2007 / 117m - USA
Crime, Drama
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead poster


April 23, 2023


Sidney Lumet ended his career on a high note. This is by far the best film I've seen from him so far, so maybe I should give him another shot (beyond watching his most prestigious films that is). The plot's a little simple, but the presentation, structure, and performances make it into something quite memorable.

Two brothers are in dire need of cash. They plan a heist on the jewelry store of their parents, knowing that the insurance will cover their losses. But the operation doesn't go as planned. The mother ends up in the hospital with gunshot wounds, one of the robbers is shot dead, and the two brothers will need to clean up their mess.

Hawke and Hoffman make for a great duo, the many time jumps add to the appeal of the plot and the presentation is classic but stylish. The film is a tad long maybe, and the premise is pretty generic, but Lumet did a great job working around those limitations. A pretty cool surprise.