User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 175 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 30 out of 175

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Feb 11, 2011
    7
    Another installment in the POV thriller, this one, packing more emotion and melodramatic "fluff" than anything seen on "General Hospital." The plot is innately simple and intriguing, but is suddenly contrived with non-linearity. On the upside, however, each scene is shot delicately, drawing great amounts of real-life feeling. Seymour delivers his usual, banal acting job, bailed out only by solid writing. The real firmness and direction is lead by Finney, whose genuinately is more than able and deserving. As for Tomei...well, what you see is what you get. Don't let me stray you from thinking any differently, the film is very well done: methodical, concise, and enlivening. The subtle undertones and suggestions are superb, the anticipation is live, the direction is vague, and the irony is delicious. The biggest quandary, though, Hollywood's obsession to aggrandize...I guess simpler isn't always better...? Expand
  2. Mar 26, 2011
    10
    What a superb film! Incredibly inpactful and thrilling. Great performances all around, with a beautiful score and amazing writing to go hand in hand with the Sidney Lumet touch. How this film was snubbed for not even a single Oscar nomination, I will never understand. Michael Shannon and Albert Finney bring such great energy and power; Hoffman and Hawke really express the confusion in the **** that takes place. The melodramatic performances rarely seem over done because the thrill is amped up to 14. This film physically punched me in the face: no **** Expand
  3. Oct 20, 2012
    9
    The film's opening scene is so well made it quite possibly will never leave my mind. This scene sets the tone for the entire film. Great performances, Great screenplay, but the style may be a bit distracting in places. At a time when thrillers are more about action before the devil knows you're dead comes across as freshly old school.
  4. Nov 8, 2012
    9
    A superbly seductive and savagely satisfying crime melodrama that sizzles with brilliant performances fueled by an ingenious script.
  5. Jul 22, 2013
    9
    Awesome frickin' movie. Nobody captures the debilitating affects of stress and concern like Philip Seymour Hoffman. He and Ethan Hawke are both great here. This one is a ride. Loved it.
  6. Apr 4, 2013
    5
    This film is about 2 brothers Andy and Hank (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke respectively) who plot to rob their parents jewellery store. The robbery is initially told from 2 perspectives for both brothers and later we get a third perspective of the robbery through their father Charles (played by Albert Finney). I thought the film started off well as the robbery unfolds and we start to see the brother's motivations behind the robbery. The trouble is that once we get past the initial premise, the film begins to become repetitive and a bit tedious. The second half of the film was just filled with squabbling and melodrama and never really seemed to go anywhere by this point I was getting pretty bored with the film. I was ultimately disappointed with this film which is a shame as it started out well and ended up being only an average film at best. Expand
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. His (Sidney Lumet) touch in Before the Devil is so sure, so perfectly weighted, that it’s hard to imagine him capable of making a bad movie. The thing is just enthralling.
  2. 88
    A dynamite film that ranks with the year's best.
  3. Pungently atmospheric, brilliantly textured and featuring superb performances from every performer in parts big and small.