Before the devil knows you’re dead

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May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead
Over the holidays I’m trying to catch up on my movies, and this was first on the list. It’s the story of a very dysfunctional family – 2 sons plan the robbery of a mom-and-pop jewelery store, both being in a dire need for cash…only there’s a catch. The mom-and-pop owning the store, are the actually mom-and-pop of the two, and things go terribly wrong. Their mother is killed, their father is devastated and follows the killer relentlessly, the brothers’ lives are falling apart and it all come up to a quite unexpected climax.
Sidney Lumet is a director best known for movies such as Serpico, Dog Day Afernoon or The Verdict and I always find his combination of action and thriller very… catchy and realistic. And, in contrast with a lot of the new thrillers, more goreish yet less impressive, his style still stands. This movie is not based on special effects, not on shooting, but it’s more of a emotional struggle and it relies a lot on the acting. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Marisa Tomei are great as always, and even Ethan Hawke is not his usual, awkward self. The back-and-forward flashes and the constant changing of the points of view is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
When everything blows up in their faces, you just have to be there.

~ by ameer on December 27, 2007.

One Response to “Before the devil knows you’re dead”

  1. I agree with your take. I love it when a movie grabs and keeps my attention all the way through by good writing, acting, and an excruciating look at human relationships. I’m a psychologist starting a blog on psychological “pieces” in the movies. BTDKYD speaks to the reality that we don’t feel the same about different family members. Also, in an age when parents are told to sacrifice their lives for even their grown children, here was a man and woman who valued their love, so much so that the husband could not forgive his son for taking his happiness away.

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