Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 42
  2. Negative: 12 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 24, 2013
    The overwritten script and the ridiculous plot combine to make The Counselor a frustrating experience.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Oct 24, 2013
    What you don’t expect is camp. The Counselor is more "Wild Things" than "No Country for Old Men", with which it shares a border town setting. But at least "Wild Things" knew what it was. The Counselor treats its material seriously and seems to have no idea it’s a joke that can’t even muster up a bit of smarty-pants Tarantino cleverness or energy.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Oct 24, 2013
    A movie that, despite its strenuous efforts to appear hardened and sexy and sleek, is unforgivably phony, talky and dull.
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Oct 24, 2013
    A jaw-dropping misfire. The dialogue is laughably pretentious, the plotting is virtually nonexistent, and the performances are so broad and cartoony that you keep wondering if it's all some sort of prank.
  5. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Oct 24, 2013
    The Counsellor is neither an outright disaster nor misunderstood masterpiece: it’s just a very bad idea for a film, proficiently executed.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Oct 24, 2013
    The script is nearly all dialogue, including several eloquent spoken passages toward the end, but it’s a lousy story, ineptly constructed and rendered far too difficult to follow.
  7. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Oct 23, 2013
    Despite its scaldingly hot cast and formidable writer/director combination, The Counselor is simply not a very likable or gratifying film. In fact, it's a bummer.
  8. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Oct 24, 2013
    Like “Traffic’’ on a massive dose of downers, Ridley Scott’s The Counselor is a great-looking and star-filled but lethally pretentious, talky, lethargic drama.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Oct 24, 2013
    It's possible there has never been anything like it. It contains memorable dialogue, vivid characters and several superb scenes, and yet it still manages to be wrong, a complete miscalculation.
  10. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 24, 2013
    McCarthy has not done himself or his reputation any favors with this original.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 24, 2013
    What's missing is dramatic subtext and surprise, as well as any playfulness that might have kept us guessing about the plot.
  12. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Oct 25, 2013
    The Counselor is nothing but a dumb, gory, grab-bag of clichés and the biggest waste of talent since "Savages." It makes Oliver Stone look subtle.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 81
  2. Negative: 42 out of 81
  1. Oct 25, 2013
    In my ever-humble opinion, this is a saddening example of metacritic's inevitable deception. Many will see the generally unfavorable reception towards this film and write it off without the blink of an eye.

    Now I am in no way saying that my opinion is absolute (it so clearly is not), and I would also like to point out that I do not throw around 10-ratings lightly.
    This film is, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant films I have seen in years.
    Ridley Scott is an artist with a 'true vision', and I will not argue that it requires one to be on a certain wavelength in order to perceive this vision (I do not mean to sound pretentious).
    Every inch of Cormac McCarthy's dialogue is profoundly thought-provoking and unknowingly exposing,
    and the performances are brilliant to the point of the cast's A-list status coming off as a mere coincidental detail. Fassbender, Pitt, Diaz, Bardem, and Cruz all exhibit the same fearless resolve as Scott on the other side of the lense.
    Despite common criticism of the film's 'lack of cohesion' or 'identity confusion', I assert that this film's self-identity is actually stronger than most. Those who cannot recognize this cannot see the forest for the trees. Those who are not familiar with a more 'Art-house' approach to film-making/story-telling will most likely end up alienated. This movie makes no attempt to ease viewers into its twisted and bizarrely real world, and that is ENTIRELY intentional.

    Again, I do not mean to sound aggressive towards those many who dislike this film.
    I simply wanted to present my personal appreciation for this film which I consider monumental, and for those intrigued but disenchanted by the negative reception to persevere until they can form their own opinion.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 25, 2013
    Holy this was just god awful, dialogue is not human, women are treated as nothing but sex objects, minorities are all portrayed as bad, there's no discernible characters development, it's just awful save your money Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2013
    Wow, I was surprised at how bad this film was. Coming from such a great director I was more disappointed than when I saw Prometheus. First of all the writing in this movie is god awful. I found myself often questioning what was going through their minds when they wrote some of these down? Most of the conversations in the movie are cringe worthy and don't advance the plot further. The character development is just as bad as the dialogue. I had no emotion to put in any of the characters, they are all hollow shells that just take up screen space. The plot is sickeningly boring and confusing. It jump cuts around several story lines and doesn't bother to stop and explain them to any degree. They just kind of assume you know whats going on. If there is any positive note to hit its that the cinematography was great. It carries this No Country For Old Men kind of feel that's both visually appealing for the viewer and compliments the mood that the movie sets. Ridley Scott's worst work to date, but the good thing is that his movies can't get much worse than this. Full Review »