What Doesn't Kill You

What Doesn't Kill You

Brian Goodman (2008)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This tough blue-collar crime story stars Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke as two late-30s errand boys for a Boston kingpin (played by debutant director and co-screenwriter Brian Goodman). Life is passing them by, but the two men, close friends since childhood, have different ideas of how to break free from the seedy underworld and get their pursuit of the American Dream back on track. The plot and down-at-heel mood, even the title, could have been lifted straight from a Bruce Springsteen song and has much in common with the work of Boston author Dennis Lehane, whose work has provided the source for films like Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, although Goodman's tale is less complicated and more formulaic. Both leads impress as ageing hoodlums trapped in a bleak situation with no real future, and Ruffalo's intense performance, in particular, is convincingly nuanced.


Premiere. Two childhood friends become criminals in the employ of a Boston mobster, leading one to develop a drug habit that nearly costs him his wife and children. After a spell in prison, he resolves to make a fresh start as a devoted family man, but his friend tempts him with the promise of an armoured car robbery. Crime drama, starring Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke and Amanda Peet.

Cast & Crew

Brian Reilly Mark Ruffalo
Paulie McDougan Ethan Hawke
Stacy Reilly Amanda Peet
Sully Will Lyman
Pat Kelly Brian Goodman
Detective Moran Donnie Wahlberg
Hogie Lenny Clarke
Katie Angela Featherstone
Director Brian Goodman
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Violence, swearing, drug abuseAvailable on: DVD and Blu-ray