Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

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

Whenever people make lists with favourite or best directors, Sidney Lumet hardly ever pops up. That should change. Look at his filmography. He is one of the best directors that ever worked in the industry.

This film is modern noir at its finest. It is bleak, rather disturbing and dark as hell. The story, which unravels in an asynchronous chronology, is multilayered and keeps you guessing due to its fragmented narrative. Only a very talented director can add the much needed coherence a story like this needs.

What Lumet understands very well is to give his actors the right amount of space to inhabit their characters. There is not one weak performance here. The main cast is superb, moved along by the always fantastic Seymour Hoffman. The showstopping performance for me was Hawke's, however. His portrayal of the fuck up in the family is unbelievably convincing.

There is so much to be found in this film. There is engrossing drama, tense violence and a more than jarring ending.

For me, one of Lumet's best.

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