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Franz Patrick's Movie Reviews (593)

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Before the Devil Knows You're Dead 
A Modern Greek Tragedy
3/4 stars

I thought the first part of the film was fascinating and its plot was as focused as it could be. But as the picture went on, I kind of grew tired of it. I guess it's because the whole jumping forward in time and back technique didn't work for me. Each scene, it made me want to think if certain events had happened already. I think it would've been more effective if the story was told in a linear manner. The acting is first-class--Philip Seymour Hoffman completely blew me away. As the movie went on, he grew increasingly crazy. Though his transformation made me laugh and feel uncomfortable at times, I stayed with him all the way. He made each scene he was in that much more special. Ethan Hawke was great as well. I felt bad for him because he played the moral conscience of the story even though he was bathed in sins. Watching this film reminded me of an old-fashioned Greek tragedy. Classic factors that make up such a tragedy were present: murder, sabotage, things not going as planned, envy, greed, hatred... I could go on. I mentioned that I grew tired of it around the last few minutes. I'm not saying that the last few acts were uninteresting... It's just that I knew what would eventually happen and I couldn't wait for them to get there. It's definitely a good film and well worth renting.


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