Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007, Sidney Lumet)

Starts in the middle, no opening credits.

Only awards it’s winning this year are for ensemble acting. Phil Hoffman is the debt-ridden drug-addict stealing from his employer and about to get caught, and Ethan Hawke is his spineless loser brother behind on alimony payments and sleeping with Phil’s wife. Their aged jewelry-store-running parents are Albert Finney (ugh, amazing grace) and Rosemary Harris (spiderman’s mom). Hawke’s ex-wife is Amy Ryan (from Keane) and Hoffman’s cheatin’ wife is Marisa Tomei (In the Bedroom).

So yeah, a real good cast (esp. an awesome Finney). Movie just seemed alright, though. Your standard crime story of desperate men getting a little greedy, going deeper and deeper over their heads, ending up with a lotta death and no money.

Phil coordinates the crime to knock off his parents jewelry store but delegates the actual holdup to Hawke, who hires a guy who shoots (and is shot by) their mom. Mom dies, dad wants revenge, goes to a known diamond fence (cool Leonardo Cimino, who was playing old-man roles twenty years ago), tracks down his own sons. The brothers are blackmailed by the girlfriend of the dude who died, so Hoffman wipes out the girl’s brother and Phil’s own drug dealer, gets himself shot and hospitalized where Finney fuckin’ kills him in the hospital bed. Ethan runs but is too big of a loser to get away.

Movie comes off kind of unengaging, shot not as coolly detached as “Little Children” with its silly narrator, but not exactly sympathetic either. Comes down to a sweet old couple with some extreme fuckup kids who destroy the family. Kind of depressing. Wouldn’t call it a must-see movie.

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