Straight out of the "best-laid plans" school of film noir, Sidney Lumet's no-frills, late-career entry into the genre is as dark, fatalistic and hard-bitten as the real deal.
It all begins with a simple plot, a theoretically victimless crime in which no one could possibly get hurt. And the motive, as always, is money. Payroll manager Andy Hanson (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his brother Hank (a surprisingly good Ethan Hawke) work for the same Manhattan real-estate firm, and it's probably only through Andy's beneficence that Hank has a job at all. Hank is a classic screwup: divorced, three months behind on his child-support payments, and up to his ears in deb...