User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 226 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 226

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  1. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    Like Glen-Garry Glen Ross? Same brutal portrait of human scum same mamet-like dialog. Same great acting by all participants. Otherwise, stay away because it is like a REAL depressing tale of human frailties greed, stupidity, arrogance, etc. Also, don't think the city is New Orleans. Cold weather northeastern city Boston perhaps. The protaganists are wearing overcoats and appear to be freezing to death at times. Expand
  2. Nov 16, 2013
    10
    10 out of 10 stars. One amazing movie and I was blown away. If you are smart you will get this movie and understand its meaning. If you are dumb u will not like it. If u are dumb stay away.
  3. Aug 22, 2013
    9
    There is talk and preparation that comes before everything, the politics of it all, thats exactly what Killing Them Softly is about, its a real talkative film and one which needs to be followed with close attention, it knows how to grip and entice without being flashy and in your face, people expecting any different will be disappointed. There is a bleak and pessimistic, but perhaps real outlook on life when money is low and the whole world knows it, we have a crime film that involves a simple heist and how the ones who carried out said heist will be dealt with.
    But this opens up questions which the film confidently answers, who takes the fall for crimes, what are the repercussions of such acts, what if a hitman is familiar face to his target? These questions are all answered in very deep, humorous and very insightful conversations, with longer scenes to highlight the point being made. The cast includes Brad Pitt, playing his vintage cool guy persona with slicked back hair and leather jacket, while we also have the late James Gandolfini playing a raging alcoholic of a hitman who is on parole, but the surprising performance comes from Ben Mendelsohn, who plays a heroin-addicted robber, his performance can only be summed up with praise for his appearance, style and commitment to the character, who has seen better days.
    The underlying tone of the film is in lieu of the Presidential election of 2008, we have the various campaigns playing on TVs, radios and other outlets throughout the film, sometimes these background cues become louder than the actual moments in the film, a deliberate attempt to put across what the film is saying, that everyone is alone, and the film portrays unpredictably, lack of loyalty and every man for himself with the goal being a payoff. Its an excellently shot film, focusing on each character and also using the backdrop of the election as broader shots throughout the film, Brad Pitt as Jackie knows the problems and difficulties he faces each and every day in the country he calls home, but a place he also doesn't call a 'country' but rather a business.
    This is certainly a surprise to what I expected the film to be, it does the opposite and explains its actions throughout, becoming a smart and witty character study of real life in tough times and how people just need to get by.
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  4. Jan 26, 2013
    9
    ok, so they rob the wrong people, but is always funny when you know the guys pulling it off are idiots, so you are just waiting for them to mess up. um, oh i know its an action movie but i laughed so much ina seen that i cried and then had a stomach ache, these guys have a sawed off shot gun and well you can see part of the bullet, well that just made the movie for me, i still cant stop thing what would happen if you pull the trigger. Expand
  5. Dec 21, 2012
    9
    Admittedly the political commentary is heavy handed but watching Pitt, looking every bit his almost 50 years stare down Gandolfini while running through mountains of great George V. Higgins dialogue in bars and seedy locations across a less-than beautiful New Orleans can allow near excessive violence and somewhat indulgent use of quaint old-fashioned music as a parallel to brutality function quite well as a whole. Collapse
  6. Dec 1, 2012
    10
    Be warned, Killing Them Softly is an anti-thriller. Instead of gangster action, most of what you see is conversation. Or better yet, negotiation. Because the film is set in 2008 during the financial crisis, what these lowlifes are most desperately chasing, is just a bit more money. So even though the dialogue is razor-sharp and the performances are amazing, from an A list cast, most people don't want to watch negotiation for an hour and forty minutes. This is a more European take on the American crime drama, even though Andrew Dominik is Australian. The movie has a lot in common with Drive. And like that movie, this one will divide audiences between those put off by the angry tone, gruesome violence, and long periods of inaction. Which might be a problem if not for the incredible stylistic passion that bursts through every frame. Even when it's just two people talking in a bar, subtle camera movements, musical cues, and acting decisions always keep your attention. 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.