Killing Them Softly

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 241 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 241
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  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.
    Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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. Collapse
  6. 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
  7. Dec 4, 2012
    0
    This is the absolute worst movie I've seen in a few years. The movie thinks it's clever, but it's not. It's hammering its point about it all being some kind of metaphor for the economic crisis home so hard I doubt even the biggest idiot could miss it.
    Then there's the dialogue. Oh my dear lord the dialogue. Sometimes inane banter in a movie is fun. Or good. Or both. Or it serves to really
    This is the absolute worst movie I've seen in a few years. The movie thinks it's clever, but it's not. It's hammering its point about it all being some kind of metaphor for the economic crisis home so hard I doubt even the biggest idiot could miss it.
    Then there's the dialogue. Oh my dear lord the dialogue. Sometimes inane banter in a movie is fun. Or good. Or both. Or it serves to really flesh out the character. They have to be actually interesting or fun in order to pull that off. That way, the dialogues won't feel like they're nine damn hours long.
    The action is of course not the point of a movie like this, but it's very well executed, I have to admit. It looks beautiful, realistic and brutal. But by the time you get to one of these scenes, you just don't care any more. You hate the movie for what it put you through so far. You want it to be over.
    Only film snobs will like this. They will claim you are not intelligent enough to 'get' this movie. The truth is everyone gets it. And sometimes, just sometimes, a movie just is really, really, really dull. Not clever. Dull.
    Expand
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. Dec 2, 2012
    0
    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS HORRIBLE MOVIE! This is positively the worst movie I have seen in years. They have tried to cover this up and won't let you write a review on google or yahoo. Go and try. This movie was so horrible, people were walking out of the theater about 45 minutes into it. I almost walked out, but was hopeful there would be this huge turn of events, but it neverDO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS HORRIBLE MOVIE! This is positively the worst movie I have seen in years. They have tried to cover this up and won't let you write a review on google or yahoo. Go and try. This movie was so horrible, people were walking out of the theater about 45 minutes into it. I almost walked out, but was hopeful there would be this huge turn of events, but it never happened. Holly-weird has gotten even weirder (bad grammar, I know). I wouldn't even take the time to rent this when it comes out. Positively THE WORST MOVIE in a long time. Expand
  11. Dec 2, 2012
    1
    This movie has a good storyline, however it is not delivered in a way that holds your attention. During the slow drag them out scenes of dialogue between Pitt and other actors, I witnessed no less than 10 people walk out of he movie. This movie is a waste of time and money. Don't go see this unless you want to punish someone.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. Jan 1, 2013
    1
    Despite the talent of the actors in Andrew Dominik's film noir, Kissing Them Softly, this film was highly unlikable for the simple reason that there is not one single character in the movie you care about - dead or alive. The political overtones were heavy handed and the considerable talent wasted on this very dark, boring script.
  15. 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.
  16. Jan 30, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Good: Relatively intelligent story, it has depth. Mr Pitt always delivers and this is no exception. I also felt bad about the destiny of Ray Liottas character witch is a first. And there's nice cars all through this movie :) The hits performed are beautifully filmed, and considering the title I expected more of a shooter and was pleasantly surprised it wasn't so. The Bad: I am not an american, but I have been to New Orleans and this movie looks nothing like that place, it caught nothing of the Big Easy spirit. I grew tired of endless conversations between characters that couldn't hold my interest. Lastly; As much as this movie is not a gunslingin' shooter, it is, at times, a blatant orgy in violence. The talks could be made shorter, the violence could be made less exsplisit, But all in all, the movie is kinda boring, and I am usually the guy that says shooters suck. Expand
  17. Dec 3, 2012
    1
    A mindless flick and typical of those that depend for their allegedly laudatory grittiness on an unrelenting stream of gratuitously obscene dialogue and talk of sexual activity that have absolutely no bearing on the plot. I was in the Navy for 20 years and never did I hear such crap spoken by sailors. How can a screenwriter hold his or her head up after writing such garbage?
  18. Dec 1, 2012
    1
    A waste of our money & time!! Slow motion gore with no point. Repeated bars with CSPAN and CNN playing in the background show how unreal this film is! If only movies could be made by those that create the trailers...
  19. Dec 6, 2012
    1
    If dogs could write this is what they would have written, I would NEVER have expected Brad Pitt to star is such an piece of TRASH. It was an story that have been told in just 20 minutes but with poor script and the stringing along of the plot just wanted to make me RUN away from this flick.. BEST advise of the Christmas season.. RUN not walk away from this BOMB.
  20. CBN
    Nov 30, 2012
    3
    I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone, well I take that back. If you detest all the films your girlfriend/wife/mistress etc make you go see then I suggest this film, cause she'll be miserable after it. But then again, you will be too so.
  21. Dec 8, 2012
    0
    Painful. Wretched. Banging my head against a concrete wall for an hour and a half would have been a better use of my time, and more pleasurable. I love dark and gritty movies, but this was just dumb. This felt more like a high school film project than a professional production. By the way, towards the middle of film, I looked around the theater and just about everyone was playing withPainful. Wretched. Banging my head against a concrete wall for an hour and a half would have been a better use of my time, and more pleasurable. I love dark and gritty movies, but this was just dumb. This felt more like a high school film project than a professional production. By the way, towards the middle of film, I looked around the theater and just about everyone was playing with their smart phones. Luckily I got in some quality Christmas shopping in on my Samsung Note II. Very cool. I wish metacritic had negative scores, it just seems that a zero is too high for this film. Expand
  22. Dec 6, 2012
    2
    Not worth the price of ticket--" F " word in every sentence---Pitt should have stayed with the kids--looks like a kid trying to play a tough guy!--walks through the role!
  23. Dec 26, 2012
    0
    Oh Dear this was sooo bad i was expecting soo much more, the film was so boring im surprised i managed to sit through it. There was one scene i liked (the drive by) but the rest was pointless boring talking that went nowhere and meant nothing. The arrival of James Gandolfini is totally pointless and has no impact on the film other than waste 30 minutes with more talking...
    i would say
    Oh Dear this was sooo bad i was expecting soo much more, the film was so boring im surprised i managed to sit through it. There was one scene i liked (the drive by) but the rest was pointless boring talking that went nowhere and meant nothing. The arrival of James Gandolfini is totally pointless and has no impact on the film other than waste 30 minutes with more talking...
    i would say worst film of 2012, even worse than twilight....
    Expand
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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.
  27. Dec 1, 2012
    2
    This movie was genuinely awful. The only reason it is getting a 2 is the gritty cinematography. But otherwise, it was a waste of money. No spoilers, there was no plot, they kept replaying 2008 election campaign coverage as if it had anything to do with the story (it didn't), the plot synopsis in the preview was all there was, it sloged along as if the movies was three hours instead of anThis movie was genuinely awful. The only reason it is getting a 2 is the gritty cinematography. But otherwise, it was a waste of money. No spoilers, there was no plot, they kept replaying 2008 election campaign coverage as if it had anything to do with the story (it didn't), the plot synopsis in the preview was all there was, it sloged along as if the movies was three hours instead of an hour 40 minutes, and you felt nothing whatsoever for the characters. It was Tarrentino lack of action without the quality Tarrentino writing. I am now afraid to see how World War Z will turn out because of Brad Pitt's creative hand in this piece of **** film. Expand
  28. Dec 4, 2012
    4
    The last film by writer/director Andrew Dominik was "The Assassination of Jesse James
  29. Dec 2, 2012
    1
    The only redeeming thing about this piece of crap, was Brad Pitt's bar scene, that aside,it was absolutely terrible. After the worst Campaign , and election results EVER, the LAST thing I want to see on a movie screen, is ideology shoved down my throat ! Total waste of my Popcorn $.
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.