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Killing Them Softly: Review

Dated : October, 5, 2012  By
  • Director: Andrew Dominick

  • Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, Anthony Katagas

  • Editor: Brian A. Kate

  • Production House:  Plan B, Chockstone Pictures

  • Genre: Action, Thriller

  • Runtime: 1 hour 37 minutes

  • Star Cast:

  • Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan

  • Richard Jenkins as Driver

  • James Gandolfini as Mickey

  • Ray Liotta as Markie Trattman

  • Scoot McNairy as Frankie

  • Ben Mendelsohn as Russell

  • Sam Shepard as Dillon

  • Slaine as Kenny Gill

  • Vincent Curatola as Johnny Amato

  • Max Casella as Barry Caprio

  • Story Adapted From: the novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins

  • Ratings: 3 stars

Quick Preview:

Set in the backdrop of the rapidly declining economy of America during the year 2008, the movie depicts the plight of the nation and its underdogs and brings us face to face with the actual ideology and temperament of the masses in the wake of recession. The hit man drama does add some spice to the otherwise failing plot.

Killing Them Softly wallpaper


The movie begins with two small time criminals Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) arguing about the viability of a plot by a scheming vile person Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola). They are planning to rob a big card casino owner Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta). There is a twist as ironically Markie had once before staged a robbery at his own den. Therefore when this time there was an actual hiatus, then Markie became the chief suspect and his life went downhill as the bad guys went behind him.

Driver (Richard Jenkins) then steps in to take the aid from a contract killer to avenge the death of Markie and also to reach the true culprits behind this mayhem.

Killing Them Softly wallpaper

There is a sudden change in the pace of the movie with the entry of Brad Pitt who essays the role of a contract killer Jackie Cogan.

Jackie Cogan is portrayed as a person who wishes to kill his targets from a distance and that too softly without causing much pain. Although he has himself mentioned this, it fails to garner any emotional apathy for him.

To ensure that he has the right targets Jackie takes the help of his old time buddy and comrade Mickey (James Gandolfini). Once upon a time touted as a sinister gangster and a hit man himself, James had given into his carnal pleasures and had made his life a wreck with booze and women predominating his entire day.

Killing Them Softly wallpaper

Finally the killings take place, slow and silent, albeit with a lot of gunshots, smashing of glasses, car blasts and splattering of blood everywhere.

The concluding dialog aptly summarises the mindset of the plight of America. The words, "America is not a country, it's a business." Will surely make you leave the theatres in a deep contemplative mood.

Killing Them Softly wallpaper Killing Them Softly wallpaper

Screenplay and Action:

The successful execution of the robbery by the small time baddies will make you laugh and think that the plot is pretty lame. With the entry of Brad Pitt, the movie does pick up pace, but till then the damage is done and the audience are already dozing off.

There are a couple of promising scenes though with the blast of the car in slow motion and the bullet which rips through the glass windows into the victims head blowing off his brains. Albeit the movie lacks a lot in terms of true action which we have seen in the recent times.

Final Verdict:

One would surely wonder if the movie is a thriller or a satire at the system. Hard core action lovers will surely be disappointed by the lame screenplay. Overall an average film, with a lot of scope for improvement.

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