Killing Them Softly
2.5Overall Score

What can you expect from a gangster movie with Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini…only great things? The movie feels somewhat like a concoction of a Quentin Tarantino in concert with Guy Ritchie trying to impersonate Martin Scorcese. Now, all these elements in one film sound pretty amazing, and throughout the entire movie there many glimpses of hope that this can be a new crime classic, a Good Fellas of today…a more sad, dark and realistic one with some funny Snatch undertones.

Spoiler Alert
 But the movie has a problem – and just having seen Argo – this problem is a big one…the pace; it just never picks up the right one. The simple plot in itself isn’t necessarily the issue, since I think the filmmaker choose a deliberately simple plot. It’s much more about the process, the system and the times we are living in…times where everyone is fighting for himself, where it’s all about the money but nobody want to get his hands dirty…even gangsters. 

Another problem which the movie carries – by its own fault – is the attempt to be political. The build-up showing that we are living in the times of the financial crisis (yes, after about 15 radio speeches, TV mashups and campaign posters, I think I got it) and a country which is financially down on its knees is sometimes nerv-wrecking and all this build up climaxes in a simple and somewhat poor conclusion. To be fair though, this movie also had some great elements; visually this is probably one of the best gangster movies I have seen, and the beating of Ray Liotta should make film history. Also some of the dialogues between Richard Jenkins and Brad Pitt as well as the ones with James Gandolfini are hilarious and written as if Quentin himself had the pen in his hand…

All in all, this movie could have been so much more and thus I’m somewhat disappointed. Not a must-see….

The Good

  • Fantastic cinematography
  • Great cast with Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins & James Gandolfini
  • Contemporary view on America’s decline

The Bad

  • Political undertone is unnecessary
  • Cast is not utilized to their full potential
  • Could have been a masterpiece



Year: 2012
Genre: Crime, Thriller
Running time: 97 min


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