What Doesn't Kill You

September 10th, 2009


What Doesn't Kill You

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Still of Amanda Peet and Mark Ruffalo in What Doesn't Kill YouStill of Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo in What Doesn't Kill YouStill of Brian Goodman and Mark Ruffalo in What Doesn't Kill YouStill of Mark Ruffalo in What Doesn't Kill YouStill of Ethan Hawke, Brian Goodman and Mark Ruffalo in What Doesn't Kill YouStill of Brian Goodman in What Doesn't Kill You

Two childhood friends from South Boston turn to crime as a way to get by, ultimately causing a strain in their personal lives and their friendship.

Release Year: 2008

Rating: 6.6/10 (6,273 voted)

Critic's Score: 71/100

Director: Brian Goodman

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, Brian Goodman

An armored car is robbed by three men. A passing police officer and one of the robbers exchange fire. The robber is Paulie. In a flashback we follow him and his closest friend, Brian, as they grow up together in South Boston. They're tough guys, thugs, doing jobs for the local boss and chaffing to do more. Paulie's the leader. Brian drinks too much and free bases, ignoring his wife and two young boys. Life-changing events lead him to try to go straight, look for work, take what comes his way, and go to A.A. meetings. He struggles. Paulie shows him the plans for the armored car job. Will they do it? "I am who I am," Brian tells his wife. Is crime his only skill?

Writers: Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Goodman

Mark Ruffalo - Brian Reilly
Ethan Hawke - Paulie McDougan
Amanda Peet - Stacy Reilly
Will Lyman - Sully
Brian Goodman - Pat Kelly
Donnie Wahlberg - Detective Moran
Angela Featherstone - Katie
Edward Lynch - Jackie
Michael Yebba - Roundman / Old Lady
Brian Connolly - Sean
Nathaniel Smyth - Mark (5 Years Old)
Oscar Wahlberg - Mark (10 Years Old)
Thomas Regan - Young Paulie
Jean-Pierre Serret - Young Brian (as Jean Pierre 'JP' Serret)
George Khoury - Delivery Man

Taglines: They didn't choose a life of crime. They came from it.


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 10 September 2009

Filming Locations: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The movie is based on Brian Goodman's own life up to the mid 1990s.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the scene where they were scoping out the armored truck, they start the car to follow it. However, we can see the car start rolling forward before we hear the ignition is turned and put in gear.

Paulie McDougan: We gotta be sharp on this one.

User Review

Based On A True Story....

Rating: 8/10

...normally indicates that the film you are about to watch is almost unbelievable - this film is an exception to the rule.

Like The Departed and Gone Baby Gone, What Doesn't Kill You is an engrossing, gritty, sharply written and well-acted drama set on the mean streets of South Boston, which, by the number of movies being set there, is fast becoming as notorious as the bronx.

What Doesn't Kill You has to be the film that will catapult Mark Ruffalo into the big time, his performance is sublime, he plays a character that stirs a number of emotions from inside - easily the star of this gritty, intense tale of two dysfunctional friends.


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