Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
Andy and Hank Hanson are two brothers who have lead very different life but at least one thing they’ve got in common: money troubles. Hank is divorced and doesn’t earn enough to pay his wife, while Andy has been very succesful but has been living above his standard and as such has committed fraud to compensate for his depths. With external consultants coming to do an audit of the books he’s got to find cash quickly to cover up his crime.
Andy has found the solution to his and Hanks problem: rob their dad’s jewelry store. As only an old woman is present on Saturday morning they could easily go in, grab they money and leavy without anyone getting hurt. And since the money is covered by the insurance, their dad wouldn’t be hurt either. But when the day comes, things go completely wrong…
Sound and Vision:
The image is reasonably decent with here and there some compression errors but overall nothing that bothers too much. The colors are greyish to make for a depressing atmosphere which perfectly fits the movie.
The movie is mostly about dialogue but still the sound does a very nice job with some good use of the surround speakers during the few action scenes.
– Audio commentary by Sidney Lumet, Philip Seymour Hoffman & Ethan Hawke
– Making Of
Before the Devil Knows you’re Dead is a family drama piece that shines by having an at first glimpse simple storyline but with deep character profiles. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke do an excellent job in portraying the two brothers while Albert Finney is perfectly cast as the father who gets torn apart by his feelings for his wife and kids as he figures out what happened. The movie uses a rewind feature where you go back in time to follow the different characters and each time you get to see more of the storyline. This seems to be a rather popular way of storytelling these days as also Vantage Point uses it. However, after a while it does bring forth some boredom that only gets compensated by the excellent acting of the cast.
All in all a rather non-standard film that’s certainly worth checking out.