The opening scenes are good enough to hook you. The botched robbery and its inevitable fallout are compelling but Lumet loses the audience once he starts going hog wild with all the flashbacks and flashforwards. Seriously, this movie doubles back on itself more than all of those goddamned Saw movies combined.
The performances were all great though. Hoffman gave another textured portrayal of a greasy loser and Hawke was equally excellent as his down-and-out brother. Kudos must be given to Finney for some truly fine grieving acting after his wife dies. Michael (Bug)
This movie also features a first: A Phillip Seymour Hoffman sex scene. You get to see his flabby ass pound the living Hell out of Marisa Tomei doggystyle for a good two minutes. On the plus side though, you do get to see Tomei’s tits, so you have to take the good with the bad I guess. Then again, she does get naked A LOT in this movie so we could’ve done without all the unnecessary shots of Hoffman’s ass pounding away at her. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead would’ve been a Three Star movie but I gotta take a half-star off for the gratuitous shots of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s tubby butt.