Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
is a 2007 Psychological Thriller
directed by Sidney Lumet
in his last film, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman
, Ethan Hawke
, Marisa Tomei
, Albert Finney
, Rosemary Harris
and Amy Ryan
, scored by Carter Burwell
Before The Devil Knows You're Dead provides examples of the following tropes:
- Downer Ending: Andy and Hank's mother is dead, Andy murders three people, Charles smothers Andy to death with a pillow, and everybody who's still alive is facing a bleak, meaningless existence for the rest of their lives. Further, it's pointed out in the commentary that Hank has the money, but will probably blow it all on drink.
- Fake American: Brit Albert Finney plays Hank and Andy's father.
- Idiosyncratic Wipes
- IKEA Erotica: The opening sex scene is played with such passionless blandness that it's almost painful. Arguably a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, though, as it's utilized to offer a window into Andy's psyche rather than simply being boring.
- Plethora of Mistakes
- R-Rated Opening: The opening shot is a sex scene between Marisa Tomei and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
- Shout Out: "Did you touch anything?" "I don't think so." "You don't THINK SO?" very closely echoes a similar conversation in Lumet's Family Business.
- Siblings in Crime: Hank and Andy scheme the robbery together, but not the actual execution as Andy fears he might be recognized.
- A Simple Plan: Robbing your parent's store, attended by a harmless elderly woman. A victimless crime because insurance will fully compensate their parents for the stolen items.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: It's about as far from idealism as you can get and still be considered realist.
- Stealing from the Till: Andy sets everything in motion because he faces an upcoming audit that will reveal his having embezzled from his employer.
- Tragedy: The happiest it ever gets is when Hank and Andy first hatch the scheme to rob their parents' jewelry store.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Man, if Hank had only stuck to the plan...
- He'd have been shot by his own mother.
- Tragic Mistake: In the overall scheme of things, the robbery, and within that, brigning in Bobby Lasorda to do the actual robbery.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Andy and Gina. Strangely, she's the insecure one in need of his assurance that he loves her. And with good reason, as he's so pre-occupied with his problems that he's completely oblivious to how unhappy she is—and that she's having an affair with his brother.
- Villain Protagonist: Andy and Hank.
- Your Cheating Heart: Gina cheats on Andy with Hank.