talking about some business and has less responsibilities than Goodman, being single. He seems to be the more lively one of the two, hesitation not being in his vocabulary.

Amanda Peet plays Goodman's wife and although she sure tries, for me it wasn't a brilliant performance, there's just something about her that doesn't spell *housewife*, even in the shadow of Hawke and Ruffalo she manages a decent performance.

The first title choice, aka *Real Men Cry* would of been a more inspired one as it fits the film way better, they don't only cry but they end up paying the bills too. *What doesn't kill you* has a down to earth ending without a *hurray* for the villains and although there might of been some other moral to this one I think it proves that life can be harsh on whatever side of the law you situate yourself.
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If What doesn't kill you makes you stronger then this movie makes me SUPERMAN!
Mssls6197014 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen worse but Troll 1 was better. The only thing worse then the slow boring I love my kids but am a bad guy trying to do right in a world that is holding me down was the acting. I couldn't connect with the characters at all. The movie was put together sloppy the main character went from thug with a family to a freebase crack head within a week that can't happen. The acting was bad and Ethan Hawk (for some unknown reason) keeps sniffing hard throughout the movie as if he is the one with the coke problem but his character doesn't touch the stuff (check it out it's odd). Amanda Peet .... wow I actually used to think she was hot back in the whole 10 yards days but what happened to her and the south Boston accent she was trying to portray sounded like Fran Dressier in a blender. I have wasted 2 hours on a bad story about a boring true story with the worst excuse for acting since the KaBoom commercials. Just because it is based on a true story people give it more credit then it deserves. HEY Hollywood!!! I have a true story for you!!! I wake up the sun is shining I walk outside get in my car and go to work. Then I work all day grabbing lunch at 1pm. Then I go home have dinner the I watch a movie "Whatever doesn't kill you." It was bad so I go to sleep. If anyone in Hollywood would like to purchase this true story let me know... Oh wait you need it to be written by a New kid on the block to consider it ..??? Oh well I will just keep Hanging Tough and hope that one day I will have the Right Stuff.
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hopefully we will see more of Bryan
masrahbassams22 April 2009
I have been expecting this movie to come with Bryan Goodman playing the bad guy the way he does it so well. Other guys does the bad guy act with so much tension and rage as the support, but to Bryan it comes naturally and he doesn't do much to give you the fear. He just does the act and let you fill in the rest as a viewer. Ever sense i noticed his acting from the movie The Last Castle, i new that this man will go much further. I think this movie will touch everybody no matter who you are. It is not only telling a story about those two guys, but a story about a struggle in general, no matter who you are. I love this movie because it is so much down to earth and with no bling-bling-Hollywood type of movie. This movie is about the regular people and that is why this movie went right through me. I couldn't help but notice the soundtrack that came and went giving an extra feeling to the emotions that actors gave.
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disdressed123 August 2009
this is a very well done film in all aspects.the look of the film,the tone,the acting.it's based on a true story,but how much is true and how much has been tweaked for dramatic purposes is anyone's guess.regardless,it's a good film.Ethan Hake and Mark Ruffalo play two lifelong friends who grow up on the tough streets of Boston and turn to petty crime early on.eventually things spiral out of control,and one of of the friends is faced with a moral dilemma and makes a hard choice.there have been a few films set in Boston,The Departed(which i loved)being one,and Gone,Baby Gone,which was disappointing.Boston certainly has a unique look to it,which lends itself to these types of movies.both Hawke and Ruffalo are great as is Amanda Peet.for me,What Doesn't Kill you is a solid 8/10
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Could have been better. 4/10
leonblackwood7 September 2013
Review: I was quite looking forward to this movie because of the cast and the promising advert, but as usual, I found the movie pretty disappointing. The film starts off well, but then it slows down and gets a bit boring. All of he actors put in good performances and the storyline was quite interesting, because it was true, but it takes a while to get going. The 2 main characters seem to get away with everything without any comebacks, so its turns out to be, in some ways, quite predictable. I was hoping for a violent Goodfellas, but the pace was too slow along with the storyline which could have been a lot better. Watchable!

Round-Up: Since 2008, Mark Ruffalo's career has blossomed by staring as the Hulk and doing a good job of it. The movie doesn't seem dated, but there was quite a few gangster movies out during this period which is why it was a good choice to bring the movie to DVD now. It doesn't fall in the same category as some of the classic gangster movies that came out during this period, but it does show a more that some people do eventually grow a conscience after doing bad throughout there life's. For entertainment, it did lack the whole "Bad Man" flavour, which was a shame because they had all of the ingredients. Maybe the director chose to stick with true events except for going for the shock value.

I recommend this movie to people who like there crime/Boston gangster movies which is based around 2 lifelong friends. 4/10
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