Killing Them Softly

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 241
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  1. Oct 12, 2013
    4
    This gangster film would have to qualify as neo-noir with its dreamlike sequences, unprovoked violence, bizarre personalities, and absurd eroticism. In this post-Godfather landscape, gangsters are no longer romanticized, and they are no longer as sensitive, intelligent, and handsome as the young Al Pacino. A graphic realism prevails. Cinematic gangsters of the present are sociopaths; theyThis gangster film would have to qualify as neo-noir with its dreamlike sequences, unprovoked violence, bizarre personalities, and absurd eroticism. In this post-Godfather landscape, gangsters are no longer romanticized, and they are no longer as sensitive, intelligent, and handsome as the young Al Pacino. A graphic realism prevails. Cinematic gangsters of the present are sociopaths; they are undereducated and unrefined. And if one or two seem civilized in this film, it is only because they are cold-hearted businessmen who consider gangsterland to be some kind of a corporation, complete with profits, losses, and an executive board of directors. Expenses have to be approved, and so do murders that will do away with troublesome individuals.

    A few naive gangster types who are losers want to pull a heist where they rob a high-stakes card game played regularly by powerful gangster bosses. A previous holdup had been successfully held years earlier, later admitted to by one of the bosses who ran the games, and forgiven by his friends. The clever boys are presuming that if they rob the card players at a second heist, everyone will assume that the crime was carried out by the same boss who had bragged of his profitable caper years ago.

    Enter Brad Pitt as the greatest sociopath of them all, called in to solve the riddle of the robbery, which was pulled off as planned by the bottom-feeding bad boys. Pitt’s character, Jackie, is such a loner that he seems to exist in a vacuum. He has no family, no loyalties, and no lovers--indeed, no sexual needs--and he is simply there to do a job and collect his fee. He also has no personality. He is cruel and unforgiving, devising a plan where he will execute the two suspects as well as the respected boss who was set up to look like a suspect, simply because Jackie wants to tie up all the loose ends. He says he doesn’t like to get emotionally involved with his murders, an understatement since emotionally he acts like a robot, and he prefers to kill his victims “softly” and from a distance. Nevertheless, he then proceeds to do his shootings up close and personal, rapid firing into everybody’s head. This film has scenes that are so violent that it is unwatchable.

    Pitt’s acting talents are strained to their limits, because the ruthless and unemotional void in which Jackie exists is almost beastly and subhuman. Pitt’s range does not extend this far. The movie has artistic pretensions, and while Jackie goes about the business of subverting justice with vendettas, in the background are repeated radio and television broadcasts of Obama’s idealism and campaign promises of 2008. Presumably a stark contrast to this drugged, crazed, and violent underworld, the film’s message is juxtaposed in such unrelentingly harsh images that it becomes absurdly obscene.

    The ending is enigmatic, leaving off practically mid-sentence with no real resolution. Another attempt at cinematic artistry, the last scene falls flat with its misguided anti-patriotism. “America’s not a country; it’s just a business. Now f***ing pay me,” says Pitt’s character. The credits start rolling and we’ll never know if he got paid or not, nor do we care.
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  2. Dec 29, 2012
    5
    In summary : a below average crime-noir with some dark-comedy elements, and some not-so-subtle social criticism. I think the movie's plot (which was rather thick) was stretched to fill a 90 minutes movie, while in reality the movie would be much better as a short film, with around 60 minutes running time. I think the movie was overlong with unnecessary conversations between Brad Pitt's andIn summary : a below average crime-noir with some dark-comedy elements, and some not-so-subtle social criticism. I think the movie's plot (which was rather thick) was stretched to fill a 90 minutes movie, while in reality the movie would be much better as a short film, with around 60 minutes running time. I think the movie was overlong with unnecessary conversations between Brad Pitt's and James Gandolfini's character, The social criticism in the movie was straight to your face. I felt the director wanted to force his views on the viewer again and again on the most pretentious ways (on every television screen or radio people were watching or listening to the president and the candidate's speeches). The acting was good (especially Ben Mendelsohn). The camera works and CGI sometimes felt forced, like the director tried to be "modern" with the slo-motion scenes for example. I think a more "classic" visual approach would suit the rather simple story better. It certainly will not be my favourite movie this year. Expand
  3. Nov 30, 2012
    6
    It wouldn't be fair for me to give this a negative review, or even an average one. It was well constructed, and well acted. What got me to see this movie, as I was originally on the fence, was the fact that people were comparing it to Drive, one of my favorite movies of last year. Upon seeing it, I can understand the comparisons, but I don't agree. It is setup in a similar way to Drive.It wouldn't be fair for me to give this a negative review, or even an average one. It was well constructed, and well acted. What got me to see this movie, as I was originally on the fence, was the fact that people were comparing it to Drive, one of my favorite movies of last year. Upon seeing it, I can understand the comparisons, but I don't agree. It is setup in a similar way to Drive. It's a slow building, slow paced movie, with a few scenes that are sure to create excitement. I think if you just liked Drive out of sheer entertainment and nothing else, you might like this movie for the same reasons, although it is not as strong in that area as Drive. What it didn't have at all, which Drive did have, was brilliant character development, a thought provoking theme, and beautiful emotional power throughout. If that's the kind of thing you liked from Drive, I would say this movie doesn't cut it. We don't learn enough about the characters to care about them, and while the story line is somewhat entertaining, if you like movies that are a bit slow, it doesn't have a brilliant script artistically, and so if you were expecting this to be this powerful art house movie, you might be disappointed. I'd say overall, it's a movie well constructed to achieve entertainment only, and that's only if you don't mind the pacing. Expand
  4. Dec 4, 2012
    4
    The last film by writer/director Andrew Dominik was "The Assassination of Jesse James
  5. Dec 1, 2012
    5
    "Killing them softly", the words and title, refers not to the act of murder... and on that note... people who rated this movie poorly did so because they expected a typical mind-numbing action shooter and therefore didn't get the over-arching connections/themes. Regardless, the movie was alright but nothing to brag about. Plot revolves around a mafia group running a card game among all the"Killing them softly", the words and title, refers not to the act of murder... and on that note... people who rated this movie poorly did so because they expected a typical mind-numbing action shooter and therefore didn't get the over-arching connections/themes. Regardless, the movie was alright but nothing to brag about. Plot revolves around a mafia group running a card game among all the bosses. This then gets robbed which leads to the bosses hiring brad pitt to kill the people who robbed them. Plot moves very slowly but the film is built to be a drama/dark comedy with the over-arching theme of comparing it to the way America runs. Interesting take in my opinion and once you get the connection they are trying to make with the USA it's not half bad. The government is killing its citizens softly with its policies and, as Pitt says, we are not untied and do not work as one... you're on your own. It is a cool cult movie and definitely worth a watch if you have the intellect. But honestly it's probably only worth a rent. Expand
  6. Dec 31, 2012
    5
    After giving two excellent films last year (i.e. The Tree of Life, Moneyball), Brad Pitt decided to give a try to something different, something that is not so mainstream and hence he decided to do Killing Them Softly. Honestly, I didn't like the film that much, the performances are good, no doubt, but in a neo-noir crime film, I expect a little more than just good performances. It wouldAfter giving two excellent films last year (i.e. The Tree of Life, Moneyball), Brad Pitt decided to give a try to something different, something that is not so mainstream and hence he decided to do Killing Them Softly. Honestly, I didn't like the film that much, the performances are good, no doubt, but in a neo-noir crime film, I expect a little more than just good performances. It would have been a great film if there were any mysteries incorporated in film's plot, but sadly, there wasn't a single mystery, just a simple plot and a predictable outcome. The only reason I decided to watch this film was Brad Pitt. If you think of this movie considering only Pitt in mind, then this movie is okay. The best things about this film are those slow-motion scenes and the last five minutes when Barack Obama is making a speech on television. There is nothing new in this film, nothing you haven't seen before. Expand
  7. Feb 3, 2013
    6
    Thats alot of dialog............and not very good dialog at that. Good twisting I think of plot, but not very creative. The violence the title would indicate rarely reveals itself. When it does, it is a bit shocking which is what i thought the movie should have more of. Pitt seems to be playing the same character again and again
  8. Dec 2, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. KTS is a movie about dialogue not bullets. It spends a lot of time showing idle conversation trying to get you familiar with the characters. The only problem was I just did not find them very interesting. I felt like I was watching an episode of The Soprano's, just the only Soprano in the movie turned out to be a real douche. They spend 15 min of the movie trying to get you to hate him and then write him out of the rest of the movie instead of showing what would of been the most interesting part of the film. This whole film is them showing the boring parts of the story and leaving out the good parts. Expand
  9. Jan 19, 2014
    6
    Killing Them Softly is a slight yet interesting cruise through the world of mob hits that ultimately ends up feeling a bit pointless. The film is well acted but there are too many loose threads that seem either half formed or don't go anywhere. The film also lacks dramatic tension. But then again you have "America is not a country, it's a business. So f***ing pay me." Which is one of theKilling Them Softly is a slight yet interesting cruise through the world of mob hits that ultimately ends up feeling a bit pointless. The film is well acted but there are too many loose threads that seem either half formed or don't go anywhere. The film also lacks dramatic tension. But then again you have "America is not a country, it's a business. So f***ing pay me." Which is one of the most awesome movie quotes of the last few years. Expand
  10. Apr 26, 2013
    4
    This is a film that features great performances, most notably James Galdolfini and the very strange Ray Liotta. Killing Them Softly is dark, gritty and paints a harsh portrait of American criminal subcultures, metaphorically connecting this world to the world of capitalism and American politics. Despite its style, Killing Them Softly is a cynical, perhaps pretentious film that isThis is a film that features great performances, most notably James Galdolfini and the very strange Ray Liotta. Killing Them Softly is dark, gritty and paints a harsh portrait of American criminal subcultures, metaphorically connecting this world to the world of capitalism and American politics. Despite its style, Killing Them Softly is a cynical, perhaps pretentious film that is unpleasant to watch due to tedious dialogue and brutal violence that feels gratuitous and senseless. Ultimately, the movie lacked soul. Expand
  11. Oct 6, 2014
    5
    I really liked the trailer and story associated with the film Killing Them Softly, as it appeared to be an original idea in the genre of organized crime. Usually these films are all somewhat similar to The Godfather or Goodfellas, and while that's not a bad thing, I was really interested in seeing something a little different. Killing Them Softly starts out on the right foot, with a daringI really liked the trailer and story associated with the film Killing Them Softly, as it appeared to be an original idea in the genre of organized crime. Usually these films are all somewhat similar to The Godfather or Goodfellas, and while that's not a bad thing, I was really interested in seeing something a little different. Killing Them Softly starts out on the right foot, with a daring heist and a bunch of wiseguys left reeling. I was excited and thought this would be a terrific film, but as it continues it really slows down and the story dies right along with it. After a big mafia card game is robbed, the wiseguys want answers and turn to a man named Jackie (Brad Pitt), a problem solver who works under the radar to get the right answers to the right people. Almost as soon as the heist and fallout from it are over, the film goes from an Action Thriller to a painfully slow Drama. Killing Them Softly had all the makings of a great mob movie, the story, an intriguing leading character, and three guys who were in the Sopranos. The beginning was amazing and the ending was pretty good too, but for the hour and a half in the middle, nothing happens, and It was infuriating! We all know what a great actor Brad Pitt can be, especially in this type of role, but his talent is just completely wasted by a Writer who had a beginning, an ending, and no idea in between. Aside from Pitt, the rest of the cast only has brief appearance here and there, except for Scoot McNairy, who you may remember from the awful Science Fiction film, Monster. Since then he's turning up everywhere and I couldn't imagine why, until I saw him here. McNairy plays a good kid, who is caught in the middle, and just wants to survive. He goes through a range of emotions and from side to side as if he were a veteran well beyond his years. What a thrill it must have been for a young actor starting out to show up on the set and be surrounded by the likes of Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, and Ray Liotta! As for the film, the bottom line is this, it has a big cast we all know and love, with a few scenes that will really blow you away, but overall the story is severely lacking in content and just wastes the talent of it's performers. Expand
  12. May 28, 2013
    4
    This is a harsh and unapologetic depiction of American crime. It had potential, and it even had moments when that potential was realized, but ultimately Killing Them Softly failed to wow, and it left me saying, "meh."
  13. Mar 31, 2013
    6
    The plot of this film is a thin as piss on concrete, but the filmmakers wanted to put a subversive (well in the end they push it in your face) message in it: America is a country where every man has to fend for himself, and if the economy is going down the drain they'll just have to fend a little harder The events in this movie move along ever so slowly, but they keep your attentionThe plot of this film is a thin as piss on concrete, but the filmmakers wanted to put a subversive (well in the end they push it in your face) message in it: America is a country where every man has to fend for himself, and if the economy is going down the drain they'll just have to fend a little harder The events in this movie move along ever so slowly, but they keep your attention focused with the engaging acting. There are many scenes that seemingly serve no purpose, it's more like spending time with the characters. They were smart enough not to stretch it out longer than 97 mins, which is about the right length for this kind of film. Expand
  14. Jul 30, 2014
    6
    Killing Them Softly is a solid film, but certainly not a good film. The acting is very good here, especially from Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta. James Gandolfini is also particularly strong in this one. The direction from Andrew Dominik is very good and the violent sequences are very well directed and the effects put on the shots are very cool to look at. InKilling Them Softly is a solid film, but certainly not a good film. The acting is very good here, especially from Brad Pitt, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta. James Gandolfini is also particularly strong in this one. The direction from Andrew Dominik is very good and the violent sequences are very well directed and the effects put on the shots are very cool to look at. In addition, the political overtones are handled well and the message here is quite clear at the end: screw capitalism. However, beyond all that, the film struggles. The length is just perfect at 90 minutes, because I simply could not imagine it going on any longer. There is a ton of dialogue, but some of it is just honestly not relevant (a good chunk of the dialogue between Pitt and Gandolfini was spent on hookers, which is largely inconsequential and could have been shortened significantly). The dialogue that has more of an application to the film is interesting, well written, and well acted, but the repeated tangents on things that do not have a huge impact is annoying and, as I said, a waste of time. In addition, even with the plot being pretty intriguing, there is just not much going on here. You get what you get and there is not much you are receiving, which is a bummer for sure. Overall, I was not expecting a ton and I did not get a ton either. The acting is great and the direction very good, but I just wish there was something else I could cling onto for this one. Expand
  15. Feb 9, 2013
    6
    The starting 25 minutes were mesmerizing. Sadly, it turned out to be just a revenge flick. It could have been so much more if they had actually tried to develop the characters before offing them one at a time.
  16. May 23, 2013
    6
    Usually I love crime films but not this time. It seems poorly written with little dialogue referring to the actual plot. The Russell and Frankie characters drift in and out of horribly faked accents. The plot could have used some serious work. Don't waste money on this movie.
  17. Jan 29, 2013
    5
    The characters who die in "Killing them Softly" are ironically or not, not killed softly at all. In fact quite the opposite. Writer-director Andrew Dominik shoots these scenes in the noisiest way possible, employing graphic visuals, super slow motion executions, and shots ringing out so realistically loud-as if you were next to someone with a gun going off at point blank range, strainingThe characters who die in "Killing them Softly" are ironically or not, not killed softly at all. In fact quite the opposite. Writer-director Andrew Dominik shoots these scenes in the noisiest way possible, employing graphic visuals, super slow motion executions, and shots ringing out so realistically loud-as if you were next to someone with a gun going off at point blank range, straining your eardrums. Organized crime in America is troubled, just like the rest of the economy with a business slowdown and a growing recession. The film seems to be trying--and failing-- to draw parallels between events unfolding in the film's forefront and the running background narrative of the 2008 financial meltdown and presidential election. Perhaps if the primary narrative were more coherently developed those parallels would be easier to understand. The plot of "Killing Them Softly" is bare, and straight forward. Three amateurs stickup a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. A genial guy named Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) operates high-stakes poker games for the mob. One night the game is hit by two hooded stick-up men, who make off with a big pile of mob money. This in itself is suspicious, because it looks like an inside job, because who is crazy enough to attempt this brazen act. A high-level mob boss named Mickey (James Gandolfini) arrives in town and orders the executions of the amateurs by a hit man named Jackie (Brad Pitt), who likes to kill softly and briefly explains why. These are the first two of many, many mob-on-mob killings in the film. "Killing Them Softly" continues as a dismal, dreary series of cruel and painful murders, mostly by men who know one another, in a barren city where it's usually night and almost always raining. There is one female character in the film, a hooker employed by Mickey, who is the only mobster not exclusively obsessed with crime or money. As the body count grows, we meet Driver (Richard Jenkins), a gravel-voiced chief executive who appears often behind the wheel of a car parked in the wastelands beneath bridges. Fine cinematography continues to be one of the hallmarks of Andrew Dominik, but here we feel short changed at its abrupt ending that didn't go anywhere. It did its job in bringing current proceedings to a close, yet opening another door that left it hanging like an unfinished job. "Killing Them Softly" is a curiously dead movie (pun not intended). It never really gets off the ground and is strangely flat in spite of a generally excellent cast and a premise brimming with tough guy possibilities. Expand
  18. Feb 10, 2013
    6
    This was no "Chopper".

    I had high expectations, Read a glowing, two page review in The Boston Globe. Love dark, cynical crime films. Would watch Brad Pitt all day, every day. It had its moments. Cinematography was great. Richard Jenkins understated and perfect per usual. Based on a great book. It just didn't work. Too much time spent on Gandolfini's Mickey breaking down. Way,
    This was no "Chopper".

    I had high expectations, Read a glowing, two page review in The Boston Globe. Love dark, cynical crime films. Would watch Brad Pitt all day, every day. It had its moments. Cinematography was great. Richard Jenkins understated and perfect per usual. Based on a great book.

    It just didn't work. Too much time spent on Gandolfini's Mickey breaking down. Way, way too much political posturing. Extremely disconcerting to know that it was supposed to be set in Boston, but could see easily that it wasn't. Pitt is such a fine actor and he wasn't given enough to work with. Best moment, best line at the very end. Really good ending. Made me smile. Wish the whole film felt like the ending.
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  19. Jan 25, 2013
    4
    Killing Them Softly assembles a first-rate cast and is consistently potent in its style, but its writing and direction is where it encounters its gravest problems. We have the likes of Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, and Scoot McNairy, along with director Andrew Dominik of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, which leads one to believe thatKilling Them Softly assembles a first-rate cast and is consistently potent in its style, but its writing and direction is where it encounters its gravest problems. We have the likes of Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, and Scoot McNairy, along with director Andrew Dominik of The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford, which leads one to believe that we have a strong and viable mob drama on our hands. Unfortunately, we have a rather tedious, disappointing excursion awaiting us as we see that the product is combined of outdated mobster morals and lukewarm potboiler drama between its morosely captured characters.

    We open the movie with mobster Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) attempting to convince his boss to hire a lowlife junkie named Frankie (Scoot McNairy) to pull off an operation involving the holdup of an illegal poker game. With much hesitation, the boss allows Russell and Frankie to pull off the holdup, and the film follows up with a long, dry robbery which is held in a concise building where a number of men in suits have gathered to exchange words, drinks, and hands, all run by crime boss Markie (Ray Liotta). Not long ago, Markie silently staged to have his own poker game robbed and kept quiet about it for a period of time, until openly releasing his involvement over a night of drinks. The gang allowed him one pass, but the next robbery, the one the film opens with, will be counted as Markie's fault and his involvement will be assumed from the get-go.

    After this robbery, Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt), a local hitman, is hired to restore all mob order. He is brought in by Driver (Richard Jenkins), who tells him that Markie must be taught a lesson. Jackie's idea of being "taught a lesson" is having him whacked not because of his guilt or involvement, but so confidence and loyalty can be restored among its members. Jackie later informs people like Driver and Mickey (James Gandolfini) that he enjoys killing his victims softly, avoiding any last minute pleading, weeping, begging, or negotiating. He prefers shooting from a distance, so all feeling is omitted but all pride is obtained.

    So one could say the basic plot is a hitman is hired to kill a mob member who has been shortchanging loyalty. I suppose, but at numerous points in this picture did I need to remind myself of that. Killing Them Softly stages numerous sets of dialog, lasting anywhere from a couple minutes to scenes like the opening heist that go on for roughly eight. Certain monologues and characters could've easily been left out, such as Gandolfini's Mickey, whose dialog exchanged with Jackie in his hotel room shows off nothing but his misogyny and his ability to give hookers foul and rancid sex tips.

    One thing that Dominik attempts to concoct throughout the film, but doesn't adhere to it until the final monologue of the film is the idea that "America isn't a country; it's a business," talking about every man for themselves, that we work individually not as a community, and all of us should function as anti-corporate individuals. I have no problem with that ideology or the polar opposite one being portrayed in a film, but it's the treatment that fails it for me. This is pretty generic formula that was well alive in films like Goodfellas and even so far back as The Godfather; two pictures that chew up and spit this one out. Throughout the film we see scenes punctuated with news stations or billboards showing former president George W. Bush, 2008 Republican nominee John McCain, or current president Barack Obama either reminding us that America is in consistent turmoil or that our financial future will be restored under their presidency. The purpose of these clips is not announced until the final scene in the film, and never do we get a solid character opinion on the political system in America; which is odd considering we are bombarded with boring, irrelevant banter from mobster archetypes for roughly one hundred minutes.

    Killing Them Softly wants to showcase award-winning, renowned actors in a mob thriller. It also wants to show us how American politics have falsely and artificially reminded us we are united as one, when we all work with very different agendas. And it wants to show the sporadic conversations that can derail off course easily and never fully regain or pick up any traction. The point is I get it. I get what the film was trying to pull off. My problem is that it undermines the talent involved, and takes a simple, sufficient idea and makes it a lot preachier than need be, acts as if it's trying something new, and then gives us the atmosphere of the seventies, with grit and old-fashioned cars, but nudging it to fit current, rough, uncertain times.
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  20. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    Having not been privy to an advanced screening of the film, I suspect that many of my thoughts on Killing Them Softly may be redundant. However, I solemnly pledge that I have read not a single review of the film as of this writing.

    In trailers for the film, Killing Them Softly was portrayed as a boiler plate mob flick casting Brad Pitt in the lead as a grim reaper type of character
    Having not been privy to an advanced screening of the film, I suspect that many of my thoughts on Killing Them Softly may be redundant. However, I solemnly pledge that I have read not a single review of the film as of this writing.

    In trailers for the film, Killing Them Softly was portrayed as a boiler plate mob flick casting Brad Pitt in the lead as a grim reaper type of character (reference Johnny Cash's song in the official trailer). The film fails to convince us of what it is and comes across served as half baked.

    Maybe the greatest misdeed of the film is the elegant brilliance of James Gandolfini's obvious, yet subtle, troll. His appearance is epic, with ambient sound off and film slowed, as if some writer thought, "Hot damn! And in off the plane walks none other than f'n Tony Soprano, scratch that, James Gandolfini, and you just know that, the just got real." The embrace with Brad Pitt's character, Jackie Cogan, eludes to some sort of father-son kinship, only to remain unexplained, and the droning at the bar is merely sleight of hand, to distract us from the trolling taking place before our eyes. The final act of Gandolfini is the hotel room. References to a prong and the skin under the eyelids yield the conclusive data for this year's best silver screen troll. .

    Pitt's mannerisms are so repetitive from one film to another it's difficult to suspend disbelief. Am I watching Brad Pitt play a producer play a mob hitman? Is this Billy Beane's alter ego? Or, am I watching Brad Pitt play Rusty Ryan playing a mob hitman? In the final scene the facade is gone and the viewers get a dose of politics as Pitt, or Cogan, if you wish, waxes eloquent on America as a business and Jeffersonian nuances. Cogan is apparently read up on his Howard Zinn. How remarkable.

    As for Cogan, we have no bearing on his affections. He seems like he just wants to put it all behind him, or get the movie over with already. There is nothing a viewer can attribute his coolness in the face of callous murder to. Is he so chipper, easygoing, and collected in his scenes with the counselor because he knows the end of the film? He doesn't come across as psychopathic so what gives? Where are his demons? The film leaves you unfulfilled on this point. Gandolfini, however, plays it straight. Here's a guy who's banged up inside and turns to drink and hookers for his panacea. Typical human behavior for a life of hard knocks. Put Cogan up against Liotta's character in Goodfellas, or Billy Costigan in The Departed. Both come up as men who are staggering through their lives. Not so Jackie Cogan. It rings hollow.

    Pitt is rehashing himself. Same sultry swagger, impeccable tailoring, and jaw-half-open pondering of what happens next. One is left thinking that the film was rushed to fit World War Z into the actor's schedule.

    This writer's best guess is that studios have been notified that Mr. Pitt will only be taking roles in which he does not have to cut his hair. That is the only way this movie makes sense.

    4/10 for effort on the part of the supporting cast and mercy on Ray Liotta.
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  21. May 22, 2013
    5
    Despite the masterful performances from Pitt & Gandolfini it misses with its political theme in this dialogue driven, but brutal mob crime drama. -MN
  22. Mar 19, 2014
    5
    Killing Them Softly starts out great, with an interesting plot, sharp dialogue, and gritty cinematography. But around the middle parts, the movie starts drifting until it's completely off course and starts to get "all talk" and "no play". From there, the movie turns into James Gandolfini talking about his cheating wife and how many hookers he's had, and the movie gets tedious.
  23. Sep 25, 2013
    6
    Strong performances from the lead characters, the pity is the story is quite dull and has been seen all before. Entertaining, but feels more like an expensive made for TV movie.
  24. Apr 1, 2014
    6
    Little disappointing. More action expected. At the end it´s pure negotiation. Simple story, surrounding the death of two people. Good acting, not much to see
  25. Jun 7, 2014
    6
    Starts off being very captivating and trendy but slowly becomes less exciting and duller as the film progresses. Some of the humour is brilliant in the first half of the film. Ben Mendelsohn stole the show for me with his hilarious ozzy hell bent performance.
  26. Oct 13, 2014
    6
    An average crime movie. Some big name actors from the crime drama genre. They do a good job. But the writing is pretty terrible, and the dialogue reveals this. There is a diatribe from Brad Pitt's character about Thomas Jefferson, The American Revolution, etc. that was kind of goofy. Whoever wrote the dialogue doesn't know history very well. Tax evasion was not a predominant thingAn average crime movie. Some big name actors from the crime drama genre. They do a good job. But the writing is pretty terrible, and the dialogue reveals this. There is a diatribe from Brad Pitt's character about Thomas Jefferson, The American Revolution, etc. that was kind of goofy. Whoever wrote the dialogue doesn't know history very well. Tax evasion was not a predominant thing on the minds of the U.S. Founding fathers. They were just fronting on that. People that study their history know that the British had given many concessions and taxation was not bad at all. Definitely not by today's standards. If their motivation was money (and to copulate with their slaves while drinking wine) then many of them got a rude awakening. Many prominent revolutionaries went broke. And probably all would have been financially better-off with no revolution. Because war is expensive and bad for business. I don't know why movie writers inject goofy political commentary into their movies. Especially when they mess with history. It often, as with this movie, shows their ignorance. Expand
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Nov 30, 2012
    40
    The film is ultimately done in by Dominik's bursts of directorial grandiosity.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 30, 2012
    80
    This is a deliberately chilly and nerve-wracking experience, and one of the bleakest portraits of American society seen on-screen in the last several decades.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 30, 2012
    83
    The dialogue is sharp and so are the performances. Andrew Dominik directed this neo-noir in a low-key comic style that's alternately gritty and fancy. The gritty stuff is best.