Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead ★★★★½

It’s getting to the stage where it goes without saying that Philip Seymour Hoffman delivers a breathtaking performance. He’s done it so often throughout his career and here, alongside an equally impressive Ethan Hawke, he presents another encapsulating character. From the brief moments of comedy to the emotional arguments, the chemistry the two leads share is nothing short of fantastic.

Sidney Lumet’s direction is once again fantastic, which much like the star is as expected. The veteran director’s style is once again displayed with energetic freedom. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is another crime drama film that he exceeds at, but with the added caveat of a gripping non-linear narrative.

This is Lumet’s last film before his death in 2011 and this beautifully constructed exploration of family dysfunction and criminal incompetence is a perfect way to end his career. Despite having only seen four of his films, Sidney Lumet is fast becoming one of my favourite directors.

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