Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)

(On DVD, January 2017) As far as mean and slightly seedy crime dramas go, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead hits most of the right notes. Featuring great performances (most notably from an often-naked Marisa Tomei, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, unfortunately playing a heroin addict) and a script that ping-pongs in time, this is the kind of low-stake but well-executed crime drama that doesn’t set the box office on fire but should feature in every moviegoer’s diet. (And I say this having missed the movie in theatres, only to catching a decade later on DVD.) The film does get grim as the consequences of “a simple theft” go awry in increasingly dramatic ways. By the end of the movie, you can expect a few deaths, a family torn apart and no one feeling particularly happy about the whole thing. Nonetheless, in the hands of veteran director Sidney Lumet, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead steadily moves forward despite a slightly too long running time, and has a few surprises in store until the end. Not bad, even though I’d be surprised if viewers will be able to recall much of the plot weeks after seeing the film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *