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Comments 1 - 15 of 28

corchap's avatar

corchap

Loved the soundtrack to this film-- its unexpected but I really enjoyed it. When the camera is mounted on the car door and opens and closes with a shake, brilliant. Also that last line, well done.
5 years 2 months ago
dombrewer's avatar

dombrewer

So disappointing after Andrew Dominik's last film - the sublime "Assassination of Jesse James" - how could it be otherwise? That film was a dark bolt of post-Western beauty, this is a standard inner city crime drama, all rain slicked streets, drugged up losers, tough talking bad guys, Brad Pitt squinting and chewing on a matchstick in a leather jacket. That's fine, but even there it fails to live up to expectations. The good: Pitt is ever watchable although never pushed out of his comfort zone as a cold and calm hitman; the cinematography is great; the opening heist is wonderfully tense; Ben Mendelsohn delivers another great performance after "Animal Kingdom" as a sweaty, shambolic no-hope criminal who helps pull off the wrong score. The bad: the constant background references to the financial slump and worldwide recession makes the whole film feel like a poorly conceived and rather simple minded polemic against capitalism.... it's like being battered to death by the subtext.... and bizarrely James Gandolfini's two long scenes are badly written and feature some of the worst continuity I've seen in years. I ended up paying more attention to the leaping levels and positions of multiple martinis and beers than listen to the tired dialogue. It's probably better overall than any recent similarly themed crime drama I can think of, so low expectations will work wonders, but it's no classic and that's certainly what I was hoping for.
9 years 8 months ago
Thorkell's avatar

Thorkell

“America's not a country, it's a business. Now fucking pay me”

Why the hate? This brilliant film only gets 6.4/10 on IMDb. Thankfully the critics like it more, it gets 75% on Rotten Tomatoes. Even that is low IMO. This is one of the best gangster/thriller/crime film I have seen in a long time. I loved how it dealt with the dream of America and how America really is and how it showed that there was really now difference between white collar crime and other kind of crime except that one goes to prison or is killed while the other gets away with it. And all of this is done through background news soundbites.

Add to this beautiful cinema cinematography, great acting and solid directing and you have a film that is quite close to being a masterpiece. Unlike Argo, which will mostly be forgotten in 10 years this will be remembered and loved.
9 years 2 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

Killing Them Softly is an odd gangster film. The plot is fairly slim - a gambling den is robbed and Brad Pitt is the hit man called in to take care of it - but it's more about representing organized crime as a business than anything else. Set against the 2008 election, talk of the sinking economy and promises of a turnaround are a more consistent soundtrack than any musical cues, and that's the key to understanding the film. Organized crime is also hurting, and we've got hitmen (Pitt and memorably, James Gandolfini) who would rather not kill people if they can avoid it. They're blue collar guys who would rather be home with their wives and girlfriends. The never-seen bosses talk to Pitt through a lawyer, and are even more squeamish, doing everything by inoffensive committee. And at the bottom of this food chain, desperate people living in disaffected neighborhoods. Whether the director is trying to draw a parallel between legitimate business and the mob isn't clear. Is it good? I liked it without being overwhelmed. A lot of good scenes, and the film's take on the material creates a darkly comic vibe. But in many ways, it's an anti-mobster film, and that may turn people off. Once you get what it's doing though, it may feel like it's hammering on its message too hard.
6 years 11 months ago
mkro's avatar

mkro

It had an almost interesting non-romanticized grit and a quite quotable observation of the U.S. by Brad Pitt in the end scene, but apart from that, meh.
9 years ago
Emiam's avatar

Emiam

6/10
Cool film with cool dialogue and a couple of cool characters (mainly Pitt, Jenkins and McNairy - while Gandolfini, Liotta and Shepard are rather pale for the sake of the unusual), but surprisingly bland and forgetful (just one look is required).
1 year ago
twistedthursday's avatar

twistedthursday

Started out a bit weird and made you question what the film is going to be about, then got kind of boring and long that made me fell asleep, then ended quite fascinatingly with that last scene.
9 years 2 months ago
aniforprez's avatar

aniforprez

this film has a very classy feel, shot and acted pretty well and has a decent message at the end. the political leanings of this film are practically screamed at you at every other scene.

what made this film really not click with me was the sheer banality of the script and the needless exposition and boring dialogue. it takes ages for anything to get going and when it does, there's almost no point. you don't give a damn about any of the characters and because of this, stuff just keeps happening and you just can't get yourself to care. the script needed to have been much better.

6/10
9 years 3 months ago
juanittomx's avatar

juanittomx

Like the pictures, a few excellent scenes the shotting was great even the acting.. but the whole movie.. was a been there done that.. nothing new
9 years 3 months ago
CrumbThumber's avatar

CrumbThumber

much funnier than expected. loved it
9 years 5 months ago
72aicm's avatar

72aicm

I agree with dvdgrdn! But then again I'm a big sucker for gangster movies. Especially with this casting.
A strong 7/10
9 years 6 months ago
Fenring's avatar

Fenring

Chopper is better
9 years 7 months ago
Chaz's avatar

Chaz

Desperation, over-riding greed, blame passing, perception trumping truth. Are we talking about low life criminality or corporate America? Tightly written and searingly directed, this is a film that thrums with tension and has a lot of interesting ideas at play. 9/10
9 years 7 months ago
TomReagan's avatar

TomReagan

Very underrated crime film. As I expected (after watching Assassination of Jesse James...), it’s a character study (of various types/levels of criminals) and not an action-packed heist or shoot-em-up crime film. I enjoyed it more than I expected. Was so nice to see James Gondolfini again (I didn’t know he was in this), and he’s fantastic.
1 year 6 months ago
CinemaDump's avatar

CinemaDump

Killing Them Softly is basically a combination of a whole bunch of crime TV series or movie films all mashed together. It's pretty slow, plodding and it does a lot of talking. At times it feels like there isn't really anything going on but Killing Them Softly delivers something worthwhile in the end if you give it a chance.

A very strong cast has been assembled here. Brad Pitt brings a dark persona onto the screen and he has help from the always reliable Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, as well as Scoot McNairy among others. I remember Scoot back from Monsters and I really liked his performance here. Gandolfini brings his usual form from The Sopranos and Ray Liotta is basically playing Henry Hill from Goodfellas in a spin-off movie. If you're trying to make a crime movie though, you can't really go wrong with this bunch.

The story starts with Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) contracting Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) and Frankie (Scoot McNairy) to rob a poker ring. It then follows Jackie (Brad Pitt) trying to find those responsible for the hit. There's a lot of talking like I said which can get dull but the dialogue is pretty good all the same if you're listening. It's based off of a novel called Coogan's Trade by George V. Higgins and is probably a very talky book itself.

Personally I find there are some pretty interesting story lines here. The characters are interesting if a little uninspired and there are some really tense moments that make Killing Them Softly worth watching. The heist scene in particular is a great one. Ben Mendelsohn's character Russell is as gross as he is despicable and he is offset by McNairy's character who seems like a decent enough guy. Crime is a black and white thing though without any mercy. Killing Them Softly makes that abundantly clear.

Killing Them Softly also has some interesting things to say about capitalism. It's set during the 2008 US elections with the recession making all the headlines. The movie features lots of footage and soundbites from Barrack Obama and George W. Bush from the time which adds an interesting layer to the film.

Despite the title and seemingly excessive talking, Killing Them Softly is a very violent movie. Not only visually but audibly as well. It's blunt, brutal and to the point as I imagine real murders are. It's not pretty and shouldn't be. The violence here is justified in this case, not just glorified.

Yes, Killing Them Softly has a lot of dialogue but it delivers on its promise. It's a visceral and stylish attempt at creating a good crime/thriller. It's doesn't have the dialogue chops like Pulp Fiction for example but I don't think it's necessarily going for that. KTS holds it own and is worth a watch.

7/10
8 years ago

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