Weekly rewind: December 6
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 4:54 AM
For expanded review, visit tulsaworld.com/movies.
"Killing Them Softly"
Rating: (on a scale of zero to four stars)
There is nothing soft about "Killing Them Softly." It is vulgar and violent, but gloriously so.
Drugs, prostitutes and shotguns are a natural part of the appalling crime world that is the setting of this thriller.
The movie begins as three amateurish criminals hatch and execute a plan to rob a mob-protected card game. It's dangerous and they know it, but they have what they think is a smart plan that will throw suspicion on one of the mob's own.
But then an enforcer and hitman (Brad Pitt) is brought in to find and kill the thieves so that the card games may begin again and the criminal "economy" can pull out of its near collapse.
In rainy alleys and on dark streets, men are brutally beaten and almost casually killed. Blood spatters, and corpses are tagged. Sex is referred to as a hobby, and killings are negotiated like they're common business deals.
Director and screenplay writer Andrew Dominik ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford") leads his superb cast wonderfully through this dark drama, based on the 1974 novel "Cogan's Trade."
Dominik sets the tone - one of detachment - with shadowy scenes, a slow pace and an overall atmosphere of an earlier era that many may associate with mob life. If it weren't for the backdrop of news reports about the election and recession, it would have been hard to tell that the film is set in 2008 rather than in the time of the novel it is based on.
There's plenty of one-on-one dialogue between the characters, which is the film's biggest strength. Pitt shines in his exchanges with fellow hitman Mikey - played by James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos") - and the nameless driver (Richard Jenkins) who serves as the messenger between him and mob leaders.
|Movie|| Rating (on 4 scale)|
|The Sessions |
|The Perks of Being a Wallflower|| |
|End of Watch|
|Wreck-it Ralph |
|Killing Them Softly|| |
|Life of Pi |
|Rise of the Guardians|| |
|Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 |
|Alex Cross |
|Here Comes the Boom|| |
|Hotel Transylvania|| |
|Anna Karenina|| |
Brad Pitt plays enforcer and hitman Jackie Cogan in "Killing Them Softly." COURTESY / The Weinstein Company