In honor of the long holiday weekend, here's a special dysfunctional-family edition of my critic's picks.
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
3 1/2 stars
When a film’s title derives from an Irish toast that goes, in part, “May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead,” one can assume a certain level of cynicism about human nature. Such cynicism pervades this picture, with duplicity present, to some degree, in nearly every character. Most duplicitous, hands down, are two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) planning a robbery of their parents’ jewelry store.
Mom (Angelina Jolie) is devoted but a tad promiscuous. Dad thinks you’re a monster. Everybody drinks too much honey wine. Typical holiday.
Dan in Real Life
Widower Dan (Steve Carell) meets the woman of his dreams (Juliette Binoche), only to discover she is the girlfriend of his brother (Dane Cook). Talk about awkward. This beats having to comment on the cranberry sauce still shaped like a can.
The Darjeeling Limited
No matter how small your mother’s house begins to feel this weekend, just think: You could be sharing a cramped sleeping car with two neurotic siblings.