Killing Them Softly (2012)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Killing Them Softly is a darkly comic, visceral thriller that doubles as a cautionary tale on capitalism, whose message is delivered with sledgehammer force.


Movie Info

Three dumb guys who think they're smart rob a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the enforcer hired to track them down and restore order. Killing Them Softly also features Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Vincent Curatola. Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine and Sam Shepard also make appearances. -- (C) Weinstein

Rating: R (for violence, sexual references, pervasive language and some drug use)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Andrew Dominik
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 26, 2013
Box Office: $15.0M
Runtime:
The Weinstein Co. - Official Site

Cast


as Jackie

as Johnny Amato

as Markie Trattman

as Steve Caprio

as Barry Caprio

as Kenny Gill

as Poker Guy

as Business Suit Agent

as Cab Driver Agent

as Security Force Agent

as Bartender #1

as Bartender #2

as Bar Patron #2

as Bar Patron #1

as Bar Patron #3

as Business Suit Agent
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Killing Them Softly

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Critic Reviews for Killing Them Softly

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (48)

This physical world is malleable, the means to disconcerting loveliness and expressive power... all under cover as a political parable in the form of an urgent, restless gangster picture. Rain falls, words tumble, violence erupts. Lyricism ensues.

Full Review… | June 14, 2015
Newcity

With such a strong cast, it's hard to imagine how things went so wrong.

Full Review… | August 17, 2014
Under the Radar

f you find Dominik's unsubtle political statements too obvious, there is still plenty else going on in Killing Them Softly to marvel at with its familiar, and yet fresh, genre elements.

Full Review… | August 11, 2014
Film School Rejects

Ain't nothin' new about it, but it's a cool 97 minutes of seedy amusement.

Full Review… | July 27, 2013
EricDSnider.com

Dominik wears his nihilism as a badge, but that's not what it is at all: It's a crutch, and an awfully flimsy one.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013
Deadspin

It's a middling gangster film, but belabored with too much Sturm und Drang, particularly in banging over the audience's head the constant reminders of the fiscal cliff.

Full Review… | June 6, 2013
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Killing Them Softly

With a cast of stars including Pitt, Gandolfini and Liotta and based on a crime novel involving the mafia, hits and heists you would expect this to be excellent. So is it? yes! well no, hmmm...errr yeeaah...kinda.

The plot in this film is really very simple and pretty thin. Ray Liotta's character sets up his own poker ring operation for the loot and gets away with it scot-free. Sometime later two losers do the same thing to Liotta's poker ring and they get away with all the loot...putting Liotta's character under suspicion. Pitt's hitman character is then brought in to sort out the whole situation and find out who stuck up the poker ring for a second time. Which I might add he manages quite easily it seems.

That's the game in a nutshell and like Pitt's acting its basic. This film is semi decent yet flawed, flawed in the sense that the plot is stretched out to 1h 37min with lots of pointless dialog. Most of which bares no relation to the actual plot but just drones on. The main sequences guilty of this are the dialogs between Pitt and Gandolfini, the latter of which just goes on and on about screwing hookers whilst drinking and not much else.

To be honest the plot is half way complete early into the film, Pitt has his job to do and it doesn't need this long to watch him do it. Don't get me wrong though the acting is terrific throughout from almost all players involved...well the stars, accept Pitt. Liotta is turned from tough guy to punch bag in this mobster story and he does it well. Gandolfini looks every bit like a real mafioso head honcho year by year and does what he does best despite the meaningless rambling dialog he has and Jenkins is solid n stoic as ever.

For me this film does highlight how very average an actor Pitt is surrounded by some serious acting stalwarts. Again don't get me wrong, Pitt does OK in his role and in any less of a film he would be fine but this is a grown up mobster flick and he just doesn't match up. I'm not really too sure why they would cast the guy in this type of film really.

One sequence I don't get with Pitt's character is when he whacks one guy...but using a shotgun?! Not only that but he does it from a distance! surely shotguns aren't that effective from a distance and surely carrying out a hit this way would attract a lot of attention from say...the noise?! Not to mention the mess and damage, ah what do I know.

The other thing that bugged me was Scoot McNairy and his annoying tone of voice, the guy sounded like Shaggy outta 'Scooby Doo' for Pete's sake!! geeeez! Didn't think much of Ben Mendelsohn either really. He's an Aussie actor and plays an Aussie in the film, the guy just didn't fit into the story at all, typical US hoods and an Aussie, nah.

The profanity count is high and the violence is brutal, it may make you wince, possibly even jump at times but there isn't lots of it. As this takes place in 2008 there is also snippets from the real event of President Obama's election campaign and victory, why? I'm not so sure as it has no real relevance to the plot or its outcomes. There is a political message in here as Pitt's character states 'America's not a country, its just a business', its all about $$$.

The film is well directed whilst visually it looks slick and gritty, but its trying to hard to be a Scorsese product or trying to hard to be something unique and different. Either way it doesn't really make it mainly down to the fact there isn't much of a plot to speak of.

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

A quiet, slow and dark crime thriller about a robbery and the consequences. The cast is well picked and delivers the realistic, sometimes pretty funny and nihilistic lines perfectly. The few bursts of violence are excellently filmed. Ultimately, it is the commentary on the state of the Union that feels a bit forced with political speeches on TVs and radios pretty much throughout the film. Still a worthy and highly entertaining addition to the genre.

ironclad1609
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Two small time ex-cons stick up a card game frequented by organized criminals and find themselves targeted by a mob enforcer who is brought in to investigate the robbery. Judging by the constant and heavy-handed news sound-bites centring around the recent economic crisis, Killing Them Softly is clearly making making an analogy with the US economy as these mobsters are also feeling the financial pinch. It's a very cynical and cold-hearted film that forces you to spend time with some very unlikeable and unpleasant characters, particularly James Gandolfini's burnt out hit man who makes Tony Soprano look like a loveable teddy bear. There are some nice visual flourishes and the plotting is tight and economical, being very reminiscent of a hard boiled crime thriller of the 1970s, but at the same time it's very wordy and without any engaging characters rather hard going. The star of the show is most certainly Brad Pitt; his pragmatic enforcer is easily the best character and I wish I'd spent more time with him. His final speech is powerful and right on the money but it just served to make me wish that this theme was actually explored rather more during the rest of the film. Killing Them Softly is certainly an interesting film, but the moral bankruptcy of corporate America was highlighted with more subtlety and wit in the superior Michael Clayton.

garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Killing Them Softly Quotes

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– Submitted by Jorge C (2 years ago)

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