Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawk bring their A-game to this wonderful caper/character piece by veteran Director Lumet. Cut together in a masterful back-and-forth of time, slipping in and out of chronological order in a way that never feels forced or precious, this is a wonderful example to younger filmmakers about how tastefully such fragmented structure can be presented.

As a planned robbery of their parents’ jewelry store goes horribly awry, the two bothers are forced to find a way to come to terms with the events of their own creation. Albert Finney’s role as the father is a bit overwrought, but Marissa Tomei is note perfect, with one of the finer onscreen introductions in recent memory. Besides the eroticism of her entrance, she’s captivating and tough as hell throughout, a fine performance from this actor that’s often dismissed as a one hit, one oscar actor.

There’s a steadiness to the telling that is refreshing, a competence of the entire production that belies the capable direction of Lumet. There’s a terrific freshness about what superficially seems to be old hat, an old school, 70s style film that’s miles ahead of much cheaper imitators.