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Killing Them Softly Reviews

Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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'Killing Them Softly' collapses under the crushing weight of the director's narcissism.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 2/5

December 4, 2012
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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Like its source material, the movie is stylish, profane, intelligent, and eminently diverting. But as much as it is a delight that Dominik has disinterred Higgins's work, it is a mild disappointment that the result is not more substantial.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

November 30, 2012
Justin Chang
Variety
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Trading in pleasures of a deliberately rarefied sort, writer-director Andrew Dominik's talky, character-rich genre piece largely short-circuits thrills to sketch a grimly funny portrait of thugs taking care of business, in every rotten sense of the word.

Full Review Source: Variety

November 30, 2012
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Ultimately, as crafted as Killing Them Softly is, it's less satisfying than either The Sopranos or Goodfellas. Still, Dominik and his cast cruise some very mean streets indeed.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 30, 2012
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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The dialogue is sharp and so are the performances. Andrew Dominik directed this neo-noir in a low-key comic style that's alternately gritty and fancy. The gritty stuff is best.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

November 30, 2012
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
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Dominik ... expertly captures the flavor of his Higgins source material.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

November 30, 2012
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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A stylish, brutal affair that delivers grim atmosphere and punishing violence but loses impact in telegraphing its political punches.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 30, 2012
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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If those cynical politics don't fit yours, you can also enjoy the film as simply a bit of stylishly shot, nicely acted, hardboiled noir.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 30, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Let's just call it DOA.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: D+

November 30, 2012
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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It isn't much of a movie. I might forgive the slow start if it weren't for the slow middle and slow end.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

November 30, 2012
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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While the cast is consistently watchable and on-point, Dominik disappoints as both scenarist and filmmaker.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

November 29, 2012
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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Pitt, entering his third decade of fame, continues to show how there was always a deadly serious actor in him all along.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

November 29, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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There is not one moment in the film that doesn't represent the director's carefully considered thought, whether we're talking about acting values, camera placement, sound or style of presentation.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 29, 2012
Dana Stevens
Slate
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It's hard to deglamorize the criminal life when you can't resist showing a bullet leaving a gun barrel in stylized super-slow motion or scoring the anti-hero's first entrance to a Johnny Cash song.

Full Review Source: Slate

November 29, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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It has a weird, buzzing, intense quality that has burrowed its way deep into my brain like some invasive sci-fi organism.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 29, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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The writer-director becomes so intent on hammering home the parallels between economic decay, political disappointments and petty criminals, there is nothing soft, or subtle, about it. He should trust his audience more.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

November 29, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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This is a deeply cynical movie, with not much to say but a lot to feel.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

November 29, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Languorous to the point of rambling, the story of double-crossing and vengeance is darkly funny, graphically violent and gorgeously shot.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

November 29, 2012
Stephanie Zacharek
NPR
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It's the characters, and their words, that drive the story here, and Dominik preserves all their scruffy colors ...

Full Review Source: NPR

November 29, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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The film, for all its visual felicities, comes to life only sporadically.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

November 29, 2012
Kristin Tillotson
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Clever dialogue can make up for one-dimensional characters, and amped-up action can disguise a thin plot. Here, we get too little of either.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

November 29, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Jolting, suspenseful, full of twisted sympathy for its goons' row of characters, and wickedly amusing to boot, Killing Them Softly summons up the ghosts of Goodfellas and a whole nasty tradition of crime pics.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 29, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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A bleakly comic, brutally Darwinian gangland saga that at times comes close to being this year's "Drive."

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 29, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Like the politicians it tries to pull into the big picture, "Killing Them Softly" promises more than it delivers.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 29, 2012
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The Louisiana locations are appropriately cruddy, and the occasional scenes of violence are frightening, visceral, and beautifully photographed.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 29, 2012
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Killing Them Softly is 2012's answer to Mean Streets.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 29, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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The movie is more concerned with conjuring an aura of meaningfulness than with actually meaning anything.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

November 29, 2012
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The acting is aces, especially Pitt mixing it up with the superb James Gandolfini, as an assassin losing his game to hooch and hookers. They make this movie a potently nasty provocation.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3/4

November 29, 2012
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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Dominik turns this potentially gritty crime flick into a soggy political metaphor for the 2008 financial crisis.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2/4

November 29, 2012
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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While it isn't unusual for nasty little genre movies like Dominik's stylish heist thriller to smuggle such themes under the surface, Killing Them Softly makes them startlingly explicit.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

November 29, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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This is a talkative picture, allowing time and space for comically preoccupied and quirkily pathetic exchanges between all sorts of strays and losers.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 29, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It seems as if I've been seeing versions of this story since forever.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2/4

November 29, 2012
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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One of the best things in the movie is a conversation between Pitt and Jenkins, on a torrential day, seated in a nondescript car beneath a bridge.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

November 28, 2012
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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The point of this vile, cynical and ultimately preposterous film is that America is reeling from spiritual numbness and ethical paralysis, and optimism is a game for fools.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

November 28, 2012
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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An incredibly stylish genre exercise set in the world of mobsters, junkies and lowlifes, but it's also trying incredibly hard to be About Something.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 2/4

November 28, 2012
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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The scenes between Pitt and Gandolfini are the highlights of "Killing," with the two actors pivoting off each other with the ease and precision of gymnasts.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

November 28, 2012
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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And at the end, when that character collides head on with the election theme Dominik tends to overstate throughout, it all leads up to a punch line so thoroughly anti-inspirational and mordantly funny and just about perfect ...

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 4/5

November 28, 2012
Karina Longworth
Village Voice
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It's a movie that shows, and then tells, tells, and tells again, its vibrant conjuring of contemporary cynicism felled by Dominik's lack of faith in his audience's ability to connect thematic dots.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 27, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Puffed up with cynical pretension ...

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

November 27, 2012
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
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a humdinger of a cinematic exercise

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: A-

November 26, 2012
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Grimly amusing then shockingly brutal.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

November 26, 2012
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
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Dominik's frontal critique of US-style capitalism may be facile, but it gives the movie a bristling anger and a more lasting burn than other recent offerings in the same genre.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

May 30, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Possesses a modicum of swagger and style, even as it perpetuates some of the crime genre's more tedious cliches, from slow-motion savagery to facile cynicism.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 2/4

May 24, 2012
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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It pulls off the clever trick of operating as a gangster movie - featuring characters with missions to complete and people to kill - while at the same time sarkily undermining these same folk, attributing them with a heavy dose of incompetence.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

May 22, 2012
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Despite enough pummeling to flatten Rocky Balboa in all six movies, the only thing that truly rewards your attendance is Pitt in another effortless star performance.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

May 22, 2012
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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In Killing Them Softly, Dominik's first feature since The Assassination of Jesse James, Pitt once again plays a quietly powerful sociopath, and once again the screen vibrates.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly

May 22, 2012
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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A juicy, bloody, grimy and profane crime drama that amply satisfies as a deep-dish genre piece, Killing Them Softly rather insistently also wants to be something more.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 22, 2012
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