User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 239 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 239
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  1. 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 brutalityAdmittedly 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
  2. Mar 13, 2013
    7
    Killing Them Softly is a well made hitman noir, it packs up great action sequences and great camera angles with great special SLO MO effects. But, this movie is incredibly long and has gaps that need to be filled in order for it to thrive and be a mega blockbuster. Overall, Killing Them Softly is one to watch.
  3. Dec 12, 2012
    8
    Well written and articulate I would imagine this is not the film a lot of people were expecting. I know I wasn't, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the end result. Director Andrew Dominik has certainly got a way with actors and imagery and the film is both stylish and very well acted. Ben mendelsohn is delicious in his drugged out supporting turn and the film's opening sceneWell written and articulate I would imagine this is not the film a lot of people were expecting. I know I wasn't, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the end result. Director Andrew Dominik has certainly got a way with actors and imagery and the film is both stylish and very well acted. Ben mendelsohn is delicious in his drugged out supporting turn and the film's opening scene just grabbed me and then never let go. Expand
  4. Dec 4, 2012
    8
    I'm not sure exactly why but I Iiked "listening" to this movie. It's not Quentin Tarrantino but, the conversations between the characters, and there are many of them, are simple, almost unremarkable, and yet still somehow interesting. The violence that I expected is not that bad compared to other comparable movies and it is artfully done in some instances. There's not a lot going on; it'sI'm not sure exactly why but I Iiked "listening" to this movie. It's not Quentin Tarrantino but, the conversations between the characters, and there are many of them, are simple, almost unremarkable, and yet still somehow interesting. The violence that I expected is not that bad compared to other comparable movies and it is artfully done in some instances. There's not a lot going on; it's basically revenge for a crime committed against criminals. They talk a lot; I liked hearing it. Expand
  5. Dec 3, 2012
    7
    If you are expecting gunfights,explosions and sex-scenes you were misled to the movie theaters by the trailer.Even though it was not what I fully expected I can say that enjoyed it.The dialogue was very sharp and fascinating and Brad Pitt didn't disappoint me.
  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 peopleBe 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
  7. Jan 18, 2013
    7
    a film by a director in love with brad pitt's image... nothing new under the sun. nonetheless, the cast THE CAST THE CAST is remarkable, some of the photography tricks are good and the soundtrack remarkable. this is kind of a sleeper, since it was thrased in 65th cannes. it is worth the while and kind of makes you expect what its director might achieve next.
  8. Dec 10, 2012
    8
    The one convention that gangster and mob flicks always associate with themselves is a capitalist society. Most of the time, these aren
  9. Jan 3, 2013
    8
    This is one of my favorite films of 2012 and lands at number 14 on my top films of 2012 list. Will probably be overlooked at awards season, but is definitely worth seeing for a few great performances and a solid narrative.
  10. Dec 9, 2012
    8
    This is a movie you will really like if; A) you are a real thinking person and b) if you like films done with the same kind of pace (and irony) of a Quentin Tarantino film. First, you would be hard pressed to find a movie about thieves, hit men, mob bosses, etc. that has more grit and raw feel than this film. Brad Pitt, as a hire hit man, is simply perfect in this role. At the heart ofThis is a movie you will really like if; A) you are a real thinking person and b) if you like films done with the same kind of pace (and irony) of a Quentin Tarantino film. First, you would be hard pressed to find a movie about thieves, hit men, mob bosses, etc. that has more grit and raw feel than this film. Brad Pitt, as a hire hit man, is simply perfect in this role. At the heart of his character is simply a business man who is out for profit. Speaking of great acting, the price of admission to this movie is worth watching the 2 scenes with James Gandolfini; he is simply brilliant. The movie ironically juxtaposes the stark realities of 21st century "business" with TV and radio snippets featuring George Bush and then Senator Obama apologizing for the crash of the economy and how we are all "one" and need to "pull together. If you want to see what the real American has come to; go see this film. Expand
  11. Jan 20, 2013
    7
    Killing Them Softly was an interesting blend of great scenes and forced spoon feeding. While the title implies a subtle delivery (and thus an expectation of heavy interaction), the audience is bombarded with explanation and repetition.
  12. 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 stopok, 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
  13. Aug 11, 2013
    7
    I liked the way the film started with a very bleak and down-to earth approach to the whole set-up. Some interesting low-life characters planning a robbery always catches my attention. If anything, it steps up a gear when Brad Pitt enters the scene and I’m really beginning to get into it. Sadly, it wasn’t to last, when the James Gandolfini character appears it does take a bit of a dive. HeI liked the way the film started with a very bleak and down-to earth approach to the whole set-up. Some interesting low-life characters planning a robbery always catches my attention. If anything, it steps up a gear when Brad Pitt enters the scene and I’m really beginning to get into it. Sadly, it wasn’t to last, when the James Gandolfini character appears it does take a bit of a dive. He seems a bit of a wasted character; only there to pad the thing out a bit. It’s a shame because I really liked Gandolfini as an actor and felt this was not a fair reflection of his talent. Some very interesting effects were used and I found these very interesting. The use of slow motion in one particular assassination scene was quite breathtaking. There is also a scene depicting the world from a drug addict’s point of view that looked pretty strange too. Over all, it’s one of those that I think I’ll have to watch again to fully appreciate. For now, I liked it, but didn’t fall in love with it; I’m sure a future viewing may fix that one way or the other.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 7.2/10.
    Expand
  14. Apr 1, 2013
    8
    It doesn't really make sense to hate a movie largely because it is an obvious allegory to (then) current events. So what if it is? I don't mind if they put at the beginning of the movie "This is an allegory to the financial crises of 2008". That could be the title of the movie for all I care. The question is if it is actually a good movie. And yes it is. True Romance/Resivior Dogs/PulpIt doesn't really make sense to hate a movie largely because it is an obvious allegory to (then) current events. So what if it is? I don't mind if they put at the beginning of the movie "This is an allegory to the financial crises of 2008". That could be the title of the movie for all I care. The question is if it is actually a good movie. And yes it is. True Romance/Resivior Dogs/Pulp Fiction like. Wish the larger story would have kept up throughout the film, but still. Expand
  15. Feb 20, 2013
    8
    killing them softly reminds me of one of those 20th century classical books. what you basically have is a simple setup for the story, but you cloak the story in metaphor, a metaphor that you let one of the main characters explain at the end of the story. i like the way how it is executed in this movie, to the extend that the actual story isn't even that much fun to watch, because it iskilling them softly reminds me of one of those 20th century classical books. what you basically have is a simple setup for the story, but you cloak the story in metaphor, a metaphor that you let one of the main characters explain at the end of the story. i like the way how it is executed in this movie, to the extend that the actual story isn't even that much fun to watch, because it is sacrificed for the metaphor. it makes me feel really smart for having read the 20th century classical books. Expand
  16. 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 realThere 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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  17. Jan 23, 2013
    8
    90 minutes of a well constructed, albeit dark, crime thriller that should be praised for it's originality (how many mob movies actually try to have an underlining message?) rather than dismissed for its pace or lack of conventional mob movie aesthetics. I expect great things from Dominik in the future, and although this film was not a "box office smash" I expect over time this film will90 minutes of a well constructed, albeit dark, crime thriller that should be praised for it's originality (how many mob movies actually try to have an underlining message?) rather than dismissed for its pace or lack of conventional mob movie aesthetics. I expect great things from Dominik in the future, and although this film was not a "box office smash" I expect over time this film will surface as a cult classic. If you want a mobster/crime movie that exhibits all the obvious qualities spoon fed to you - watch Gangster Squad. Expand
  18. Sep 5, 2013
    8
    I liked the way the film started with a very bleak and down-to earth approach to the whole set-up. Some interesting low-life characters planning a robbery always catches my attention. If anything, it steps up a gear when Brad Pitt enters the scene and I'm really beginning to get into it. Sadly, it wasn't to last, when the James Gandolfini character appears it does take a bit of a dive. HeI liked the way the film started with a very bleak and down-to earth approach to the whole set-up. Some interesting low-life characters planning a robbery always catches my attention. If anything, it steps up a gear when Brad Pitt enters the scene and I'm really beginning to get into it. Sadly, it wasn't to last, when the James Gandolfini character appears it does take a bit of a dive. He seems a bit of a wasted character; only there to pad the thing out a bit. It's a shame because I really liked Gandolfini as an actor and felt this was not a fair reflection of his talent. Some very interesting effects were used and I found these very interesting. The use of slow motion in one particular assassination scene was quite breathtaking. There is also a scene depicting the world from a drug addict's point of view that looked pretty strange too. Over all, it's one of those that I think I'll have to watch again to fully appreciate. For now, I liked it, but didn't fall in love with it; I'm sure a future viewing may fix that one way or the other. Expand
  19. Aug 11, 2013
    7
    Buen thriller. Excelentemente interpretado, con un buen guión y por sobre todo entretenida, que es el fin del cine, entretener al espectador. Sorprendido gratamente.
  20. Nov 5, 2013
    8
    What it is about people who object to intelligent and interesting dialogue? Most of the people on this forum hated the movie for these very reasons. Anyway, to avoid pedantic remarks, let me just get on with this review and say that this was a surprisingly good film that reaffirms good filmmaking. The closing remarks in the bar by Pitt's character summed it all up rather nicely. NotWhat it is about people who object to intelligent and interesting dialogue? Most of the people on this forum hated the movie for these very reasons. Anyway, to avoid pedantic remarks, let me just get on with this review and say that this was a surprisingly good film that reaffirms good filmmaking. The closing remarks in the bar by Pitt's character summed it all up rather nicely. Not too many movies are able to do this. The reason this movie failed is that not many people in the audience have a clue as what he was saying and the significance of it. Expand
  21. 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 beLike 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
  22. 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.
  23. May 24, 2014
    8
    Good flick. Economic metaphors aside, its wonderful. Well shot, unique, and entertaining. This movie is fun to watch, its dark, and I like them dark. I don't watch movies with expectations (unlike the majority of negative movie reviewers on this site,) and a lot of people on meta have enormous confirmation bias when it comes to movies. "Oh this is probably going to suck because of x,Good flick. Economic metaphors aside, its wonderful. Well shot, unique, and entertaining. This movie is fun to watch, its dark, and I like them dark. I don't watch movies with expectations (unlike the majority of negative movie reviewers on this site,) and a lot of people on meta have enormous confirmation bias when it comes to movies. "Oh this is probably going to suck because of x, y, and z." "Hey I was right! I'm so smart." Anyway, watch this movie if you want to have a pleasant, relaxing, dark, and funny two hours. 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.