Yesterday PJ and I saw Sidney Lumet’s new film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, and Marisa Tomei. Here’s the trailer:

BtDKYD is about two brothers who are both in dire financial straits. Hoffman’s Andy is a drug addict who’s been stealing from his corporate account in order to finance his lifestyle and habit. Hawke’s Hank is Andy’s younger, ne’er do well brother who owes three months of child support to his ex-wife. Andy figures out a way to solve all of their problems: they just need to knock off their parents’ suburban jewelry store, which he argues will be a victimless crime due to their parents’ insurance. Not surprisingly, the heist goes terribly wrong, sending the lives of all of the characters into a chaos.

Let’s start with what I like about this movie: Albert Finney, who plays the two men’s domineering father. He plays the most complex character in the movie. His role is really limited to two substantive scenes, but he’s brilliant in both. His character also has the widest emotional arc, despite the limited screen time. He’s really great in this role.

(more…)