Killing Them Softly - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Killing Them Softly Reviews

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September 24, 2016
Holy shit, this movie should've been called "Boring Them Slowly"! However, it did earn a whole star for Brad's speech at the end.
August 28, 2016
Thought this was a better movie when i bought it ...but my memory was a bit wrong , it's certainly not a bad movie ...just kinda slow . There where interesting conversations with Brad Pitt & Co do ....SOMDVD
August 25, 2016
There is so much that I like about this film, it ends up being a shame that I don't ultimately like the movie itself very much at all. The plot is fairly simple. Two guys rob a mob run poker game and a hit man is brought in by the higher ups to fix the situation. The film doesn't care a whole lot about this plot. It unfolds gradually, and it's handled well, but most of the screen time is taken up by conversations between characters that don't have a lot to do with this plot. A lot of actors do superb work here. Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy play the two guys who rob the game, and they each turn in very different, wonderfully eccentric performances. Each is a joy to watch. Brad Pitt plays the hit man. Pitt is rarely this good. He's at his least mannered best hear. Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta also have key roles and are superb. This should be a wonderful film, but it somehow seems to be a lot of guys doing great work for no real reason. The film tries to tie it's themes to the recent financial crises ... boy does it try hard. Almost every scene has a new report in the background going on and on about bankers and crises and bailouts ... and none of it really means anything in the context of this story. I enjoyed watching it, but it also felt like a waste of my time.
½ August 12, 2016
Killing Them Softly is a dialogue-driven picture, permitting opportunity for the amusingly thoughtful and strangely tragic interactions between the scums of the criminal underworld.
August 5, 2016
Brad Pitt was beautiful, even as a gangster. Also his shots at the execution of his friend's. Poetic.
Those were what make this slow and not putting on the edge action an enjoyable feast. One is not bored.
And the speech at the end he delivered about America and the notion of American nation was superb.
½ August 2, 2016
One of the last flicks James Gandolfini does besides "the Drop". Plus Brad Pitt as a hitman, and Ray Liotta....I'm almost embarrassed I passed this Awesome Gangster flick over for 4 years. Brutal.
August 1, 2016
This was disappointing, rather dull.
July 29, 2016
Violent but also pretty funny. Really believable characters too.
July 27, 2016
I recently watched this movie end-to-end for the third or fourth time, which in itself says something! I like the characters and seedy world of novelist George Higgins, and this movie captures (what innocent ol' me imagines to be) the feel of that world really well. I loved watching the menacing, dirty and ever-patient world of these characters, and the performances were believable. I didn't like the underscoring/clips (the movie didn't need it) but did like depth and theme those clips were trying to capture. I surely will watch and enjoy this movie again some day, much in the way I re-watch crime movies like Drive and Chinatown :)
July 24, 2016
I enjoyed Killing Them Softly a lot more than I thought I would, the low audience score turned me away from this for a while, but I am glad I saw it. The visuals are amazing, and the acting is absolutely superb from the whole cast. It does get a little boring though, and the ending isn't what I hoped for. Watch at your own discretion, if you think you'll hate it, you're probably right
½ July 22, 2016
It was ok. Will never watch again.
July 21, 2016
It's okay Brad Pitt tried to make it work and play his part but the film lacks
July 19, 2016
Other than the fat depressed dude, this movie wasn't so bad.
July 18, 2016
When we have to make the most of this self made world, to become self made hit men. When what we make of ourselves is other things when we are out to make a dollar. When what makes us who we are is our past mistakes and whatever we are good at that we can do to make an dishonest day's living. When making a honest living, we stay out of, but close enough to finance those whom do the dirty work. When we are self made hit men when that's all we believe, and know what to do to make an American living. When others make of themselves either as liars, story tellers or pawns, we make the best opportunity to capitalize. When making others take the fall to gain a profit is just in the cards we do and run out fast. When we make others natural fools and take the hit when they didn't do snything, had it coming along time ago and they got a pass. When we make ourselves smart, getting away with murder and cash, we have something soon coming to us. When we make our lives more difficult and others lives more difficult to live. When we make ourselves visible, open to the public and an open target, we naturally get caught and others get killed. When what we make of ourselves from others, we can't get away when there is a price on our head from those you can't screw over. When we have to make the choice of betraying others to save ourselves, we make the smart decision. When we are made a fool of, made to do something, made to pay the price for our actions, we naturally get killed. When what we make of ourselves in this place we call the American Dream, this place we call home, we live all as one, we make the best of this dismal life and become hit men, made to existinquish the scum whom threaten to rust and carode civilization. When we are naturally Made in America.
July 12, 2016
Pitt plays a commanding role, but there's not enough to leave a lasting impression.
½ June 27, 2016
A very intelligently written film that clumsily ties its political undertones with overt exertion.
½ June 18, 2016
Bad. It's predictable, uninteresting, and so drawn out that most scenes are just aimless rambles from characters we have no reason to care about. It does have stylist noir, but it's wasted trying so hard to throw its themes directly in your face
June 11, 2016
Cinematically appealing but the plot was too dry and predictable
June 2, 2016
Killing Them Softly started out great. It involved a poker game heist, had some tense moments and it all seemed like there were more big things to come. Unfortunately everything slowed way down and the story never got back to a high point after that. There were some crazy, gory death and beat em up scenes that were up there with the best of them, but it all lead up to a meaningless ending and Brad Pitt was never utilized to the fullest. There were to many points where 2 characters sat down and chatted and it dragged on and was straight up boring. Then there would be a nice bloody action scene followed by a boring chat session. The film had some great things going for it and put a lot of time into the kill scenes but the rest of it was boring and needed something more.
June 1, 2016
Reworked from George V. Higgins Boston based 1974 novel Cogan's Trade, Killing Them Softly showcases Andrew Dominik's articulate directorial acumen. With Great characters, cutting dialogue and a very simplistic plot, this pithy and grimy American crime yarn has be repositioned with neatly provocative tact to a post-Katrina New Orleans and laden with modern political overtones as a metaphor for the ills of American capitalism circa 2008.

An obvious lover of irony, Dominik artfully immerses us into the recession-poor no-hold-barred sardonic underworld. Contrastingly depicting graphic slo-mo killings though a haze of intelligent banter and squabbling by supremely talented actors whilst highlighting the dark comedic undercurrents through a shock-tactic score that culminates into a taut, slick and watchable yet casually pessimistic all-male milieu.

Host to New Orleans secret highly-lucrative poker games, Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) is loved by all, lining the criminal elite's pockets with fistfuls of cash from the piles on his tables. A potential honeypot to any criminal daring enough, under the instruction of bottom-feeding lowlife Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola), two unwashed kids, the inept Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and strung-out Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) decide to cash-in and knock the game over.

Suspicion to the heists mastermind falls on Markie; having previously fleecing his own game, the idea of another inside job seems obvious. A second bite of the pie is enticing and the fact that Markie was allowed to get away with it due to his favour, the powers-that-be highest level of organised crime worry that if their lack approach to order got out, copycats would have a field day causing a financial meltdown so they bring in professional mob enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) to investigate and contain the situation.

Instructed by a mysterious driver and 'corporate' go-between lawyer (Richard Jenkins) as to the course of action, the shrewd Jackie is not paid to wait around and deals with this disruption to business as usual with swift brutality. Jackie refuses to kill Johnny however as he already know. Claiming familiar people's useless pleas for life are embarrassing; he prefers to kill subjects cleanly, without feeling, from a distance, softly.

Under his recommendation another killer is brought in, New York heavyweight Mickey (James Gandolfini) at a slightly inflated cost. But Mickey has had a fall from grace; constantly drunk, surrounded by hookers and unable to focus on the task at hand. Jackie is unimpressed and takes matters back in his own hands shedding the blood required to restore order. If 'America is not a country, it is a business' and its business is crime, then everyone is guilty of something and who decides whom actually deservers punishment?

A tight, absorbing and terribly smart genre piece, this profane crime drama is drawn from the shadows of society and will provide drama students with vocal audition pieces for years to come. As en ex-prosecution attorney, Higgins intentions about greed, institutional rot and what needs to be done to keep your economic house in order is abundantly candid.

Finally able to relish more abrasive roles, Pitt delivers yet another effortlessly wonderful performance. Callous, cold and snake-like, caustic monologues drip from lips scolding those intended and the audience alike. His irresistible way of squirming into the heart of a character is simply to be beheld but whether the academy will finally recognise it is yet to be seen. Gandolfini has his usual powerful presence, whilst Mendelsohn; allowed to retain the Aussie accent, is the clear standout simply stealing attention.

The Verdict: Where words have as much impact as bullets, this sour vision of a country in economic distress is worth cherishing simply for its honesty. As Cogan eloquently states "it's not what you have been doing, it's what guys think you have been doin" is often the tared brush with which outsiders opinion of America and organised crime are brandished.

Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 26/10/2012
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