User Score
4.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 196 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 196
  2. Negative: 77 out of 196

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  1. Nov 30, 2014
    0
    The movie opens with a sex scene which is simultaneously excessive and boring. The Cruz character, named Laura, asks to be pleasured “down there” and the Fassbinder character, the nameless Counselor, obviously obliges.

    Follows a series of disjointed and disconnected scenes, to introduce the other main players: Reiner, a Mexican drug trafficker with a bad haircut; Malkina, a “femme
    The movie opens with a sex scene which is simultaneously excessive and boring. The Cruz character, named Laura, asks to be pleasured “down there” and the Fassbinder character, the nameless Counselor, obviously obliges.

    Follows a series of disjointed and disconnected scenes, to introduce the other main players: Reiner, a Mexican drug trafficker with a bad haircut; Malkina, a “femme fatale” with a weird name and attitude and Westray, a guy who knows other guys.

    All these people are played by top of the crop actors, directed by Ridley Scott, with a screen play by Cormac MCCarthy and yet the final result is an overlong, bloated, boring movie.

    The plot involves a vague, messy drug deal and an even vaguer involvement of the Counselor. As everybody who watched Breaking Bad knows, Mexican drug lords get very upset when somebody messes with their drugs, so rightful revenge ensues.

    Unfortunately, in this case the revenge is not fair and the Mexican guys should know. In one of many weird scenes, we see a main player spying a conversation between the Counselor and Reiner, during which it is spelled out that the Counselor is innocent. And yet the ax will fall on him and on his beloved Laura.

    The violence is disturbing but predictable. When Reiner and the Counselor coolly discus about decapitation devices, you can be sure that someone will be decapitated before the end credits. The same when they talk about snuff movies…

    Cameron Diaz playing femme fatale Malkina is especially disturbing. Sporting appropriate sprayed-on clothes and super high-heels, with huge sculpted cheekbones, she is supposed to convey fear and mystery. But I just found her cheekbones too distracting.
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  2. Aug 1, 2014
    8
    I found the first half of this movie a struggle to watch and had to stop. I finished it today and felt somewhat redeemed. The second half delivers a bit more payoff, but don't consider this an action movie, because it isn't. It's arthouse, it's well done, the actors perform to perfection, the plot is airtight and the writing is brilliant. That said, I didn't exactly enjoy watching it. ItI found the first half of this movie a struggle to watch and had to stop. I finished it today and felt somewhat redeemed. The second half delivers a bit more payoff, but don't consider this an action movie, because it isn't. It's arthouse, it's well done, the actors perform to perfection, the plot is airtight and the writing is brilliant. That said, I didn't exactly enjoy watching it. It is a tragedy with no uplifting moments. That doesn't make it a bad movie, but I was left wondering what, exactly, DID I get out of watching it? It's filled with elite philosophy, elite in the sense that it doesn't apply or even make sense for most people to think along these lines. There was one speech I really appreciated. Maybe everyone will find something to connect with. At any rate, this movie is high quality but whether you'll enjoy it or not is a matter of taste and expectation. Expand
  3. Jul 20, 2014
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have a test for any and all art forms, if you can make fun of it, there's a problem with it, this abominable waste of celluloid did not even qualify or register.
    The so called A-list cast epitomized contract/paycheck players-Cameron Diaz in the end outwits all...I rest my case.

    Scott's Blade Runner was my awakening into how much can be conveyed through a film's actor's, sound design, special effects, dialogue, lighting and soundtrack, Scott created a dark dystopian future where the humans/replicants were worth saving, loving, fighting-dying for, even the diabolical Roy Batty made us see, made us feel, empathize with his perspective, his love, his short life.

    In closing, our ancestors scratched more movement and moment and feeling and purpose on cave walls, mister Scott, hang up the lens, play shuffleboard, do something, but please, please don't make another, whatever The Counselor was ....and anyone who can steer past my review and give The Counselor a chance, save your large popcorn container and stow it under your seat for future use as a vomit pail.
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  4. chw
    Jul 17, 2014
    5
    The Counselor had one of the worst stories/screenplays ever written. I gave it a 5 only because of the acting which was good, but still...
  5. Jul 14, 2014
    0
    Don't waste your time on this movie. Totally disjointed plot. The term "counselor" was used in every other sentence. Acting was pretty good all around, but even good actors couldn't salvage this trainwreck.
  6. Jul 14, 2014
    4
    Ok, this was pretty nasty. It might have worked if the plot had provided better motivation for the events that unfolded, particularly why Fassbender's character got involved in the drugs trade. But it seemed really to be trading on the No Country for Old Men formula ... or is it the Game of Thrones formula? Happy endings are not on the menu.
  7. Jun 1, 2014
    4
    Not a good movie. Don't get lured by the big names attached to this movie. While their acting is actually good, especially Fassbender who is quite convincing, the [lack of] story is embarassing and quickly becomes an excuse for an escalating and gratuitous violence. Then, there's the meaningless philosophical exchanges between the characters, trying to make you believe you are watching aNot a good movie. Don't get lured by the big names attached to this movie. While their acting is actually good, especially Fassbender who is quite convincing, the [lack of] story is embarassing and quickly becomes an excuse for an escalating and gratuitous violence. Then, there's the meaningless philosophical exchanges between the characters, trying to make you believe you are watching a great movie.
    Goods: Michael Fassbender & Javier Bardem. The scene where the truck gets washed, repaired, repainted after a shooting by men and women who "just do their job" and clean the blood everywhere, as if nothing serious had happened. Bad: pretty much everything else, amongs other the robotic acting by Cameron Diaz, who still tries to convince she is attractive. Ugly: violent and bloody scenes just for the sake of it (that scene with Brad Pitt' character being killed in London is just ridiculous).
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  8. May 26, 2014
    2
    I can truly see why the overall score ratings are close for both, positive and negative, reviews. It all relies in the story, where must of all characters have a philosophical, similar kind of elevated speech which some cannot digest as being veracious while others claim it was very " artsy" and intellectually attractive.
    I am sorry, but I am in the first group. not even so many great
    I can truly see why the overall score ratings are close for both, positive and negative, reviews. It all relies in the story, where must of all characters have a philosophical, similar kind of elevated speech which some cannot digest as being veracious while others claim it was very " artsy" and intellectually attractive.
    I am sorry, but I am in the first group. not even so many great actors can rescue this movie from its awful script.
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  9. May 2, 2014
    1
    I'll start out with the pros. Good production value, acting was slightly north of mediocre. Moods set in the begging of the film are effective and moving. And the Cons. This movie was a disgusting display of a lack of respect for human life. It's attempts to build a solid logical architecture behind the plot, causes it to be have unnecessary heaps endless of pseudo-philosophical monologuesI'll start out with the pros. Good production value, acting was slightly north of mediocre. Moods set in the begging of the film are effective and moving. And the Cons. This movie was a disgusting display of a lack of respect for human life. It's attempts to build a solid logical architecture behind the plot, causes it to be have unnecessary heaps endless of pseudo-philosophical monologues that are boring and ineffective. This is a film for the kind of person who watches an actual cartel beheading and is left asking "That's all?". This movie is incredibly brutal. This is coming from a gamer, in fact I enjoy the violent ones, even the most violent and gory ones. Hell I was in a better mood after watching "A Serbian Film" than when this movie's credit's rolled. The Counselor went way over the edge and into a dark unforgivable side of humanity, and I fear it may have left me with some permanent psychological scars that will probably never leave me. If that's what you're looking for, this is the movie for you. Expand
  10. Apr 27, 2014
    0
    One of the worst movies I have seen in about a year. This proves that no matter who is attached to a film it could still be a disaster. Don't ask me what happened, I have no idea. Nor do I care.
  11. Apr 26, 2014
    0
    The Counselor is beyond terrible. From the moment it started to the very last scene, it irritated me so much because of how incomprehensible it was. From the long meaningless conversations to the poor directing, the counselor could not have been made any worse.
  12. Apr 6, 2014
    0
    One of the most depressing movies ever made. And surely one of the worst. I would rank it 2nd worst ever after Tree of Life which is simply untoppable. Non exisiting story, endless pointless scenes and pseudo-philosophical, yawn inducing dialogue rivalling even Matrix III.

    I find it hard to fathom that this trainwreck was directed by the same man who brought us Blade Runner, Alien,
    One of the most depressing movies ever made. And surely one of the worst. I would rank it 2nd worst ever after Tree of Life which is simply untoppable. Non exisiting story, endless pointless scenes and pseudo-philosophical, yawn inducing dialogue rivalling even Matrix III.

    I find it hard to fathom that this trainwreck was directed by the same man who brought us Blade Runner, Alien, Gladiator and Thelma & Louise. Ridley, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    PS.: Brad Pitt seems to become the ultimate seal of approval for crap movies: Benjamin Button, Babel, World War Z, Tree of Life and now this abomination. Next time I see his name on a DVD I'm gonna avoid it like the plague ...
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  13. Mar 2, 2014
    4
    All the time you just sit there waiting for the guy to save the day, in an original way. Not happy ending? It´s ok... but, what about the acting, the dialogs, the screens? Nothing
  14. Mar 1, 2014
    9
    Just saw it for a second time.
    I'm a lot more appreciative of the movie in this second viewing.
    The production design is simply awesome. It also completely revisited my view of Malkina, who I now believe is not a mastermind. In fact, I believe she identifies more with the jackrabbit, but has a fascination with the cheetah (represented by the cartel). Greed being the ultimate
    Just saw it for a second time.
    I'm a lot more appreciative of the movie in this second viewing.
    The production design is simply awesome.

    It also completely revisited my view of Malkina, who I now believe is not a mastermind. In fact, I believe she identifies more with the jackrabbit, but has a fascination with the cheetah (represented by the cartel). Greed being the ultimate motivator. Revisit her lines, in the enddialogue, or her last conversation with Reiner. Imo, she's not the malign mastermind I also took her for after the first viewing, her character is more complex, a lot more human (as she explains what humans are in the end).

    The first time through, the philosophical dialogue doesn't give you enough time to digest it. So, unfortunately, it comes over as blasé mumbojumbo. The good news is that once you get a grasp on it in subsequent viewings, it starts to make sense and you can relate to it through the imagery.
    This is a movie with some consistence, where the simple dialogue lines hide a lot of information.

    I'm not going to pretend that everything in this movie works, but it's an effort I can really appreciate, an attempt at something a little different than the fast-food movies we're consuming all too often.
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  15. Feb 16, 2014
    1
    While certainly not as gory and sexually exploitive as some, it is meaningless trash, as one other reviewer put it "a waste of talent" of some great stars who put in their usual good work. The plot is stupid. Not one of these characters has ever seen a spy or cartel movie? They don't protect themselves in any way. They go home and sit around? They are not suspicious of beautiful women whoWhile certainly not as gory and sexually exploitive as some, it is meaningless trash, as one other reviewer put it "a waste of talent" of some great stars who put in their usual good work. The plot is stupid. Not one of these characters has ever seen a spy or cartel movie? They don't protect themselves in any way. They go home and sit around? They are not suspicious of beautiful women who just happen to pass by and fall for them? They walk around the streets thinking they are invisible? Expand
  16. Feb 14, 2014
    0
    Brad Pitt should think twice before he lets people put his name on idiotic films like this just to attract movie goers. Speechless ! I could not bring myself to watch the movie past the 15 minute mark. It looks like the producers made their initial investment back and came few bucks on top thanks to Brad and that's all that matters, I guess. I am sure there are some idiots out there whoBrad Pitt should think twice before he lets people put his name on idiotic films like this just to attract movie goers. Speechless ! I could not bring myself to watch the movie past the 15 minute mark. It looks like the producers made their initial investment back and came few bucks on top thanks to Brad and that's all that matters, I guess. I am sure there are some idiots out there who will give it a four or five stars and call it an "art", but believe me there is NOTHING artistic about this piece of crap. Poor acting and vulgar opening scene does not qualify as art. I understand there is a scene with Cameron Diaz rubbing her kooch against the Ferrari !? This is why you gave it four or five stars, you moron(s) ? Go rent a porn ! I, also, read that director's brother jumped of the bridge. Now I know why. Expand
  17. Feb 11, 2014
    5
    This movie has a lot of clever lines, A LOT. That's mainly because the entire movie is practically all conversation-making the 2 hour film seem like 4 hours. It is suspenseful with many implications and assumptions to string the movie along. But it is not very thrilling. Note to the film maker: DIAZ SHOULD NOT HAVE THAT MANY CLOSE UPS! She is not sexy!
  18. Feb 9, 2014
    9
    What a divider! I loved this movie. I think a lot of people `casually` watch films without paying attention and this one deserves it. I write very few reviews but wanted to affect the scoring balance as I nearly didn`t watch this due to poor reviews. I give it 85/100 but it needs rounding up, so be it.
  19. Feb 9, 2014
    10
    From start to finish, it is perfectly acted, with philosophical depth that only few may understand let alone truly appreciate.

    The generally negative reviews illuminate only that the mass public and supposed 'professional' critics are blind to brilliant film making and flawless cinematic execution with this sort of power and magnitude. There are few films that will submerge you into a
    From start to finish, it is perfectly acted, with philosophical depth that only few may understand let alone truly appreciate.

    The generally negative reviews illuminate only that the mass public and supposed 'professional' critics are blind to brilliant film making and flawless cinematic execution with this sort of power and magnitude. There are few films that will submerge you into a world this dark and thought provoking.

    'This film is without a doubt, one of the most brilliant films I've seen in years'
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  20. Feb 8, 2014
    10
    After you wach this movie you can feel a hole into your stomach.This is not a movie is a greek tragedy. a very sad poem converted into a movie.The traffic of narchotics is just a background. it could be any other one.Is not a matter of good and bad like a police movie.is a matter of destiny.You have to read Faulkner or melville or kafka to understand and feel and touch the greatness ofAfter you wach this movie you can feel a hole into your stomach.This is not a movie is a greek tragedy. a very sad poem converted into a movie.The traffic of narchotics is just a background. it could be any other one.Is not a matter of good and bad like a police movie.is a matter of destiny.You have to read Faulkner or melville or kafka to understand and feel and touch the greatness of some tragedies.We put together two genius like ridley Scott and Cormac Maccarthy and the result is this shakesperian tragedy.
    No matter the jumps or interruptions of the plot they are intentional to make your brain start to work.
    There is a sense of emptiness and loneliness that you can almost touch with your fingertips.
    The mesage is that we are puppets in the hands of a higher destiny.Its like the ancient greek tragedies where the humans are mere instruments in the hands of the gods.The druglords take the place of ancient gods.they are unreachable and nobody can discuss their decissions.Nobody can see them
    but you know they have eyes and slaves everywhere.
    This is not a movie about drug traficking is about destiny,about human weaknesses and the evil they can bring into everybodys lives.
    In short its not a movie for everybody but is great very great........... and also very devastating.
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  21. Feb 8, 2014
    3
    This movie was the most surprisingly, disappointed movie i've ever watch in 2013. With the A list casts and their actings, they can't help how mess this movie's plot. Really disappointed
  22. Feb 8, 2014
    1
    This is one of the saddest excuse for a movie I have seen in a long time :( Two hours of my life that I will never get back. What a travesty. Sometimes ingredients just don't mix. I tried orange juice and cola once. Never again. Mr. Scott tried mixing philosophy, a megalomanic script and his own pretentious ego. This movie tries to convey some sort of sensuality about violence or what? OfThis is one of the saddest excuse for a movie I have seen in a long time :( Two hours of my life that I will never get back. What a travesty. Sometimes ingredients just don't mix. I tried orange juice and cola once. Never again. Mr. Scott tried mixing philosophy, a megalomanic script and his own pretentious ego. This movie tries to convey some sort of sensuality about violence or what? Of course, I didn't 'get' the movie. But I'm glad I didn't. Oh, and don't be fooled by miss Diaz trying to pretend she can act. She can't. :( Expand
  23. Feb 1, 2014
    0
    This is a dishonest film. It is not what it says on the tin. From the trailer, cast, director, synopsis etc you are probably expecting a high octane, on the edge of your seat thriller, with a strong plot line and characters you can love or hate. Sorry but it does not give that at all. This simply is a self-indulgent film (self-indulgent by the writer), with actors badly deliveringThis is a dishonest film. It is not what it says on the tin. From the trailer, cast, director, synopsis etc you are probably expecting a high octane, on the edge of your seat thriller, with a strong plot line and characters you can love or hate. Sorry but it does not give that at all. This simply is a self-indulgent film (self-indulgent by the writer), with actors badly delivering unintelligible lines of philosophic dialogue with neither rhyme nor reason as to how they got there and what their motives are. This is the sort of thing you would expect to have to sit through, not too willingly, when you have a very good friend who is taking screenplay classes and has to do an obscure showcase. Most students, if not all, refrain from applying a Hollywood budget, getting Ridley Scott to direct and having Brad Pitt et al in these showcases though and maybe McCarthy should have thought twice about having his screenplay debut in such a fashion and kept to the more traditional avenue of a few friends in a small theatre. I am sure his friends would have said nice things about it but I can't think of one. Expand
  24. Jan 31, 2014
    0
    Whenever I watch such "movies" I feel ashamed for their "creators". I myself don't even feel insulted by the garbage they threw at me from the screen disdain for moviegoers has become common place nowadays. R.Scott was lucky to make couple of good movies, since then all he cares about is money. What was he expecting the spectators to say after having watched the film? Amazing interiors",Whenever I watch such "movies" I feel ashamed for their "creators". I myself don't even feel insulted by the garbage they threw at me from the screen disdain for moviegoers has become common place nowadays. R.Scott was lucky to make couple of good movies, since then all he cares about is money. What was he expecting the spectators to say after having watched the film? Amazing interiors", :"fast cheetahs", "Fassbinder licking muffin of Penelope Cruz who complains that it's dirty", "Queer Bardem", Diaz screwing the Ferrari" "Pitt loses his head due to idiotic device"... What a sham! But the worst part is dialogues. A good movie talking should do three things: move forward the plot, explore the characters, elicit some emotions. Here you have long imbecile speeches which try to pretend sexy, philosophic or smart. EVERY single person speaks as if they majored at ancient Greek literature. My god, what happened to good screenwriters? Studios should give the process back to independent producers, otherwise, in 5 years, people will go the cinemas just to eat some popcorn and play bowing Expand
  25. Jan 11, 2014
    0
    There was nothing for me to like about this movie. The story evolves around a Counsellor and the people surrounding him. For reasons unbeknown to us he decides to go into the drug business, and pseudo-intellectual existential dialogues between the protagonists ensue, with the main focus being on greed and how sexual everything appears to them. Cheetahs chasing jackrabbits is sexual, aThere was nothing for me to like about this movie. The story evolves around a Counsellor and the people surrounding him. For reasons unbeknown to us he decides to go into the drug business, and pseudo-intellectual existential dialogues between the protagonists ensue, with the main focus being on greed and how sexual everything appears to them. Cheetahs chasing jackrabbits is sexual, a yellow Ferrari is so sexual that Diaz' character decides to make-out with it (yes, you read that correctly). The Counsellor is constantly being counselled on life and it's meaning by philosophical drug-dealers and cartel members. The tediousness of these overdrawn, often repetitive and rather self-indulged exchanges make the film feel so ill paced. The chemistry between the two main couples (Fassbender-Cruz, Bardem-Diaz) was non-existent. The characters are hardly developed. Were we suppose to empathise with the Counsellor? The acting was NOT good. The ultimate attraction to this film, for me, was the cast who in it's majority has seldom - if ever - let me down. And yet, here, even they were, to put it mildly, not on top form. The emphasis had been given on the aforementioned dialogue, something that was more obvious when the main plot of the film became increasingly convoluted and thus hard to follow. At the end all I felt was content that it was over. This is, unfortunately, the worst film I've seen this year. Expand
  26. Jan 7, 2014
    4
    What happened here? Ridley Scott seriously didn't realize that something went wrong while filming this movie. Maybe he was too distracted by the fact that "The Counselor" is his first film after Tony's death. That was harsh, sorry.
    But nevertheless: How bad is it? (Penélope Cruz alias Laura) Very. Very bad.
  27. Dec 20, 2013
    0
    I recently viewed "12 Years a Slave" and as I was watching the brutality of this film I was constantly reminded of "The Counselor". These movies have absolutely nothing in common other than the simple fact that man just cannot help its hatred for its fellow man. This movie is the modern version of just that time when people were property and were totally expendable with no remorse orI recently viewed "12 Years a Slave" and as I was watching the brutality of this film I was constantly reminded of "The Counselor". These movies have absolutely nothing in common other than the simple fact that man just cannot help its hatred for its fellow man. This movie is the modern version of just that time when people were property and were totally expendable with no remorse or thought of them as humans. This a mess of a movie and I would beg you not to see it...the graphic and brutal violence in the film has not left my mind since the viewing and reminds me how far we have not come since the 1800s. Expand
  28. Dec 17, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 3 points for Javier Bardem's wardrobe, 0 points for everything else.

    Heineken.
    And here's some more characters because I have nothing else to say about this film.
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  29. Dec 5, 2013
    7
    This film has a few pretty great aspects: casting, writing, and tone. I didn't know what to expect from this film I kind of thought No Country meets Miami Vice (thanks to the look of Bardem's character) but I was way off. This movie is a lot more like Killing Them Softly than Scarface. Bardem stole the show for me and it was a very interesting role for Cameron Diaz. I think this one'sThis film has a few pretty great aspects: casting, writing, and tone. I didn't know what to expect from this film I kind of thought No Country meets Miami Vice (thanks to the look of Bardem's character) but I was way off. This movie is a lot more like Killing Them Softly than Scarface. Bardem stole the show for me and it was a very interesting role for Cameron Diaz. I think this one's worth a shot but I can see why it missed for some. Expand
  30. Dec 4, 2013
    8
    Don't watch this film expecting gratuitous violence because you will be disappointed. It is a thought provoking piece of art. The dialogue is amazing, so much so, that one would be able to write an essay on some of the philosophical ideas presented. It was a great experience and definitely a film you may want to experience twice. Although the acting was also top notch, there were someDon't watch this film expecting gratuitous violence because you will be disappointed. It is a thought provoking piece of art. The dialogue is amazing, so much so, that one would be able to write an essay on some of the philosophical ideas presented. It was a great experience and definitely a film you may want to experience twice. Although the acting was also top notch, there were some pretty gritty sex scenes that may have been a tad unnecessary (car). The story progressed slowly but it never felt long by any means. A+ Expand
  31. Nov 28, 2013
    5
    I have never seen a movie split people in half. You either love it, or you absolutely want to rip your head off. I never thought that a movie made from the legendary Ridley Scott could fall down this path. Long story short, "The Counselor" truly suffers with its script. It doesn't know what it is. It makes the actors say a bunch of mumbo jumbo and makes the grisly violence seem lessI have never seen a movie split people in half. You either love it, or you absolutely want to rip your head off. I never thought that a movie made from the legendary Ridley Scott could fall down this path. Long story short, "The Counselor" truly suffers with its script. It doesn't know what it is. It makes the actors say a bunch of mumbo jumbo and makes the grisly violence seem less appealing to the source material it's given. Now I don't hate the movie, but there's something seriously wrong with this story. Its one thing, then its another. It's like they're trying to pull an Inception on me. And the movie is only about drug trafficking!! I don't know, but what I do know is that, you'll get sucked into a mindless and grisly film or you'll absolutely devour the crap out this confusing and off-setting story. Overall, it has its merits, but suffers in screenplay, which makes everything else suffer. I give it a C. Expand
  32. Nov 26, 2013
    8
    Challenging. Tests your patience. Not a film that wants to be liked. Not a thriller in a traditional sense, though the trailer would like you to think so, and definitely not for everyone you'll either love it or loathe it. Scenes are very much hit or miss, long, and at times preachy. Humour is pitch black. Once you come to terms with the fact that plot points aren't the focus of the filmChallenging. Tests your patience. Not a film that wants to be liked. Not a thriller in a traditional sense, though the trailer would like you to think so, and definitely not for everyone you'll either love it or loathe it. Scenes are very much hit or miss, long, and at times preachy. Humour is pitch black. Once you come to terms with the fact that plot points aren't the focus of the film (they are deliberately obscured) and allow yourself to take in the larger-than-life characters and bravura performances (especially the the admirably bold one from Cameron Diaz), the film becomes a far more enjoyable experience. Expand
  33. Nov 25, 2013
    3
    Awful, boring, dry, vague, obvious. These are the words I use to describe this wasted opportunity. This film just begs to ask the question. Where did they go wrong. They had a great cast with a great director. Ridley Scott has unfortunately lost it in his years lately, with duds like Prometheus and Robin Hood. This was the last nail in the coffin for me. Ridley Scott has not made a goodAwful, boring, dry, vague, obvious. These are the words I use to describe this wasted opportunity. This film just begs to ask the question. Where did they go wrong. They had a great cast with a great director. Ridley Scott has unfortunately lost it in his years lately, with duds like Prometheus and Robin Hood. This was the last nail in the coffin for me. Ridley Scott has not made a good movie in a very long time and it makes me really sad how he was given a script by such a great writer, a fantastic cast and came up with this. The film just feels like a wasted opportunity on his part. He had so much talent but he lazily forgot that he had to work in order to make it good. Expand
  34. Nov 25, 2013
    1
    Could anyone please tell me why this movie exists??? Was it difficult for that doomed all star cast to read the plot first and then agree to star in this movie?????? Please explain me!!!

    Well, I went to the premiere and I was disgusted after the first 40 seconds. Javier Bardem was the only one who tried to save tha movie, but he actually didn't. All the cast was lost. The worst movie of
    Could anyone please tell me why this movie exists??? Was it difficult for that doomed all star cast to read the plot first and then agree to star in this movie?????? Please explain me!!!

    Well, I went to the premiere and I was disgusted after the first 40 seconds. Javier Bardem was the only one who tried to save tha movie, but he actually didn't. All the cast was lost. The worst movie of 2013, the worst movie of McCarthy, a usual film of Ridley Scott(meaning on how the film was directed).
    Don't see it!!! Save your money!!!
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  35. Nov 24, 2013
    2
    The Counselor needs serious counselling itself. It's an absolute mess of a movie, with the plot being aimless and confusing; the characters being so poorly developed that you consider them to be very boring stereotypes, and Ridley Scott's use of gore feeling unnecessary and misplaced. This movie's tagline: 'Sin is a choice,' is actually a reference to the decision to make and release this movie.
  36. Nov 19, 2013
    1
    Writers should NOT write screen plays! They can't! What a waste of some good actors and my time.
    Every actor had a long, long speech on live, love and the reason we are all here. I was embarrassed
    for the poor actors.
  37. Nov 18, 2013
    0
    Absolutely the worst movie I have seen in a very long time. What a shame. Great writer, great actors, but dreadful movie. The story is disjointed with characters that you simply don't care about and can't get invested in. Horrible editing. I recommend that no-one spends any money or time watching this. I absolutely can't imagine anyone rating this above a "2" maximum, even if youAbsolutely the worst movie I have seen in a very long time. What a shame. Great writer, great actors, but dreadful movie. The story is disjointed with characters that you simply don't care about and can't get invested in. Horrible editing. I recommend that no-one spends any money or time watching this. I absolutely can't imagine anyone rating this above a "2" maximum, even if you are a Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, or Penalupe Cruz fan. It crossed my mind several times to walk out on this one but stayed to see if somehow it would come together nicely at the end, and well, it didn't. Expand
  38. Nov 18, 2013
    5
    'It's all exclaims Brad Pitt at his first meeting with councelor Michael Fassbender. This aptly sums up the first 70 minutes of this unpleasant, uneven and muddled movie. Repugnant characters pose petentiously whilst being the mouthpiece for many risible lines of dialogue ('Truth has no temperature', anyone!)
    A list actors (well, sort of) obviously think they are making an important
    'It's all exclaims Brad Pitt at his first meeting with councelor Michael Fassbender. This aptly sums up the first 70 minutes of this unpleasant, uneven and muddled movie. Repugnant characters pose petentiously whilst being the mouthpiece for many risible lines of dialogue ('Truth has no temperature', anyone!)
    A list actors (well, sort of) obviously think they are making an important quality picture, and why shouldn't they? After all Ridley Scott is directing. Well, maybe directing is not the right word as this is one hell of a mis guided movie.
    We are in a world of people who talk about sex all the time and keep cheetah's as pets. No cats and dogs for this unpleasant group. This is a world where adults act like spoilt children who have just learnt how to swear. To be fair (and I don't really feel inclined to be) once Fassbender's life starts to unravel the film jumps a few notches on the entertainment barometer but make no mistake this is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination.
    It's hard to judge the performances as everyone is so uncharismatic and un-likeable, but Fassbender, slumming it here, is reliably good. Pitt and Bardem seem to be parodying earlier and better roles. Cruz is wasted in both senses of the word and so It is left to Diaz to shine (and I use the word loosely) as a deadlier than the male femme fatale. Her antics on the windshield of Bardem's car, however, really doesn't add anything to the proceedings unless you count me audibly eliciting two words, one of which was a bored expletive. This councelor really should have taken some councelling.
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  39. Nov 17, 2013
    0
    We went to see this film last night and I witnessed something I've never seen before. 50% of the audience got up and left during the film. The poor remaining few who stayed until the end in blind hope that the film can't really be this bad simply vocalised their opinions at the end shouting out "worst film ever", "no wonder people left"!! Anyone who rates this film higher than a 2 must beWe went to see this film last night and I witnessed something I've never seen before. 50% of the audience got up and left during the film. The poor remaining few who stayed until the end in blind hope that the film can't really be this bad simply vocalised their opinions at the end shouting out "worst film ever", "no wonder people left"!! Anyone who rates this film higher than a 2 must be on the pay roll or trying to act like a critic and see something which really isn't there. The film is a confused blend of poor acting, guess work and an incredibly simple, boring plot line made overly complicated with pointless and annoying dialogue. This film could have been over in 15 minutes, that's how simple it it, yet through pointless boring and confused conversations it managed to get up to nearly 2 hours. I don't feel good writing this review as I admire many of the actors involved and the director but this is truly appalling and one of the worst films I've ever seen. If by writing this review I stop just one person going to see this film then I feel like my work is done. Avoid at all costs, poor script, poor acting, and poor direction make this film a total joke. Expand
  40. Nov 16, 2013
    1
    Whenever I watch such "movies" I feel ashamed for their "creators". I myself don't even feel insulted by the garbage they threw at me from the screen disdain for moviegoers has become common place nowadays. R.Scott was lucky to make couple of good movies, since then all he cares about is money. What was he expecting the spectators to say after having watched the film? Amazing interiors",Whenever I watch such "movies" I feel ashamed for their "creators". I myself don't even feel insulted by the garbage they threw at me from the screen disdain for moviegoers has become common place nowadays. R.Scott was lucky to make couple of good movies, since then all he cares about is money. What was he expecting the spectators to say after having watched the film? Amazing interiors", :"fast cheetahs", "Fassbinder licking muffin of Penelope Cruz who complains that it's dirty", "Queer Bardem", Diaz screwing the Ferrari" "Pitt loses his head due to idiotic device"... What a sham! But the worst part is dialogues. A good movie talking should do three things: move forward the plot, explore the characters, elicit some emotions. Here you have long imbecile speeches which try to pretend sexy, philosophic or smart. EVERY single person speaks as if they majored at ancient Greek literature. My god, what happened to good screenwriters? Studios should give the process back to independent producers, otherwise, in 5 years, people will go the cinemas just to eat some popcorn and play bowing. Expand
  41. Nov 15, 2013
    1
    If you want to see a depressing, over-the-top, grotesquely violent film have yourself a great time. This movie goer is sick of gore for the sheer blech of it. The only intelligent message of the film is obscured and is at best one that I hope isn't true for the sake of mankind. What has happened to our culture and to values? Some of the acting was good. What a waste. And what's with CormacIf you want to see a depressing, over-the-top, grotesquely violent film have yourself a great time. This movie goer is sick of gore for the sheer blech of it. The only intelligent message of the film is obscured and is at best one that I hope isn't true for the sake of mankind. What has happened to our culture and to values? Some of the acting was good. What a waste. And what's with Cormac McCarthy and his twisted mind? What kind of brain thinks of such killing devices as in this film? Yuck. Expand
  42. Nov 15, 2013
    1
    If you listen carefully you can almost here the snapping and cracking of the backs of a million Carmac McCarthy and Ridley Scott fans who are bending over backwards to try to rationalize and justify the mess that is the Counselor.

    I fall into the camp of people that found this to movie to be a monstrosity. The script is indescribably terrible the dialogue is stilted, wordy, pompous,
    If you listen carefully you can almost here the snapping and cracking of the backs of a million Carmac McCarthy and Ridley Scott fans who are bending over backwards to try to rationalize and justify the mess that is the Counselor.

    I fall into the camp of people that found this to movie to be a monstrosity. The script is indescribably terrible the dialogue is stilted, wordy, pompous, unnatural, shallow, unrealistic and pointless, and it manages to explain too much and explain too little, miraculously, all at the same time. Perhaps with better direction and editing the plot (which is actually fairly simple) would have made a bit more sense but at times you will likely still struggle to follow what's happening because the scenes are put together so poorly and the script introduces new characters at random. This is a movie that gives off the impression, at first glance, of being intelligent. You'll get to hear speeches that draw on the many worlds intepretation of choice and the potential lack thereof, meaningfulness, etc. from unlikely sources. Having majored in philosophy I found them superficial and insulting. If I didn't have a background in philosophy, I would merely have found them preechy and pointless, I'm guessing. The writing was stylistic but yet tried to be conversational and just failed in every way conceivable.

    There are a couple decent action sequences and a cool murder scene at the end but the characters are lifeless or caricatures of interesting characters because the writing is laughably abysmal. This movie is a complete and utter failure, and I have a great attention span, have liked movies with little to no plot and was not expecting a suspense filled thriller. This was just a complete turd. I'm guessing what happened is that no one had the courage to tell McCarthy that his script was terrible or someone thought it was deep (even though it isn't) and greenlighted this movie. What a mistake.
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  43. Nov 14, 2013
    9
    This is an excellent film. Were it not for the mistake of miscasting Cameron Diaz, it would be a masterpiece. Even as is, it's not far off. The main criticism I've heard is that the plot is "incoherent" or "difficult to follow". All I can do in response is quote the film's existential center, Westray: "Are you a mental defective?" I'm not usually a fan of intellectual elitism, but I mustThis is an excellent film. Were it not for the mistake of miscasting Cameron Diaz, it would be a masterpiece. Even as is, it's not far off. The main criticism I've heard is that the plot is "incoherent" or "difficult to follow". All I can do in response is quote the film's existential center, Westray: "Are you a mental defective?" I'm not usually a fan of intellectual elitism, but I must say this film is perfectly coherent and the plot is brilliantly apparent to anyone with a fully-functioning frontal lobe. No, the script does not spoon feed the audience, but that only makes the film even more entertaining. As I mentioned before, the film's only flaw is that Cameron Diaz is attempting to play an evil genius. She is completely wrong for the role. I haven't seen her in a ton of films, so I don't know if she has any acting talent in any "type" of role, but I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she's very gifted at portraying "bubbly" characters who are sexually effervescent in a very playful way. This role is not in her wheelhouse. When she stumbles over Cormac McCarthy's ingenious existential monologues one can only cringe and lament that the film did not stick the landing because of this one glaring flaw. Her character is self-parodic because she does not have the talent to make these brilliant soliloquies seem believable. Frankly Diaz makes Malkina seem like a ditz, especially in the final monologue which with another actress, Charlize Theron maybe, would have been a home run. This film is the best argument against the drug war that I've ever seen, and the dialogue is the best I've ever heard in any movie, period. Except when it's clumsily spit out of Cameron Diaz's mouth. The material was over her head. The other actors, Brad Pitt especially, take the excellent dialogue and run with it. Expand
  44. Nov 13, 2013
    10
    I can quite understand why some will not take favor with The Counselor; one's who can only see what's put right in front of them. The mystical Cormac McCarthy presents some pieces and expects, demands his audience to pay close attention and then decide exactly what happened. Just like most of his characters we are only shown so much, but certainly enough to know up from down and right fromI can quite understand why some will not take favor with The Counselor; one's who can only see what's put right in front of them. The mystical Cormac McCarthy presents some pieces and expects, demands his audience to pay close attention and then decide exactly what happened. Just like most of his characters we are only shown so much, but certainly enough to know up from down and right from wrong. A great thought provoking film, which I admit is one of my favorite types of films. I hate leaving a cinema knowing all I will ever know about a film. It's a shame great films like this, one's that leap far away from the mundane can only be appreciated by some while others expect the mundane and are thus disappointed by an 'outside the box' presentation. Outside the box is what you should crave!!

    The Counselor is sharp, stylish cinema that cuts out all the crap and delivers only what it needs to & the rest is up to you.
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  45. Nov 11, 2013
    0
    I think the word to sum up this movie is sick. It adds nothing to the human experience. Brad Pitt et al should be ashamed of themselves. There are not many movies where I would say don't bother to go ...but ..really..don't bother.
  46. Nov 11, 2013
    2
    In 2007, Michael Bay created a mega, summer movie blockbuster event that brought some incredible advances in special effects, a slew of unnecessary sequels and most importantly, made famous the incredibly sexy, sweaty grease-monkey character Mikaela Banes, also knows as Megan Fox. If there is anything Michael Bay did right in that film, was give audience members as well as pop-cultureIn 2007, Michael Bay created a mega, summer movie blockbuster event that brought some incredible advances in special effects, a slew of unnecessary sequels and most importantly, made famous the incredibly sexy, sweaty grease-monkey character Mikaela Banes, also knows as Megan Fox. If there is anything Michael Bay did right in that film, was give audience members as well as pop-culture enthusiasts one of the most memorable cinematic stills since Marilyn Monroe in 1954′s The Seven Year Itch. Leaning on the sizzling hood of Sam Witwicky’s 1976 Chevrolet Camaro’s hood, allowing the heat from the engine to soak Mikaela’s body with sweet sweat, Bay created eternal movie magic with that iconic scene. Since then, audiences, as well as critics alike, never thought that the day would come when an overly sexual image involving a car would ever come. Oh, it came!

    The only difference between Diaz‘s Malkina’s outrageous car scene and Fox‘s iconic heated scene is that, Diaz and company wish they had as good a movie as Transformers on their hands and a film that people will actually care to watch and recommend, and that’s putting it nicely.

    The Counselor seemed to have no advising or counseling on it at all, because director Ridley Scott and company deliver what is surely going to be one of the worst decisions in their careers in a long time. What looked like a thrilling game of cat and mouse, quickly becomes a dry, careless piece of gorgeous snuff.

    The Counselor follows, well, the counselor (Michael Fassbender) as he navigates the waters of his first ever, illegal and immoral business venture of drug trafficking from Mexico across the United States boarder. That is pretty well everything you need to know and everything that is really told. Just like the lack to give a name to the lead, The Counselor is a cold, informal and perplexing film of too many characters and not enough explanation or purpose.

    The Counselor shows the relationship between himself and his gorgeous wife Laura (Penelope Cruz), his relationship with people in the underworld including Westray (Brad Pitt) a middle man between professionals and the cartels, Reiner (Javier Bardem) a man of means, and Malkina (Cameron Diaz) the lavish girlfriend of Reiner. Other than that, things go from bad, to worse, in both the narrative of the film, and the film itself.

    Lacking any real storyline or empathetic characters, The Counselor serves as an ill-advised example of the power within Hollywood. Following in the footsteps of other complete disaster ensemble films like this year’s Movie 43 and The Coen Brother’s 2008 tragedy Burn After Reading, the film serves no purpose other than Diaz‘s amazing showcase of acrobatics, sensuality and unexplained perversion.

    The film itself is a stylized and beautifully shot piece of work. Sadly, pieces of art share more of an emotional response than this film does. The film is flooding with lost scenes, pathetic foreshadowing and unflinching action/reaction shots.

    One of the most noticeable disappointments of The Counselor is its script. Acclaimed author Cormac McCarthy is a recognized and respected writing force. So many of the most striking narrative feature pieces of the last decade, including No Country For Old Men and The Road, have used McCarthy‘s work as source material and enhanced the characters and narrative of McCarthy‘s narrative worlds. In his first venture as feature screenwriter, McCarthy overcompensates with nonsense, directionless and often sleepy dialogue. I’m unsure if McCarthy was pulling inspiration from Shakespeare or Hemingway, but instead of delivering on precise, metaphorically driven, analogical monologues and conversations between characters, McCarthy simply loses his audience and instead allows his talented actors to give long-winded, spoken word lullabies.

    Every so often, there comes a movie that really makes me scratch my head and wonder how and why all the talented individuals involved could possibly sign on to a movie like this. The Counselor is well on its way to being one of the worst movies of 2013. Strangled with boredom that even scenes of decapitation couldn’t possibly help make it even a bit interesting, The Counselor is a failed attempt for everyone involved but Diaz. Diaz will surely be remembered for years to come for her scene atop a bright yellow Ferrari, a vacant golf course and a priceless face made by Bardem, who encompasses the feeling of the whole movie, with one facial expression. Disbelief is the best way to describe it, or gynecological, if that even makes sense, because nothing in this film attempts to make sense. This film is in desperate need of some professional help.
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  47. Nov 11, 2013
    10
    Like a McCarthy novel, one time through isn't enough to really see what's going on. I liked the film and unlike much of the criticism, didn't find it boring or confusing. There's ambiguity and narrative gaps, but McCarthy does that and I'm willing to bet there's a good reason for it. I'm not spoiling anything, but this is what I understood about the film..

    Unspeakable evil exists in
    Like a McCarthy novel, one time through isn't enough to really see what's going on. I liked the film and unlike much of the criticism, didn't find it boring or confusing. There's ambiguity and narrative gaps, but McCarthy does that and I'm willing to bet there's a good reason for it. I'm not spoiling anything, but this is what I understood about the film..

    Unspeakable evil exists in men. Don't get close to it, or it will get you. God, if He exists, doesn't care. The choices you make create your reality. As it was stated in No Country, "you can't stop what's coming.'" It feels bleak, but fully accepting the reality, as only one character in this movie does, can be liberating. You can't count on justice. You have to make your own.
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  48. Nov 11, 2013
    1
    What a waste of perfectly good actors. It had all the potential of being a great movie but feel extremely short. Very confusing and terrible ending of that's what you call the last part of the movie. Waste of my money and time.
  49. Nov 10, 2013
    2
    What a waste of talent! The Counselor joins the club of the garbage movies of 2013! Absolutely the worst Ridley Scott's directing in his career. I give it 2 10 for acting part, every other aspect is a disaster
  50. Nov 9, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have no idea what happened here, or really what I watched. I kept waiting for the character interactions to make any sense whatsoever. They never did. The places that hurt the worst were Diaz and Bardem, and for opposite reasons.

    Watching Diaz try to deliver that last pseudo monologue in the restaurant was awful. I was on a date and had to work to keep from laughing because I thought it would come across as arrogant. She's just not capable of delivering complex, philosophic dialog in a believable way. Afterward, and I think in the moment too, I kept comparing that scene with the last scene from No Country for Old Men and Tommy Lee Jones' monologue. I think maybe Ridley Scott thought we'd be too busy fixated on a very sexy Diaz to notice the difference in quality.

    She played the animal really well. Did we have to have her hump a car though? I mean she lives with leopards and has her own leopard spots. We get it. She's the only thing that can survive in the drug trade--an animal.

    But I think what hurt the most was wasting Javier Bardem on an idiot character who 1) consistently and genuinely claims to not know anything of substance while obviously knowing enough to live in the lap of luxury, and 2) spouts McCarthy's (in this film frequently turgid) lines with his trademark talent...which here contrasts so badly with everything else we observe about his character that we reject both the character and the lines as absurd caricatures of McCarthy's writing.

    Waste of good film!
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  51. Nov 7, 2013
    1
    Boring, confusing, disjointed and downright a mishmosh of jumble mania. The movie did not let me care what happened to any of the characters. The story line was so weak.
  52. Nov 6, 2013
    7
    With a great director and cast, I had to see this movie even though the reviews were so bad. Not like many movies out there, and despite reviews, I could follow the plot the entire time. Good acting and plot development. I was entertained the whole time.
  53. Nov 4, 2013
    0
    What a disappointment with this cast. Clumsy plot and bad sequencing. Do not waste your time or money on this one. Getting mugged is a better investment than seeing this film.
  54. Nov 4, 2013
    0
    This film is why the term "hot mess" was coined. Its writer is more interested in his familiar theory that we are all becoming dehumanized and that the world is coming to an end. Perhaps, but could we spend our last days watching films with coherent plots, believable characters. It is risible to hear drug cartel figures spout about inevitability.
  55. Nov 1, 2013
    7
    Entering the Cormac McCarthy world is not dissimilar to entering Dante's Inferno as painted by Breughel, or Dali. The best way to view it is to sit back and watch the evil as it is displayed while listening to the morality tale as it unfolds from the chorus of actors who put McCarthy's words to life. This one is about the long and unerring reach of a Mexican cartel who, if we believe theEntering the Cormac McCarthy world is not dissimilar to entering Dante's Inferno as painted by Breughel, or Dali. The best way to view it is to sit back and watch the evil as it is displayed while listening to the morality tale as it unfolds from the chorus of actors who put McCarthy's words to life. This one is about the long and unerring reach of a Mexican cartel who, if we believe the movie, have eyes and ears better than the NSA, and a brutality that exceeds the Taliban. Fans of McCarthy know that the violence is as inevitable as it is preposterously excessive. This time he sends us a telegram in the early going about just how it will occur. and then it's just up to the viewer to decide whether the message was worth delivering. For me it wasn't. The endless philosophizing about death, evil, and the inevitability of justice "Cartel style" wasn't just depressing but boring. Oh it's stylish enough and Ridley Scott has a great visual bag of tricks, but it's choice of looking at evil with sophistication simply shows it's banality, and that wasn't the point of the movie. Cormac over reached and it shows in the lack of dread as the action unfolds, and dread is usually McCarthy's forte. Expand
  56. Nov 1, 2013
    8
    most critics these days are, unfortunately shills or pedant arses. to appreciate this strange, dark and beautiful film on its own terms on the big screen is incredibly rewarding. For the viewer in need of a challenge, an abstraction of language, of poetry, beauty humor and savagery, toward death --an (un)real) moment written by its ending a human milieu on the edge of nihilism amost critics these days are, unfortunately shills or pedant arses. to appreciate this strange, dark and beautiful film on its own terms on the big screen is incredibly rewarding. For the viewer in need of a challenge, an abstraction of language, of poetry, beauty humor and savagery, toward death --an (un)real) moment written by its ending a human milieu on the edge of nihilism a film about what it lacks -mercy. unforgettable Expand
  57. Oct 29, 2013
    0
    Wow that was bad. I do not have any problem with complex plots that leave things out or open for interpretation but this thing has no plot. Or perhaps the right way to say it is the plot is so obscured by speeches and preachy dialog sprinkled with dramatic gore that no one can figure out what the plot is. I still cannot tell who the second guys who stole the truck worked for. Or was itWow that was bad. I do not have any problem with complex plots that leave things out or open for interpretation but this thing has no plot. Or perhaps the right way to say it is the plot is so obscured by speeches and preachy dialog sprinkled with dramatic gore that no one can figure out what the plot is. I still cannot tell who the second guys who stole the truck worked for. Or was it the first guys who stole the truck I could not figure out. And having people who are not what the seem is OK but there has to be some explanation as to how they have access to all this information and resources suddenly. And having multiple characters that are on screen for one scene with no explanation of any kind this is just bad story telling. There is no other way of saying it.

    This was one of those movies that at the end I wished I had left the theater when I realized this was going no where. I have to work on that because I could have spent that hour listening to the radio in the parking lot and left the theater happier.
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  58. Oct 29, 2013
    4
    Some of Cormac McCarthy's books have made successful movies (No Country for Old Men, The Road), but this time pens his own screenplay and it's a talky, tedious mess. Novels can afford to take time to develop characters and, in McCarthy's case, wax philosophical, but a movie needs some brevity and this one is lacking. Michael Fassbender plays an attorney who gets embroiled in a drug deal,Some of Cormac McCarthy's books have made successful movies (No Country for Old Men, The Road), but this time pens his own screenplay and it's a talky, tedious mess. Novels can afford to take time to develop characters and, in McCarthy's case, wax philosophical, but a movie needs some brevity and this one is lacking. Michael Fassbender plays an attorney who gets embroiled in a drug deal, but he's as confused as the viewer: Who are all these people and what is their relationship to him and the deal? With almost non-stop chatter, you'd think this would be clear, but it's just a confusing muddle.You'd think director Ridley Scott would know better, but he just adds a stylish edge. Expand
  59. Oct 28, 2013
    7
    Lots of brilliant bits, fabulous cast, nicely directed, but ultimately, just nasty people being nasty to each other. No Country for Old Men, but with even less humour and warmth, if that is possible. Just another Cormac McCarthy monotone. And why are drug dealers and sophisticated criminals now automatically all-seeing, all-knowing, and somehow seamlessly on top of every technical systemLots of brilliant bits, fabulous cast, nicely directed, but ultimately, just nasty people being nasty to each other. No Country for Old Men, but with even less humour and warmth, if that is possible. Just another Cormac McCarthy monotone. And why are drug dealers and sophisticated criminals now automatically all-seeing, all-knowing, and somehow seamlessly on top of every technical system in existence? The awesomeness and awfulness of the revenge exacted (sort of the point of this movie) is a little bit muted when you realise that no matter what you do, you cannot hide. The resolution gets a bit boring, in fact. Great performance by Javier Bardem. Fassbender and Diaz overact a bit. The movie gets an extra point for snappy dialogue, but loses it again for Fassbender's excessive trauma over how awful his lot is. But overall, adult entertainment. Expand
  60. Oct 28, 2013
    1
    What a bunch of cut scenes stapled together so they could call it a movie. I stuck around to the end only to see what the big payoff would of been but like the rest of the movie it just left me completely disappointed. The most upsetting thing about this so called story is that there is a real good movie in there somewhere. It is just the director and screenwriter completely dropped theWhat a bunch of cut scenes stapled together so they could call it a movie. I stuck around to the end only to see what the big payoff would of been but like the rest of the movie it just left me completely disappointed. The most upsetting thing about this so called story is that there is a real good movie in there somewhere. It is just the director and screenwriter completely dropped the ball. Better luck next time Brad Pitt. Expand
  61. Oct 28, 2013
    10
    What a sexist movie!!!! and what a waste of good actors! IMHO Ridley Scott really missed this one and it doesnt worth spending your money for it. Those who give a 10 to this movie must be the type of guy who also say "Make me a sandwich".
  62. Oct 28, 2013
    4
    Just like Gangster Squad, I agree again with the critics because "The Counselor" just wasted a bit too much on pulling A-list superstars turned into a rerun of "Savages" on HBO. But it was confusing. I felt that there's nothing new in the movie. The Cameron Diaz sex scene where she has sex with a Ferrari is too childish (maybe one of her worst film roles in her career) and the script justJust like Gangster Squad, I agree again with the critics because "The Counselor" just wasted a bit too much on pulling A-list superstars turned into a rerun of "Savages" on HBO. But it was confusing. I felt that there's nothing new in the movie. The Cameron Diaz sex scene where she has sex with a Ferrari is too childish (maybe one of her worst film roles in her career) and the script just doesn't make any sense. I mean, you got a famed director (R.I.P. Tony Scott), an award-winning author of "No Country For Old Men," and then you mix with Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem?! and (gasp) the underrated Michael Fassbender from the upcoming "X-Men: Days of Future Past?" What is wrong with this picture? Maybe it's just audience (like myself) has had enough of Brad Pitt, which is more convincing that according to Cinemascore "The Counselor" got a "D" rating (much closer to an "F" rating)" and Pitt's Critical favorite-turned-flop "Killing Them Softly" got an "F" rating. So it's safe to say if he says he's gonna retire, then how come you're making bad movies again. What is Ridley Scott thinking? First, I was thinking it should be Oscar material, but sooner or later that material starts to choke. I guess I have to wait for a rental, but "The Counselor" is one of the big disappointments of 2013. Expand
  63. Oct 27, 2013
    1
    There's so much wrong with it on so many levels. With everyone involved, it quite frankly should have been a masterpiece, and is the absolute inverse of that. A complete trainwreck on every level. The movie is less than 2 hours long, but I was bored before the halfway mark and almost left multiple times. The most disappointing movie of the year.
  64. Oct 27, 2013
    10
    I’ve seldom seen published reviews of a film that have so misunderstood a film. Banging on THE COUNSELOR as a failed thriller is like disparaging a hat for not being a shoe.

    THE COUNSELOR announces what it is, early on and self-referentially not a thriller but a moral fable, a cautionary tale and then proceeds to deliver just that, impeccably. No hair-raising car chases, no
    I’ve seldom seen published reviews of a film that have so misunderstood a film. Banging on THE COUNSELOR as a failed thriller is like disparaging a hat for not being a shoe.

    THE COUNSELOR announces what it is, early on and self-referentially not a thriller but a moral fable, a cautionary tale and then proceeds to deliver just that, impeccably. No hair-raising car chases, no miraculous escapes, no ingenious last-minute victory for the hero, and thank god for it.

    Austere in its point of view, anti-naturalistic by design, and florid in its dazzlingly tawdry material surfaces, this story moves toward its inevitable outcome without missing a beat. In essence, it says don’t trifle with evil, guy…don’t even. Because evil will answer your invitation, will visit its tragic dance upon you. Here, watch it destroy you in a cold torrent of pain.

    Scott and McCarthy deliver this excellent work on their own terms and within their own parameters, no hedging, no apologies. The plot is always two steps ahead of the audience, so pay attention please. The dialogue, which has elsewhere been quoted with jeers, actually plays magnificently. Along the way are some amazing performances, Fassbender as, fundamentally, an innocent looking for a fast, casual score, Diaz as a devastated soul, Pitt as a candidly self-aware crook. And of course the ever inventive and brilliant Javier Bardem as the sybaritic ‘mastermind’ with a stripe of stupid running through him.

    If you merely want someone to root for, go to a ball game. If you want fast food, look elsewhere. Scott and McCarthy serve up a coherent fictional world to which the viewer must simply surrender. This film will last and be revisited again and again, long after other routine thriller fare has been lost and forgotten in the streaming video graveyards.
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  65. Oct 27, 2013
    8
    A highly original and fun movie, that fits in nicely in the post-"Bridge" environment. The over-the-top sex sequences and murder sequences are well-done. Not as gratuitous as many have claimed. Brad Pitt is terrific in a small role.
  66. Oct 27, 2013
    1
    Absolutely dreadful; a total dogs breakfast of a film. I can't think of a worse example of squandered potential in recent memory. if you are looking for a truer, scarier and altogether more believable portrayal of the drugs business, I suggest looking no further than Breaking Bad.
  67. Oct 27, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Counselor is one of the best films I have seen in years--mesmerizing, ethereal, even captivating in spite of the theme. Critics expecting, or insisting on, an action-adventure genre picture where everything is neatly solved at the end were disappointed, and responded hyperbolically. The film will fail at the box office in this country, but it doesn't fail as a film. Here are a few random thoughts, in no particular order:
    First, the Counselor himself is not an innocent, naive, or likable figure (except in his relationship with Laura). He is from the beginning a morally compromised player--as we can see in his arrogance, in his dealings with women, with Reiner, and with the mysterious figure who gets him to El Jefe, and even in his odd question to Westray about whether he has slept with Malkina. Now that everything in his life seems perfect, he is driven to destroy it, piling on debts that put his "back against the wall" and "force" him to get involved with the drug deal. In reality he is driven to annihilation by something inside him. (I thought of Freud, Civilization and its Discontents).
    Second, we know very little about the drug deal and how it falls apart, and that little we do know is given to us in bits and pieces. We are exactly in the place of the protagonist, who also is surrounded by a menace he does not fully understand. It is a very uncomfortable place. In the end there is nothing he can do, except aimlessly travel and plead. By the time he realizes he is in trouble, it is already too late. The idea that human individual action may be useless is one that is hard to accept. We want to see the hero solve things, and we aren't going to get that here.
    Third, the dialogue is gorgeous and endlessly quotable, just as the film itself is beautifully shot, edited, visualized.
    Fourth, the sequence that ends the life of Westray is one of the most chilling horror scenes I have ever watched. It is described for us early on; we feel the suspense as Westray is followed, and then we are left to watch as the horrific scene, whose ending we already know, plays out.
    Fifth, and finally, the performances are first rate. Pitt, Bardem, Cruz, Diaz, Blades, Perez, Leguizamo, and others are at the top of their form. Fassbender in particular is a stand-out for his ability to create a character from a sparsely written role. The best scene, in retrospect, is his phone conversation with El Jefe, photographed through his dirty windshield. El Jefe gently but ruthlessly tells him that it is over and there is nothing for him to do. Fassbender's pleas--"Maybe we could meet someplace"; "Can you help me?" are, like all of his dialogue, almost banal (in contrast to the glorious words of the rest) but he is able to use that contrast to create an unforgettable character. We don't know what happens to him at the end. It would almost be too much to bear.
    I'm sorry that this film is not doing well at the box office in the US. My only consolation is that this film--like Vertigo, Touch of Evil (which it resembles in some ways), or Blade Runner itself--will get its reevaluation, and be seen as the classic that it is.
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  68. Oct 26, 2013
    5
    For serious film goers, "The Counselor" just might be the most disappointing film of 2013. There's so much talent behind it. Good actors, a veteran director & a screenplay written by one of the greatest authors of all time. What could possibly go wrong, right? It's destined to become a modern masterpiece, huh? But nope. It's a shocking misfire. While it's stylish, well-acted & has someFor serious film goers, "The Counselor" just might be the most disappointing film of 2013. There's so much talent behind it. Good actors, a veteran director & a screenplay written by one of the greatest authors of all time. What could possibly go wrong, right? It's destined to become a modern masterpiece, huh? But nope. It's a shocking misfire. While it's stylish, well-acted & has some good dialogue (The scenes between Fassy & Pitt were highlights) but the story is just so empty. And the characters were thinly developed. You just didn't care... Expand
  69. Oct 26, 2013
    3
    Something tells me that Cormac Mcarthy has some interesting opinions and experiences with women after seeing this film. This is one of the few movies I actually felt bad for the talent involved. The dialogue is just so terrible. Particularly every conversation has some awkward self-conscious feel to it or just some random chit chat about women and how men cant understand them. The onlySomething tells me that Cormac Mcarthy has some interesting opinions and experiences with women after seeing this film. This is one of the few movies I actually felt bad for the talent involved. The dialogue is just so terrible. Particularly every conversation has some awkward self-conscious feel to it or just some random chit chat about women and how men cant understand them. The only scenes that I felt worked were the opening scene in the bedroom and the conversation the counselor has with the main drug boss near the end. Everything else is this dry philosophical edge. When things finally get going a bunch a stuff happens and its really not as compelling as it set up to be. The cameos are terrible too, they have no meaning what so ever. I knew going in it wasnt a well reviewed movie but, I wanted to see it for myself. I was surprised people talked so much in it, cause in Mcarthy's literature he can say a lot without really saying much. This one had me running for the border...i mean the exit. Collapse
  70. Oct 26, 2013
    5
    "The Counselor" is a flamboyant exhibition of attitude and style coupled with sociopathic behavior, and it becomes readily apparent that its style doesn't mesh with its content. Despite being ultra-violent and bleak, the movie's dialogue is brimming with long-winded philosophical conversations that will alienate as many viewers as it pleases. "The Counselor" suggests that humanity at large"The Counselor" is a flamboyant exhibition of attitude and style coupled with sociopathic behavior, and it becomes readily apparent that its style doesn't mesh with its content. Despite being ultra-violent and bleak, the movie's dialogue is brimming with long-winded philosophical conversations that will alienate as many viewers as it pleases. "The Counselor" suggests that humanity at large is too self-centered and broken to overcome the solitude of our existence, while it simply throws up obvious signposts of symbolism for what lies ahead. Working as a screenwriter for the first time after years of seeing his novels successfully adapted to the big-screen --"No Country for Old Men" (2007) and "The Road" (2009) Cormac McCarthy is stretching his powers of language, his razor-thin storyline, and the cast of characters way too far.

    Set along the Texas/Mexico border, the counselor (Michael Fassbender) is an El Paso lawyer who decides to finance a major drug deal through one of his clients, nightclub owner Reiner (Javier Bardem). There is no back story for the counselor, except that he’s in love with a sexy woman named Laura (Penélope Cruz), and he has undefined money troubles. It’s the usual routine for a lifelong law-abiding lawyer gone bad: one major drug heist and I’m out. His clients who are now turned partners, Reiner and Westray (Brad Pitt), orchestrate the cartel delivery from Mexico to Chicago. They also make clear to the counselor that Mexican drug cartels don't mess around, in case anyone wasn't aware. Naturally, the deal goes bad due to a coincidence, and the counselor scrambles to make things right, only to face the severity of his one bad decision. The movie quickly identifies the person pulling all the strings, Reiner's scheming, cheetah-obsessed mistress Malkina (Cameron Diaz). There’s nothing left to do now but wade through the numerous decapitations, shootings, and sexual perversity.

    The movie revels in painting the bizarre, outlandish behavior of its wide-ranging cast of characters. There are an endless array of enigmatic conversations along with the constant inclusion of supporting characters and distracting cameos are never fleshed out to satisfaction. The bulk of the film consists of wordy meetings where characters interact using dense philosophical dialogue about the nature of their actions and greed, crimes and punishment, all while suggesting that the counselor will be the one to eventually take the fall. A major issue with the movie is that the thin plot is obviously predetermined, and there is little point in seeing it through to the end. Both the counselor and his girlfriend are so bleakly fated from frame one they might as well have "victims" tattooed on their forehead.

    Director Ridley Scott seems so infatuated with the script written by McCarthy that the pace of this sketchy story is in complete shambles. Cormac McCarthy suffers in his first cinema-born effort of trying to insist on his themes too insistently through only the dialogue. Here, characters deliver lines like “The truth has no temperature” and "grief transcends value" and when spoken by people, the words ring hollow and overly theatrical. "The Counselor” must have looked great on paper, but it doesn't translate well on the big screen. Except for an unforgettable scene with Cameron Diaz who gets off on the windshield of Reiner's convertible, we can only wonder what could have been.
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  71. Oct 26, 2013
    1
    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. TheWow, 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. Expand
  72. Oct 26, 2013
    3
    I can't lie to you about your chances,but anybody who sees this movie has my sympathies. Good dialogue and acting are a must for any successful film,and apparently Ridley Scott thought that they were in such abundance he needed nothing more. The plot is simple and sophomoric. You keep waiting for the underlying grand design to slowly manifest itself,but when the credits start to roll youI can't lie to you about your chances,but anybody who sees this movie has my sympathies. Good dialogue and acting are a must for any successful film,and apparently Ridley Scott thought that they were in such abundance he needed nothing more. The plot is simple and sophomoric. You keep waiting for the underlying grand design to slowly manifest itself,but when the credits start to roll you see that this is it. By the half-way point,or sooner,you will have figured out who's good,bad,or just stupid. Also,almost every character gets their turn to wax philosophic. Even the owner of a broken down hole in the wall bar shares his lugubrious outlook on life. And lastly,I know movies like to drop in the title of the show periodically if it's appropriate,and counselor is a popular euphemism for attorney, but the word "counselor" is used so often it borders on ludicrous. Some might consider "Someone to Watch Over Me" one of Scott's lesser films,but it's ten times the movie "The Counselor" is. Expand
  73. Oct 26, 2013
    10
    Great movie and well-acted! It's mind-boggling how some could say that it is crap. Compared to other movies which were rated high or higher, The Counselor has more depth. But, it'snot a feel good or happy ending movie because it projects reality.
  74. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    A MUST SEE MOVIE. you will probably leave stunned at what you have just seen as you still be taking it all in. this is not only a well directed movie, but also a set of very phenomenal philosophical ideas and points of view. the cast is filled with great stars (as you already know) and bad ass attire that is just enviable. this is not your ordinary walk in the park action movie or movie inA MUST SEE MOVIE. you will probably leave stunned at what you have just seen as you still be taking it all in. this is not only a well directed movie, but also a set of very phenomenal philosophical ideas and points of view. the cast is filled with great stars (as you already know) and bad ass attire that is just enviable. this is not your ordinary walk in the park action movie or movie in general. this is a real work of art that will make you cringe, ponder, and want to become a director or a writer. simply said if you are not a drone like individual and gravitate more towards intellectual and unique movies/stories this movie is for you. Expand
  75. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    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
    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.
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  76. Oct 25, 2013
    0
    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
  77. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    Great acting done with great writing. You can't make violence look beautiful but the hints and metaphors given by the actors is great and non-stop. If you don't like acting by great actors than stick to DWTS, SNOOKI, THE KARDASHIANS and all the other "reality' crud. You want great acting that will take you to a reality that the actors expose you to then see The Counselor. As for theGreat acting done with great writing. You can't make violence look beautiful but the hints and metaphors given by the actors is great and non-stop. If you don't like acting by great actors than stick to DWTS, SNOOKI, THE KARDASHIANS and all the other "reality' crud. You want great acting that will take you to a reality that the actors expose you to then see The Counselor. As for the negativity by some critics just remember their names so you can mark them off your list of those to heed. Expand
  78. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    Ridley Scott is my favorite director and my inspiration to become a filmaker.The Counselor is a dark and vioelent movie that is mostly an unforgettable experience
  79. Oct 25, 2013
    6
    “The Counselor” has so many stars that as each frame comes into view you start wondering who is going to show up! Along with that you have Oscar winners and Oscar nominees which almost guarantees that there will be some fine acting and you get just that from Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt plus cameos from Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo“The Counselor” has so many stars that as each frame comes into view you start wondering who is going to show up! Along with that you have Oscar winners and Oscar nominees which almost guarantees that there will be some fine acting and you get just that from Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt plus cameos from Rosie Perez, Ruben Blades, John Leguizamo and Goran Visnjic. All have moments or more to show their abilities and they all come through as does the rest of the cast.

    The screenplay by Cormac McCarthy is at times confusing and leaves questions at the end but holds your interest as the twists and turns keep on happening. Ridley Scott promises more than he delivers but the production design by Arthur Max, the director of photography Dariusz Wolski and the costumes by Janty Yates keeps your eyes and mind busy during the 115 minutes of the film. You may not be sure where you are or what is happening but you will not want to look away, except, maybe, during two particular points of violence!

    The story is mainly about a lawyer, the counselor, who gets into drug trafficking not realizing what it can do to the soul or how it usually ends for most and we watch his journey and those he meets and becomes involved with ao the way. Would it be a film with Fassbender if he wasn’t nude at some point? The director opens the film with Fassbender and Cruz in bed having sex getting that out of the way. Talking about sex there is a scene that if Diaz did it she deserves some sort of acrobatic recognition. It also provides the movie with its one big laugh. She is also at her most beautiful looking as sleek, slick and unreadable as her two cheetahs

    Bardem continues his outrageous characters, with outrageous hair, selling him to the audience and demanding their attention whenever he is on screen. Pitt shows an assurance that moves the story along and you will get a lesson in diamonds along the way by Bruno Ganz as a diamond dealer.

    “The Counselor” was a lot better than I expected. The last one left standing surprised me and I didn’t quite understand how that happened but if you like pretty actors surrounded by pretty homes, cars and jewelry doing good at their job then this is a movie for you.

    “The Counselor” is rated R for graphic violence, sex and language and runs 1 hour and 57 minutes
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  80. Oct 25, 2013
    10
    The Counselor will leave many mystified even those who enjoy it. The story envelops rather than unspools, a guttural experience. As Scott stages the confined action, bouncing from location to location like a Pinter play's moving sets, the musical score pulsates with dread. In one scene, a nameless assailant strings a steel wire across a desert road, intending to slice a speeding biker whoThe Counselor will leave many mystified even those who enjoy it. The story envelops rather than unspools, a guttural experience. As Scott stages the confined action, bouncing from location to location like a Pinter play's moving sets, the musical score pulsates with dread. In one scene, a nameless assailant strings a steel wire across a desert road, intending to slice a speeding biker who will eventually appear. That's the movie in one note: taught, prophetic, and hushed. We don't have our finger on why this is happening, but we can feel what's coming. We know it's grisly. We can't look away. Expand
Metascore
48

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: Robbie Collin
    Nov 20, 2013
    40
    It feels like a film that is attracted by the shape of love and pain, but is a long way from understanding the content.
  2. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Nov 12, 2013
    40
    At least Cameron Diaz gives it some welly as the gold-toothed femme fatale who may or may not hold all the cards.
  3. Reviewed by: Sam Weisberg
    Oct 29, 2013
    50
    The Counselor is the cumbersome end product of a high-minded writer trying to slum and a slick director aiming for cosmic depth.