Before the Devil Knows you’re Dead

With an air of a grown up ‘Reservoir Dogs’ about it ‘Before the Devil knows you’re Dead’ tells the story of two brothers who for different reasons need cash fast. Together they hatch a plot that should sort them out financially with no consequences and it is here this morality tale begins. At 84 director Sidney Lumet proves here that he can still cut it with the youngsters as he weaves the three main stories of the two brothers and their father backwards and forwards from start to chilling climax. The way the story unfolds is like going the wrong way up a helter skelter and it constantly keeps you on edge as you wonder how far this will go. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is exceptional as usual as older brother Andy and with three films all out at the same time (this, The Savages and Charlie Wilson’s War) proves once again that he can turn in a brilliant performance and create a believable character. Support comes from Hawke as younger brother Hank and Finney as their father Charles and both are great and add to the tension. The music is a little weird at times but it strangely fits as does the bizarre camera flicks that join the scenes. With so many good films out or coming out at the moment it would be easy to let this film pass you by but if you do you will be missing an excellent thriller that doesn’t fail to deliver on all levels.

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