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THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (2022)

"Surprisingly Riveting and"

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What You Need To Know:

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a crime drama involving a middle-class black family in San Diego. Marcus is a recovering alcoholic trying to get his life back on track after prison because a man suffered a brain aneurysm several months after Marcus punched him. He’s looking forward to starting a bus driving job and hopes to redeem his life, with his family’s love and support. However, he learns that one of his three brothers may be involved with two criminals implicated in the brutal murder of two white parents. Marcus tries to do the right thing by outing the two criminals, but his efforts backfire.

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a riveting, well-acted drama about a man faced with some difficult moral and social dilemmas. The movie brings up many serious moral issues about family, rampant crime and the interaction between police and the black community, without being politically correct. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW also contains some positive Christian, biblical content. However, it’s marred by many strong obscenities and four strong profanities. There’s also some intense violence with blood. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

Content:

(B, CC, FR, LLL, VV, S, AA, MM):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light moral, pro-family worldview about doing the right thing and have strong family ties, with some overt Christian, biblical content as the lead male character’s brother, an associate pastor, is vocal about his Christian faith and delivers a sermon about God’s love and family, and there’s a reference to the story of Cain and Abel, focusing on Genesis 4:8 and 9, but there’s some ambiguity at the end that undermines the movie’s theme about trying to do the right thing and inserts a note of moral relativism and antinomianism into the story

Foul Language:
125 obscenities (many “s” and “f” words), four GD profanities and one light profanity

Violence:
Strong, sometimes bloody violence includes an image of a dead woman with a bullet in her cheek, two men beat up a man, but he grabs their gun and stops them and warns them before he leaves, man shoots two men, and a man is stabbed, and blood is seen on the front of his gray sweatshirt

Sex:
No sex scenes, but an adult woman stays overnight at her boyfriend’s house, and he eventually gives her a key to his place

Nudity:
None

Alcohol Use:
Alcohol use, one man gets drunk during a family get together and has to be driven home, and the lead male character is a recovering alcoholic who falls off the wagon at one point, but it’s only a temporary setback for him

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs, but there’s a reference to a “crackhead” in the neighborhood suspected of selling what may have been stolen goods, but it turns out to be an invented character and a lie; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Home invasion, lying, family conflict.

More Detail:

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a crime drama about a reformed black criminal and recovering alcoholic who’s troubled when he learns his brother was involved somehow in the brutal murder of two white parents in the suburbs of San Diego. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a riveting, well-acted drama about a man faced with some difficult moral and social dilemmas and contains some overt Christian themes and messages, but the movie is marred by lots of strong foul language and some strong violence.

The movie opens with three masked men entering a suburban home at night, where they confront a white man and his teenage son. Cut to the next morning. Joe, a black homicide detective, gets the case. The two parents were murdered, and the teenage son is seriously injured and in a coma.

Cut to the Cowan family home. The Cowans are having a family get together. The parents have four sons, Drew, Terry, Anthony, and Marcus, but Marcus, the lone wolf of the family, isn’t there, and they don’t know if he’s going to come. Cut to Marcus sitting in an AA group meeting. Marcus, who was sent to prison for manslaughter after a man he punched died several months later of a brain aneurysm, tells the other people he’s looking forward to a city bus job that his father managed to get him.

Marcus eventually shows up at the family party, where he’s introduced to Eva, a beautiful nurse who works with one of his two sisters-in-law. Though it’s an obvious blind date, the two begin to hit it off after dinner, and Marcus gets Eva’s number.

At the end of the party, one of the brothers, Drew, is too drunk to drive, so Marcus drives him home. Inside, Marcus learns that Drew has been out of work for several months and that Drew’s girlfriend left him. Marcus also notices a fancy album of expensive baseball cards. Drew tells Marcus that Stacy, the owner of a local barbershop, gave him the album for safe keeping. He says Stacy told him a crack junkie gave Stacy the album to pay off some debts. Marcus warns Drew he shouldn’t trust Stacy, because of Stacy’s notorious reputation.

Three months later, Marcus and Eva have established a strong romantic relationship. She often stays overnight at his place. Also, Marcus’ new bus driving job is going well. While watching TV one morning, Marcus learns that the teenage son of the murdered white couple has woken from his coma and recovered. The boy tells the reporter he cherishes the times he and his father spent looking at an album of old baseball cards, which were stolen by the three men who murdered the boy’s parents. The album cover looks just like the one Drew had at his house when Marcus drove him home three months ago.

Marcus confronts Drew and tells him to report the baseball cards and Stacy to the police. However, Drew reminds Marcus that Stacy is sure to have Drew killed if he does that. Also, Stacy has a volatile criminal friend named Al, who’s capable of anything.

Marcus reluctantly agrees, but the case of the murdered white people and their orphaned son bothers his conscience. So, he buys a burner phone and makes an anonymous tip to the police about Stacy and Al, leaving Drew’s involvement out of it.

Regrettably, the tip to the police opens up a can of worms. When Joe, the detective on the case from the beginning, interrogates Stacy and Al, they claim they were out drinking with Drew the night of the home invasion robbery and murders. The only address Joe has for Drew is his parents’ house. So, he drops by the house to pick up Drew for questioning, but the arrest so upsets the father that he suffers a mild heart attack.

Eventually, Drew, Stacy and Al are released for lack of evidence. However, Stacy and Al are angry with Drew and suspicious that he’s the one who tipped off the police, or that he must have told someone about the stolen baseball cards.

The whole affair opens a rift between Drew and Marcus. When Eva learns about the baseball cards and Marcus tipping off the cops, it causes a rift in their relationship. Both of Eva’s brothers were killed because of crime. One was accidentally killed by criminals, and the other died after pulling a weapon on police.

The fallout from this situation keeps getting worse for Marcus and his family.

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a captivating, well-acted crime drama. Marcus, who’s played by Omar Epps, is a sympathetic character. He trusts his brother, Drew, but he’s clearly disappointed when he first hears that Drew has been hanging around lowlifes like Stacy and Al. The movie brings up many serious moral issues about family, rampant crime and the interaction between police and the black community, without being politically correct. In one scene, the homicide detective, who’s not yet 50, tells Marcus that he’s retiring because he’s tired of seeing young black men ending up dead crime victims or pointing a gun at police. In other scenes, Marcus’ younger brother, Terry, is vocal about his Christian faith. Terry’s brothers at one point tease him about being a little long-winded, but their father gently chastises them. In another scene, Terry, as associate pastor of the family’s church, gives a beautiful short sermon about the importance of faith and family and the nature of God’s love. Also, the movie ends with references to the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4:8 and 9, including a reference to the phrase about being your “brother’s keeper.”

All that said, THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is marred by lots of strong foul language. It also has some strong violence. For example, there’s a bloody image of a bullet in the murdered white woman’s cheek. In other scenes, two people are shot dead, a man is stabbed in the stomach, and two men beat up one man, who manages to grab their gun and stopping them from killing him. Also, in the church scene, a female pastor introduces the brother before he delivers his sermon. Finally, the movie ends on a slightly ambiguous note. The ending appears to be designed to provoke further thought in viewers after they leave the theater. There’s nothing inherently wrong in doing this, but the effort here undermines the movie’s theme about trying to do the right thing. It inserts a note of moral relativism and antinomianism into the story.

At any rate, however, the objectionable content, particularly the foul language, in THE DEVIL YOU KNOW warrants extreme caution. It should also be noted that, although the movie has no sex scenes or nudity, Marcus and his girlfriend are sleeping together. In addition, the situation with his brother causes Marcus to fall off the wagon, but it’s only a temporary setback for him.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.