May You Be In Heaven A Full Half Hour

Years back I was a movie fanatic. I saw everything. (Well, it helped of course that I worked at a movie theater.) Recently though I hardly see a movie in the theaters, and when I do it seems to be every other month.

Movies have become expensive, sure, but it's not a money issue so much as a time issue.

I just don't really have the time to see movies, what with work and life and writing and everything else because, let's face it, most of the stuff that Hollywood churns out these days amount to a big pile of doo-doo.

The good movies -- the really great movies -- seem to be the ones done independently and, if they're lucky, eventually get distributed by a major studio.

Now I'm not going to bore you with a diatribe about the movie industry (though I could); no, what I want to tell you about is a movie I saw recently, picked up at my local library, that, in my opinion, is one of the best movies I've seen this year.

Released in 2007, directed by Academy Award winner Sidney Lumet, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead tells the story of two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke, both who do an amazing job in their given roles) down on their luck and in need of money. Fast money. So they decide to rob a jewelry store, a small mom-and-pop outfit located in a strip mall, a place they know very well because -- and here's the twist -- it's owned by their parents.

I don't want to give too much away except to say that, as you can imagine, the robbery doesn't go according to plan and everything from that point on spirals out of control. What's more, the film is shot in the style of Reservoir Dogs, skipping around with time and POV that really does keep you riveted to your seat.

And yes, because I know you're wondering, Marisa Tomei is in the movie and yes, she does get naked. Twice.

If that's extra incentive, good. If not, get over it, because you must -- I repeat must -- see this movie. Like, right now.