Picks and Pans Review: Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

updated 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/05/2007 AT 01:00 AM EST

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei | R |

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An older brother (Hoffman), seemingly prosperous but with a heroin habit that's draining his wallet, proposes to his ne'er-do-well younger bro (Hawke) that they rob a jewelry store. What happens next—and its tragic consequences and reverberations—is the subject of this beautifully acted film that's as much a psychological character study as a crime drama. Director Sidney Lumet, whose first film, 12 Angry Men, came out 50 years ago, is working here at the very tippy-top of his considerable game. Don't miss it.

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