What Doesn't Kill You

What Doesn't Kill You

DVD - 2009
Average Rating:
8
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Childhood friends Brian and Paulie do whatever it takes to survive in the dog-eat-dog neighborhood they live in. As they grow up they find themselves involved in organized crime and jail becomes part of doing business on the streets they call home. Brian uses his time in jail to get clean while Paulie makes plans for one last job that requires Brian's help. Brian must decide if he should stand by his friend or salvage his family.
Publisher: Culver City, Calif. : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, c2009.
ISBN: 9781435962705
1435962702
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4372/WHAT
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (100 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.

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j
jeffi22
Dec 14, 2013

Started slow but picked up and became enjoyable!

aaa5756 Oct 20, 2012

This movie was entertaining and interesting but not one of my favorite for this year. “Not too bad---good performance”. "I fast forwarded a lot but not all the way.”

voisjoe1 Aug 27, 2011

Mark Ruffalo's character was all over the map in this - petty gangster (who you never would want to confront), stupid addict, mixed up husband and father.

This movie showed me he could really act. And the story is real and directed by the real petty criminal.

d
docjnsuss
May 01, 2011

Bleak true story of booze, burglary and bad decisions that takes place in Southy, aka South Boston. Brian and Paulie are thick as thieves, literally, and pay a huge price for their life of crime. Ultimately Brian manages to salvage a somewhat meaningful life. Only a fine performance by Mark Ruffalo makes this worth watching.

p
PatrickT
Mar 18, 2010

Not bad but not particularly gripping or moving.

m
Michael
Oct 03, 2009

Liked it. Could have been better but - WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU - is still gripping enough by the sheer weight of some very skilled performances from Ethan Hawke, Amanda Peet, and especially Mark Ruffalo.
It's too bad fellow reviewer Geoff couldn't stomach the initial true-to-life violence in the early stages of this film, because this is a movie that actually got better as it went along.
Brian Goodman (who plays tough-guy boss, Pat Kelly) is both writer and debut-director of this film, and uses his own life criminal experiences on the streets and his for-real own stints in jail to craft a gritty stark and engrossing piece of cinema that details the desperate lives of south Boston's social underbelly.
I've always considered Mark Ruffalo an actor of modest means - both in talent and on-screen deportment. He always struck me as being too self-aware in most roles I saw him in, leading me to the conclusion that he would never rise above that acting impediment.
Well... he just blew me away in this film... not because his performance was overwhelmingly powerful - but because of the exact opposite - it was measured, subtle and subdued, building as it went from start to finish with punctuations of brilliance and sheer determination, to arrive at the sublime ending you got traces of reaching, as the movie went along. And he did it without a hint of self-consciousness.
In fact, I have to say that it's the best I've seen him in - even better than his work in ZODIAC, RESERVATION ROAD, and my previous two favourites: YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, and WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE.
It's definitely not everybody's cup of tea, but WHAT DOESN'T KILL YOU is authentic in its depiction of life on the streets in most American cities and the people who frequent them, trying to survive the violence and despair.
Believe me - there are dumber movies in OPL's arsenal of newly acquired DVDs that you could do worse in taking out! (Like: MADEA GOES TO JAIL / VINYAN / ROLE MODELS / STREET FIGHTER / THE FALL / CITY OF MEN / BLACK LEGION / INKHEART / ROCKNROLLA / BABYLON A.D / and the inane and superciliously tedious WATCHMEN!)

g
Geoff
Oct 01, 2009

We didn't get too far with this one. Just a lot of very violent fighting. Too boring to continue.

j
joseph
Jul 26, 2009

Good – What Doesn’t Kill You (2008) 100 min. Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke play two men trying to cope while mixing family life and a life of crime. Interesting story how the one used to support the other contradict each other with tragic outcomes. Ruffalo is getting better with each role showing range of a seasoned actor. The film demonstrates with conviction how society fails those that choose a life of crime after serving time for their crimes. Society fails to rehabilitate and thus the criminal is forced to choose a life of crime to survive. Well acted character study and well worth the time. Trivia: the film is based on director Brian Goodman’s early life, who incidentally plays the “mob boss” Pat Kelly in the picture!!!

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