Killing Them Softly Reviews
In Killing Them Softly, Dominik's first feature since The Assassination of Jesse James, Pitt once again plays a quietly powerful sociopath, and once again the screen vibrates.
It's a movie that shows, and then tells, tells, and tells again, its vibrant conjuring of contemporary cynicism felled by Dominik's lack of faith in his audience's ability to connect thematic dots.
Ultimately, as crafted as Killing Them Softly is, it's less satisfying than either The Sopranos or Goodfellas. Still, Dominik and his cast cruise some very mean streets indeed.
And at the end, when that character collides head on with the election theme Dominik tends to overstate throughout, it all leads up to a punch line so thoroughly anti-inspirational and mordantly funny and just about perfect ...
Jolting, suspenseful, full of twisted sympathy for its goons' row of characters, and wickedly amusing to boot, Killing Them Softly summons up the ghosts of Goodfellas and a whole nasty tradition of crime pics.
The point of this vile, cynical and ultimately preposterous film is that America is reeling from spiritual numbness and ethical paralysis, and optimism is a game for fools.
Trading in pleasures of a deliberately rarefied sort, writer-director Andrew Dominik's talky, character-rich genre piece largely short-circuits thrills to sketch a grimly funny portrait of thugs taking care of business, in every rotten sense of the word.