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Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead DVD Review

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Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead DVDBefore the Devil Knows You’re Dead was released on DVD on April 15th, so I’m a few days behind on my DVD review. The movie, as you probably don’t know, is about two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) who, after some rough times, decide to commit an armed robbery. Their target of choice? Their parents’ jewelry store.

As one might suspect, their robbery goes horribly wrong and the two find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game against the police, their consciences and even each other. Oh, and they’re both sleeping with the same woman (Marisa Tomei, who spends most of the movie walking around naked).

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is a pretty good movie. It’s a pretty decent crime thriller, with good performances and a good story. It’s unique in that it blends family drama with an increasingly dark crime story, though what it lacks is the big twists that really could have taken it to the next level. However, since this blog post is about the DVD and not about the movie itself, you can read my full Before the Devil movie review here.

The DVD, unfortunately, gives little reason to buy this good-but-not-great movie. While I would still recommend a rental, the DVD only offers three special features:

  • A theatrical commentary with Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman and director Sidney Lumet. I can imagine this commentary is quite good, but since I never listen to commentaries, I have not made the exception here.
  • A making-of featurette, which is about as interesting as watching a sack of coal get transformed into diamonds over a thousand years. It’s more promotional than anything else and really doesn’t offer much insight into the creation of the movie.
  • The theatrical trailer. Whoopdy-do!

The Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead DVD is really a lackluster product from ThinkFilm. Even though the movie was never really considered a wide release, I was expecting something a little more substantial in terms of a DVD package.

The movie is still worth it, but those looking for bonus features won’t be satisfied with this release.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: DVD Releases, Movie Reviews
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