© 2022 WYPR
20th Anniversary Background
WYPR 88.1 FM Baltimore WYPF 88.1 FM Frederick WYPO 106.9 FM Ocean City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

When the Devil You Know Turns Out to be Family

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, a robbery thriller directed by Sidney Lumet, is perfectly weighted and expertly crafted.

It's a crime-and-punishment story starring Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman as brothers who are desperately in debt; when Hoffman's character talks Hawke's into a scheme to alleviate the cash crunch, events go from very bad to even worse — to as grotesquely awful as possible.

Under Lumet's sympathetic direction, the brothers' anguish gets into the viewer's bloodstream, and the movie transcends melodrama.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.