Movie Review: Before the Devil knows you’re dead

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Brief Description

Noir-ish crime-thriller from acclaimed director Sidney Lumet, about two money-hungry brothers who plan to rob their parents’ business. When debt starts snapping at the heels of broker Andy Hanson (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), he comes up with a plan to solve his problems. Roping in his initially sceptical brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) with claims that ‘nobody gets hurt, everybody wins’, the pair target their parents’ jewellery store, which they both know inside out. Events, however, take a turn for the worse when the would-be robbers meet with some unexpected resistance, setting in motion a chain of events that change the family’s future forever.

My Overview

Philip Seymour Hoffman was an incredible actor and it’s such a shame we had to say goodbye to him in 2014, however what we do have are some incredible films to remember him by and what I believe he did best were crime thrillers.

The general plot for this film is that there are two brothers who want to rob a jewellery store to make $60,000 each, however the performance of the robbery brings about the same outcome as if they were the chuckle brothers (If you don’t understand the reference then you missed out on a great childhood). It goes tits up basically and the film quickly builds up suspense from there as soon as shots are fired.

As the film progresses you are time jumped back and forth between each character to find out what each person got up to progressing up to the robbery and what they did after the event takes place till they finally get to the finale, the film doesn’t hide anything from you however you may not expect what comes at the end till 10-15 minutes before the end.

You will find out about the two brothers throughout the film, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Andy, a rather successful man whose married but has a drug addiction and Ethan Hawke plays Hank who is the younger brother, divorced with a daughter to pay child support for. You soon come to terms with the fact that Hank isn’t the smartest fish in the sea and is motivated through the belittlement of being penniless by both his brother and daughter.

Each of the characters who get introduced to this story each help progress the story; thieves, a very hospitable drug dealer, a fence, the father played by Albert Finney and Andy’s wife who spends the first half of the film with her boobs out played by Marisa Tomei.

If you are in to your crime thrillers, I would definitely suggest this film. it’s one of the first films I’ve seen that keeps it’s serious dark undertone rather than resorting to being a comical parody even when things are going so wrong.


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