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Movie Review: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

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I'm ashamed to admit how long it took me to finally catch Sidney Lumet's latest film, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. After all, Lumet is one of the true grandmasters of the craft (he directed his first significant film, 12 Angry Men, over fifty years ago!). What's more, the cast he brought together for Devil is absolutely top-notch: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney and Rosemary Harris. Worst of all, I'd only heard positive things about the film from others whose opinion I valued.

For weeks I resisted seeing it, though, before finally relenting this past weekend. I was wrong to wait so long. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead is one of the best movies I've seen this year. That top-notch cast I mentioned earlier all give daring, inspired performances. As Andy, Philip Seymour Hoffman continues to affirm his rightful place as one of our finest actors. Andy is a venal, amoral drug addict and yet Hoffman imbues him with such life and energy that you almost want to see him get away with his many crimes.