Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

Featured In Issue 132, June 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Image Entertainment
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A scene of strong graphic sexuality, nudity, violence
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Single Side, Single Layer (BD-25)
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Not Indicated
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(THX® Digitally Mastered):
Sidney Lumet
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Dolby Digital 5.1
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Andy (Hoffman) is an overextended payroll executive working for a real estate firm, but he believes he has found the solution to his monetary woes. Andy hatches a plan to rob a mom-and-pop jewelry store in suburban New York, enlisting his younger brother Hank (Hawke) to aid him in the crime. The twist is that the store the brothers have targeted to rob belongs to their elderly parents. When the robbery is botched, the patricarch of the family, Charles (Finney), pursues the robbers at all costs, vowing to make them pray they are in heaven an hour "Before The Devil Knows You're Dead." (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include a feature commentary track by cast and crew, a 24-minute making-of featurette, the original theatrical trailer, and previews.

The anamorphically enhanced 1.82:1 DVD shows a somewhat hazy image, with elevated black levels and a general flattening of the apparent dimensionality. Outdoor contrast can be too hot, with whites looking blown out. Fleshtones generally look natural, although there are times when they can look overly pale. Shadow delineation is somewhat lacking, and while compression artifacts aren't overly apparent, the image can look overly digitized, and moiré patterns can be distracting. Edge enhancement is relatively minor, but it can also be a distraction. The Blu-ray Disc can show good resolution, but whites still look blown out outdoors, and black levels are elevated too high. The result is an image that still looks flat. (Danny Richelieu)

The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack uses a broad front stage, especially for the well-mixed music, but surround envelopment is limited. Dialogue fidelity is good and is generally always intelligible. There are times when it can sound somewhat muffled though. Dynamic range is somewhat compressed, and the noise floor is relatively high. The soundtrack is very basic. The DTS-HD Master Audio™ encoding on the Blu-ray Disc features decent fidelity, although dialogue doesn't have the level of articulation that the better releases have. Noise and high-pitched ringing can still be audible at times. (Danny Richelieu)