Killing Them Softly

2012

Action / Crime / Drama / News / Thriller

408
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 44%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 121634

Synopsis


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January 15, 2013 at 04:51 PM

Director

Cast

Brad Pitt as Jackie
Garret Dillahunt as Eddie Mattie
Ray Liotta as Markie Trattman
Ben Mendelsohn as Russell
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
699.13 MB
1280*720
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 2 / 23
1.50 GB
1920*1080
English
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S 2 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by patrick powell 8 / 10

Be warned: it's very good, but not perhaps what you are expecting

There is a good case to be made, at least here in Britain, for prosecuting Killing Them Softly under the Trade Descriptions Act. But I for one shan't be on the sideline cheering on the suit. Many, I'm sure, tuned in - went to the flicks, bought the video, watched online illegally - after hearing that Brad Pitt is a hit-man called in to clear up a mess, and they will, most probably, have been disappointed.

Killing The Softly is most certainly not your average gangster flick. It's most telling scene comes right at the end when Pitt, the hit-man, talks to the crooks' lawyer who is there to pay him for for the murders he has committed on behalf of his paymasters. The scene is played out against yet another of those superficially rousing, although, in fact, pretty vacuous Obama speeches long on sentiment but pretty short on anything much else, in which he tries to grab the heart of America in order to garner a few more votes. Such soundbites permeate the film. Pitt's character has heard it all before and then some.

In the final scene he is accused of cynicism by the crooks' lawyer, but in truth - and oddly - he is one the film's most honest characters. He does what he does, looks a situation squarely in the eye, calls a spade a spade and does what he is asked to do. He doesn't try to justify or excuse his dirty work. The rest of the characters, from the two losers, who kick off the whole stupid charade on behalf of another loser who thinks he has a clever plan, to the sap who is bumped off by Pitt for no very good reason but to keep the gambling punters happy and is paying for a past transgression, to the hit-man called in from New York who for one reason or another has lost it and is sent packing, are more or less living in their own dream world. All have a working explanation, none of which, however, is worth a row of beans. Only Pitt, the effective, professional killer sees everything clearly.

It might, though, not be as we would like to see the world. Writer and director Andrew Dominik makes the point that most of us seem to be far happier eschewing the violent, lethal reality of the killer Pitt and instead prefer to accept the anodyne, risk-free, no-smoking, ginger ale world of Obama and his vacuous rhetoric. Remember, it was Obama who gave the green light to the - well, murder - of Osama Bin Laden in a foreign country. Whether or not you agree with what he sanctioned and what was done, one must wonder exactly how much his liberal principles played in the decision to give that assassination the OK. For, whether you think it justified or not, a murder it was.

In a sense Pitt is just Obama without the liberal veneer: he does what he is paid to do - America is business - and is under no illusions as to what he is doing.

So be warned: yes, you'll get lots of tension-building gangster scenes and, yes, you'll get your guts full of gore if that's what you want (and many, of course, do), but Killing The Softly is a million miles away from being the kind of gangster flick you (and my son, who started watching it with me, but gave up halfway through) expect. The point it makes - and even 'making a point' will lose it Brownie points with many punters - is not particularly original or profound, but, for this punter at least, Dominik has made a thoroughly entertaining and watchable movie, much as he made with The Assassination Of Jesse James... which also starred Brad Pitt.

PS. I like and have always like Brad Pitt, a very gifted actor (his appearance in Inglourious Basterds is nothing but an aberration and is Tarantinos' cock-up, not his). I should like to seem him demonstrate his talents in a more 'talky, stagy' film. I am confident he could do it.

Reviewed by frankadamswizard 8 / 10

Not everyone is going to be a fan

I can understand why a lot of people don't like this movie, it's wordy like "Sports Night" or "The West Wing" and the wordiness often seems pointless. A lot of people don't like the late George V. Higgins' books and this is based on "Cogan's Trade". All of his books are wordy and his characters are complex people. Like in real life there's often a fine line between good and bad and there's often many shades of gray. Heck, Higgins is the only male fiction writer (I actually read very little fiction) who can spend a half page describing what a character if wearing or the decor of their home. I'd almost bet that every coat worn by any of his characters has a brand mentioned.

While the stories are often complex, and the resolution not always clear, I've always found his books engrossing. Everyone in them is a politician, a cop, a crook (sometimes simultaneously) or some type of public figure. Almost all take place in New England which is mostly where he lived and practiced law. Maybe because I have a pretty active imagination but I swear I can "hear" the different accents in his characters; an Irish guy who grew up in "Southie" regardless of his station in life "sounds" different that a 10th generation banker who sails his 50 foot sailboat and vacations in the Caribbean.

I feel that in "A Choice of Enemies" he gave the best description I've ever read or heard of how "practical" everyday politics operates, or should. That is a book that I've recommended to a dozen or so people and only two of them ever read it, one of them after quitting after 25 or so pages and starting again 8 months later.

The only other book of Higgins that was made into a movie was "The Friends of Eddie Coyle", his first novel, which starred Robert Mitchum and Peter Boyle. Although I haven't watched it in years I remember it being more straight up story telling and a "cleaner" crime drama. I first heard of Higgins when in about 1974 Playboy Magazine excerpted "The Diggers Game". Being 26 and in the military a lot of my friends and I read Playboy. In discussing this there were multiple interpretations of what ultimately happened at the end of it.

I enjoy Higgins' way with words and I've adopted several of his phrases into my lexicon. Describing a character's sailboat; "it wasn't small but it wasn't real big either. It would sleep six, f**k four or fight two". If you've ever had a fight with a spouse on a driving or flying trip you'll know how small that is. Another favorite is about the difference between the FBI and other cops; "Nah, we're not the Mounties. We not only get our man but his brother in law and a couple of guys from his bowling team." And of course I've always applied "Bomber's Law" whenever I see anything going on that isn't easily understood. You'll have to read "Bomber's Law" to find out what the law is.

You may have noticed that this "review" is less about the movie and more about Higgins. I intended it to show what type of author wrote the original story and not what to expect from the film. I decided to write this after reading an article about how CinemaScore has only ever had 19 "F" grades. The article describer "Killing Them Softly" as being "European". I guess by that they meant that it doesn't explain every little detail to the audience because they assume the audience are not all idiots.

Reviewed by SimonJack 2 / 10

Boring, gory, dark demo of how easy it is to kill people

"Killing Them Softly" is based on a 2012 novel, "Cogan's Trade," by George V. Higgins (1939-1999). Higgins was someone with a varied career and interests. He is best known for his crime novels. "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" (1970) was made into a blockbuster film of the same title in 1973, starring Robert Mitchum. Before his full-time fiction writing, Higgins worked as a reporter for the Boston Globe and Associated Press. And, before that he got a law degree and served in government positions working on organized crime. So, he clearly had the background and experience to write books on the subject.

I haven't read his 2012 book by the same title as this film, and am not interested in doing so. I don't know if the movie follows the book, but the film is little more than a portrayal of one hardened, detached hit man killing three guys, one at a time. Brad Pit is the mob's hit man, Jackie Cogan. There's very little of interest in this movie – it's a running dialog between characters leading up to the "contract" being fulfilled.

What acting there is isn't very good. I can't imagine the book holding anyone's interest if it was at all like the film. This is just another modern vulgar and dark film about characters living in the underworld. I can't imagine anyone enjoying this sort of stuff. It may be rated "R," but we know that it won't stop adolescents from watching it at home, with or without parents. So, to some kids this might just be a portrayal of how easy it is to kill someone. One would hope not, but that's about all the message this film had that I could find.

It's too bad the stars who go back at least a couple decades don't shy away from stuff like this. They might try their hands at dramas or other films that require acting. Unfortunately, this film isn't a recommendation for Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins or Ray Liotta. It's another one I found in the cheap bin at the store, so I'm going to be more wary of such films in the future.

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