User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 221 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 221
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  1. 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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  2. May 17, 2015
    6
    Unlike others, I would say it was a nice movie from Ridley Scott. Certainly not a masterpiece, but I truly enjoyed it. For his capability this movie was a below par, that's what everyone meant. As for the theme of the story, it was a phenomenal, but the screenplay is what failed very badly. To me, some of the scenes in the movie were impressive, enough to stick around the end. As has beenUnlike others, I would say it was a nice movie from Ridley Scott. Certainly not a masterpiece, but I truly enjoyed it. For his capability this movie was a below par, that's what everyone meant. As for the theme of the story, it was a phenomenal, but the screenplay is what failed very badly. To me, some of the scenes in the movie were impressive, enough to stick around the end. As has been a gangster related subject, Midas touch lacks and surprises how a great director make it slip away.

    Handling a tough situation, following the instinct and the facing outcome of the final result is what the movie to say in a one liner. Obviously, roles were perfectly distributed to the respective cast by the filmmakers and they had given their best as well. So no blame game for the movie's fall in that matter. In my perception it was the dull moments in the movie that acquire more than the best parts. When it was overhauled to build the story and develop characters, never showed signs of recovery.

    As I am a movie maniac, after seeing a movie, I always think of a sequel to follow only if it was a good one, or I pray for no sequel if it was terrible. I thought the same about this movie as well, after seeing the way it ended. I am now curious what if a sequel makes the way and impacts better than this. Because in the history, so many sequels had excelled than the previous movies. Whatever, I respect this film, not because of the director or actors, but like everyone says it should have been little better in a few areas, that's all. A movie fanatic sees the effort and appreciate it even it was not that good, but a critic sees only flaws and criticise as usual.

    6/10
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  3. Nov 25, 2013
    6
    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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  4. 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!
  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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...
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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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  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
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.