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Summary: 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. (imdb)
"Most of Before the Devil Knows You're Dead works so well as a fatalistic, post-Tarantino neo-noir that the last third's attempt to frame the drama as King Lear-level tragedy plays as an unnecessary reach." - Akiva Gottlieb
It's not Sidney Lumet's best, but it was definitely not a bad way to end his career. It amazes me that I haven't seen more Lumet movies as he really is a fantastic director. This movie also reminds me excactly why Phillip Seymour Hoffman is one of my favourite actors. It's amazingly depressing and bleak and not really something you should watch if you're already in a bad mood. It seems to turn quite a few people off that there's no upside here, but it's still fantastically well done. Recommended
This movie is a veritable buffet of great performances. The story material allows each character to have a moment to shine and the acting is dead-on. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, and Albert Finney are phenomenal as the male members of a luckless family. The movie is affecting and makes a strong impression.
Good role play, no unnecessary dialogs/speeches, balanced, with pretty good written story. I would say it may be boring for some people but me myself - I enjoyed it regardless of being after eight hours of late shift work, watching it between 1am-3am - didn't get a blink of an eye. Kind of no-action movies you wanna see sometimes in exchange ;)
Gak, what a lame title (sounds like some release circa 1970). Anyway, I will definitely not be attending any Thanksgiving dinners with these folks! lol. Interestingly convoluted structure (like the layers of an onion), and I think it worked (sort of reinforcing the horror of it all). Hawke btw looks like some Freddy Mercury lounge lizard in his disguise. Hoffman is great throughout (in a most unsympathetic role...but then, what is a sympathetic role here?!...slim pickings indeed).
Hoffman is just a damn entertaining actor, but he overacts a little in this (so does the usually solid Ethan Hawke). A few ridiculous and unrealistic bits but otherwise this is pretty good entertainment.
Superb, absolutely amazing acting. However, the script kind of lacks in any real splendor. Dark as it is, while still taking some great turns, it feels a bit lackluster in the end, with some loose ends that are never resolved. The non-linear structure also didn't feel necessary by any means. Easily could have been reworked to be linear and done without the annoying time jumps.
Certainly the content here is bleak but it does not get much done that other movies haven't done better before it. Mistakes spiraling out of control is a pretty common theme in movies today, and this one does it all well and good, just nothing spectacular. It's a highly recommendable movie to people who like the sort of study about characters with miserable existences. I did like this overall, and think it's an inarguably well made movie; it's just nothing out of the ordinary.
The unchronological storytelling was not needed and very annoying. Movie also dragged, especially during the first half. I found all the characters to be mostly or completely unlikable. Great acting, though.