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Killing Them Softly

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Killing Them Softly - 17/9/2012 8:36:09 PM   
Empire Admin


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Can't wait - 17/9/2012 8:36:09 PM   

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Haven't read the review in case of spoilers because I'm really looking forward to this. Heard good stuff from a lot of other reviews etc.

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Awful, awful title - 18/9/2012 7:20:01 AM   


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From: Milton Keynes
Why choose something that has obvious connotations with something else.

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Great Cast - 20/9/2012 10:02:48 AM   

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The assassination of jesse james was excellent, best movie of the last 10 years. For that reason im going to go see this tomorrow.

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RE: Great Cast - 22/9/2012 1:41:20 AM   
Fit Kisto


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Very solid downbeat thriller. Its didn't quite pack the same punch as Jesse James. Also, I found some of the musical and editing choices were a bit on-the-nose.

It was a good showcase for the supporting actors; Richard Jenkins earned most of the laughs and Scoot McNairy continues to impress. Nice to see so many Sopranos alumni in one project too.


There is no Swamp Ape. It was invented for people who can't find the actual world fascinating. Y'know?

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Oddly paced, but worth a watch. - 23/9/2012 8:41:54 PM   

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From: Oxford, UK
I have rarely marveled, or indeed had such time to marvel, at someone being shot through the head. Beautifully filmed in some places, brilliantly scripted in others, but lots of talking and an 'eclectic' soundtrack does not a Quentin, make.

Although I 'did' enjoy Killing them Softly, and despite the fine work of everyone on-screen, the potential is there for it to be so much better…


More reviews and rambling like that ^^^ at: >>> <<<

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What is the appeal of this film? - 24/9/2012 2:08:39 PM   


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Ended up watching this film last night after seeing reviews using words like "black comedy, action thriller, Pitt's best performance yet...".
What I seemed to miss in the reviews was "needlessly bloody, violent, drug addled, politically misdirected and depressing".

The only saving grace to this film was the acting, which was excellent throughout. As for everything else, it was like being forced to watch someone being gradually ground into the ground screaming and bleeding. Had that come with a powerful message or flare, it would be understandable. Being backed up by nothing at all, it was crap.

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Post #: 7
Political Gangster? - 25/9/2012 8:20:41 PM   


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First off, is this a good movie? Yes it is a good, fun , great looking film. Does it have it's faults? Of course. However the good outweighs the bad, only just. Let's start with the good.

The main attraction here is the acting calibre, with great acting from James Gandolfini, Ben Mendelsohn, and Ray Liotta. The two that stand out the most are Brad Pitt and Scoot McNairy, both give Oscar worthy performances. Brad Pitt, who plays a hitman, who doesn't like to get too up-close-and-personal. Here Pitt' brings a lot to the table, and gives his despicable character a somewhat more human touch. However the film gives McNairy his chance to shine, and does he do it well. Giving a performance that goes from great to tremendous in the later half of the movie. Scoot' plays a low-level, wanna-be, almost frightened gangster. The real star is off the screen, Andrew Dominick. With two excellently filmed shots, he yet again shows us what he brings to the table, and the level of talent he holds. The film gives a great ending, with good dialogue throughout.

So the bad, well, the film doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a political film, as we are bombarded with lous interruptions about the presidential election and the economy. Why? I'm not sure, to either misdirect us into thinking there's something going on beneath the surface, or to make the movie seem more real. Or does it want to be a Crime drama. While this works well with other films, with the likes of the Coens', here it does not.

Another fault is that the characters are so loathesome, it's near impossible to sympathise with any of the characters, you almost end up laughing at what happens to certain characters.


Beneath the shroud of faults, is a great, excellently acted, wonderfully directed movie just trying to escape. There's even a very small 'The Sopranos' reunion.

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Post #: 8
great cast, terrible film - 26/9/2012 10:05:07 PM   


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terrible film best avoided at all costs.....

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RE: Killing Them Softly - 1/10/2012 10:39:04 PM   

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From: Belfast
As an unshowy, not in the least bit wise-guy mob movie this is more than decent. Dominik does appear to be on quite a mission to make a film about "now" and gladly accepting that this will also date his film in a couple of years he wants very much for Killing Them Softly to stand up and be counted in a look back of the new recession era. There are more subtle ways that this could be nominated, but I felt like an inmate at an old people's home who is wheeled in front of CNN and left with the brake on and no remote. The director presumably dates this before Obama's presidency so as to present the economic down-turn as an inherited malaise rather than anyone in particular's fault. It's this aspect of the film which is gubbins and not worth a single repeat bang of the drum. Pitt's Jackie Cogan epitomises a cynicism of the times "we're not a community, America isn't a country, it's a business, so pay me my fucking money" but this isn't a film that is central to any kind of zeitgeist discussion, it's resting firmly in the margins.

But as I said, you can take this out of your concerns and you are left with a modest and adult crime tale, which is neither caper nor fable. It was good to see a film that deals with "people who kill people for a living" and not play the sociopath card. Even a bloody beating is couched in reluctance and in James Gandolfini's Mickey you see a terrific portrayal of embittered, unravelling alcoholism. A long way from the caricature of his performance in True Romance, and written something akin to John Cassevetes tackling The Sopranos.


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- 29/12/2012 10:40:56 PM   


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From: Oxford
Tiresome, cliched, no real story line, and desperately trying to hint on a deeper, political/social meaning that doesn't fit in with the feel of the film. A few good performances but overall, disappointingly numb

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Post #: 11
RE: - 7/1/2013 6:54:08 AM   

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Killing Them Softly


With a cast of stars including Pitt, Gandolfini and Liotta and based on a crime novel involving the mafia, hits and heists you would expect this to be excellent, so is it? yes! well no, hmmm...errr yeeaah...kinda.

The plot in this film is really very simple and pretty thin. Ray Liotta's character sets up his own poker ring operation for the loot and gets away with it scot free. Sometime later two losers do the same thing to Liotta's poker ring and they get away with all the loot...putting Liotta's character under suspicion. Pitt's hitman character is then brought in to sort out the whole situation and find out who stuck up the poker ring for a second time. Which I might add he manages quite easily it seems.

That's the game in a nutshell and like Pitt's acting its basic. This film is semi decent yet flawed, flawed in the sense that the plot is stretched out to 1h 37min with lots of pointless dialog. Most of which bares no relation to the actual plot but just drones on. The main sequences guilty of this are the dialogs between Pitt and Gandolfini, the latter of which just goes on and on about screwing hookers whilst drinking and not much else.

To be honest the plot is half way complete early into the film, Pitt has his job to do and it doesn't need this long to watch him do it. Don't get me wrong though the acting is terrific throughout from almost all players involved...well the stars, accept Pitt. Liotta is turned from tough guy to punch bag in this mobster story and he does it well. Gandolfini looks every bit like a real mafioso head honcho year by year and does what he does best despite the meaningless rambling dialog he has and Jenkins is solid n stoic as ever.

For me this film does highlight how very average an actor Pitt is surrounded by some serious acting stalwarts. Again don't get me wrong, Pitt does OK in his role and in any less of a film he would be fine but this is a grown up mobster flick and he just doesn't match up. I'm not really too sure why they would cast the guy in this type of film really.

One sequence I don't get with Pitt's character is when he whacks one guy...but using a shotgun?!. Not only that but he does it from a distance!, surely shotguns aren't that effective from a distance and surely carrying out a hit this way would attract a lot of attention from say...the noise?!. Not to mention the mess and damage, ah what do I know.

The other thing that bugged me was Scoot McNairy and his annoying tone of voice, the guy sounded like 'Shaggy' outta 'Scooby Doo' for pete's sake!! geeeez!. Didn't think much of Ben Mendelsohn either really. He's an Aussie actor and plays an Aussie in the film, the guy just didn't fit in the story a tall, typical US hoods and an Aussie, nah.

The profanity count is high and the violence is brutal, it may make you wince, possibly even jump at times but there isn't lots of it. As this takes place in 2008 there is also snippets from the real event of President Obama's election campaign and victory, why? I'm not so sure as it has no real relevance to the plot or its outcomes. There is a political message in here as Pitt's character states 'America's not a country, its just a business', its all about $$$.

The film is well directed whilst visually it looks slick and gritty, but its trying to hard to be a Scorsese product or trying to hard to be something unique and different. Either way it doesn't really make it mainly down to the fact there isn't much of a plot to speak of.

< Message edited by Phubbs -- 7/1/2013 6:56:36 AM >

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Post #: 12
RE: RE: - 7/1/2013 9:07:14 AM   

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Just gets away with being a decent movie despite terrible pacing and Brad in the same old shit mode! The supporting cast is superb.


'Man of Steel!,Man of Shit!' -fairyprincess

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Post #: 13
Rice Pudding Setting - 24/1/2013 10:22:45 AM   


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Watching this was like watching skin form on a rice pudding, if I had paid at the cinema to view it I would have asked for a refund.

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Post #: 14
Misunderstood Masterpiece - - 4/3/2013 1:32:36 PM   


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A small time gangster film rooted in the real world where there are real consequences for ones actions - Set alongside the financial collapse & Obama's first Election it strips away America as a society and shows us only america as a business -

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Post #: 15
Best film of 2012 - 30/3/2013 3:26:28 AM   

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From: Winchester, Hants
Really misunderstood film, much like the previous Jesse James. With the political undertones dampened, they would be lost within the film's potently disconcerting milieu of a run-down New Orleans. The themes prevalent in the story were gripped tight against Dominik's palm - Killing Them Softly is proof that there are supreme director's still at play in Western film whose initials don't have to be P, T and A. Some of the greatest camerawork, editing tricks and stylisation of the past decade, or indeed of all-time, alongside core-driven performances from all players in the cast. Highly recommend this film - genuinely one of the best I think I'll ever see. Cannot express this enough.

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Post #: 16
DECENT ENOUGH!! - 29/4/2013 8:23:43 PM   


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Joined: 24/12/2011

A dark and brooding crime thriller from director Andrew Dominik!

After some unsettling and abrubt title sequence we are introduced to smalltime crooks Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and his junkie friend (Ben Mendelsohn) who are both hired to rob gangster Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta). Trouble is, this causes an economic mess within the criminal syndicate, so hitman Jackie (Bradd Pitt) is hired to clean up the mess,...

It's stylish stuff,...check out one incredible sequence where Jackie does a hit,..all concieved in stunning slo-mo photography,..dull, bleak but strangely engrossing and sublime. The slow pace may fustrate viewers as I think this was intentional, in the midst of our characters anguish, there is a running commentry about the election of Barack Obahma as new president, be it on radio or on tv during many scenes. It's an odd move as these characters are in no way politcally inclined as i feel it's more a metaphor for a crumbling world, take Jackie for instance, 'Don't make me laugh. One people. It's a myth created by Thomas Jefferson', he grumbles to an Obama speech on tv.

It's a downbeat thriller overall,...we have host of other lowlifes that Jackie employs and interacts with, Micky (James Gandolfini) an out of touch, slobby and sloppy hitman to his driver played by Richard Jenkins where I think Pitt shines the most as they discuss thier issues and a solutions to thier problems. It's movie filled with unsympathetic, volatile characters going about thier daily grubby buisness, there is no glamour in their world,...just the law of the mob and the gun. It is worth a watch but I feel this is a movie which will divide people's opinions, which is'nt a bad thing at all really.


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"America is not a country... it's a buisness." - 24/9/2013 12:18:47 AM   


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Although a fascinating film, expertly made, Killing Them Softly never seems to come to a satisfying conclusion... exhilarating moments (the heist, Jackie Cogan's (Pitt) intro and subsequent assassinations of the culprits, etc.) are interspersed with languorous conversations that do seemingly little in the way of story progression or character development. That said, this is a must-see film and one of the best of 2012... conversely, the whole isn't as satisfying as the sum of its parts.

< Message edited by movienut707 -- 30/9/2013 12:28:13 AM >

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"America is not a country... it's a buisness." - 24/9/2013 12:18:48 AM   


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Joined: 19/10/2012
Although a fascinating film, expertly made, Killing Them Softly never seems to come to a satisfying conclusion... exhilarating moments (the heist, Jackie Cogan's (Pitt) intro and subsequent assassinations of the culprits, etc.) are interspersed with languorous conversations that do seemingly little in the way of story progression or character development. That said, this is a must-see film and one of the best of 2012... conversely, the whole isn't as satisfying as the sum of its parts.

< Message edited by movienut707 -- 30/9/2013 12:27:53 AM >

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RE: "America is not a country... it's a buisness.&... - 9/10/2013 10:35:00 AM   
Vitamin F


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From: Norn Ireland, so it is
Despite a running time of just over an hour and a half the film barely has enough plot to fill that, and as has been mentioned, resorts to a lot of pointless conversations to try and establish character depth. The pacing is a bit all over the place (compare the realtively languid first 20 odd minutes to the rather rushed last 20) and the whole thing is a bit choppy.
There are a few supporting characters that are talked about a lot but we only get to see them briefly, so their impact on the overall plot is somewhat more diminished than it ought to (e.g Sam Shepard's character).

Looks great though and its good points are outstanding, so it's worth a viewing, but there was a great film in there somewhere that ended up just an ok one.

< Message edited by Vitamin F -- 9/10/2013 1:30:45 PM >

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RE: "America is not a country... it's a buisness.&... - 31/12/2013 11:59:00 AM   


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The dialogue is sharp and so are the performances. Andrew Dominik directed this neo-noir in a low-key comic style that's alternately gritty and fancy. The gritty stuff is best.

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Post #: 21
really liked it - 5/6/2014 1:00:06 AM   


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Joined: 24/9/2007
I watched this in two chunks and found that they both flew by. I thought Pitt was great, Gandolfini too and the OTT social commentary was SO OTT that it became rather humorous. I love dialogue heavy films so the fact that it was mainly people sitting around chatting appealed to me greatly. And that final scene was ace.

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