Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 229 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 42
  2. Negative: 2 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Nov 28, 2012
    Killing them Softly is a lurid and nasty little nihilistic hitman noir, with an ingenuity that sneaks up on you.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 29, 2012
    A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year's "Drive." It also does something that, if you're from around these parts, seems downright perverse. It takes the Boston out of George V. Higgins.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 30, 2012
    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.
  4. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Nov 29, 2012
    A stylish, brutal affair that delivers grim atmosphere and punishing violence but loses impact in telegraphing its political punches.
  5. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Nov 26, 2012
    What is most disconcerting about Dominik's film is his choice of rhythm. We pass from reams of conversation, or cantankerous monologue, to throes of extreme violence, then back to the flood of words - most of them to do with buying, selling, slaying, whoring, or doing time.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 29, 2012
    The film, for all its visual felicities, comes to life only sporadically.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 28, 2012
    A filthy, pretentious, brutally violent and utterly pointless load of rubbish called Killing Them Softly.

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 75
  2. Negative: 21 out of 75
  1. Dec 1, 2012
    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
  2. Jan 23, 2013
    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 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
  3. Dec 4, 2012
    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's basically revenge for a crime committed against criminals. They talk a lot; I liked hearing it. Expand
  4. Feb 3, 2013
    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 Expand
  5. Dec 1, 2012
    "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. Mar 16, 2014
    Gratuitously obscene dialogue, extremely thin plot and mostly useless violence. However, the main element in that movie that disappointed me was the pseudo-moral about capitalism and the economic crisis that is totally laughable. Expand
  7. Jan 27, 2013
    worst brad pitt movie ever,No significant story or purpose,empty dialogues and low budget film.Lucky i file shared this.Even a kid can write a better script than this.This type of movies should never made in future. Expand

See all 75 User Reviews


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