Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2009)
Written by Kelly Masterson
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Starring Ethan Hawke, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Albert Finney, Marissa Tomei
a non- linear plot revolving around a family and a jewelry robbery gone terribly wrong.
This was an interesting experience. Finney and Tomei are particular standouts in delivering a story as two people outside the head of Hoffman's older brother, a mid-level professional who's grasping at anything within reach to keep his head above the water. His desperation starts at a low simmer and boils over in an interesting and engaging climax. As the loser younger brother, Hawke is on par with the other principals. Where his brother keeps things under his hat for as long as possible he's evidently in trouble from frame one. Ms. Marissa gets her own opportunity to shine as Hoffman's wife and the only female character who's not a total twat. (Aside from that we get a healthy dose of her boobies.)
The production itself is something of a mixed bag. The music is either exactly lifted from Ransom or derived from the composer's prior work on Cohen films. And the editing (which does calm down eventually) makes strange stutter cuts between settings and ends those cuts with annoyingly-redundant title cards; that especially is a shame. The nonlinear timeline serves the story very well. One scene in particular is glaringly out of place in its unnecessary visualization of the theme of the film.
On balance this was worthwhile. It makes the 3.
this plot was good. the acting was good. the editing was waaaay too much. so much that it detracted from the experience. every time you found yourself immersed in the section you were watching there was gunshot! glass crashing! and the picture's freeze frame flashed in between two different shots of the same person. i'm not saying the way the plot was presented was bad, i'm just saying the physical way it was done BAM! punch in the face! we as the viewer get it. it isn't necessary to slap us with the dead fish over and over and over. the movie itself was more intelligent than that. i kind of feel like it was something that some one on the production staff had always wanted to do, and couldn't let it go even though it didn't jive with the rest of the movie. it was the fat kid sitting on an otherwise really good movie. even despite ethan hawke.