Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 179 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Andy, an overextended broker, lures his younger brother--Hank--into a larcenous scheme: the pair will rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the store owners are Andy and Hank's actual mom and pop--and--when the seemingly perfect crime goes awry, the damage lands right at their doorstep. (THINKFilm) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    A superb crime melodrama.
  2. 100
    In addition to being a study in great acting, this is a study in great directing.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Compact, nasty, and altogether wonderful, a tale of brotherly greed and New York comeuppance that shows an old dog dusting off old tricks using new technology.
  4. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    The action is violent, messy, and threaded through with dark humor. This is a movie for grownups, for sure, but it has a mulish kick that most such pictures consider themselves to tasteful to aspire to.
  5. 88
    A dynamite film that ranks with the year's best.
  6. This is not a drama of shadings, but of ever-increasing intensity.
  7. Even though it's scripted by a woman (Kelly Masterson), this tale of buried family resentments rising to the surface as the brothers plot to rob their parents' jewelry store is concerned only with the guys, and it's marred by an uncharacteristically mannered performance by Albert Finney as the father.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 107
  2. Negative: 25 out of 107
  1. BettJ.
    Oct 26, 2007
    Great movie. Hoffman is amazing.
  2. KaseyS.
    Mar 16, 2008
    Grossly overlooked at the Oscars. In a year without "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men," this movie would not have been overlooked. Chilling, entertaining, almost Shakespearean melodrama. Expand
  3. Jul 16, 2014
    A tense thriller with great acting from the cast. The movie has a great plot and direction. The movie is
    very interesting and and will
    delight until the thrilling end. Expand
  4. GaborA.
    Jan 31, 2008
    As you zoom in on things their flaws become more apparent. Before The Devil Knows is the opposite. If you take the entire film its imperfections are clear and feels like too much. But each of this films parts are near perfect. Every scene is tight, tense, and mesmerizing. Expand
  5. StephenS.
    Mar 28, 2008
    Often gripping, but not totally great, is this gloomy Sidney Lumet tale of a failed Westchester NY jewellery heist. When brothers Andy and Bobby screw up the daylight robbery of their own parents Expand
  6. NickG.
    Dec 23, 2007
    Ethan hawk's acting is horrible. the jumbled plotting is done for effect but has no real person. A mighty bore.
  7. rb
    Nov 24, 2007
    Terrible. Do not step foot in that theater. This is the worst film I have ever seen in my life,( I don't think I have ever said that!) and I am an avid film buff. I can not imagine how the reviewers came to their ratings, the only thing I can imagine is either they were bought out, or are completely brainwashed and deluded in to thinking that dark pointless depressing stories equal depth. And it could not be farther from the truth. If you feel like seeing sad characters you don't care about do things that make you wretch, and leave feeling depressed, then go for it, otherwise, know this is the most over rated film on the planet. The reviewers were blinded by the director's fame and their misguided notion that grim stories equal edgy and profound, when that idea could not be more passe'. I should have followed the lead of the several people who walked out during the middle. BUYER BEWARE. Expand

See all 107 User Reviews