Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)

A case study in hopelessness, a couple steps less depressing and less stylistic than Requiem for a Dream.

Before the Devil trails two down and out brothers, and I mean about as down and out as you can imagine while still maintaining the image of moderate success. Their attempt to revive their troubled existences leaves their mother dead in a botched robbery. Cover-up after cover-up after cover-up brings them ever closer to their predetermined hell.

The film tries hard to be hip and original by pulling some story line stunts a la Pulp Fiction, but the cast is small and the story rather linear. Nothing would have been lost if we watched the film chronologically, bouncing between characters.

One aspect that makes the film bearable is the superb acting, except for a skin deep Marisa Tomei. The pathos and self loathing drips off the actors foreheads.

Truth: Your sins will find you out, hide as you may.


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