Killing Them Softly (2012)

Killing Them Softly (2012)
  • Time: 97 min
  • Genre: Crime | Thriller
  • Director: Andrew Dominik
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini


Three amateurs stickup a Mob protected card game, causing the local criminal economy to collapse. Brad Pitt plays the hitman hired to track them down and restore order. Killing Them Softly also features Richard Jenkins , James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, and Vincent Curatola. Max Casella, Trevor Long, Slaine and Sam Shepard also make appearances.


  • Mhm, I expected more from this slow-moving thriller. “Killing Them Softly” may sound like an action film, but it is not. There is hardly any action. There is only one fight scene that is worth mentioning, and even then it is only because the slow motion blood splatter and scattering broken glass look cool. The plot is weak, and nothing happens most of the time. I expected a good plot and great acting by the actors, however Brad Pitt carries the entire movie on his shoulders (his first appearance in this movie is after 42 minutes) but screenplay and story did not support him this time. Could have done better. Yes, this movie had a few good scenes, but I think it was too much focussed on dialogues… In my opinion, “Killing Me Softly” has something to offer, but the writer failed to deliver what he wanted.

  • I was expectantly thrilled to see another Brad Pitt movie that had him playing an edgy character once again, as I feel he is very interesting to watch in these roles. This movie did give Brad an edginess but the script and direction were not half as good as Brad can be. I found the entire movie to be very wordy and the dialogue did not move the story along fast enough to justify all the talk, talk, talk. The title refers to the distance that Jackie says he like to kill from as any closer he gets too involved. Or some such drivel. Then when he gets around to doing it, his second gun shot is from close up. What was all the talk about distance and Killing Them Softly about? I lost interest halfway through this and started to fall asleep.. Not a good sign. Any movie that puts me to sleep is not holding my attention.

    I would not recommend this picture other then as a cure for insomnia.

  • “Next he’ll be telling us we’re a community”

    Jesus, what a disappointing movie this was. The only thing it excelled in, is the fact that a trashy story that you can summarize in a few lines, was drawn out over a period of long miserable 97 minutes. If the intention is to express a political statement that the most important thing in the world is money, and that America is not the idealized “Land of Hope and Glory” and everything is really nothing else than “Just a business”, then I think this movie is completely useless and a waste of time, as this has been demonstrated in many other films. Every well-informed citizen who’s aware of political affairs in the world,knows this. And the fact it’s more lucrative to end up in the crime scene compared to a standard job is generally known. It’s also not shocking news that this isn’t without danger.

    The synopsis of the entire film is dead simple : a small local criminal is planning to raid the gamble room of another small local criminal. The brilliancy of this plan is the fact that this 2nd criminal already robbed his own gambling club before. So the mafia will assume he did it again, eliminate him and the 1st criminal and his companions go unpunished. The first criminal hires two nitwits to perform the job. At the same time the mafia sends someone to straighten things out. His plan is to eliminate criminal 2 so the hardcore gamblers gain back confidence and business are back as usual. After a while he finds out who the real perpetrators were. Meanwhile the requested 2nd assassin has been sent back home with a “Return to sender”-stamp on his butt, because of his drinking problem and an unstable state of mind. As a final result criminal number 1 and nitwit number 1 are eliminated. The 2nd robber is safe and sound in prison cause of drug offenses.

    Absolutely nothing happens in this movie except for some harsh and brutal scenes (exactly 4). You get however endless chattering about a cheating wife, a drinking problem and a thighs slapping story about driving around in a car with a pack of dogs crapping all over the place. The scene where Markie is terribly beaten up by two accomplices is quite realistic with blood and vomit flying around as a result. The killings are not for the faint-hearted and are shown in a brutal and cold-blooded way. But this was not enough to save the movie.

    Even Pitts appearance as a kind of “The Wolf” from Pulp Fiction who comes to clean up the mess, isn’t enough to make this movie better. The performances of Pitt and Gandolfini, who really has the look of an experienced gangster, are really exquisite. Beside that the rest is just a sad spectacle. Frankie and Rusell really are two individuals no one would pick to do that robbery. Rusell looks as if he’s drugged all the time and constantly produces nonsensical gibberish.

    Fans of alternative movies will love KTS because of the quasi-intellectual overtones and the sophisticated cinematographic recording techniques. You can probably say that the slow motion images used during the beat up of Markie is pleasing to the eye and brilliantly portrayed. It’s also nothing new. In “Disconnect” they used it at the end. Only in that movie the story around these images was much better. And fragments of speeches by Bush and Obama scattered throughout the film will also be appreciated. Not for me. I hear that kind of drivel already enough in the news.

    All in all a faint gangster story

  • Killing Them Softly is one those movies that even almost a year since its release, I’m still trying to figure out why it got made, how it was able to get made, and why would anyone want to make it. Its director Andrew Dominik, from what I found out in an interview, actually said that his film was sort of a comedy. We’ll it is about as comedic as the movie Platoon (1986). In all honesty, Killing Them Softly is dour, depressing, and the cinematic equivalent of an oil sludge. It has a minimal amount of plot because some of the plot holes are the size of craters on the moon. Added to that, you have James Gandolfini (I kinda thought he was an important part of the story) enter the proceedings with two 5-10 minutes scenes only to be never be heard from again. Oh and I almost forgot, Sam Shepard, a well known actor, inhabits about 30 seconds of screen time without any lines of dialogue. Huh? In truth this film has other characters you feel sorry for and don’t care about at the same time (not easy to pull off but nevertheless this is not a compliment). And believe it or not, what’s on screen is based on a novel (Cogan’s Trade by George V. Higgins). With 97 minutes of virtually nothing of real importance, I’m sure that it must have been one epic novel.

    Now I would never give a movie zero stars because well, I’ve never made one and I’m sure it’s very hard work. I usually give a review a minimum of 1 star. With this one, I’ll throw in another because the performances are pretty decent (especially Brad Pitt, who tends to give good performances in bad movies). His character Jackie Cogan, is a philosophical hit man who has to off a couple of guys that rob a Mob protected card game. He’s gets the OK from Driver (Richard Jenkins, a mafia diplomat) and proceeds to also implicate another hit man to help out with the job (Mickey Fallon, played with schizophrenic void by James Gandolfini). That’s basically the whole movie. Everything in between is conversations between 1-3 actors (usually most of the scenes are between two). This gives Killing Them Softly an empty, shut out feeling. Some movies succeed with a “behind closed doors” ramification. This is not one of them. As a viewer myself, I felt a sense of solitude and possibly needed to see a psychiatrist (you know I’m kidding).

    Despite many of its shortcomings, I can honestly say that it was however, well shot. And Dominik seems to love to use special lenses. They highlight the images of a drug addicted haze through the eyes of some of the characters. This is done before they commit their crimes or get killed. But really what’s the point. If there is any message to convey from all of this, it’s explained in TV images throughout the film of Obama preaching out to the world during what I guess is the 2008 Presidential election. That’s not enough for me. And I sure based on the box office take for Killing Them Softly, other moviegoers felt the same way. At the end of the film, Pitt utters the line, “America is not a country, it’s just a business. Now pay me.” That’s sound advice. I wish I could go back in time when I saw this movie at the theater. I’d tell the manager at the box office that he or she needs to pay me to see this dud.

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