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Flash Movie Review: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Take a little Lohanish lunacy, a handful of Gibsonish anger, with a touch of Jacksonish rivalry and what you get would be the dysfunctional family in this suspenseful film. The difference being this toxic family was lethal. Two brothers desperate for money, devise a plan to rob a jewelry store. It was a particularly significant store because their parents were the owners of it. As I said, this was one screwed up family. Brilliantly directed by famed director Sidney Lumet (Dog Day Afternoon, Network), the entire cast was superb. Older alpha brother Andy, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Ides of March, Capote), cajoled his younger brother Hank, played by Ethan Hawke (Training Day, Before Sunset); into what he thought would be the perfect plan. I found this movie totally thrilling, powered by a strong story that was executed with intense acting. Do not let the slower pace in the beginning fool you; it only laid the groundwork for explosive events that followed. How can a plan be perfect when its creator was damaged. With events spiraling out of control, the damaged family members took dysfunctional to new heights in this startling story.

 

3 1/3 stars — DVD

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