Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

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

Sidney Lumet's last feature was a masterful piece about brothers, both in dire financial straights. Their plan to get out of their problem? Rob their parents' jewelry store. What a great idea for a film. Now, add to that story -- which is much more complex given the affair one brother is having with the other brother's wife for starters -- four terrific performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, and Albert Finney. Told in a non-linear fashion, Lumet is at the top of his game creating a crime and family drama that is absolutely superb. There's not a false note in the entire piece. In their own scenes, Hoffman and Hawke are great, but when they're together on screen or at least on the phone together, they're sizzling. In a long, brilliant career of extraordinary films, it's not too much to say that this ranks as one of Lumet's best.