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Our review of Killing Them Softly:
KRISTIAN: Killing Them Softly has all the makings of the mob movie I’ve been waiting for: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta (Goodfellas!), James Gandolfini (The Sopranos!!!), set in the seediest part of New Orleans in desperate economic times…and it’s not. This falls short of being the next great mob movie for a couple reasons: it’s good, not great; but it’s also not really about the mob. This is pure and simple a hitman movie, contained inside a message film. Pitt plays our lead Murderer for Hire, and, as with the rest of the cast, is fantastic. Another stand-out role is that of Scoot McNairy, who’s been everywhere this fall and nails this role as a pawn in over his head. The movie succeeds in it’s comparison of the 2008 economic crisis to the scaling back of wages for even the jobs we wish didn’t exist; but it is super slow and dialogue heavy in order to achieve that point. I wanted to love it and I ended up merely liking it.
SCORE: 3.5/5 SCHMOES
MARK: And finally, a year later, this is the movie that I thought “Drive” was going to be. Unfortunately, that film let me down after the opening scene (films tend to do that when their leads refuse to speak); but “Killing Them Softly” begins with an small-time mob job and builds to an exciting close that features a scene you’ll probably see stumping for Brad Pitt at award season. He plays a sole proprietor during the 2008 economic crisis; however he’s not a banker and this doesn’t take place on Wall Street. He’s a hitman who has come to Noew Orleans to clean up the mess left by some desperate theives after knocking over Ray Liotta’s card game. Richard Jenkins is great as usual as the mob-hired middle man, and James Gandolfini returns to familiar territory as slovenly gun-for-hire all too happy to be working again. There’s less action than I was expecting (though it’s brutal when it comes up), but the acting and screenplay adaptation of David V. Higgins’ novel more than made up for the slower pace: “Killing Them Soflty” will hold you in it’s desperate grip, and ensure that you leave happy about whatever line of work you chose to pursue (killers excluded).
SCORE: 4.25/5 SCHMOES