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Killing Them Softly

Killing Them Softly

Director: Andrew Dominik
Writer: Andrew Dominik
Starring: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini


Plot: After a group of local thugs robs a mob run poker game, they call in an enforcer to to hunt the men down.


Rate It:







So what did you think? 

Adam – An average mob enforcer film that at times rises a bit above the level of mediocrity.  Unfortunately, viewers are going to have a hard time caring about any of the characters in the film.

Scotty - This was a mess of a movie and I found it hard to watch, I wanted to stop watching it several times as it was poorly done and unnecessary film making.

Griff – This is a film that tries hard to rise above mediocrity but falls flat on its face. You can see traces of someone trying to emulate Scorsese. You see bits of Mean Streets and Goodfellas but none of it adds up to a strong movie.



Any thoughts before you saw the movie? 

Adam – Brad Pitt is starring as a mob enforcer blasting people with a shotgun.  Well it’s got to be better than his Chanel number 5 ads so why not give it a watch.

Scotty – I was interested in seeing Brad Pitt in a movie it seemed to me it has been a while, I also thought there may be some good gangster style dialogue.

Griff – It looked promising. I thought this was going to be an interesting role for Pitt and there was a strong supporting cast.



Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative? 

Adam – No, This looks like a mish mash of 20 other mob films that I have seen.  Hell it even has many of the same actors you have seen in other films pretty much reprising their roles in past films.  I’m looking at you Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, and Vincent Curatola.

Scotty - No I think this is a retread of 50 other movies.

Griff – It’s really just a homage to some better films that came before it. Imitation isn’t always a bad thing. Other directors have made a career out of it, but, you have to bring something new to the table.


Did you think the script was well written? 

Adam – While I was a big fan of Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt’s last collaboration, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, this film fails to reach its lofty goals.  Instead of breaking any new ground this script just rehashes a bunch of familiar themes, throws in some Tarantino type dialogue and tenuous links to modern events.  The result is an adequate but utterly forgettable mob film.

Scotty – No, I thought the script was the weakest part of the film, it felt like it was created in a bar one night.  What was Gandolfini doing in the film, I feel like they wrote his part in after they realized that they only had a 10 minute movie.

Griff - This is where things really fall apart. The movie breaks down into a series of vignettes that come together a little too awkwardly. The movie doesn’t seem to flow correctly and the only character that seems to be fully developed (Gandolfini) has no real purpose in the film.



Was there a performance you really liked or really hated? 

Adam – Pitt was decent considering what he had to work with.  However, the only actor that really stood out for me was the performance of Richard Jenkins as the go between guy between Pitt and the mob bosses.

Scotty – I hated Gandolfini in this role, it was worthless and useless and added nothing but a few lines of decent dialogue.

Griff - I thought that Gandolfini scenes were great. I just wish that is would have went somewhere.


Do you remember a song from the film?

Adam – The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash, if only the film was as well done as this song.

Scotty - I remember the song Heroin by the Velvet Underground, in other shocking news it was played when they were on heroin.

Griff - The Man Comes Around – James Wilsey


What was your favorite line? 

Adam – “America’s not a country. It’s a business.” -Jackie

Scotty – Sadly there were so few but I think this one was the best:

“My friend, Thomas Jefferson is an American saint because he wrote the words ‘All men are created equal’, words he clearly didn’t believe since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He’s a rich white snob who’s sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So, yeah, he writes some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went and died for those words while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl. This guy wants to tell me we’re living in a community? Don’t make me laugh. I’m living in America, and in America you’re on your own. America’s not a country. It’s just a business. Now fuckin’ pay me.”

Griff – “Now Pay Me” – Because I am sure that is what Pitt said to Andrew Dominik after this farce.



What would have made this a better movie?

Adam - I like a film that strikes its audience on an intellectual level.  Hell I might even be considered a bit of a highbrow snob in some respects.  What I don’t like is a film that turns out to be half as clever as it thinks it is.  Sadly this is the case with Killing Them Softly.

Scotty – I do not know if you can save this film, it was messy from start to finish.  I would say some character development on characters you care about would be a good start.  You know nothing about the most important people in the film.

Griff - Way too much Jibber Jabber for a movie of this type. Stop trying to feed me a shit sandwich and telling me it’s roast beef. KTS tries to be a thinking man’s mobster movie and it comes out looking hackneyed and shallow. Also for some reason it throws in some crazy matrix style action sequences that feel completely out of place in the movie. This stuff should have been left on the cutting room floor.



Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?

Adam - I don’t see any reason to run out and see this at the theater.

Scotty – Nooooo.

Griff – This one can safely be skipped.


What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film? 

Adam – You should check out A History of Violence and Boondock Saints if you want to see some cool lesser known Mob films. 

Scotty – Snatch and Goodfellas come to mind, both superior movies by far.

Griff - Mean Streets, and here comes some oldies… Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Petrified Forest (1936), and Key Largo (1948)…All of them much better gangster flicks.



Any final thoughts on this movie? 

Adam – I had a disappointing trip to the movies to watch this film.  I felt pretty let down after being pretty pumped up to see this for several months.  The only positive might be that it has tempered my expectations to watch Pitt in the upcoming World War Z.

Scotty – I was so uninterested in this movie within 15 minutes, I was hoping it would end.  Maybe because I have been watching such quality films as of late this film fell behind and could not keep my attention.  I really think this film was written in 15 minutes in a bar one night, it lacked anything whole and besides a couple of bad ass scenes it was a boring movie.  Mr. Pitt has me in a tail spin right now, I like him as an actor and the last 2 things I have seen from him were weak to say the least, those things being the Chanel Ad and Killing Them Softly.  Do not waste your time on this one.

Griff - KTS is mess of a film. It tries to blend modern CGI with some 1970’s style dialogue heavy drama and the results are not good. I appreciate what Andrew Dominik was trying to do with this movie but unfortunately it just misses the mark.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • wordschat February 8, 2013, 7:32 am

    Fun review guys. Better than the movie. Jenkins stood out as he always does. I could have watched a more developed story with him as the go between. What with all the news footage Obama should have gotten a screen credit. A cynical mixed bag amounting to little.

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:40 am

      Mark, I just couldn’t get into it and I was really hoping it was gonna be awesome.

  • Nostra February 8, 2013, 8:01 am

    Really one of those movies that divides audiences, personally I loved it and even put it in my best of 2012 top 10 list. Shame you weren’t able to enjoy it as much.

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:44 am

      Damn now I really want to check out your top 10

  • ckckred February 8, 2013, 12:08 pm

    Even though I’ve heard mediocre thoughts on this film, I’m still interested in checking this out since I liked Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. It’ll probably be a disappointment. Nice review.

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:45 am

      I really enjoyed that film as well. This one not so much, but who knows? Some people really liked it.

  • Dan O. February 8, 2013, 3:29 pm

    I just love how it took it’s time with it’s characters, setting, and story, to ultimately give us a pay-off that was well worth the wait. It’s not for everybody, but it’s great at what it does if you like what it does. Good review.

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:48 am

      Dan I went in with high hopes for this one but for me at least the story just felt like a rehash of a lot of stuff I had seen before that had been done better.

  • nediunedited February 8, 2013, 3:45 pm

    Aw man!! I wanted this to be good! I, too, loved Jesse James and was looking forward to this one. Sadness.

    Oh well, I will catch it later. Maybe. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:48 am

      Who knows Nedi you might enjoy it, but it did not seem to resonate with any of us.

  • Keith & the Movies February 8, 2013, 9:17 pm

    Yet another reason that I’m glad I skipped this puppy! SHEW!

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:49 am

      Keith, I imagine this will be streaming for free shortly if you want to check it out for yourself.

  • Paul February 9, 2013, 9:54 am

    This seemed like it had the potential to be a solid crime film but needed better filmmakers. Its really too bad because Pitt looks as if he could have really made something out of a more compellingly written character. Thanks for the honest thoughts on this sub par film.

    • Adam February 9, 2013, 10:50 am

      Paul, as I stated in the comments of a review I read about this film, the best parts were Brad Pitt’s hair and leather jacket. ;-/

  • Morgan R. Lewis February 9, 2013, 11:58 pm

    Wow, a triple shredding! Great review guys, a lot of fun to read.

    • scottydynamite February 10, 2013, 6:09 am

      Rarely do we all dislike a movie as much as this one, I think we all went in wanting a good mob movie and it turned out to be a fail.

  • Joe February 10, 2013, 7:20 am

    Sounds like a lot more could have been done with this one. If you’re gonna make a movie with a cliche theme you better back it up with depth and originality. Sounds like this didn’t happen. Too bad, sounds like a waste of a great cast.

  • Joe February 10, 2013, 7:21 am

    Cool movie poster image though:)

  • Thomas February 11, 2013, 2:07 am

    i do like the film better than you guys do, as maybe i appreciate the film’s effort in style and (slow) pace. But there’s no way around the fact that all in all, it is a bit vacuous and relies on the presence of them actors whose filmography is somehow woven into the script. Even though this one was not as exciting as it could have been, I still look forward to Dominic’s next project. My comments on the film: http://thomas4cinema.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/killing-them-softly-andrew-dominik-2012/

    • Adam February 11, 2013, 9:42 am

      Thomas, it was certainly ambitious, but it just didn’t do it for me. I’m heading over to check out your review.

  • Fogs February 11, 2013, 9:09 am

    Yeah, I dont know if I’m 100% as harsh as you guys seem to be on it. I think there’s still some watchable elements along the way. But you’re not wrong. It was defintiely over directed, boring, a disappointment, and Gandolfini’s character was terrible. :(

    • Adam February 11, 2013, 9:45 am

      Well the film had some cool looking cars. I also liked Pitt’s Mossberg 500 “cruiser” shotgun that looked pretty bad ass.

  • Mark Walker February 14, 2013, 3:49 am

    Great review guys. I seem to be one of the few that really got into this one. I loved that it took it time and refused to follow a particular formula. The exchanges of dialogue were brilliant for me and each of the actors were superb.

  • Mark Walker February 14, 2013, 3:51 am

    Great review guys. I seem to be one of the few that really got into this one. I loved that it took it time and refused to follow a particular formula. The exchanges of dialogue were brilliant for me and each of the actors were superb. Riveting in an action way? Certainly not! Riveting in a verbal way? Certainly! :-)

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